9/11 Suspects Declare Guilt at Gitmo War Court

Posted Jan 20, 2009 By BEN FOX, Associated Press Writer Ben Fox, Associated Press Writer

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – Two alleged orchestrators of the 2001 attacks on America casually declared their guilt on Monday in a messy and perhaps final session of the Guantanamo war crimes court. This week's military hearings could be the last at Guantanamo — President-elect Barack Obama has said he would close the offshore prison and many expect him to suspend the military tribunals and order new trials in the U.S.

Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the terrorist attacks, were unapologetic about their roles during a series of outbursts as translators struggled to keep up and the judge repeatedly sought to regain control.

"We did what we did; we're proud of Sept. 11," announced Binalshibh, who has said he wants to plead guilty to charges that could put him to death. The judge must first determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial.

Mohammed shrugged off the potential death sentence for the murder of nearly 3,000 people in the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We don't care about capital punishment," said Mohammed, whose thick gray beard flows to the top of his white prison jumpsuit. "We are doing jihad for the cause of God."

Mohammed, representing himself, insisted that a uniformed lawyer assigned to assist him be removed from his defense table, saying he represents the "people who tortured me."

In another diatribe over secrecy, the acknowledged terrorist ridiculed the government's position that national security had to be protected. "They want to hide their black sites, their torture techniques," he said.

Told by the judge to limit his remarks to a legal issue being discussed at that moment, Mohammed bristled: "This is terrorism, not court. You don't give me the opportunity to talk."

Relatives of three people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks who attended the hearing as observers said they were appalled by the remarks of the defendants and hope that Obama does not halt the war crimes trials.

"If they're guilty ... then let's give them the death penalty that they deserve," said Jim Riches of Brooklyn, N.Y. whose 29-year-old firefighter son, Jimmy, was killed at the World Trade Center. "It would be nice to know the people who planned this, who killed my son and all the other people, are being held accountable."

Mohammed has openly sought to become a martyr at the hands of the Americans. He threw his death-penalty trial into disarray in December when he declared that he would confess to masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks. In March 2007, he told a military panel that he played a central role in about 30 other terrorist plots around the world.

Separately, a judge held pretrial hearings for Omar Khadr, who was 15 when he allegedly killed a U.S. soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a grenade during a battle in Afghanistan in 2002.

Lawyers for the Toronto, Canada native want to exclude statements they say Khadr made through torture and coercion. Prosecution witnesses denied their allegation. One, identified only as "interrogator 11," characterized some sessions as "lighthearted," and testified that "he always came in smiling and very willing to talk to us."

In both cases, judges denied defense requests to make the Pentagon arraign the men all over again after withdrawing and refiling charges in about 20 cases, a step the Pentagon described as merely procedural.

The judge in the Sept. 11 case, Army Col. Stephen Henley, acknowledged doubts about the future of the hearings, saying one legal matter could be addressed "at later sessions, if later sessions are scheduled."

Lawyers and representatives of human rights groups who observed the hearings believe Obama will suspend the military commission system created by Congress and President George W. Bush in 2006 to prosecute dozens of men held at Guantanamo.

Obama's nominee for attorney general, Eric Holder, in his confirmation hearing, said the commissions lack sufficient legal protections for the defendants, and said they could be tried in the United States.

"The military commissions should be at the very least suspended immediately," said Gabor Rona, observing as the international legal director of New York-based Human Rights First. "I'm certainly optimistic and hopeful that it will happen as one of the first orders of business."

It seems to me that the only convictions the Gov't can get are by less than sensible individuals that foolishly represent themselves in court. Moussaoui represented himself in his trial. We have the same situation with Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with the exception that they not even in a real court of law. It would seem that somehow they are willing to try and get this overwith before Guantanamo closes. Much seems odd that we are hearing so much of this now as the hourglass on Guantanamo runs low. If we know its and inside job, why would he confess? (I'm trying to think like a OCT defender here) I can't answer that, but if we are to believe it, we should put his confession to the litmus test. We do not want another John Mark Karr with so much on the line. As you can surely imagine, defenders of the OCT will consider this case closed if his confession is accepted and his penalty (almost certainly death) is carried out.

As you might remember, John Mark Karr was the individual who confessed to murdering JonBenet Ramsey. We knew he had a previous conviction for child pornography so this should have been open and shut right? I mean, with this mind, why even bother to waste the time, effort, money, and resources checking his story? Convict him, kill him or lock him away in silence, and the public would never give it a second thought. However, it turned out he was lying since DNA recovered at the scene did not match his. I believe we should apply the same litmus test to Mohammed's confession as would be done to any confession in a criminal case. If he masterminded the operation, we should have proof. Proof of payments, communications, documentation and the like. Is he another case like John Mark Karr? Maybe he's still a CIA asset, playing the game for the CIA while payments continue to his family or protection offers are made or some other type of back room deal. For the OCT defenders that will inevitably point to this, we should remind them of John Mark Karr. As for how this will play out is anyone's guess. What I fear is that this will be the last conviction of Guantanamo and he'll be locked away in silence or betrayed by his CIA handlers and put to death with 9-11 truth buried with him.

Peace all


"The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous that he cannot believe it exists." ~ J. Edgar Hoover

More of Same


Guantanamo court convenes with chaos, boasting

By Jane Sutton Jane Sutton – Mon Jan 19, 8:37 pm ET

The attending family members carefully selected?

"Five people who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks were brought to Guantanamo by the Pentagon to witness the hearing. They were infuriated by the defendants' boasting and by defense lawyers' concern for their rights."

Comedy Club at Gitmo

Okay so Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did 9/11!
Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed won't mind telling us then
how they managed to bring down 3 towers through controlled demolition?

This I got to hear....

“if someone was feeding him answers, couldn't they be able to feed him better ones than he came up with?”
Bill Maher, sometimes a funny man, I once watched on TV....