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Thread: Key 9/11 Suspect To Be Tried In New York

  1. #111
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    Defenders seek 9/11 trial delay, blame Guantánamo legal mail dispute
    This time, Pentagon defense lawyers are citing a new Guantánamo prison camp controversy involving inspection of confidential mail in their request for a delay in the Sept. 11 mass murder case.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/0...911-trial.html

    By CAROL ROSENBERG
    crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com

    Lawyers for the 9/11 plot suspects on Thursday sought to delay until this summer filing memos on why the terror tribunal should not go forward as a capital case.

    If a senior Pentagon official agrees, the soonest the alleged mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his accused four co-conspirators would get initial appearances at Guantánamo’s Camp Justice would be around the next Sept. 11 anniversary.

    At issue is an ethical dispute over how the Guantánamo prison commander is reviewing confidential communications between Pentagon lawyers and their captive clients. Defense lawyers stopped sending so-called privileged mail to their clients late last year after the Chief Defense Counsel, Marine Col. Jeffrey Colwell, declared the policy of reviewing mail unethical.

    Colwell said Thursday that all five 9/11 defense teams were seeking the delay because the controversial camp mail policy “complicated the attorneys’ ability to prepare.”

    Prosecutors are now working with the camps commander, Rear Adm. David B. Woods, to devise a new mail system that’s blessed by the chief war court judge. No solution is expected before April.

    The attorney for Ramzi bin al Shibh, a Yemeni accused of orchestrating part of the mass murder from Hamburg, Germany, asked for a delay until August. Another lawyer asked for a four-month delay on behalf of Mustafa al Hawsawi, who is accused of helping to move some of the money that financed the Sept. 11 hijackers’ travels.

    A Pentagon spokesman, David Oten, said the request for an extension was under consideration.

    The Obama administration cleared the way for a 9/11 tribunal in April. Prosecutors swore out death-penalty charges May 31.

    Since then, the Pentagon has been assembling defense teams. .

    The teams are supposed to write a senior Pentagon official overseeing the war court, retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, by Monday on why the case shouldn’t go forward.

    A Navy war-crimes prosecutor defended the new mail policy at a hearing last month by disclosing that a copy of al Qaida’s now defunct Inspire magazine had reached the detention center. Prison-camp commanders won’t discuss when or how the alleged security breach happened in the Pentagon’s showcase prison, which has a staff of 1,875 U.S. forces and civilians and 171 detainees.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #112
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    Sept. 11 Trial At Guantanamo May Face New Delay

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=146313463

    by The Associated Press
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico February 2, 2012, 05:25 pm ET

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Lawyers for at least two Guantanamo Bay prisoners accused of planning the Sept. 11 attack asked the Pentagon on Thursday to extend a deadline for pretrial motions, which could again delay a case that has been stalled by political and legal disputes for years.

    The attorneys for Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi sent letters requesting the extension to the Pentagon legal official who oversees the war crimes tribunals at the U.S. base in Cuba but did not receive an immediate response.

    Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz, the lawyer appointed to represent al-Hawsawi, said it was likely that extensions also will be sought by attorneys for other prisoners accused in the attack. The U.S. has charged five prisoners in all, including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    Pentagon spokesman David Oten said the requests for extensions were under consideration.

    The lawyers are seeking more time to prepare legal motions addressing whether the five prisoners should face the death penalty for charges that include murder. The Pentagon's Convening Authority is to consider those motions before finalizing the charges and arraigning the men before a tribunal known as a military commission.

    Once charges are finalized, or "referred to commission" in the language of the Pentagon, the military has 30 days to arraign the prisoners at the base.

    In the war crimes case against a Guantanamo prisoner accused of orchestrating the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, the Convening Authority, Bruce MacDonald, took about two months to review the defense team's argument against the death penalty before referring it to a commission as a capital case. It was expected to take at least that long in the Sept. 11 case, but observers had expected the arraignment to happen as early as spring at Guantanamo.

    The case has long been plagued by delays. Their first arraignment was held in June 2008 and the case began moving forward slowly when it was halted by President Barack Obama, who wanted to close the Guantanamo prison and try the men in civilian court. That effort was rebuffed by Congress, and the administration moved the case back to the military's war crimes tribunal at Guantanamo.

