Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
The U.S. military has canceled a pretrial hearing for suspects in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, a military spokesman said on Sunday, in another setback for the government in its efforts to try the five men being held at Guantanamo.
A defense department spokesman said the hearing, originally scheduled for Aug. 24 to Sept. 4, was canceled by the military judge.
"The judge cited issues that remain unresolved with regard to a claimed defense counsel conflict of interest," said Commander Gary Ross.
News of the cancellation was first reported by ABC News.
Defense attorneys for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators raised concerns in 2014 that they were being spied on by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They said that created a conflict of interest between them and their clients.
Judge James Pohl, an Army colonel, ruled in July that no conflict of interest arose for defense attorneys.
"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Someone else besides the judge and security officer sitting inside the maximum-security court here can impose censorship on what the public can see and hear at the Sept. 11 trial, it was disclosed Monday
The role of an outside censor became clear when the audio turned to white noise during a discussion of a motion about the CIA’s black sites.
Confusion ensued. A military escort advised reporters that the episode was a glitch, a technical error. A few minutes later, the public was once again allowed to listen into the proceedings and Army Col. James Pohl, the judge, made clear that neither he nor his security officer was responsible for the censorship episode.
“If some external body is turning the commission off based on their own views of what things ought to be, with no reasonable explanation,” the judge announced, “then we are going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on or off.”"
"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Some victims wept. So did at least one of the U.S. military officers assigned to defend the accused Sept. 11 conspirators at their murder trial.
For 90 exceptional minutes Sunday, lawyers for the accused terrorists and the parents of young men killed in the World Trade Center huddled in a ramshackle hangar at the war court ahead of this week’s hearing. And they exchanged stories through a veil of pain.
“In the beginning there was discomfort. There was some anger. There was some tears,” said Phyllis Rodriguez, whose 31-year-old son Greg was killed working at the finance firm Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
But by the end, said Loreen Sellitto, mother of 23-year-old Matthew who also was killed at Cantor Fitzgerald, “I saw them love our Constitution. Their goal is to present a case and defend someone. It’s what our country is built on.”"'
Ryan J. Reilly
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba --A judge expressed frustration on Monday that an unknown U.S. government entity censored his courtroom audiovisual feed, cutting public access to pretrial hearings for five accused Sept. 11 plotters.
"If some external body is turning the commission on or off based on their own views of what things ought to be, with no reasonable explanation ... then we’re going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on and off," said the judge, Col. James Pohl.
Pohl's comments came after an unknown censor cut off a live media feed to the court proceedings as David Nevin, a lawyer defending Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, began discussing his request for information on his client's case.
Proceedings at Guantanamo's maximum-security court are broadcast over closed-circuit television to journalists observing from an adjacent room. Additional reporters monitor the feed from a nearby media center, and at Fort Meade, Md.
Relative of 9/11 victims want terror plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to spend life in prison instead of execution
October 19, 2012
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Battles Over Government Secrecy Dominate 9/11 Hearings
Posted: 10/17/2012 1:49 pm
The definition and use of classified information, and the public's right to hear it, is proving to be one of the most important issues arising in pre-trial hearings in this historic September 11th terrorism prosecution. With only two of the defendants actually in the courtroom on Wednesday (the others elected not to come), lawyers from the government, defense, ACLU and 14 media organizations over the last two days have argued vehemently over whether the government is properly classifying information -- particularly the memories and experiences of the defendants, who were subjected to the CIA's classified "enhanced interrogation" program. Even if it is deemed classified, argue the ACLU and news organizations, it still has to meet a strict First Amendment standard for the court to lawfully prevent the public from hearing it.
The First Amendment only allows the closing of a courtroom, argued ACLU lawyer Hina Shamsi and media lawyer David Schulz, if it will "cause grave harm to national security."
"The government fails utterly to explain how it has a legitimate interest, let alone a compelling one, in suppressing information about a CIA coercive interrogation and detention program that was illegal and has been banned by the president," the ACLU says in its brief to the court.
The issue is important, both for the public's right to know what its government did and for the legitimacy of this historic trial. As Schulz told the court yesterday: "Nothing is likely to shape the public perception of the fairness of these proceedings more significantly than the way the court handles this request for a protective order."
The current proposed order, he said, "covers things that quite clearly can't credibly constitute a threat to our national security."
It would appear that, contrary to statements previously attributed to them, the alleged "mastermind" of 9-11 and his alleged cohorts will not plead guilty, but will resist. Their attorneys likewise appear to be providing them with an aggressive defense.
5 charged in 9/11 attack resist Gitmo hearing
By Ben Fox
Saturday, May 5, 2012
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — The self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks repeatedly declined to answer a judge’s questions Saturday and his co-defendants knelt in prayer in what appeared to be a concerted protest against the military proceedings....
The entire article can be found at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/5/911-mastermind-back-guantanamo-judge/
By BEN FOX, Associated Press
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — The self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks repeatedly declined to answer a judge's questions Saturday and his co-defendants knelt in prayer in what appeared to be a concerted protest against the military proceedings.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men appeared for the first time in more than three years for arraignment at a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, charged with 2,976 counts of murder for the 2001 attacks.
The hearing quickly bogged down before they could be arraigned. The men took off the earphones that provide Arabic translations and refused to answer any questions from the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, dramatically slowing a hearing that is heavy on military legal procedure.
At one point, two defendants got up and prayed alongside their defense tables under the watchful eyes of troops arrayed along the sides of the high-security courtroom on the U.S. base in Cuba.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces Guantanamo trial for 9/11
The BBC reports....
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and four of his alleged co-conspirators will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, reports say.
The Obama administration had planned to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, but abandoned that plan in the face of fierce opposition.
9/11 Suspects to be Tried at Guantanamo, Not NYC
NBC New York reports....
The Obama administration's announcement in 2009 that it would seek to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four suspects in civilian court was met with fierce opposition from many elected officials, families of victims and those who live and work in Lower Manhattan, who would have had to contend with several rings of heavy security for the months of the trial.
KSM may not get a trial at all: Alleged 9/11 plotter may simply be left to military custody with no trial.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 13, 2010; 12:38 AM
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, will probably remain in military detention without trial for the foreseeable future, according to Obama administration officials.
The administration has concluded that it cannot put Mohammed on trial in federal court because of the opposition of lawmakers in Congress and in New York. There is also little internal support for resurrecting a military prosecution at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The latter option would alienate liberal supporters.
The administration asserts that it can hold Mohammed and other al-Qaeda operatives under the laws of war, a principle that has been upheld by the courts when Guantanamo Bay detainees have challenged their detention.
The White House has made it clear that President Obama will ultimately make the decision, and a federal prosecution of Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators has not been ruled out, senior officials said. Still, they acknowledge that a trial is unlikely to happen before the next presidential election and, even then, would require a different political environment.
US hid waterboarding of 9/11 accused, says former MI5 chief
MI5 had no idea that the architect of the September 11 attacks had been waterboarded when the Americans passed them intelligence from his interrogation, the former head of the Security Service has said.
By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Published: 7:05AM GMT 10 Mar 2010
Baroness Manningham-Buller said she only discovered that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been waterboarded 183 times when the US Justice Department released a memo last year and it was reported in the press.
She also said that MI5 had protested to the Americans about their treatment of detainees at one stage but declined to go into details.
Speaking during a question and answer session following a lecture at the House of Lords, she also insisted that torture could never be justified even if it saved lives.
It is unclear whether the information passed to the British was acquired through torture but makes clear that MI5 either did not ask or was not told how prisoners were being treated by the Americans.