February 23, 2009

Justice and Politics

One of the families of the USS Cole bombing is an active blogger.

The Swenchonises were one of the families that was devastated to hear that President Obama would be dismissing the charges against one of the terrorists, Al-Nashari.

For more than eight years Gary and Debbie Swenchonis have mourned the loss of their son, Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr., who was killed Oct. 12, 2000, along with 16 other sailors, when terrorists attacked the USS Cole in Port Aden, Yemen. The parents of the 1994 Rockport-Fulton High School graduate have fought gallantly to see their son’s killers, who are being held in Gitmo (the facility which holds terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba), as well as those who still run free in Yemen, brought to justice.

Enter the politics:

The Swenchonises were told this month there would be no hearing, only three days after Obama told the Cole families he was dismissing charges against Al-Nashari.

"We were told last Monday the hearing is off. It’s all politics," said G. Swenchonis. "He (Leahy) does not want the Cole attack brought up, especially with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State."

Obama’s announcement to close Gitmo, and to change the way terrorists are treated in the legal system, took all but a small breath of wind out of the Swenchonises’ sails.


Update by Jane: Jawa was honored to release Gary Swenchonis's Open Letter to Yemeni President Saleh for publication in January 2008. We would like to extend our thanks again to all our fellow bloggers who reprinted or linked that letter and Gary's subsequent updates on his struggle.

By Gordo at 07:55 PM | Comments |