Not too long following the revelation that CNN and BBC broadcast videos indicated that both news sources had reported the collapse of WTC7 at least 20 minutes BEFORE it was “pulled,” (which suggests government and media complicity in the 911 attacks), Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks, has now appeared before a closed hearing at Guantanamo Bay where he is said to have confessed leading involvement in the September 11 attacks.
Not only! In addition, Sheikh Mohammed ALSO confessed to playing a leading role in THIRTY – yes, count them: 30 – additional terrorist plots! This a stunning range of terrorist activities he claims to have had a hand in including both the 1993 and 2001 assaults on the World Trade Center, as well as the beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, attacks on Heathrow airport, Big Ben and Canary Wharf in UK, and still more!
Time Magazine remarks – with tongue in cheek, I suspect – that KSM “came across as an earnest, somewhat chatty mass murderer taking credit for plans to detonate the Panama Canal as well as New York City landmarks like the stock exchange. He also mentions assassination plots directed at former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton as well as Pope John Paul II. Several of the conspiracies he cited, notably the one involving President Carter, have not previously been disclosed.”
Yes indeedy! KSM is your veritable one-stop shopping Terrorist Super Store! The Wally-World of Wickedness!
Well, I was wondering what all the hullabaloo about the “scripted” 911 news reporting was leading up to. That, put together with George Monbiot’s recent spittle-spewing rant about crazed 911 Conspiracy Idiots, suggested to us here at SOTT that something was definitely up – and if it wasn’t already in the pipeline, they would throw something together pretty quick!
After all, with the growing clamor for a new, independent investigation of 911, with the numbers of Americans suspecting their government of complicity in the 911 attacks, with the growing evidence that every word that comes out of the mouths of the Ziocons is monstrously twisted at best, an out and out lie at worst, what’s a bunch of Pathocrats to do?
Why, produce distractions and more distractions, of course!
It is so “WMDs”, you know! It is amazing that the Neocons actually think they can pull this off.
But then, they’ve pulled everything else off so far, haven’t they?
Even the so-called political “perfect storm” that hit Bush and gang a week ago has now passed into history. Just think about it, in one week, not only was there escalating violence in Iraq at a time when it was quite clear that the majority of the American people want the troops out of Iraq NOW, (and Bush is just sending in more); there was also the Walter Reed scandal where wounded soldiers told Congress about neglect, bad housing and bureaucratic nightmares; and finally, Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s conviction of perjury and obstruction of justice in the case of the leak of the identity of a CIA operative Valerie Plame.
That combination would have taken down any president in prior American History. Geeze, remember Clinton and Monica? Wouldn’t we all like to have a president who only philanders!
But nope, not a whimper from the American public.
Well, that’s not exactly true. As it happens, the early reports of the exit polls after the last election clearly showed that one of the main concerns of the American people was corruption in government. It seems that the American people who voted saw corruption and the Iraq war as part of the same whole problem, and they were sick of it and turned out in record numbers to vote against it. Of course, despite the fact that the majority of Americans voted for anybody BUT Republicans, a surprising number of Republicans held their seats or were voted in. Can we say “fraudulent election”?
Be that as it may, immediately following the election, after a token word or two about “we’re gonna kick butt in Congress,” the new Democratic majority managed to do … well… exactly nothing. It’s corruption business as usual only wearing a different name tag.
I’ve said repeatedly that the main reason Bush and the gang began their illegal wiretapping operation was not to spy on ordinary Americans “looking for terr’rists”, but rather to gain the upper hand over all the branches of government. You could say that blackmail is a kind of “torture” and based on their actions, it’s obvious that the entire government in the U.S., with vanishingly rare exceptions, is under the iron-fisted control of some group that does not have America’s best interests at heart.
Which brings us back to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his amazing Terrorist Super-hero activities. Geeze, you’d think he could leap tall buildings with a single bound, stop speeding bullets and locomotives, and certainly get the best looking girl at the end.
Obviously, that’s not the case. The guy who could pull off the most carefully planned, expensive and comprehensive terrorist operation in all of Terrorism’s history and even wanted to take out Jimmy Carter, got nabbed so early in the game that we wonder now why it was all blamed on Osama bin Underthebed!
But I digress. I want to draw your attention to a news item I found in the SOTT archive by searching on the term “Guantanamo” that may have some bearing on the events of the present moment, providing a peek behind the scenes at a possible connection between a couple of seemingly disparate events: the scandal surrounding the firing of U.S. Prosecutors and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s confession. Here’s the first item:
01 Aug 2005
As the Pentagon was making its final preparations to begin war crimes trials against four detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, two senior prosecutors complained in confidential messages last year that the trial system had been secretly arranged to improve the chance of conviction and to deprive defendants of material that could prove their innocence.
