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Sept. 11 Defendants Want to Plead Guilty

Posted by tothewire on December 8, 2008




Five people accused of plotting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have asked a judge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to allow them to “confess” their guilt.


The alleged co-conspirators — including the confessed architect of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — asked Monday for a session to announce their “confessions” in a letter that implies they want to express their guilt. The letter does not specify whether they will admit to any specific charges, but says the defendants wish to drop all previous defense motions.

The five said they decided to abandon all efforts to defend themselves against the capital charges on Nov. 4, the day Barack Obama was elected to the White House.

Army Col. Stephen Henley, the judge at the proceedings, asked each defendant if he was ready to enter a plea. The letter they submitted requested “an immediate hearing session to announce our confessions.”

The judge said competency hearings were pending for two of the detainees, precluding them from immediately filing pleas. Upon hearing that the charges might not bring the death penalty, Mohammed and the other two defendants said they’d “postpone” their pleas until the competency hearings could be completed for their co-defendants.

Some believe the confession might be a ploy to toy with the military tribunal.

“These guys are going to mess with the system,” Charles Stimson, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told FOX News. “They have rejected their excellent defense lawyers. They’re going on their own here.”

Stimson said the five would have to “spell out everything they did to satisfy the military judge [as to] why they’re guilty” including listing “each and every fact that supports each and every element of every crime they’re pleading to,” he said.

Mohammed, who has already told interrogators he was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, also told the judge Monday that he had no faith in him, his Pentagon-appointed lawyers or President George W. Bush.

Sporting a chest-length gray beard, Mohammed said in English: “I don’t trust you.”

Mohammed, who is acting as his own lawyer, had been expected to cross-examine Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, a military legal adviser.

The pretrial hearings this week could be the last court appearance for the high-profile detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The first U.S. war-crimes trials since World War II are teetering on the edge of extinction. Obama opposes the military commissions — as the Guantanamo trials are called — and has pledged to close the detention center holding some 250 men soon after taking office next month.

Nine relatives of victims of the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks were expected to be on hand to observe Mohammed’s pretrial hearing at this Navy base in southeastern Cuba. Five were chosen by military lottery and they brought four other relatives with them.

Mohammed and the other defendants appeared before Henley, who was assigned to the case after the previous judge resigned for undisclosed reasons in November. The defendants, who are all representing themselves, had been expected to question Henley about whether any conflicts would prevent him from impartially overseeing the death-penalty case.

No trial date has been set, and it is all but certain none will begin before Obama takes office on Jan. 20. Still, the U.S. military is pressing forward with the case until it receives orders to the contrary.

“We serve the sitting president and will continue to do so until President-elect Obama takes office,” said Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.

Jennifer Daskal of Human Rights Watch, who is also an observer at this week’s hearings, urged Obama to try terror suspects in federal court “where attention will focus on the defendants’ alleged crimes rather than the unfairness of the commissions.”

The military commissions have netted three convictions, but have been widely criticized for allowing statements obtained through harsh interrogations and hearsay to be admitted as evidence.

The victims’ family members were expected to watch from a gallery at the rear of the cavernous, high-security courtroom and will not be allowed to address the defendants.

Maureen Santora, whose firefighter son Christopher was killed at the World Trade Center, says she wants to lock eyes with those accused of killing her son and 2,972 others in the bloodiest terrorist attacks ever on U.S. soil.

Relatives of about 30 more victims, mainly firefighters, have given Santora memorial cards that she planned to bring into court “to know their spirit is with us.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


13 Responses to “Sept. 11 Defendants Want to Plead Guilty”

  1. Andy H said

    After being tortured at Gitmo for 7 years I am sure these guys would confess to killing Lincoln if you wanted them to.

    Please don’t believe the official 9-11 story, millions don’t, polls have shown that more than 50% of Americans question the official 9-11 story. Not all the conspiracy theories hold water but the official 9-11 story has holes so big you can fly a plane through it. (pun intended)


  2. tothewire said

    I agree we don’t know the full story…but not sure these guy’s are just making it up either. I would like to hear more from you on this, as it does interest me.


  3. paul in miami said

    Bypass the trial one simple bullet will do. Its way too kind for
    these non-humans. They didn’t display any respect for life, we
    should not either.


  4. Lawman2 said

    i agree with Paul 100%!!!!!!!!!


  5. everitrue said

    A bullet is to good for these pigs. They attacked our country and killed innocent people with no remorse. Force feed them raw pork until they choke wash it down with salt water, then make them run a guantlet of 9/11 victims family and friends armed with baseball bats, record the carnage and post that on al-jazeira. Allah akbar!???


  6. Mighty Arab said

    How about the 100,000s of Arabs and Muslims that the United States has killed over decades. Let’s force feed Bush excrement, alcohol & cocaine (like he used to do before he reformed) and make all the Republicans run the gauntlet in the Middle East as the Muslims beat them with steel poles?

    You Americans are pigs. You cry over 3500 that were killed yet you have killed over 650,000 in Iraq (according to a study by John Hopkins). Your nation is failing as all empires do (the others contributed something to civilization, yours has given nothing) The Arab world has existed for many Millenium, we will bask in the embers of your country as it is burnt to the ground by yourselves.


  7. Lawman2 said

    it’s always nice to see where we are on popularity scale.hey mighty arab fag,YOU YOU YOU YOUR YOU sure in the hell isn’t me.


  8. Mighty Human said

    The Muslims declared war on the rest of humanity over 2000yrs ago. Your religion has declared geneside for anyone,any race,anywhere for non compliance to your beliefs. Its a classic war between good & evil. get used to it and quick crying about it!


  9. Lawman2 said

    good post Mighty Human! wish that arab son of b*** would come knock on my door without hiding behind his fag ass bomb. I’d shove his head back up his ass! BUT no they don’t want to man to man they want to strap bombs to women, children, or in buildings, or on planes, and kill inocent people. holy war my ass.


  10. tothewire said

    I’m not in the mood for company Lawman, so don’t send an invite.


  11. The Kid said

    Pleading guilty to something that carries a death sentence to it sounds quite ignorant..

    It’s sad most Americans believe this made up confession and the half filled truth in 9/11..
    If these guys are so, guilty why is it that the US Government is afraid to put them on trial in front of real civilians..

    This story is called a press release.. notice ( there’s never any audio or video for that matter ) to even confirm these guilty pleas..

    You need to ask yourself why isn’t there any audio video of these confessions..
    You know why because they’re hiding something..


  12. Paul in Miami said

    One thing that always makes me wonder is: Why are we respecting these monster’s religion? Allow them to grow beards, wear funny clothes and hats, read the Holy Koran? I’d say, shave their heads and beards make them wear prison garb and eat non Muslim regular prison foods. Hell, they are not Muslims, just terrorists.


  13. Lawman2 said

    i know this much and i don’t have to hear a taped confession to know it either…they don’t deserve the $ spent on a trial, cost effect bullet would be more appropriate.do you think if an american were to be caught there for the same (or much less)act of terror, they wouldn’t be tortured? HUNG? WORSE?


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