Tag Archives: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Bush wants to torture Khalid Sheikh Mohammed again

Bush stands behind torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, says he’d “do it again to save lives.” Yesterday, former President Bush spoke at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, MI, where he said that had no regrets about waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed 9/11 mastermind, and would do it again.

According to Fox 17 in Grand Rapids, Bush “didn’t allow cameras inside for the event,” but reporters caught his remarks:

“Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed … I’d do it again to save lives.”

Waterboarding Mohammed 183 times didn’t save any lives. In fact, Mohammed told U.S. military officials that he gave false information to the CIA after withstanding torture. Additionally, a former Special Operations interrogator who worked in Iraq has stated that waterboarding has actually cost American lives:

“The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.”

Bush will never be prosecuted for committing this crime he has now admitted to, because the Democrats, too support the use of government torture against Pentagon held POWs.

Senators Cornyn, Smith, Lieberman, Webb, McCain, not common criminals

They want war crimes trials, then book ’em. Senators John Cornyn, Lamar Smith, Joe Lieberman, Jim Webb and John McCain have mouthed off against bringing accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to trial in US civilian courts. They want Mohammed and his fellow detainees tried by military tribunals, which have already been condemned as violations of international law. So has voting to support the attack on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, secret prisons, etc.

Forget the presumption of innocence. Said Cornyn:

“These terrorists planned and executed the mass murder of thousands of innocent Americans. Treating them like common criminals is unconscionable.”

Added Lieberman, they–

“are war criminals, not common criminals … not American citizens entitled to all the constitutional rights American citizens have in our federal courts.”

Nope, sorry it doesn’t work that way. Our constitution protects the rights of everyone under US jurisdiction. Not to mention the detainees are “alleged” criminals as well.

The senators are perhaps influenced by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s media monicker: the self proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. That’s a rather inflated attribution based on a confession extracted after an apparently record setting series of water boarding torture sessions.

Unless Attorney General Eric Holder plans to conduct the 9/11 trials under wraps, with the sound off like the kangaroo court lynching of Saddam Hussein, this news could be the most significant development the 9/11 Truth Movement will ever get.

Next step, join the ACLU in urging Holder to try all War on Terror detainees in US civilian courts. This isn’t about keeping American citizens safe. As the Senators rightly miserly point out, this is about according the detainees sufficient rights that they might win an inconveniently fair trial.

There is no License to Kill

“Licensed to Kill” was an Ian Fleming invention. His friend Richard Meinertzhagen dropped Fleming’s phrase for guests to infer he was a secret agent. RM’s routine of arriving at diner parties with a smoking gun reinforced whispers that he had been the inspiration for James Bond. Meinertzhagen turned out to be a flake, but the authority to play god is still coveted by espionage idolators. Federal statutes prohibit identifying covert CIA operatives, regardless what they’ve done. Is that the same thing? A mythical supra legem indemnity? Sorry Virginia, nemo est.

Okay, some today are above the law, notable examples being Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Woo, et al. The jury is still out on who will atone for the Bush Co crimes. But should the Neocon exemption cover assassination squads and torturers too?

The US Department of Justice is up in arms -Fox News probably more than anybody- having learned that defense lawyers for terrorist suspects in US custody, have shown their clients photographs of CIA and private contractor interrogators, to learn which of them might have engaged in harsh techniques defined by the rest of the world as torture.

The John Adams Project, run jointly by the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is an effort to document the US torture in Guantanamo and our secret prisons around the globe. The ACLU assures all indignant patriots that asking the detainees to identify their torturers is completely legal.

Researchers for the project have been snapping pictures outside the homes of retired and active, CIA and intelligence industry interrogators. No names have been released except Deuce Martinez, who’d already been outed by the NYT. Martinez was the agent responsible for interrogating Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, although accounts soft-pedal his participation in the harsher techniques.

That’s the pattern of exposes about torture, those named always claim to have left the room. A remarkably similar motif accompanied the account of CIA interrogator John Kiriakou.

Two well-known names were doctors who attended to the tortured, later opening a consulting firm to train CIA interrogators.
Dr. Jim Mitchell and Dr. Bruce Jessen specialized in maximizing harsh interrogation, and making sure the victim didn’t die.

The defense lawyers have circulated the photographs of 60 suspected perpetrators, but have named only Martinez so far. How are torturers and murderers to be brought to justice, if they are not unmasked?