    Ruiz is seeking an extension of four months to submit his motion, arguing that new restrictions on legal mail that can be sent to prisoners at Guantanamo, and his pending challenge to those rules in federal court, have interfered with his ability to finish a submission that is due Monday.

    A lawyer for Binalshibh wants a six-month extension because of the mail restrictions and because of delays getting security clearances for members of the legal team.

    Copies of both letters were obtained by The Associated Press.

    The dispute over legal mail at the prison has been going on for months. The commander of the detention center, Navy Rear Adm. David Woods, issued a directive in December that requires legal mail to undergo a security review to ensure prisoners are not receiving prohibited materials, such as top-secret information or objects that might be fashioned into weapons.

    Defense lawyers say they cannot abide by the rule without violating military and civilian codes of professional ethics that bar them from disclosing any information about their clients to a third party unless specifically ordered to do so by a court.

    The chief defense counsel for the military commissions issued guidelines to the dozens of attorneys who work in the commissions that they should not follow the order and Ruiz says his efforts to work with his clients and prepare motions has been thwarted.

    "Mr. Hawsawi is being deprived of his right to counsel at a critical stage of the proceedings," Ruiz wrote to the Convening Authority.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #113
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    Pentagon won’t slow 9/11 death penalty filings
    A senior Pentagon official told defense lawyers to write him by Monday on why the Sept. 11 mass murder file should not go forward as a death-penalty case.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/0...h-penalty.html

    By CAROL ROSENBERG
    crosenberg@miamiherald.com

    A senior Pentagon official on Friday refused to delay a pre-arraignment phase in the prosecution of five Guantánamo captives accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Defense lawyers had asked to delay at least until this summer the process of filing memorandum on why the 9/11 trial should not go forward as a capital case.

    They cited an ongoing dispute over the prison camps handling of privileged attorney-client mail, now being addressed in several courts, as well as delays by some defense lawyers in meeting with their alleged terrorist clients.

    But the Pentagon official, retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, wrote 9/11 defense lawyers on Friday that Monday was still the deadline to argue in writing why life imprisonment — not military execution — should be the maximum possible penalty in the future tribunals of confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other alleged conspirators.

    Under that timetable, the Sept. 11 accused could be brought before a judge for arraignment at Guantánamo’s Camp Justice as early as March.

    In the case of Ramzi bin al Shibh, who allegedly put together the German hijackers’ cell, his military lawyer has argued the Yemeni was likely not mentally fit to stand trial because Guantánamo medical staff had him on psychotropic drugs. His civilian lawyer, Buffalo attorney James P. Harrington, said he had no time to make any form of a “mitigation argument” before Monday’s deadline.

    MacDonald approved Harrington’s appointment in July. But U.S. intelligence agencies didn’t grant him permission to meet the former CIA captive until December.

    “I only met my client two weeks ago,” Harrington told The Miami Herald. “I just got a security clearance; there is no way we can do it.”

    MacDonald made clear in his rejection of the pleas for delay that the law does not require him to consider defense lawyers’ arguments against military execution as the ultimate penalty in a Guantánamo military commission case.

    “Considering the seriousness of the charges and the potential penalty, I concluded it was appropriate to do so in this case, but only if the defense could submit such matters in a timely manner,” he wrote Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz, defending Saudi captive Mustafa al Hawsawi. “You were given more than adequate time in which to prepare matters in mitigation for my consideration.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #114
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    Pentagon refuses extension for Guantanamo Sept. 11 trial

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/s...-11/52952554/1

    The Associated Press
    2/3/2012

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Pentagon legal official refused Friday to extend an important deadline for defense lawyers for the five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attack, a decision that means their highly anticipated arraignment may now occur within months.

    Bruce MacDonald, the Pentagon official who oversees the war crimes trials at the U.S. base in Cuba, refused separate requests for extensions from the lawyers for all five prisoners, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks.

    The lawyers had asked for extensions ranging from three months to a year to file motions arguing against capital charges that would make the men eligible for the death penalty if convicted. These are the final motions before MacDonald sends the long-stalled case to a military tribunal for trial, and the decision means an arraignment may take place at Guantanamo as early as this spring.

