Khalid Sheikh Mohammed accuses US of justifying murder, torture in name of security
Wearing a camouflage hunting vest, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks issued a blistering critique of US defense policy during a court hearing in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Wednesday, saying Washington has wantonly used national security as a pretext to murder and torture.
"The president can take someone and throw him in the sea under the name of national security," Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said in an apparent reference to the slaying of former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, speaking at a pre-trial motions hearing. "He can legislate the killings under the name of national security for American citizens."
The remarks, which alluded to the drone strike killings of Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, U.S. citizens who were members of al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, indicated that Mohammed is being kept abreast of current events. The tone of his intervention suggested Mohammed intends to use this trial as a forum to convey that his time in captivity has hardened his vitriol against the United States.
"The government is using the name of national security as it chooses," Mohammed argued at the end of the third day of motions. He warned: "Don't get affected by crocodile tears, because your blood is not made of gold and ours is made of water. We are all human beings."
The terrorism suspect's remarks followed a lengthy debate before Judge James L. Pohl, an Army colonel, over a prosecution request that the public be prevented from hearing information that might be discussed during the trial concerning the CIA's rendition and harsh interrogation of the defendants.
"The government label of classified information does not turn third-party knowledge, experience and memories into something the government can suppress," argued Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a motion seeking unfettered public access to the proceedings.
David Schulz, an attorney representing the organizations, argued that keeping significant portions of the trial classified would undermine the legitimacy of the controversial war court.
"No one will believe justice was done if things are conducted in secret," he said.
Joanna Baltes, a Justice Department prosecutor, said the protective order the government is seeking is similar to others that have been granted in the past in federal court to prevent disclosure of classified information. She noted that the judge would have ultimate say over whether sessions ought to be closed to the public.
Reporters and relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks may watch the proceedings remotely on a video feed that is delayed to give censors time to halt it. Pohl is expected to rule on the ACLU motion on Thursday.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay TBA: Randstad Education Reading...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special needs assistants Jobs i...
£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery nurse jobs in Chippenham...
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is working in...