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  1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    https://www.ae911truth.org/fbi

    This seems unrelated to their attempt to get a grand jury investigation, but likely contains the same litany of old debunked claims, like free-fall, iron microspheres, and supposed "thermitic material"
     
  2. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

  3. Why, exactly, do a bunch of lawyers need money to advance a lawsuit? I smell a money-extracting scheme here.
     
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  4. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    Talk about missing the forest for the trees! One has to be a seriously myopic conspiracy theorist to read the 120+ page report that Mick linked above, which discusses at length the collective efforts of thousands of people to not only investigate 9-11 but also to make systemic changes to various law enforcement and intelligence institutions based on the reality of what actually happened that day, and come away with only the same vague conspiratorial complaints about the previous investigation as before. AE911Truth looked for support of its favored theories, didn't find it, and then just completely disregarded the entire report. Amazing.

    Well, unfortunately for AE911Truth, the FBI follows actual evidence, not conspiratorial conjecture, special pleading, pure speculation or easily debunked junk science, and that actual evidence has led them to know exactly who financed, planned and carried out the 9-11 attacks. The linked report even notes that the case against those already identified as the culprits has only strengthened as time has gone by and more evidence has become available:

    (Pg. 101.)

    The report then goes on to describe such new evidence.

    Since the debates between truthers and others become wrapped up in the mechanics of the collapses of the buildings, it is often lost that 9-11 gave rise the single largest criminal investigation in history and copious amounts of evidence gathered by the FBI and others leave no doubt as to who perpetrated them. Reports like this one help underscore how wanting the truthers' theories are in the face of such a thorough investigation and the overwhelming evidence it produced. There is no reconciling such truther theories with the facts and so they stick to quibbling over the minutae of the collapses (where they are also incorrect but their innuendo can persuade the ignorant).

    In any case, it's an interesting tact that AE911Truth is taking with these legal efforts. So far, however, I am not at all impressed as they just seem to be burning a lot of money on lawyers' fees to produce legal work for PR purposes. Their efforts are really just symbolic and toothless and seemingly made without an actual end game in mind. I don't know how an attorney could ethically (or in good conscience) recommend that his or her client waste money on such efforts, but maybe the client is well advised of their ineffectiveness and is undertaking them anyway (in which case the ethical issue is between AE911Truth and its donors and not between the attorney and AE911Truth).
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  5. econ41

    econ41 Active Member

    The ethical issues are a Rat's Nest. Who is the client in either case - this initiative or the Grand jury move?

    "Legal Ethics" differs from most other standards of professional ethics. And lawyers representing a client have a lot of leeway to present what the client wants said without the falsehoods or partial truths reflecting directly on the lawyer. But those 'protections' vanish when the lawyer acts as the plaintiff.

    And that is a separate matter distinct from the near stupidity of the claims. I haven't reviewed either set in detail (if they are different). But from my first reading many months back few of the claims would even meet 'prima facie' standard in a court case. The defendants initial submission could well be "We submit no case to answer**" times whatever number of distinct issues they challenge.

    ** That's the Aussie version - the US terminology MAY be different - the intent wont be.
     
  6. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    According to the complaint, the actual plaintiffs are:
    1. THE LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE FOR 9/11 INQUIRY, INC.,
    2. ROBERT MCILVAINE, and
    3. ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS FOR 9/11.
    They are being represented by two attorneys: Mick G. Harrison, a solo practioner from Indiana, and John M. Clifford, a litigator at a small DC firm.

    Legal ethics standards in the US vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but mostly follow the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Under those rules, the potential issue comes from Rule 1.4:

    Given how unlikely they are to lose the case discussed in this thread (the FBI will simply note, as I have, that they have ample actual evidence from the largest criminal investigation of who committed the attacks and that AE911Truth did not present any evidence that the FBI hadn't already considered), and how unlikely to lead to any indictment the grand jury petition is, one has to wonder how well the lawyers here informed the plaintiffs as to the likelihood that these legal efforts would achieve their desired ends. It's possible the plaintiffs did not fully understand just how doomed these efforts were to fail on the merits (in which case, the lawyers are at fault for not explaining as much); however, it's also possible that the plaintiffs know full well that these efforts will fail and are simply undertaking them anyway (for PR or other reasons), in which case AE911Truth and the Lawyer's Committee in particular are both in ethically dubious territory as they both raise money on the premise of the effectiveness of these legal efforts.
     