    The Pentagon-appointed defense lawyers said they needed more time because of delays getting security clearances and a dispute over new rules on legal mail that they say have prevented them from communicating with their clients. MacDonald said he had already granted extensions and Monday's deadline for filing the motions would not be changed.

    "You were given more than adequate time in which to prepare matters in mitigation for my consideration," he wrote to Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz, who represents Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, a Saudi accused of helping supply the Sept. 11 hijackers with money, Western clothes and credit cards.

    Ruiz said he and the other defense lawyers are considering various options, including asking MacDonald to reconsider, but he conceded they have few avenues to address what they say is another example of a tribunal system that favors the prosecution.

    He said that he has not had access to a translator for some meetings with his client, who speaks limited English, and that it is taking too long to get security clearances for defense experts so they can see evidence in a trial that will rely on large amounts of classified evidence. The obstacles, he said, contradict recent statements from military officials that changes in the tribunals have made them more like federal courts.

    "The chief prosecutor wants to go out there and say this is a fair process — 'We have transparency. We've brought this back in line with federal procedures.' It's nonsense," Ruiz said. "For us this is just business as usual."

    The Sept. 11 case has long been plagued by delays. The defendants' first arraignment was held in June 2008 and the case began moving forward slowly when it was halted by President Barack Obama, who wanted to close the Guantanamo prison and try the men in civilian court. That effort was rebuffed by Congress, and the administration moved the case back to the military's war crimes tribunal at Guantanamo.

    The charges against the five allege they were responsible for planning the attacks that sent hijacked commercial airliners slamming into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people.

    What's next is for MacDonald, a retired admiral, to give his final approval to the charges so they can be set for trial by a tribunal known as a commission. At that point, the military will have 30 days to arraign them before a judge.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #115
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    Suit challenges new Guantánamo mail rule

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/0...uantanamo.html

    2/9/2012

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – A lawyer for a Guantánamo prisoner charged in the Sept. 11 attack has filed suit against the prison commander, arguing a new rule subjecting legal mail to a security review is unconstitutional and amounts to illegal “intelligence monitoring” of a U.S. citizen.

    James Connell said Thursday that his suit filed in federal court in Washington D.C. is broader than a previous legal challenge to the rule brought by the lawyer for a separate defendant in the Sept. 11 case.

    The suit filed by Connell, which was cleared for public release Wednesday after a security review that redacted some details about his client and his confinement at the U.S. base in Cuba, asks a judge to strike down the rule as a violation of the rights of defense lawyers.

    The Washington-based Connell said the rule not only violates attorney-client privilege but his rights as a citizen to communicate in private with a prisoner.

    “The Supreme Court has said there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in a letter when you mail it from one person to another and there have to be certain requirements before the government can violate that,” he said.

    Connell added that it is also a problem that the new policy requires legal mail to prisoners facing war crimes trial be reviewed by a security team that includes intelligence officers. That is a kind of monitoring of U.S. citizens – the lawyers – that can’t be done except under limited circumstances, he said.

    “The intelligence community should not be reading my mail without going through the strict requirements of U.S. law,” Connell said.

    Connell is a civilian attorney who was appointed by the Pentagon to represent Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, also known as Ammar Al-Baluchi, an alleged al-Qaida lieutenant from Pakistan who has been charged with war crimes for allegedly helping nine of the Sept. 11 hijackers travel to the United States and sending them money for expenses and flight training. He has been in U.S. custody since April 2003 and at Guantánamo since September 2006.

    A Pentagon official is deciding whether the charges warrant it being a capital case that would make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. He is expected to be arraigned with four other Guantánamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attack later this year.

    Connell’s suit names the prison commander, Rear Adm. David Woods, who adopted the new rule on legal mail on Dec. 27 to ensure prisoners are not receiving prohibited materials, such as top-secret information or objects that might be fashioned into weapons.

    A Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, said the military would not comment on the suit. But officials have defended the rule as a necessary security step, denying it violates attorney-client privilege and makes it impossible to ethically represent the defendants.

    In a letter earlier this month to the president of the American Bar Association addressing concerns about the rule, the commander of U.S. Southern Command, Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, said the creation of a review team to screen the mail reflects the military’s goal of trying to balance the “legitimate and important” need for detainees to be able to communicate with their lawyers with “national security and physical security concerns at Guantánamo.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #116
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    Guantanamo plea deal 'could speed 9/11 trials'

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...20360f3722.311

    By Chantal Valery (AFP) – 1 hour ago

    US NAVAL BASE AT GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — A plea deal struck between US military prosecutors and a Pakistani detainee at Guantanamo Bay will likely speed the stalled trials of September 11 suspects, experts say.

