Will Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Get A Fair Trial?


Eric Holder:

“After eight years of delay, those allegedly responsible for the attacks of September 11 will finally face justice,” Holder said.

“They will be brought to New York to answer to their alleged crimes in a courthouse just blocks away from where the twin towers once stood.”

How will they prove he was the mastermind of 9/11? Certainly not through using his multitudinous confessions all obtained under torture…right?

After being waterboarded 183 times in one month and having the CIA threaten to kill his children and undoubtedly having the whole book of “allowable enhanced interrogation techniques” applied to various areas of his body for years is he competent to stand trial? How much brain damage did he suffer through asphyxiation? How much head trauma from being slammed into walls? In addition to the physical trauma of being continuously tortured and being held in solitary confinement for eight years, does he even have a brain left? Or has the psychological trauma added to the physical trauma rendered his brain into Tasty Wheat?

Has The Bush Torture Program damaged him to the point of incompetence in his own defense?

Even if somehow KSM’s brain did survive eight years of torture and solitary confinement and he is competent to stand trial, other than his confessions and the confessions and accusations of others…..all obtained under The Bush Torture Program….. what evidence is there that he was indeed the mastermind? Are there fingerprints or forensic evidence? Surveillance tapes? Phone taps of him plotting with the hijackers? In other words, if you throw out all evidence tainted by Torture…do they have a case?

And if they don’t have a case, is there even a remote chance he will be found innocent and be released?

Will he be allowed full freedom to present his case? Including the rather extenuating circumstances of being the number one target of the The Bush Torture Program?

It would be nice to think that a clever lawyer could use his case to expose the torture he has undergone, get up in front of the judge and do a Clarence Darrow (or a Spencer Tracy version of him) and lay out the whole program of approved torture from the Black Sites to the question of where indeed his children are? Will that lawyer get his chance to do so? Will this Trial of the Century be publicized and on CourtTV like OJ’s was?

Will he be allowed to appeal and have both the cases for what actually happened on 9/11 and The Bush Torture Program laid out before the highest court in the land? Would THAT be publicized?

Or will the whole proceeding be shrouded in the State Secrecy that the Obama Administration seems to love so much?

Or perhaps, lol, this is Obama and Holder’s eleventh dimensional chess move to indeed get the prosecutions for torture underway and finally settle what did happen on 9/11 through the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed???



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  1. But will justice be served? CAN justice be served in his case? Or is this just a show trial with a pre-agreed verdict, used as a way to rid Obama of this meddlesome thorn in his ass that keeps causing him to look backwards ….instead of forward.

    Certainly killing him quickly will be a boon to Cheney’s defense.



    • TMC on November 13, 2009 at 20:50

    have really great discussions that look at the possibilities and reasons for trying Khalid in NYC and in a civilian court.

    Michael Isikoff asked some real pertinent questions regarding the Khalid’s torture and it’s admissibility:

    Isikoff: [inaudible] harsh interrogation techniques. Inevitably, defense attorneys are going to seek full disclosure about the circumstances of how these detainees were treated while they were in US custody and get as much of that before the jury as they can. What is the department’s position on whether the defense will be entitled to know the full story of how these detainees were treated while they were in US custody?

    Holder: Well, I think the question … among the questions that have to be asked in that regard is relevance. How relevant were those statements? Will those statements be used? I don’t know what the defense will try to do-it’s hard for me to speculate at this point, so it’s hard to know exactly what our response will be. But I’m quite confident on the basis of the evidence that we will be able to present, some of which I said has not been even publicly discussed before that we will be successful in our attempts to convict those men.

    Isikoff: But will they be entitled to that evidence? Will they be entitled to know the full story of how they were treated?

    Holder: Well, we’ll see what motions they file and we’ll see what responses we’ll make and a judge will ultimately make that determination.

    The ACLU and two of the defense lawyers for two other defendants have brought up the issue of mental competence.

    I asked Durkin about the status of al-Shibh’s competency hearings. Since the government has been trying to refuse defense attorneys access to al-Shibh’s medical records in the context of his competency to stand trial, I wondered if the defense team would continue to push for competency hearing as the trial moves to SDNY. Durkin refused to say what the team would do, but noted that since the military judge had raised the issue of a competency hearing, it is public record that it is an issue.

    So expect al-Shibh’s defense team, at least, to continue to push for medical records in the scope of a competency question.

    Hollander, who is defending al-Nashiri, noted they, too, have been pushing for their client’s medical records.

    This is going to interesting to watch how the Obama DOJ covers up war crimes in a civilian court.

  2. Just wondering.


    But the more consequential impact of Obama’s decision is likely to be overlooked:  we’re now formally creating a multi-tiered justice system for accused Muslim terrorists where they only get the level of due process consistent with the State’s certainty that it will win.  Mohammed gets a real trial because he confessed and we’re thus certain we can win in court; since we’re less certain about al-Nashiri, he’ll be denied a trial and will only get a military commission; others will be denied any process entirely and imprisoned indefinitely.  The outcome is pre-determined and the process then shaped to assure it ahead of time, thus perfectly adhering to this exchange from Chapter 12 of Alice in Wonderland:

       “Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

       “No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterward.”