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  7. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    After thinking about this more, I think there is another glaring ethical issue at play here: while The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Inc. (hereinafter, the "LC") is purportedly set up as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, it seems likely that a substantial portion of the donations it has received have been spent on legal fees payable to Mick G. Harrison, who is on its board of directors (he signed the grand jury petition as its executive director and is still listed a director on its website, and he signed the complaint that is the topic of this thread as counsel to the plaintiffs). There is at least the appearance of a fundamental conflict of interest here as a board member of a non-profit is typically prohibited from benefiting from any transaction or arrangement with the non-profit. This is a serious issue that jeopardizes the 501(c)(3) status of the LC, as the IRS explains:

    It'd thus be interesting to see what, if any, safeguards the LC has established to inform its donors of this conflict of interest and ensure the integrity of its board's decisions in light of them. If anyone out there is thinking of handing the LC your hard earned money (which I don't recommend for obvious reasons in any event), you may want to first insist that it first provide its conflict of interest policy along with evidence that it has somehow mitigated this particular glaring conflict of interest (which is not directly disclosed on its official website, from what I can see as of the date of this post).

    It's all very shady to me but seems par for the course for how fast and loose these money-making conspiracy theory organizations play with ethical norms.
     
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  8. econ41

    econ41 Active Member

    Thanks for those US specific details. Essentially the same principles as the AU system I am more familiar with.
    Agreed - that is also my interpretation.
     
  9. econ41

    econ41 Active Member

    You beat me to it. Given who the parties are the conflict of interest issues are blatant.

    Agreed on "fast and loose".

    The whole situation suggests that the players are of very limited intelligence OR have been living in their fantasy world so long that they have lost contact with any semblance of reality over these matters - both technical and legal/ethical.
     
  10. Mendel

    Mendel Member

    To me, a non-lawyer, this seems to indicate that compensatio that is not excessive would not be a problem. I'd expect that the other lawyers on the board should be able to judge the amount and validity of legal fees billed, but I'd also expect that there is a process to perform these checks.
     
  11. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    The related party transaction issue here is not one of board-approved compensation paid to an executive officer for that executive officer's work for the charity; it is an issue of the use of the charity's funds in a related party transaction that directly benefits a board member of the charity. The latter is problematic, and the arrangement in this case should thus be subject to much more scrutiny, because it is the very board itself that is ultimately tasked under the law with the duty of ensuring the integrity of the charity's activities. If Mr. Harrison were simply being compensated as an executive of the charity, that compensation would need to be disclosed annually to the IRS, along with details of the work he was doing. By compensating him indirectly through the related party transaction, the LC is depriving the IRS and its donors of that information (which is not otherwise affirmatively disclosed elsewhere from what I can see as of the time of this post). In addition, charitable donors should assume executives of charities are reasonably compensated (which compensation could not actually be contingent upon fundraising or other revenue performance metrics), but they should have no reason to suppose the board members of a charity would directly benefit from their donations in this way.

    (Edited to fix nits and add clarifications.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  12. Mendel

    Mendel Member

    Do you have any evidence that they're handling it the unethical way instead of the ethical way (declaring it as executive compensation)?
     
  13. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    Yes. As noted in my above post, he signed the latest filing as counsel to the plaintiffs. That means he has been engaged as an attorney by the plaintiffs, which plaintiffs include the charity of which he is a board member.
     
  14. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I dont think the donors care if they drag out an unwinnable lawsuit. Or pay themselves as lawyers. That's the whole point of donating to this particular 'charitable' organization.
     
