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Leaning into Fatherhood, Loss, Response, & Beauty
In the News
Plea Deal Talks Are in Limbo
NPR All Things Considered
A year ago, there was big news in a major terrorism case. Settlement talks were underway for the five men accused in the 9/11 attacks. Plea deals could finally bring the case to a close, but now those talks are in limbo. Consensus among 9/11 victim family members is mixed.
As Sacha Pheiffer notes, "One person I spoke with has a very pragmatic view. His name is Glenn Morgan. His father died in the World Trade Center collapse, and he ... does not want them (the 9/11 perpetrators) to die in prison without being found guilty, so he would support a settlement.
As Morgan notes, "A plea is better than the assumption of innocence."
Impatience a Year Into Sept 11 Plea Talks
New York Times
For now, Morgan ssys, 9/11 GTMO prisoners are presumed innocent and that’s a trauma that can be avoided through a plea agreement.
“It should be in the hands of the lawyers, Judge McCall and the convening authority,” he said, referring to the Pentagon official who has oversight of the war court.
“We are infusing politics into a court decision, and the convening authority has the right to approve and disapprove plea agreements,” he said.
“Nowhere does it say to ask some blockhead politicians for their approval.”
Why Are Families of Sept 11 Victims Waiting
NPR Morning Edition
President Biden has been publicly silent about the 9/11 settlement talks .... But the ongoing 9/11 delays test the patience of Glenn Morgan. His father died in the World Trade Center collapse.
After two decades of political logjam at Guantanamo, he would settle for a plea deal, "It really would be sad if people like my
mother diied without seeing her husband's killers get prosecuted.
The longer the 9/11 case goes on, the more he worries the defendants will die without being found guilty. "And that's a tragedy that's just completely avoidable. And shame on us if we as Americans or our politicians can't get out of our own way."
The 9/11 Case Is Still In Limbo
"The 9/11 case is not going to trial in the military commissions, it is not remotely close to that, and it never will be," Roehm said.
"So for anyone who objects to resolving the case with a plea agreement, I'd ask them: What's the alternative? "A plea isn't just the least-worst option for resolving the case," he added. "It's the only remaining option."
Glenn Morgan, whose father died in the World Trade Center collapse, has reached a similar conclusion. He says he would settle for a plea deal. "I don't know whether the Republicans and Democrats will be able to come to a resolution," Morgan said, "But more people in my family have passed away, and those people have not seen a guilty verdict for these individuals responsible for killing my dad...so the clock is ticking."
Why Does This Man Buy GTMO 5 Art Supplies?
Morgan says he wants to rise above his own thirst for retribution. And in that spirit, he has been donating art supplies for use by Guantanamo detainees and guards alike. Earlier this month, military officials who run the prison accepted his latest batch of donated supplies, a small act of grace in one of the world's most unforgiving places.
"I can either chose to do what's right or I can choose to do what's easy, and I choose to do what's right," he said.
Virus Further Slows the Pace of Justice
New York Times
Mr. Morgan expressed his admiration for the prosecutors but said he had also come around to the idea that because of the many obstacles, a resolution might require removing the death penalty...
“...I do not expect to see justice,” he said. “I would rather have them live and be found guilty than die from natural causes and be never found guilty.”
After 9/11, Finding Comfort in Writing
MIT Tech Connection
Morgan struggled mightily with his grief. “I was living in a cloak of darkness. I tried to fight it but ended up hurting myself...”
Nearly 10 years after the attack, Morgan agreed to an interview with the FBI and New York City police to help piece together his father's timeline around the response to the attack. In exchange for the interview, Morgan entered a lottery, which he won, to travel to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to watch the pretrial of the accused perpetrators of the attacks.
“I ended up being part of a half-dozen families who traveled there. Guantanamo was a unique, solitary place. Everyone—the victims, the soldiers, the lawyers—was away from someone they loved or missing someone they loved.”
Guantánamo Has Cost Billions
NPR: National Public Radio
Glenn Morgan of Belmont, Mass., lost his father, Richard Morgan, on Sept. 11, 2001, in the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, and he has traveled twice to Guantánamo to watch the military court process. He says he hopes the five men accused in the Sept. 11 attacks will be executed, but says he would accept plea deals as a resolution after so many years of little progress.
"I'm not saying I advocate for it, but when someone in your family is killed like this and your mom is left to fight cancer on her own without her husband, your definition of satisfied is modified."
It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This
During the press conference, a reporter asked Glenn Morgan what he'd come to see.
He said, "[I'd like KSM to think], Holy shit, I can't believe they gave me a fair trial. What a fucking country."
Costs To Taxpayers Top $6 Billion
Death Penalty Information Center
The process has also taken a toll on those whose loved ones were killed on 9/11. Glenn Morgan said a plea deal would at least bring some closure. “I’m not saying I advocate for it, but when someone in your family is killed ... your definition of satisfied is modified.”
Goodbye, America. And good luck
This place is “a seven-mile-by- seven-mile box of raw emotion”.
Morgan lamented the stalled trial as “a squandered opportunity to shine a beacon of fairness and calibration into a dark corner of the world." He added, “The cost of entry to GTMO was expensive. My entry fee was the life of my father, Richard Morgan, and for such a dear price it would be nice to see progress.”
"I Want to Look Evil in the Eyes"
Watching from the public gallery on Monday, Glenn Morgan stands transfixed. For the first time he can see the men accused of planning the attacks that killed his father. Richard Morgan was on an emergency-response team working with the New York fire department when he was killed.