The trials for some of the alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentegon as well as others who allegedly helped to fund or participate in the 9/11 attacks are soon to be held and overseen by a US military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The question I would like answered up front is whether we will get to hear the defendents statements during these trials, or will the also alleged torture that was committed on their persons during the interrogation of these defendents cause the Military Brass and the Bush Administration to go into full secrecy mode as to not allow the world to hear what these prisoners have to say in their defense.
What are the odds of full and open trials?
My guess. Not real high. Can you say redacted documents?
From BBC News:
The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the US is to appear at a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.
It will be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s first time in public since he was captured in Pakistan in 2003.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him and four others also accused of plotting the attacks.
The BBC’s Jonathan Beale – one of 60 journalists attending the trial – says the hearings raise questions about the legitimacy of US military commissions.
The US describes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, believed to have been al-Qaeda’s third in command, as “one of history’s most infamous terrorists”.
Once again, the world is questioning the legitimacy of the United States of America in our treatment of prisoners taken and held for years without trial. If President Bush is still looking for that legacy of his, he will get a chance to have this one attached to him for the remainder of history as well.
Following his arrest he was held at a CIA secret prison, where he was subjected to harsh interrogation techniques and a practice known as waterboarding, that simulates drowning, until he was moved to Guantanamo Bay two years ago.
US military say that as well as admitting involvement in the 11 September 2001 attacks on Washington and New York, he has confessed to being involved in more than 30 terrorist plots around the world, including plans to attack London’s Big Ben and Canary Wharf.
He is among five so called “high value detainees” accused of plotting and aiding the 9/11 attacks who will appear before a military judge in a courthouse built inside the US detention facility on Cuba.
The other suspects are:
Ramzi Binalshibh, a Saudi man described by the US as the co-ordinator of the 9/11 attacks, who, according to intelligence officials, was supposed to be one of the hijackers, but was unable to get a US visa
Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, a Saudi man said by US intelligence officials to be one of two key financial people used by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to arrange the funding for the 11 September hijackings
Ali Ban al-Aziz Ali, also known as Amar al-Balochi, who is accused of serving as a key lieutenant to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – his uncle – during the 11 September plot
Walled bin Attach, a Yemeni national who, according to the Pentagon, has admitted masterminding the bombing of the American destroyer, USS Cole, in Yemen in 2000, which killed 17 sailors, and is who is accused of involvement in the 11 September 2001 attacks
The charges against them list “169 overt acts allegedly committed by the defendants in furtherance of the September 11 events”.
Let’s face it. These sure do seem like some really bad men that got together to do some really horrible things.
Yet, with the world skeptical of the legitimacy of the US military commissions, it would seem to me that these trials need to be held in an open and very transparent manner in order for any possible legitimacy to be given to the trials by the world community. Again, what are the odds of that happening with our current administration in place.
I’m often amazed at the straight forward disgust the Bush Administration shows to everyone NOT IN the Bush Administration when it comes to caring about what others think or feel. They just simply DO NOT GIVE A SH*T about what others think or feel. Imperial Presidency, indeed.
The trials have already raised questions about not just the treatment of detainees, but also the legitimacy of American military commissions.
Our correspondent says these trials will be as much a test case as a showcase of military justice.
The US authorities say they have bent over backwards to make sure that the trials are fair but some of its own lawyers have already condemned the process as fundamentally flawed.
US air force Brigadier General Tom Hartmann told the Associated Press news agency that the tribunals would allow the detainees the chance of a proper hearing.
In the course of trial they’ll have opportunity to present their case, any way they want to present it, subject to rules and procedures,” he said. “That’s a great freedom and a great protection we are providing to them. We think… it is the American way.”
What are those rules and procedures, you ask? Don’t ask. They are secret. National Security and all…..
And that bit about the American way. Well, not until just recently, lets say OH about the last 7 years or so has that been the American way.
Human Rights Watch, a New York-based organisation, has said that the system lacks credibility.
“Possibly putting someone to death based on evidence obtained through water-boarding, or after prolonged periods of sleep deprivation while being forced into painful stress positions, is not the answer,” said Jennifer Daskal, a lawyer for the group.
Later this month the US Supreme Court is to rule on the rights of prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay, threatening a possible delay or even halt to the proceedings.
The court ruled in 2006 that an earlier tribunal system was unconstitutional.
Get ready for another BushCo Dog and Pony Show. Only this time the show and it’s timing just before another Presidential Election are not only questionable, but completely transparent. Once more, in your face with the Boogy Men, America. Once more, fear what you don’t understand.
I think the overwhelming opinion of the world community regarding the legitimacy of US military commissions while under the watchful eye of BushCo might very well be warranted.
Defense attorneys had asked for Thursday’s proceedings to be delayed, arguing that they have not had enough time with their clients since the charges were announced in May.
Army Maj. Jon Jackson, al Hawsawi’s lawyer, said that it’s a good thing the cases are finally moving forward but that defense attorneys should have more time to discuss the cases with their clients.
“We, the defense, should have been granted a reasonable delay in order to develop a relationship with these men, to talk with them about their case, to discuss strategies before we are rushed into the courtroom,” Jackson said before heading to Guantanamo Bay. Watch Jackson discuss the trials »
Kohlmann denied the delay request.
Defense lawyers also have accused senior Pentagon officials of pushing the cases forward “in order to influence the November elections,” as Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, who is defending Ali, put it last week.
Gee, ya think?