  15. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    It's possible that Harrison gets compensated as board member PLUS gets a fee as counsel - paid twice for the same work.

    Then again, it's possible that he gets no money in either role (in that case, the other lawyer, and/or other as yet unnamed lawyers, get the $30,000 fees from round 1 of fundraising).

    We could try asking them directly.
     
  16. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    It we can believe the numbers on AE's fundraising page, they already have hundreds of donors, averaging $40 or thereabouts. Surely they don't have uniform expectations. I am sure some do believe there will be some sort of win in the end, i.e. a court ruling that affirms their Faith in "Explosive Demolition".

    I'd love to interview a few of them...
     
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  17. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    It's possible that Mr. Harrison is not being paid fees for the legal work he does for the LC in his individual capacity; however, I believe that is highly unlikely. If Mr. Harrison is doing any substantial amount of work on the case pro bono, then it is not clear why the complaint in this case would have cost $30,000 (other lawyers working on the case are not allowed to bill except for the work they actually do, and the amount of work they would need to do would be offset by the pro bono work done by others). A bare bones complaint of this type, prepared by lawyers of this caliber, should not cost any more than $30,000 if all work done to prepare it was billable. If Mr. Harrison did not actually do any billable work for the LC and other plaintiffs on the complaint, it is very odd that he would sign the court filing as their counsel. There is also a widely-accepted convention for this sort of legal work that the lawyers will execute a filing in order of their firm's relative involvement in preparing that filing, and so it is somewhat notable (though not dispositive) that Mr. Harrison signed the complaint first. It makes me suspect that Mr. Harrison primarily drafted the complaint and the other law firm was retained primarily so that Mr. Harrison could submit it in a jurisdiction in which he is not admitted to practice. In short, there is a small possibility that there is some mitigating circumstance or arrangement that reduces the ethical issue here, but I think it's much, much more likely that Mr. Harrison is doing billable legal work in his individual capacity for the LC and there is thus a genuine ethical issue that has not been properly mitigated.

    As to inquiring with the LC about these issues directly, I take a hard pass given that certain individuals affiliated with AE911Truth have attempted to dox me on multiple occasions and in multiple forums based on my previous inquiries with Dr. Hulsey's research assistants. I'm confident that individuals affiliated directly with AE911Truth read metabunk from time to time and thus can respond to these issues if they so choose.

    Agreed. I doubt many of them are aware of how tenuous these legal efforts are or that there is apparently a substantial conflict of interest in how the charity to which they are donating is pursuing them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The complaint filed on Monday was posted on Courthouse News.
    https://www.courthousenews.com/fbi-accused-of-omitting-evidence-from-9-11-report/
    http://archive.fo/OWm3c

    https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/911-commission.pdf (also attached)

    Microspheres on page 16:
    And the usual old claims, free-fall, "squibs", fires after the collapse, symmetric collapse, etc. All layered with some legal arguing about the FBI not doing their job.
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. econ41

    econ41 Active Member

    For some years AE911 supporters appeared episodically on several other forums. JREF/ISF, DebatePolitics being two I am aware of. They would engage is active debate for a period of weeks or months then withdraw until the next episode. Usual practice was a "tag team" of Tony Szamboti with Chris Sarns or Gerrycan - those two I remember.

    That active participation format seems to have been abandoned. I see it as part of the downhill slide towards obscurity and irrelevance.

    My point being - sure they monitor but they seem to have lost interest in direct discussion.
     
  20. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Hmm, and now the article on Courthouse News is gone without trace (although the link to the PDF still works).

    It might be a temporary thing, part of some site reorganization, or maybe they did not like being associated with AE911Ttruth in their last mailing list email.

    http://action.ae911truth.org/o/50694/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1399552
    Metabunk 2019-03-27 16-04-26.
     
  21. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    People on the AE911Truth Facebook pages think the removal of the article might signify something.
    Metabunk 2019-03-27 17-39-48.
     
