» Resisting the process: For the first time in nearly three years, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other co-defendants appeared before a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, facing 2,976 counts of murder for the 9/11 attacks. The proceedings have not gone smoothly, as the defendants removed their headphones, which provide Arabic translations, refusing to listen to questioning much less answer. Two of the defendants left their seats to pray, as well – Mohammed’s civilian lawyer, David Nevin, said his client was refusing to cooperate because he deemed the process unfair. Military tribunals have been a hot-button issue in the past – President Obama initially wanted a civilian trial for Mohammed in New York City, but reversed due to political and logistical issues.
» Why the change? In November of 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder angered a lot of people (mostly Republicans) by announcing that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others implicated in masterminding the 9/11 attacks would be tried in civilian court, as opposed to military tribunals. Now, Holder has changed course. He blames the change of plans on Congress, which passed legislation barring federal funds from being used to transfer GITMO detainees to the US. However, President Obama signed that legislation, so the White House can’t cry foul too loudly here without being just a tad hypocritical.
I thought about my meeting with Danny Pearl’s widow, who was pregnant with his son when he was murdered. I thought about the 2,971 people stolen from their families by al Qaeda on 9/11. And I thought about my duty to protect my country from another act of terror. ‘Damn right,’ I said.George W. Bush • Explaining in his coming memoir, “Decision Points,” why he allowed the CIA to waterboard suspects being interrogated, specifically Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. While it’s clear from the quote that he thought the decision through, the off-the-cuffness of his response strikes us as a little, you know, stark. We appreciate Bush caring so much about the lives of Americans that he’s willing to waterboard a 9/11 suspect, but waterboarding is about half a step away from torture. In fact, depending on who you ask, lots of people consider it torture. Also in the book, Bush (who claims to be through with politics) compliments Obama’s political skills while criticizing those of John McCain. He is also keeping his nose out of the whole 2012 race out of respect for Obama. This is impressive restraint that he at times didn’t show in office, by the way. source (via • follow)