Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday, 2012

Two days ago, the U.S. military announced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11 and four other accused plotters will be tried together by a military tribunal at Guantanamo Gay on charges of terrorism, hijacking aircraft, and murder.  They will face the death penalty if convicted for their roles in the September 11th attacks.

Today, we learned that their successors have been plotting again to attack the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, and probably other targets as well.  This is the same failed plan for which the Blind Sheikh Abdel Rahmen was convicted and imprisoned for life.  He was later tried for the more successful first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.

According to Newscore, defense attorneys had sought to avoid charges that carried the death penalty and wanted the five to face separate trials.  The accused terrorists have been provided with additional attorneys with special expertise in death penalty cases, the military said Wednesday.

“The Obama Administration is making a terrible mistake by prosecuting the most important terrorism trials of our time in a second-tier system of justice,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a statement.  “Whatever verdict comes out of the Guantanamo military commissions will be tainted by an unfair process and the politics that wrongly pulled these cases from federal courts, which have safely and successfully handled hundreds of terrorism trials.”

Pakistani intelligence agents apprehended Mohammed in a raid in 2003 and he was soon transferred to U.S. authorities. In 2006, President George W. Bush announced that Mohammed was among the al Qaeda captives who had been held in secret CIA prisons before being transferred to military custody at Guantanamo Bay.

Mohammed's lieutenants are accused of helping the 9/11 hijackers train for the suicide mission as well as providing financial support for the attack.  Mohammed will be tried alongside Walid bin Attash of Saudi Arabia, Ramzi Binalshibh of Yemen, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali of Pakistan, and Mustafa al Hawsawi of Saudi Arabia.

Under the charges, Mohammed and his cohorts are deemed responsible for the deaths of 2,976 people in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001.

The prosecution should have enough evidence against KSM and the others to convict them.  The ACLU is howling that this tribunal is second-tier justice and that KSM should be tried in federal court with a civilian jury.  They point out that similar cases, including that of the Blind Sheikh, were tried successfully.

Andrew McCarthy didn’t face the challenges that the prosecution faces in this trial.  They have a defendant who claims he wasn’t even on U.S. soil on September 11th, much less in a plane.  He claims, or rather boasts, that he was part of the “back-up” team for a second wave of attacks and that he intended to land on the lower tip of Manhattan and then carry out his attack.

The prosecution also has a bit of a puzzle on their hands.  Two hijackers in California were scheduled to fly on a plane on September 11th.  Instead, they took an earlier flight home and subsequently disappeared.  No one (or almost no one) knows if they had abandoned a scheme that was well in progress at the last minute, which would discredit KSM’s claims of a “second wave” attack, or why they abandoned it.

KSM claims the late Osama Bin Laden felt that trying to hijack more than five planes was risky, hence the second wave plan.  Yet, in these 10 and a half years since 9/11, while the terrorists might have attempted a second wave here in America, they’ve been noticeably unsuccessful, something Osama Bin Laden would have known in the weeks prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. 

Even somnolent America would be expected to wake up after such a notorious attack and it did.  The U.S. heightened its security.  If you’re a terrorist taking a gamble, better to throw all your cards on the table all at once.  When you’re a suicide hijacker, what have you go to lose, after all?  Why would OBL be afraid?  What would he have to fear?

The mystery surrounding the California hijackers indicates something went wrong.  OBL is no longer around to tell us (not that he would have) what made him change his mind.  Meanwhile, we have an election coming up, and after what will be 11 years, it’s high time the government put KSM on trial through the military.

The conspiracy theorists are out in force now, insisting that it was all a government cover-up; it was not.  If you read anything at all about Osama Bin Laden, you learn he made a lot of mistakes and a lot of bad calls.  We just don’t know where or when he made this particular call involving the California hijackers or why.  We'll probably never know.  But it’ll make fodder for a great Hollywood movie, someday.

While we wait for KSM to get his, today is the observance of the trial of a truly innocent man, Jesus Christ.  Jesus is still on trial today, being thrown out of schools and public squares.  His is the longest trial in history.  Christians have this satisfaction at least;  in the final Day of Judgment, it is Jesus who will hand down the verdict for all of us.


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