The electronic messages, obtained by The New York Times, reveal a bitter dispute within the military legal community over the fairness of the system at a time when the Bush administration and the Pentagon were eager to have the military commissions, the first for the United States since the aftermath of World War II, be seen as just at home and abroad.
During the same time period, military defense lawyers were publicly criticizing the system, but senior officials dismissed their complaints and said they were contrived as part of the efforts to help their clients.
The defense lawyers’ complaints and those of outside groups like the American Bar Association were, it is now clear, simultaneously being echoed in confidential messages by the two high-ranking prosecutors whose cases would, if anything, benefit from any slanting of the process. […]
Among the striking statements in the prosecutors’ messages was an assertion by one that the chief prosecutor had told his subordinates that the members of the military commission that would try the first four defendants would be ”handpicked” to ensure that all would be convicted.
The same officer, Capt. John Carr of the Air Force, also said in his message that he had been told that any exculpatory evidence — information that could help the detainees mount a defense in their cases — would probably exist only in the 10 percent of documents being withheld by the Central Intelligence Agency for security reasons.
Captain Carr’s e-mail message also said that some evidence that at least one of the four defendants had been brutalized had been lost and that other evidence on the same issue had been withheld. The March 15, 2004, message was addressed to Col. Frederick L. Borch, the chief prosecutor who was the object of much of Captain Carr’s criticism.
The second officer, Maj. Robert Preston, also of the Air Force, said in a March 11, 2004, message to another senior officer in the prosecutor’s office that he could not in good conscience write a legal motion saying the proceedings would be ”full and fair” when he knew they would not.
At this point in the article there is some damage control nonsense about how the military investigated these charges and it was all a “misunderstanding” and “forget about it, go back to sleep.” But then, the article addresses some of the issues about the new laws that the Bush Reich have passed regarding such trials which amount to evidence manipulation from the get-go.
The Bush administration and the Pentagon have faced criticism about the legitimacy of the military commission procedures almost since the regulations describing them were announced in 2002.
The rules, which in essence constitute a new body of law distinct from military and civilian law, allow, for example, witnesses to testify anonymously for the prosecution. Also, any information may be admitted into evidence if the presiding officer judges it to be ”probative to a reasonable person,” a new standard far more favorable to the prosecution than anything in civilian law or military law. It is unclear whether information that may have been obtained under coercion or torture can be admissible.
Now, here is where it gets squirrely:
The trials of the first four defendants began last August in a secure courtroom in a converted dental clinic at the naval base at Guantanamo. Before they could start in earnest, the trials were abruptly halted in November when a federal judge ruled they violated both military law and the United States’ obligations to comply with the Geneva Conventions.
But a three-judge appeals court panel that included Judge John G. Roberts, President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, unanimously reversed that ruling on July 15.
Defense Department officials have said they plan to resume the trials in the next several weeks. They said they also planned soon to charge an additional eight detainees with war crimes.
What is clear is that control of the judiciary is very important to the Bush criminals and, at that point, they did not have complete control, even with illegal wiretapping. And, darn those pesky principled prosecutors!
In his March 2004 message, Captain Carr told Colonel Borch that ”you have repeatedly said to the office that the military panel will be handpicked and will not acquit these detainees and we only needed to worry about building a record for the review panel and academicians who would pore over the record in years to come.”
Captain Carr said in the message that the problems could not be dismissed as personality differences, as some had tried to depict them, but ”may constitute dereliction of duty, false official statements or other criminal conduct.”
He added that ”the evidence does not indicate that our military and civilian leaders have been accurately informed of the state of our preparation, the true culpability of the accused or the sustainability of our efforts.” The office, he said, was poised to ”prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged.”
He said that Colonel Borch also said that he was close to Maj. Gen. John D. Altenburg Jr., the retired officer who is in overall charge of the war crimes commissions, and that this would favor the prosecution.
General Altenburg selected the commission members, including the presiding officer, Col. Peter S. Brownback III, a longtime close friend of his. Defense lawyers objected to the presence of Colonel Brownback and some other officers, saying they had serious conflicts of interest. General Altenburg removed some of the other officers but allowed Colonel Brownback to remain.
In his electronic message, Captain Carr said the prosecution team had falsely stated to superiors that it had no evidence of torture of Ali Hamza Ahmed Sulayman al-Bahlul of Yemen. In addition, Captain Carr said the prosecution team had lost an F.B.I. document detailing an interview in which the detainee claimed he had been tortured and abused.
Major Preston, in his e-mail message of March 11, 2004, said that pressing ahead with the trials would be ”a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people.”
Let me run that by you one more time:
“…the evidence does not indicate that our military and civilian leaders have been accurately informed of the state of our preparation, the true culpability of the accused or the sustainability of our efforts.” The office, he said, was poised to ”prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged.”
Well, doesn’t that just beat all? “True culpability of the accused, and prosecuting low-level patsies in a rigged process.