    Majid Khan, 32, who has spent the last nine years behind bars, was to plead guilty on Wednesday to a raft of charges connected to his role in alleged terror plots hatched by accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    In exchange for a sentence of 25 years, Khan -- who had faced life in prison -- will testify against other "high value" detainees, including Mohammed and four others alleged to have taken part in the 2001 attacks.

    Many of the terms of the plea agreement remain classified, and the Washington Post reported that the military plans to delay Khan's sentencing for four years to ensure he complies with the agreement.

    "It's part of a strategy of building more solid cases against the handful of defendants that the government plans to try before the commissions," said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer who has represented other Guantanamo detainees.

    More than 10 years after the September 11 attacks, Mohammed and four co-defendants accused of plotting them are still awaiting trial at the prison, part of a US naval base in Cuba.

    Since the special military tribunals were authorized to try "enemy combatants" during the administration of president George W. Bush, six prisoners have been brought before the tribunals, with four pleading guilty.

    Colonel Morris Davis, a former chief military prosecutor, has noted that more Guantanamo detainees had died since the US-run prison was established in 2002 than have been tried before the tribunals.

    Khan is accused of working under Mohammed's direction to plan explosions of fuel tanks at US gasoline stations and to deliver funds for a bomb attack at a Marriott hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, that killed 11 people in August 2003.

    "If Khan provides information on KSM and others, as has been suggested was part of the deal, it will no doubt speed up the prosecutions," said Karen Greenberg, a terrorism expert at Fordham Law School, referring to Mohammed, who had been scheduled to be arraigned earlier this month.

    "If Khan does provide information on KSM and others... it will break through the barriers presented by evidence obtained through torture, as this information will be presented in the present time and in a legal proceeding."

    The agreement with Khan is the first plea bargain among 14 Guantanamo detainees the US military classifies as "high value."

    US President Barack Obama -- criticized for failing to live up to his promise to shut down Guantanamo's prison by 2010 -- could benefit from the speedy prosecutions as he seeks a new term in November elections.

    Over the years, 779 inmates have been detained at Guantanamo, most without charge or trial. Most have been transferred to their home countries or third countries in recent years and released.

    Today, 171 people are still languishing there in limbo, including 89 detainees who have been cleared for release but are still in custody, thanks to a law passed by the US Congress.

    For the other detainees who remain, pleading guilty may be the only way to guarantee that they one day leave the facility.

    "The irony is that if you're charged with a crime and make a plea deal, you know you'll be released someday and have some idea when. You have an end-point," says David Remes, who has represented several detainees.

    "But if you're not accused of a crime, you don't know whether you'll ever be released, much less when. That may be the crueler fate. The system is upside-down."

    Khan was imprisoned in a secret CIA jail for three years before being transferred to Guantanamo in 2006.

    He could be asked to testify in the trial of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged Saudi mastermind of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen's port of Aden, which killed 17 sailors and wounded another 40.

    Nashiri's lawyer, Richard Kammen, said he's not surprised Khan has agreed to the plea bargain.

    "Given the essentially lawless conditions of Guantanamo and the military commissions, many people would say or do anything to have a chance at release," he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 mastermind set to face US military court
    Khalid Shaikh Mohammad could soon be back in court for the much-awaited 'trial of the century'

    http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/9...court-1.992797

    AFP
    Published: 08:55 March 11, 2012

    WASHINGTON: Nine years after his arrest in Pakistan, self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammad could soon be back in court for the much-awaited "trial of the century."

    After years of delays, a significant step took place last week when a former aide to Mohammad, Majid Khan, accepted a plea deal with US authorities that will require him to testify against other terror suspects at a tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    More than a decade after the 2001 attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead on US soil, the 46-year-old extremist known simply as "KSM" remains the ultimate figurehead in a legal battle fought by two successive US administrations.

    President Barack Obama "can claim credit for killing (Osama) bin Laden and (Al Qaida cleric Anwar) Al Awlaqi, so nailing KSM would complete the hat trick and help quiet the conservative fearmongers who say he's weak on terrorism," former chief US military prosecutor Colonel Morris Davis told AFP.