       “Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

       “Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.

       “I won’t!” said Alice.

       “Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

    How is that remotely just or fair under any definition of those terms?  As Davis wrote:  “We need to work to change the negative perceptions that exist about Guantanamo and our commitment to the law.  Formally establishing a legal double standard will only reinforce them.”  There’s nothing “pragmatic” or “moderate” about creating a multi-tiered justice system where only some people get trials; it’s both counter-productive and profoundly unjust.

    • TMC on November 13, 2009 at 21:30

    Why these defendants and not the others? The DOJ has given no clear, rational explanation of why only a select few are being tried in civilian courts. This rough transcript from emptywheel

    DOD and DOJ had a joint press conference on the Gitmo decisions today. It was on background-so the attribution below is to a senior DOJ official and a senior DOD official. This is just a liveblog transcript-and should be considered a VERY rough approximation.

    Sr. DOJ Official: highlight a few things: Decisions to proceed with prosecutions in federal court and reformed military commissions. Bring terrorists to justice, bringing all tools at our disposal to the fight and to the cause of bringing terrorists to justice. Coordinated and cooperative effort by prosecutors. Result of extensive consultations. (my emphasis)

    • TMC on November 13, 2009 at 21:49

    manipulation of justice from TalkLeft and Jeralyn Merritt:

    Holder also revealed that Canadian detainee Omar Khadr will be prosecuted before a U.S. military tribunal – but the attorney general indicated the U.S. government will remain open to the possibility returning detainee Omar Khadr to Canada, depending on the outcome of a Supreme Court hearing underway today in Ottawa.(emphasis mine)

    What? So if Holder doesn’t LIKE the Canadian Supreme Court decision, he’ll try Omar Kadr in a military tribunal? Keep in mind Kadr was a CHILD when he was captured and tortured in  Afghanistan and Guantanamo. He isn’t even classified any longer as an “enemy combatant” but as an “Underprivileged Belligerent”. There is more at TalkLeft that will really make your head and heart ache.

    • TMC on November 13, 2009 at 21:58

    You had to go push my button and get me started on this. Thanks, I needed to let off some steam about this.

    • Inky99 on November 13, 2009 at 22:40

    It’s bullshit and everybody should smell the stink of it.

    Why now?  indeed.

    Why now, because the last two weeks have been one big orgy of “Evil Muslims!  Evil Muslims!”  24/7, with the spectre of 9/11 hanging over everything.

    They even killed the DC shooter, named “Muhammad”, at 9:11 pm.

    9:11 pm.   That’s not a coincidence.

    This whole thing is orchestrated propaganda, PSYOPS, against the people of the United States.

    Yeah, why now, indeed, and why NYC?  Because NYC = 911.   That’s why.

    We really need to throw all these assholes out of power and get the root of the evil — and the evil is in our own country, with our own government.  Our very government IS the boogeyman, the World’s Biggest Terrorist organization.

  3. I have no idea what political propaganda value the Administration thinks can possibly be gained from putting 9/11 on trial, but we must at least acknowledge that in terms of both the Constitution and Justice, Attorney General Holder deserves credit for finally giving this detainee the legal due process every human being deserves.

  4. The Power of Nightmares, a three part documentary from the BBC, before that organization folding into the corpo-globalist’s clutches.  I don’t know if it was expensive asbestos removal from the WTC or just Larry Silvertein is one greedy bastard either way trotting this shit out once again and here on American soil just proves beyond any doubt America has a lobotomy.  It may be that new technology, a combination of chemical,physical and electronic lobotomized brain functions.

    • Wom Bat on November 14, 2009 at 00:35
    • TMC on November 14, 2009 at 00:39

    Didn’t Khalid try to enter a guilty plea? He and several other defendants? Are these those defendants? Is Holder speculating, or actually betting, that they will all instruct their lawyers to enter guilty pleas in SDNY? This came  to mind after reading this response to Jim White, of FDL, from Glen Greenwald

    Friday, November 13, 2009 06:49 AM

    Jim White

       I would argue (and did in my diary linked in my earlier comment) that any statement from KSM subsequent to his waterboarding could be excluded because he still is in the custody of the country that carried out the waterboarding. That implies that he still could be subjected to further waterboarding. Further, I argue that since his children were last known to be in US custody and that their lives were threatened in his interrogation, any statement also could be seen as under the duress of the threat against his children’s lives.

    Those are certainly viable and reasonable arguments which, if KSM wanted, would be made by his lawyers. But what happens if he insists on pleading guilty in court and insists: “Yes, I planned the 9/11 attack and am proud of it” and demands this his lawyers not raise those defenses?

    – GlennGreenwald

  5. wow this is good… if you missed it, look for the later repeat or the youtube that will show up.

  6. Will I wake up in the a.m. and find a million dollars at my doorstep?

    I suppose the effort is more symbolic than anything else, including “fair and equitable.”

  7. Next issue.

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