And this came from a PROSECUTOR!
As it happens, back in January, Justin Rood of TPMMuckraker asked the question: What’s the White House Doing to Prosecutors?
This was one of the early rumblings of the Prosecutor Firing Scandal that is now following hot on the heels of last weeks “Perfect Political Storm.”
The answer, of course, is that the Bush Administration has been focused on either controlling all the branches of government totally, and/or eliminating anyone and everyone who might have the power, position, or ability to stop the march of Neocon Imperialist Fascism. They can control military prosecutors such as Captain Carr and Major Preston above fairly easily behind the veil of military secrecy, it’s the civilian ones that became the big headache. After all, quite a few of these prosecutors have it in mind to go after Bush and the gang.
MSNBC’s David Shuster announced before the Libby verdict:
“Legal sources confirm to MSNBC tonight that if Libby is convicted, prosecutors are expected to attempt to revisit Libby’s vague testimony about Vice President Cheney,” Shuster said. “The idea is that prosecutors would seek to flip Libby to get at suspicions about the Vice President. Prosecutors are still seeking to pursue Cheney in the overall investigation.”
Getting back to KSM, a week or so ago, a Reuters item informed us that Court Hearings were set for “High Value Detainees.”
“High Value Detainees”??!!
When I read this, I was immediately reminded of the military prosecutors who said:
…the members of the military commission that would try the first four defendants would be ”handpicked” to ensure that all would be convicted … The office is… poised to ”prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged.”
There are a couple of other interesting things in the Reuters item about these Kangaroo Court Hearings:
U.S. military officials will start hearings on Friday for 14 prisoners transferred to Guantanamo Bay from secret CIA jails, including the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Now, wait a minute! Wasn’t there a whole lot of noise not too long ago about these “rendition flights” that were carting prisoners all over the world so they could be legally tortured elsewhere? And we now learn that KSM was in one of these “torture palaces” and that is where he “confessed”??!!
Reporters will not be allowed at the hearings at the prison camp in Cuba and will have to rely on edited transcripts, defence officials said on Tuesday, citing concerns that the suspects could reveal sensitive security information.
“I think everybody recognizes that these individuals are unique for the role that they have played in terrorist operations and in combat operations against U.S. forces,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.
A rights group condemned the hearings, which are also closed to defence lawyers, as “sham tribunals” and complained that they could consider evidence obtained through coercion.
The 14 suspects were transferred to Guantanamo Bay from overseas CIA prisons in September.
Remember this one? US acknowledges torture at Guantanamo; in Iraq, Afghanistan – UN
… just to pull a few out of the SOTT Archive of literally hundreds of articles about the U.S. torture policy that came in with the Neocons.
Getting back to the trial announcement, we find that our KSM is specifically mentioned as having been transferred from the secret CIA prisons abroad to Guantanamo for this hearing:
They include Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks…
U.S. officials suspect Khan has had links with alleged September 11 mastermind Mohammed, according to Khan’s Pakistani lawyer.
The hearings take place before a three-member panel of military officers.
…who we already know from the military prosecutors quoted above, have been hand-picked to guarantee the verdict.
The Pentagon said it would release a transcript of each hearing together with an unclassified summary of the case against the suspect.
“The transcript of the proceedings will have to be redacted for any matters of national security,” Whitman said.
And we already know from the military prosecutors how these documents will be created… that Colonel Borch told Captain Carr that it was the job of the prosecutors to “worry about building a record for the review panel and academicians who would pore over the record in years to come.”
If we learned anything from the Nuremberg trials, it is that the military who are just “following orders” as well as citizens can and will be held responsible for the crimes of their leaders.
America became a Fascist state the day the torture bill was passed by a subservient congress and signed into law by a Zionist sock-puppet.
Before Bush had even signed his torture bill into law, legal framer and torture apologist, Alberto Gonzales, implicated in the Prosecutor Firings scandal, was already instructing the judiciary:
“Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending President Bush’s anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president’s judgments in wartime.”
If any of you have any doubt that the U.S. has been gradually herded into Fascism, then keep in mind that when the United States Congress made legal that which, in WWII, the Allied Forces heroically fought to make immoral forever, all doubt ended.
Considering the vast number of crimes this KSM has confessed to, he’s the “Doug and Dave” of Terrorism. It reminds me of an anecdote from Vladimir Bukovsky’s Torture’s Long Shadow:
One nasty morning Comrade Stalin discovered that his favorite pipe was missing. Naturally, he called in his henchman, Lavrenti Beria, and instructed him to find the pipe. A few hours later, Stalin found it in his desk and called off the search. “But, Comrade Stalin,” stammered Beria, “five suspects have already confessed to stealing it.”
Now we know why KSM confessed to over 30 acts of terrorism.
Originally Published 2007_03_16