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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Wants Death

From his fans at the Associated Press:

Suspected 9/11 mastermind wants death penalty

June 5, 2008

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, CUBA — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, appearing for the first time since his capture five years ago, said he would welcome becoming a “marytr” after a judge warned Thursday that he faces the death penalty for his confessed role as mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Wearing thick glasses and occasionally fussing with his turban or stroking his bushy gray beard, Mohammed seemed noticeably thinner than the image of a slovenly man with disheveled hair, an unshaven face and a T-shirt that the U.S. showed to the world after his capture in Pakistan.

Mohammed sang verses from the Quran, rejected his attorneys and told Judge Ralph Kohlmann, a Marine colonel, that he wants to represent himself at the war crimes trial.

The judge warned that he faces execution if convicted of organizing the attacks on America. But the former No. 3 leader of al-Qaida was insistent.

“Yes, this is what I wish, to be a martyr for a long time,” Mohammed declared. “I will, God willing, have this, by you.”

Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators each face death if convicted of war crimes including murder, conspiracy, attacking civilians and terrorism by hijacking planes to attack U.S. landmarks. The murder charges involve the deaths of 2,973 people at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania where passengers forced down their plane…

Mohammed seemed calm for the most part, but became upset and denounced the tribunals as unfair after the judge told defense lawyers to be quiet and “sit down!”

“It’s an inquisition. It’s not a trial,” Mohammed said, his voice rising. “After torturing they transfer us to inquisition land in Guantanamo.”

The five men, sitting at separate tables, spoke with each other in Arabic, appeared to pass notes to each other and at one point looked back and chuckled at reporters watching from behind a courtroom window.

None wore handcuffs, but the ankles of Ramzi Binalshibh, said to have been the main intermediary between the hijackers and al-Qaida leaders, were shackled to the courtroom floor.

All appeared to be in robust health except for Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, who allegedly selected and trained some of the 19 hijackers. He looked thin and frail and sat on a pillow on his chair.

Calmly propping his glasses on his turban to peer at legal papers, Mohammed grinned at times and insisted that he would not be represented by any attorneys. He told the judge he “can only accept Sharia law.”

“There is no God but him, in him I have put my trust,” Mohammed sang before Kohlmann asked him to stop…

Mohammed told the judge he understands there are certain subjects he should not bring up in court, but said the Quran should be within the “green line,” or permitted

“I can’t mention about the torturing,” Mohammed added in broken English. “I know this is the red line.”

Military commissions have been conducted since George Washington used them after the end of the Revolutionary War, but this is the first time the United States has used them during an ongoing conflict, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Tom Hartmann, a top tribunal official

We say let him have his way.

But of course his plea for martyrdom will just garner him more praise from the likes of Bill Mahrer, Cindy Sheehan and the other champions of these courageous “freedom fighters.”

Military commissions have been conducted since George Washington used them after the end of the Revolutionary War, but this is the first time the United States has used them during an ongoing conflict, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Tom Hartmann, a top tribunal official.

If General Hartmann actually said this, which one somehow doubts, then he is surprisingly uninformed.

Even Wikipedia knows better:

Military tribunals in the United States

The United States has made use of military tribunals or commissions, rather than rely on a court martial, within the military justice system, during times of declared war or rebellion.

General George Washington used military tribunals during the American Revolution. Commissions were also used by General (and later President) Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 to try a British spy; commissions, labeled “Councils of War,” were also used in the Mexican-American War.

The Union used military tribunals during and in the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War. Military tribunals were used to try Native Americans who fought the United States during the Indian Wars which occurred during the Civil War; the thirty-eight people who were executed after the Dakota War of 1862 were sentenced by a military tribunal. The so-called Lincoln conspirators were also tried by military commission in the spring and summer of 1865

President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered military tribunals for eight German prisoners accused of planning sabotage in the United States as part of Operation Pastorius. Roosevelt’s decision was challenged, but upheld, in Ex parte Quirin. All eight of the accused were convicted and sentenced to death. Six were executed by electric chair at the District of Columbia jail on August 8, 1942

But of course the AP will cite (or misquote) anyone to undermine the prosecution of their hero.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 5th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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