Two days afterward, 31 relatives criticized the military commissions as unfair. They signed a letter stating:
While we support everyone's right to their individual opinions about these proceedings, including, of course, other family members who have suffered the
devastation we have, we also feel obliged to make clear that many of us do not believe these military commissions to be fair, in accordance with American values, or capable of achieving the justice that 9/11 family members and all Americans deserve.
We believe that the secretive and unconstitutional nature of these proceedings deprive us of the right to know the full truth about what happened on 9/11. These prosecutions have been politically motivated from the start, are designed to ensure quick convictions at the expense of due process and transparency, and are structured to prevent the revelation of abusive interrogations and torture engaged in by the U.S. government. Unfortunately, any verdict borne of these proceedings will lack legitimacy and leave us wondering if true justice has been served. No comfort or closure can come from military commissions that ignore the rule of law and stain America's reputation at home and abroad.
We are strongly encouraged by the incoming administration's promise to end this shameful system, and we are hopeful for a fresh start for these and all other Guantánamo prosecutions in U.S. courts worthy of American justice. It is time for our nation to stop betraying its own values – and the values of so many who died on 9/11.
Among those who showed the courage not to condone certain acts of her government was Beverly Eckert (above) of Stamford, Connecticut, widow of Sean Rooney, who'd died at the World Trade Center. Earlier Eckert, 57, had helped to push for the 9/11 Commission. She died in a plane crash near Buffalo on Thursday.