WEB EXCLUSIVE: 9-11 Widow Hoping for Supreme Court Review
By Mark Anderson
The Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund—for the 9-11 widow who has doggedly pursued 9-11 justice while having refused the government “hush money” that most survivors of 9-11 victims accepted—needs to raise at least $11K by November 1, so an “appeal-petition” can be filed with the Supreme Court of the United States by November 23.
That’s according to Vincent Gillespie, the defense fund’s secretary-treasurer who is in frequent touch with Mrs. Mariani’s longtime attorney Bruce Leichty.
“Mariani wants to tell the U.S. Supreme Court that [the unfinished settlement she is pursuing regarding] her late husband’s 9-11 claims was tainted, and she has authorized [the] legal defense fund to allow her to carry on her decade-long fight,” a detailed news release from the defense fund’s creators adds. “Mariani was the first person to sue airlines and airports for a 9/11 death—in Chicago federal court in early 2002. She was also one of the earliest family members to speak publicly about her doubts about the official 9/11 story. None of the remains of her husband, Louis Neil Mariani, booked as a passenger on United Air Lines Flight 175, were ever returned to her.”
Leichty has been representing Mrs. Mariani for about five years, but it didn’t take long for a gag order to be imposed by the courts in an attempt to prevent Leichty and his client from talking directly with any media. The courts evidently fear broad disclosure of several uncomfortable facts, including apparent conflicts of interest involving two people who have played major roles in this matter—federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein and noted probate attorney John Ransmeier—both of whom allegedly have had links with important 9-11 defendants even while handling various parts of Mrs. Mariani’s overall legal effort involving the same defendants.
Gillespie spoke to AMERICAN FREE PRESS on this matter October 23. “She needs the $11K by November 1 or the appeal will not go forward,” he said, adding that he does not know Mrs. Mariani personally. “I care about 9-11 and I want the truth to come out,” he said. Exactly $5,522 has been raised as of October 27.
According to the defense fund’s chronology of Mrs. Mariani’s legal battles, two motions by Leichty for his client to re-enter into a settlement with United Airlines, between 2008 and the present, were denied by Judge Hellerstein—and the appeals of his decisions were also denied. Mrs. Mariani is appealing that second appeal denial to the Supreme Court.
Moreover, Leichty and his client at that time—and this matter may not be dead yet—were ordered to show why they should not pay monetary sanctions after they submitted extensive documentation of Judge Hellerstein’s alleged connections with three key defendants in the 9-11 litigation: Boeing Corporation and security companies ICTS and its U.S. subsidiary Huntleigh.
In an April 2012 motion, submitted on the eve of an appellate argument, Mrs. Mariani showed allegations that Judge Hellerstein’s son, Joseph, an attorney in Israel, had client relationships with affiliates of, and those involved in joint ventures with, these same three defendants.
Also, the kind of appeal to the Supreme Court that Mrs. Mariani hopes to pursue is a “Petition for Writ of Certiorari,” the defense fund’s website further explains. “[It’s] a legal brief which describes the case and which acts as an application to have the actual appeal heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. . . . While nominally the chances of this kind of petition being granted are small, it is much more likely to be granted when it involves a matter which significantly affects the public interest, as Ellen Mariani’s case does. There are a variety of factors which can affect whether or not such a petition is granted and it is hard to say with any certainty what the chances would be in Ellen’s case of the petition being granted.”
Mrs. Mariani, who first contacted this AFP writer in 2006 during the 5th anniversary of 9-11, was put through the proverbial wringer not long after 9-11.
She was misled by other attorneys and experienced several setbacks and deceptions that have sidetracked her efforts to flesh out more details on the death of her husband—who perished aboard United Airlines flight 175; and, by extension, possibly dig up more facts about other aspects of 9-11.
According to the government’s widely doubted account, UA 175 hit the South Tower (World Trade Center 2) on 9-11-01. As the story goes, WTC 2 was impacted second, not long after the North Tower was impacted by an airliner, but strangely enough, WTC 2 was fully destroyed first.
A massive police-state apparatus and a boundless imperial military policy to fight the “war on terror” sprung forth based on this conventional story of 19 Islamic terrorists slipping past airport security, taking over commercial airliners with box cutters they smuggled aboard and outsmarting the entire U.S. defense-intelligence apparatus as the sole conspirators in the mysterious, colossal 9-11 crime that killed some 3K people.
The response to the crime included lucrative government contracts being granted to various private construction firms and armed security contractors—all heavily involved in the ongoing overseas military occupations to track down terrorism-related factions said to be in league with the alleged 9-11 criminals.
So, with so much money at stake for the military-industrial-banking complex, those who persistently and directly challenge the official 9-11 narrative in any meaningful manner are not treated kindly by those in power.
Gillespie recalled that scores of court cases involving survivors of victims of 9-11 were, via Congressional mandate, all routed through Judge Hellerstein at New York’s Southern District Federal Court—but this judge “mistreated all [plaintiffs], so every single case was . . . [settled] out of court.” None went to trial.
But Mrs. Mariani, despite a difficult, sometimes hostile legal environment, has not relented in her efforts, despite the fact that in separate New Hampshire state probate-court proceedings dealing with her late husband’s estate, she was abruptly removed as the estate’s administrator, having been tricked into signing away her administrative position—among many other blatant legal allegations that she is laboring to bring to light.
Notably, all contributions will go toward Mrs. Mariani’s legal expenses. “Not one cent will go for the administrative costs of the group which has organized the Legal Defense Fund. We are working on a volunteer basis,” the fund’s news release adds.
The website for the fund includes a link where online donations can be made (at www.marianilawsuit.com). Or, checks or money orders can be sent (by November 1, 2012) to: Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund, c/o Vincent Gillespie, Secretary-Treasurer, P. O. Box 1284, Greenfield, MA 01302. Checks or money orders should be made payable to “Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund.”
If the funds raised are insufficient to allow a Supreme Court appeal, or if donated funds exceed what is needed for the petition to the Supreme Court and/or any other proceedings before that court, then those funds will be applied to Leichty’s costs and fees as Mrs. Mariani’s counsel in New Hampshire—where he is already admitted to practice law. All this is to ensure that her financial interests under the existing estate settlement can be protected from anticipated further attacks.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Listen to Mark’s weekly radio show and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.