    Victory in the trial could prove critical to Obama this year in his re-election bid, where he faces Republicans critical of his approach to terrorism.

    The Democratic president had sought to hold a trial for KSM and his four accused accomplices in New York, just steps from the Ground Zero site where the World Trade Center's twin towers fell.

    But congressional Republicans put an end to those plans by blocking the transfer of terrorism suspects to the United States.

    The five September 11 defendants, known as the "Guantanamo Five" for their incarceration at the US naval base in southern Cuba, will face a trial under special military tribunals created by the George W. Bush administration after the attacks.

    Procedures for the military tribunals, also known as commissions, were modified by the Obama administration.

    KSM, along with Walid bin Attash of Saudi Arabia, Yemen's Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Pakistan's Ammar Al Baluchi or Ali Abd Al Aziz Ali and Mustafa Al Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia, all face possible death penalties.

    The 88-page indictment lists 2,976 murder counts for each of the victims of the coordinated attacks.

    "Let's get rid of the alleged. KSM has admitted (the crimes) many times," said Michael Mukasey, who served as US attorney general under Bush.

    KSM's first confessions were made when he was subjected 183 times to a simulated drowning method known as waterboarding and other so-called "enhanced" interrogation techniques at a secret CIA prison after his March 2003 capture.

    But "no statement obtained as a result of coercion can be used" in a military commissions trial, chief prosecutor Brigadier General Mark Martins said in an interview.

    Although KSM has since repeated his confessions, the prosecution needs to obtain statements that are legally admissible in court.

    This is where Khan's awaited testimony fills the gap. The Pakistani national, who lived legally in America and graduated from a US high school, pleaded guilty at Guantanamo to a reduced charge of "conspiracy" to commit terrorism in exchange for a lighter sentence.

    "If Khan provides information on KSM and others, as has been suggested was part of the deal, it will no doubt speed up the prosecutions," said Karen Greenberg, a terrorism expert at Fordham Law School.

    With Khan's testimony in hand, KSM can be officially tried before a Guantanamo judge, which observers say could take place at any time.

    The person who presides over the commissions, a judge known as the convening authority, now has "everything he needs to make the decision but he's not under a timeline," Martins said.

    Baluchi has requested that he be spared the death penalty, saying he played a lesser role in the attacks.

    But, following a vote in Congress, if the Guantanamo Five plead guilty, "they're allowed to be executed," said Adam Thurschwell, a general counsel in charge of defending Guantanamo detainees.

    Baluchi's lawyer, James Connell, said it is the convening authority's choice to decide a date for the trial.

    "We don't want them to rush into a decision but on the other hand, we don't want them to drag their feet," he added.

    Although the defendants might make pre-trial appearances soon, the crucial trial could be months away.

    "KSM wanted to use the rest of the trial as an opportunity to deliver a diatribe against US policy," said appellate attorney David Rivkin.

    KSM himself has declared that he wants to die and become a martyr.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed set to face US military court

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/archives...-1226296208758

    3/11/2012

    NINE years after his arrest in Pakistan, self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed could soon be back in court for the much-awaited "trial of the century".

    Court illustration by Janet Hamlin shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed seated during a hearing at the US Military Commissions Court for war crimes in

    After years of delays, a significant step took place last week when a former aide to Mohammed, Majid Khan, accepted a plea deal with US authorities that will require him to testify against other terror suspects at a tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    More than a decade after the 2001 attacks that left nearly 3000 people dead on US soil, the 46-year-old extremist known simply as "KSM" remains the ultimate figurehead in a legal battle fought by two successive US administrations.

    President Barack Obama "can claim credit for killing (Osama) bin Laden and (Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar) Al-Awlaqi, so nailing KSM would complete the hat trick and help quiet the conservative fearmongers who say he's weak on terrorism," former chief US military prosecutor Colonel Morris Davis told AFP.

    Victory in the trial could prove critical to Obama this year in his re-election bid, where he faces Republicans critical of his approach to terrorism.

    The Democratic President had sought to hold a trial for KSM and his four accused accomplices in New York, just steps from the Ground Zero site where the World Trade Center's twin towers fell.