  22. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder if Courthouse News took it down because of the recent crackdown on fake news and conspiracy theories on social media. Lots of sharing of a conspiracy story might get them flagged somehow. Seems unlikely, but maybe someone was being over-cautious.
     
  23. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe the author was getting harassed because of her name. And she decided reporting the news wasn't worth the grief.
     
  24. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    One more odd note that seems to speak to the level of attention to detail the lawyers working for the LC are exercising in connection with its work: though they state in the complaint that name of their charitable organization is "The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Inc." and even attest to that being the organization's name in paragraph 10 thereof, the actual correct name of the charitable organization is "The Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry Incorporated". (For future reference, it is a Pennsylvania non-stock corporation incorporated on December 14, 2015, entity number 6332730, the incorporation records for which can be found using Pennsylvania's corporation search portal). It is mind boggling to me that they could manage to submit to the court a complaint that gets their own name wrong! (To be clear for those wondering, from a legal perspective, the actual, official name of a corporation cannot be written in muliple ways--there is only one actual corporate name.) Their complaint is likely thus simply defective as to at least one of the named plaintiffs without even considering the (lack of) merits to their legal claims.

    Additionally, I cannot find any public records (other than the certificate of incorporation of the entity on file with PA) for The Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry Incorporated, including no form 990s or other nonprofit filings on file with the IRS. Given that the organization was incorporated over three years ago, this makes me wonder if The Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry Incorporated is actually even a properly registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit at all. If not, it and its board members and officers could be subject to sanctions, and all of its donors could be in for quite a surprise if they try to deduct their donations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
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  25. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    On Guidestar, the entry for the LC can be found here:

    https://www.guidestar.org/profile/81-2563999

    Guidestar does not yet have any financial data, but "the IRS granted an organization tax exempt status" in 2016, and thus they are required to file an IRS Form 990-N.


    Similarly on Charity Navigator: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.profile&ein=812563999

    Similarly on CitizenAudit: https://www.citizenaudit.org/organization/812563999/
     
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  26. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    Good finds. I searched on guidestar too (as well as directly with the IRS and on a few other search sites) so not sure why I couldn't pull that up, but its good that they at least initially registered at some point. Putting aside whether they are still current in their registration, which isn't clear, there is still an issue for their donors in that the LC's website has their corporate name wrong and so donors may be increasingly the likelihood that they will be audited by using that wrong name on their tax returns.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  27. Mendel

    Mendel Member

  28. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    Uhm @Mendel? I open your link https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search
    It says near the bottom:
    I then click the button Tax Exempt Organization Search
    I there selecet the Database: Form 990-N (e-Postcard) and search for EIN = 812563999
    This gives me: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/displa...ndexOfFirstRow=0&postDateTo=&state=All+States
    It appears to me this IS the entire content of the Form 990-N!

    You know, like organizations with receipts <$50K just don't have to report anything other than that they still only received <$50K
     
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  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    AE911Truth are trying to make something of the removal of the article.

    https://www.ae911truth.org/news/516...ly-fair-and-accurate-coverage-of-9-11-lawsuit
     
  30. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    It is odd. I can see them not wanting to be a pawn in the spreading of total bunk ( although lots of court casses involve bunk), but they could have edited out the total hearsay/paraphrasing bits or what ever they felt was hardcore bunk.)
     
  31. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    This site: http://archive.fo/OMsEl reprints most of the Courthouse News article but adds a paragraph! (bold text NOT in original article archived above)
     
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  32. Mendel

    Mendel Member

    Good point.
    Official confirmation: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/information-needed-to-file-e-postcard
    I simply expected some kind of document to be linked on the overview page. Silly me.
     
  33. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    @deirdre - the article you quote has Sean Adl-Tabatabai and YouNewsWire at the bottom (is that called the "byline"?) - known sources of woo. Not the original Courthouse News article, that had another author (female, name hidden somewhere above).
     
  34. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, here is an archive of the original article.


