Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba–During courtroom proceedings Oct. 17, the alleged mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad raised his hand, as if he was in a third grade classroom, to get the judge’s attention. What happened next would shock those attending the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba hearings — Judge Pohl allowed KSM a five-minute diatribe about American hypocrisy. The following is from the court transcript.
Judge Army Col. James L. Pohl: “Mr. Muhammad, you indicated you wish to say something?
KSM: “Yes. In the name of God, most graceful, the government at the end of the argument gave you advice. They told you any decision you’re going to issue you have to keep in mind the national security and to remember that there were 3,000 people killed on September 11. And I would like to give you a similar advice.
Any decision you will take, you have to keep in mind that the government is using the definition of national security as it chooses. And this expression has a definition in the Military Commission’s Rules.
We have heard the expression of national security again yesterday and today about ten times. And everyone use this expression as he or she chooses. But legislators and legal people who deal in the legal field, they have to differentiate between the politicians’ use of this word and the legal people’s use of this word.
When the government feels sad for the death or killing of 3,000 people who were killed on September 11, we also should feel sorry that the American government, who is represented by General Martins and others, have killed thousands of people—millions.
This definition is a resilient definition, lasting. Every dictator can put on this definition as they choose, as he chooses to step on every definition in this world, every person, and every Constitution.
With this definition, many can evade the rule and can go against it. Many can kill people under the name of national security and to torture people under the name of national security and to detain children under the name of national security, underage children.
I don’t want to be long, I can say that the president can take someone and throw him into the sea under the name of national security. And also well, he can also legislate killings, assassinations under the name of national security, for the American citizens.
My only advice to you, that you do not get affected by the crocodile tears. Because your blood is not made of gold and ours is made out of water. We are all human beings. Thank you.”
Pohl rebutted with the following statement: “Okay. Just I think we need to make something clear here, is that I didn’t interrupt Mr. Mohammad. He requested to make a statement to the court. But this is a one-time occurrence. If accused wish to represent themselves as attorneys, that’s one issue. But no matter how heart-felt, I’m not going to again entertain personal comments of any accused about the way things are going.”
Keeping the bizarre pre-trial sideshow in mind, KSM is accused of orchestrating Sept. 11 attacks and faces the death penalty for his role in attacks that led to the murder of 2, 976 victims.
Responding to yesterday’s unusual circumstances is Defense Department spokesperson Todd Breasseale said, “This was a one-time instance where Judge Pohl decided to allow the accused to speak during the motions proceedings. The judge made it infinitely clear that there would be no future opportunities for defendants to address the court. In the words of Judge Pohl: ‘we need to make something clear here. This is a one-time occurrence.’ Our system is fair enough to allow this occurrence and legally sound enough to weather the scrutiny.”