Over the last couple of days I have received a flood of supportive and encouraging emails from many, many people, and I am very grateful for them all. One of them was from the estimable Jane Novak, who writes again today to notify me of the observations of the father of a sailor who was killed in the jihad attack against the USS Cole on the Guantanamo trial of Ali Hamza Bahlul.
“Gary Swenchonis Sr. reports from Gitmo on the Trial of Bahlul, ‘Its Just Not Right,'” by Jane Novak at Armies of Liberation, November 3:
Gary Swenchonis Sr. is the father of Gary Swenchonis, Jr. who was one of 17 sailors murdered in the terror attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Swenchonis Sr. is at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, attending the trial of Ali Hamza Bahlul. The al-Qaeda operative was convicted today on multiple counts on charges of conspiracy, solicitation to commit murder and providing material to support terrorism.
In a statement, Gary said, “I was in court today at Guantanamo to testify at a military commission trial of an al Qaeda terrorist who created a recruitment video that exploits the death of our son and his mates who were killed or wounded in the attack on the USS Cole attack.
My wife and I have had the continuous support of the members of the prosecutors office and the military personnel stationed on the base. And for that we are extremely and sincerely grateful.
It’s unfortunate and sad that representatives of the media and groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch seem to show more solidarity with the accused terrorists than with the actual victims of terrorist attacks.
American sailors died in the sneak terror attack on the USS Cole and none of these groups are demanding justice for these sailors. I would have hoped that the national media would have been interested and present at this trial which effects our whole nation. Their absence at this trial is just not right.”
Bahlul is the self proclaimed media chief of al-Qaeda and made a powerful recruiting video featuring the bombing of the USS Cole. Bahlul also scripted the video wills of two 9/11 highjackers before they lauched their mass murder plot. Prior to sentencing Gary gave a victims impact statement on the loss of his son in the bombing.
Gary is a vocal advocate of re-opening the USS Cole investigation and believes the Yemeni government’s level of complicity in the attack was never fully explored.