    But congressional Republicans put an end to those plans by blocking the transfer of terrorism suspects to the United States.

    The five September 11 defendants, known as the "Guantanamo Five" for their incarceration at the US naval base in southern Cuba, will face a trial under special military tribunals created by the George W Bush administration after the attacks.

    Procedures for the military tribunals, also known as commissions, were modified by the Obama administration.

    KSM, along with Walid bin Attash of Saudi Arabia, Yemen's Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Pakistan's Ammar al-Baluchi or Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa al-Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia, all face possible death penalties.

    The 88-page indictment lists 2976 murder counts for each of the victims of the coordinated attacks.

    "Let's get rid of the alleged. KSM has admitted (the crimes) many times," said Michael Mukasey, who served as US attorney general under Bush.

    KSM's first confessions were made when he was subjected 183 times to a simulated drowning method known as waterboarding and other so-called "enhanced" interrogation techniques at a secret CIA prison after his March 2003 capture.

    But "no statement obtained as a result of coercion can be used" in a military commissions trial, chief prosecutor Brigadier General Mark Martins said in an interview.

    Although KSM has since repeated his confessions, the prosecution needs to obtain statements that are legally admissible in court.

    This is where Khan's awaited testimony fills the gap. The Pakistani national, who lived legally in America and graduated from a US high school, pleaded guilty at Guantanamo to a reduced charge of "conspiracy" to commit terrorism in exchange for a lighter sentence.

    "If Khan provides information on KSM and others, as has been suggested was part of the deal, it will no doubt speed up the prosecutions," said Karen Greenberg, a terrorism expert at Fordham Law School.

    With Khan's testimony in hand, KSM can be officially tried before a Guantanamo judge, which observers say could take place at any time.

    The person who presides over the commissions, a judge known as the convening authority, now has "everything he needs to make the decision but he's not under a timeline," Martins said.

    Baluchi has requested that he be spared the death penalty, saying he played a lesser role in the attacks.

    But, following a vote in Congress, if the Guantanamo Five plead guilty, "they're allowed to be executed," said Adam Thurschwell, a general counsel in charge of defending Guantanamo detainees.

    Baluchi's lawyer, James Connell, said it is the convening authority's choice to decide a date for the trial.

    "We don't want them to rush into a decision but on the other hand, we don't want them to drag their feet," he added.

    Although the defendants might make pre-trial appearances soon, the crucial trial could be months away.

    "KSM wanted to use the rest of the trial as an opportunity to deliver a diatribe against US policy," said appellate attorney David Rivkin.

    KSM himself has declared that he wants to die and become a martyr.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Two 9/11 suspects on Gitmo hunger strike, sources say

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...hunger-strike/

    By Catherine Herridge
    Published March 13, 2012

    pril 27, 20120: In this photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee does pull-ups inside an exercise area at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base.

    At least two of the suspects in the 9/11 terror attacks have been on hunger strikes at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps since January, Fox News has learned.

    The men, among the so-called “high value 14” who were transferred from the CIA secret prisons in 2006 to the Navy base in Cuba, are protesting conditions at Guantanamo’s Camp 7 and a new policy in which communications between detainees and their defense lawyers are reviewed for security purposes, according to knowledgeable sources who would not provide further detail.

    It is not clear whether the men are refusing all foods and fluids or whether they are eating only on an occasional basis.

    Defense Department spokesman Todd Breasseale said he could not discuss health-related issues of the 9/11 suspects, adding, “the physical well-being of detainees is our primary responsibility, and their security is of vital importance to our mission there. ... Hunger strikes are a form of non-violent protest, and those few who have engaged in this practice are monitored so that their health is never in any real danger. Their vital statistics are routinely monitored and they are not allowed to endanger their lives.”

    In December, the admiral who oversees the detention camps ramped up the screening of communications and mail between the lawyers and their clients to keep out contraband. In January, it came to light during a routine military hearing at the base, that a copy of Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, likened to the “Martha Stewart Living” for would-be jihadists, nearly made it into the camps.

    The American Bar Association has written to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the preservation of attorney-client privilege in the Guantanamo military prosecutions. While urging Panetta to take immediate steps to “rescind this policy,” Bill Robinson III, president of the ABA, wrote that it was especially important in death penalty cases.