    Oh i see, thanks. According to wiki (with source links) they renamed "You News Wire" to "News PUnch" (the name in my link).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NewsPunch
     
  35. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    There are two captures of the CNS article, originally https://www.courthousenews.com/fbi-accused-of-omitting-evidence-from-9-11-report/

    1. At the WayBackMachine (archive.org): https://web.archive.org/web/2019032...ccused-of-omitting-evidence-from-9-11-report/ - judging from the URL, this was 18:01:50 UTC on March 27th

    2. At archive.fo: http://archive.fo/OWm3c - this was 22:54:56 UTC the same day, about 5 hours later.

    The second capture, 5 hours after the first, contained the extra paragraph starting with "The plaintiffs’ attorney, Harrison, told Courthouse News that he is “cautiously optimistic” ..."


    To make things a bit stranger: The WayBackMachine has actually 3 captures of the URL. The last was, apparently, fom 22:30:56 (UTC?) of the same day: https://web.archive.org/web/2019032...ccused-of-omitting-evidence-from-9-11-report/ - and it already has "Oops! That page can’t be found." - 24 minutes before archive.fo made a capture of the article still in place!

    The earlies version was capture on March 26th (the day before at 19:17:41 UTC: https://web.archive.org/web/2019032...ccused-of-omitting-evidence-from-9-11-report/ - and this HAS the additional paragraph quoting Harrison?!

    (Actually, WayBackMachine says time zone is "GMT" - but that should be the same as UTC, since "daylight savings" comes on only this coming weekend in Europe, which, I think, includes Britain)
     
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  36. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    Neither UTC or GMT are affected by daylight savings.
     
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  37. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Technically not, but people often use "GMT" interchangeable with "UK Time".
    From a computer timestamp point of view though, GMT should always mean the same as UTC.
     
  38. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    A debunker friend who lurks here informed me via email of the following:

    The capture on archive.fo "is from Google Cache. Apparently, by 22:something, someone found that the article had disappeared, and used archive.fo to archive the still present Google Cache copy of the page".

    Supposing this is true, the timeline would then be this:

    • Sometime on March 26: Courthouse News posts article, author is Jennifer Hijazi
    • On and before March 26, 19:17:41 UTC: Article has the paragraph "The plaintiffs’ attorney, Harrison, told Courthouse News that he is “cautiously optimistic” ..."
    • March 27th, 18:01:50 UTC: The paragraph is deleted
    • March 27th, 22:30:56 UTC: Article is deleted
    • March 27th, 22:54:56 UTC: Someone has noticed the article is gone, and captures it from Google Cache, with the deleted paragraph
    • Sometime on March 28: NewPunch (formerly YourNewsWire) posts a copy of the article, with the missing paragraph, under the byline "Sean Adl-Tabatabai"
    • March 28th, 09:49 UTC: AE911Truth's Ted Walter sends an email to Courthouse News to inquire about the deletion, Cc Mick Harrison mickharrisonesq@gmail.com
     
  39. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    He has the extra paragraph in his version.

    That was me and i stuck it in Micks comment, because when i clicked his link the page was gone.
     
  40. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    I did! Strange things are happening!

    First, here are the fundraising goals, as communicated on AE's Newsletter of 2019/03/23:

    They actually reached that goal, if we can believe the numbers on their page "Families, Lawyers, AE911Truth File Lawsuit against FBI over '9/11 Review Commission Report'", already on March 28th, five days after the Newsletter.

    That page has a second target:

    Now, the fundraiser had slowed down considerably after they surpassed $50,000 on or about April 5th, after that, they got $4000 from 85 donations in 8 or 9 days.
    And then, suddenly, within 1 days, they had another $5,722 from 108 donations - to reach $60,331 precisely on April 15th, as targeted.

    I find this success to be dubious in the extreme - there is no way Truther petitions or fundraisers perform precisely to hopes and expectations.

    These fundraisers are ost definitely pimped! I have no direct evidence, but this doesn't look right.

    A chart:

    AE_Fundraiser_FBI_Lawsuit_201900415.
     
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