Detainee to interview KSM, something 9/11 Commission was not allowed to do

August 23, 2009
Detainee to Question 9/11 Suspect

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has granted a prisoner challenging his detention by the military at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, permission to ask questions of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of Al Qaeda’s Sept. 11 plot who is the camp’s most notorious inmate.

Judge Ricardo M. Urbina of the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., granted the request, which the government had vehemently opposed, only under tightly controlled conditions.

The ruling was issued Thursday in the case of the detainee, Abdul Raheem Ghulam Rabbani, a Pakistani who has been held as a terrorism suspect for five years despite claiming that he did only menial work for Mr. Mohammed, who has been held under extraordinary security since his capture.

Mr. Rabbani’s lawyers said that without asking Mr. Mohammed questions about their relationship, Mr. Rabbani could not challenge the government’s allegations about himself. The request was one of many made by the defense, only some of which were granted. Balancing Mr. Rabbani’s interest in obtaining potentially exculpatory information against the national security interests involved, the court allowed him to “submit a list of narrowly tailored interrogatories.”

His questions must focus solely on their relationship before they were arrested and on Mr. Rabbani’s role, if any, in Al Qaeda’s operations, the judge ordered. No questions about Mr. Mohammed’s detention or interrogation would be allowed. And the government would retain the right to redact the answers to the questions if necessary to prevent the release of important national security information.

It's largely symbolic since

"...the government would retain the right to redact the answers to the questions if necessary to prevent the release of important national security information."

Even so, that's more than the government was willing to do for the 9/11 Commission. From "Without Precedent," by Kean and Hamilton:

"The FBI and CIA were fairly responsive; the Department of Defense was less so. But it was clear that the government's interrogators were not asking the detainees the kinds of questions we wanted answered…. We also had no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information…. In some cases, we could corroborate the truthfulness of what a detainee was reported to have said by comparing that information with other evidence. But in some cases we couldn't; and in others, detainees offered contradicting accounts."

"Where we could corroborate these detainee reports from other witnesses or evidence, we did. Where we could not, it was left to the reader to consider the credibility of the source—we had no opportunity to do so."


Fact #31 of this.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? Do we deserve to know how and why 9/11 happened?