    The Defense Department’s current policy, Robinson said, "seriously compromises the ability of lawyers to meet their obligations and provide ethically and constitutionally adequate representation to their clients. It also impairs the ability of these dedicated lawyers to gain the trust and confidence of their clients.”

    As for conditions at Camp 7, a detention facility so secretive that no journalist has ever been given access, it is claimed that they do not satisfy the requirements under the Geneva Conventions that establishes minimum guarantees for the treatment of “law of war detainees.”

    On Feb. 24, all of the military defense lawyers for the 9/11 suspects at Camp 7, along with the lawyer Abu Faraj al-Libi, a Libyan implicated in a plot to blow up planes over the Atlantic in 2006, wrote to William K. Lietzau, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy. They claimed in the five-page letter that serious deficiencies remain in health care and living conditions.

    The lawyers questioned the validity of a 2009 declassified report that stated the detainees enjoyed recreation yards with “elliptical machines and stationary bikes, soccer balls, racquetballs ... media rooms are available three times weekly for each detainee to watch movies of their choice, read newspapers, magazines (and) books.”

    The lawyers said they “are not in a position to speculate as to the reason for the changes. ... Nonetheless, some appear to coincide with the arrival of the current JTF-GTMO commander, who has publicly expressed that he lost two comrades in the 9/11 attacks, and that he defines himself as part of the “9/11 generation.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #120
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    Let a jury decide Mohammed's fate

    http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci...mohammeds-fate

    By Terry McDermott
    Posted: 03/15/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT

    Among the many reasons Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who planned the Sept. 11 attacks, should be tried in an American court of law, there is this:

    "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head."

    The murder of Pearl, the Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau chief, was but one of 31 attacks or planned attacks that Mohammed confessed to in front of an American military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay on March 10, 2007. The crimes of KSM, as Mohammed is known within the international counterterrorism community, occurred around the globe over the course of a decade. They ranged from the wholly aspirational — plots to assassinate Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II — to the horrifically real: Pearl was beheaded with a butcher knife.

    For those keeping score, the confession to Pearl's brutal killing came five years after the crime. It has now been another five full years and still Mohammed remains in the limbo of Guantanamo. The limbo is ours, not his. Although he has claimed he would welcome martyrdom, he seems quite content to remain there in the military prison with his exercise machine, fellow detainees and the consternation that he has caused. The U.S. government, on the other hand, is still vexed about how to handle him.

    The lines of debate have grown blurry over time, but the broad outlines have not changed. The George W. Bush administration and its supporters argued in favor of establishing military tribunals to try KSM and his fellow terrorism suspects. Barack Obama, when he was still candidate Obama, argued for closing Guantanamo and bringing the prisoners there to justice in the United States. Upon taking office, President Obama repeated this pledge, and in 2009, his attorney general announced that Mohammed and four of his cohorts would be tried in federal court in New York.

    That announcement was greeted, predictably, with an uproar of opposition that grew to include majorities in both houses of Congress, which subsequently outlawed the spending of any federal money to transport the prisoners to the United States. Claims were made that holding a trial in New York would surely put the city at risk of terrorist attacks. Local politicians complained that the cost would be in the billions of dollars. A subsequent trial of a lesser terrorism figure gravely undermined many of the claims, but opposition remained entrenched.

    Those opposed to trying KSM have argued that he would be able to hijack any proceeding against him and turn it into a publicity coup for al-Qaeda and its sympathizers. A trial might inevitably be a circus of some sort, but a propaganda victory for radical Islam? Hardly. Mohammed has been a perplexing figure on the few occasions when he has appeared in semi-public proceedings at Guantanamo. He is a curious, compelling but an almost clownish presence. As a propagandist, he's too comical and grandiose to be anything but an utter failure.

    The government has recently signaled it might finally be ready to begin formal proceedings against KSM, bringing him before a military commission in Guantanamo. Such a commission would be heavily censored, and coverage would be limited. It would be a poor substitute for a trial before an American jury.

    If putting on a trial for the crime at the center of the controversy — the Sept. 11 attacks against New York and Washington — is too much to undertake, why couldn't the government do a test case first? Why not try KSM for the relatively simple, if no less venal, execution of Pearl? We already have his confession on file and, as he boasts, video evidence of his "blessed right hand" caught in the act.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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