WASHINGTON: Senior Al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has apparently confessed to masterminding the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States during a military hearing at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, US officials said on Thursday.
The suspect, known by his acronym as KSM, is considered to have been the terrorist network’s third in command behind Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
KSM was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and handed over to American authorities who say that bin Laden and al-Zawahiri are still hiding in Pakistan’s tribal territory.
The Pentagon identified KSM as a Pakistani national and said that during a military hearing, he confessed to planning a string of other attacks, including the 1993 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, a nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia, and a failed attempt to bring down US airplanes using shoe bombs.
In all, KSM said he helped plan at least 28 separate terrorist attacks, which killed several thousand people.
The confession came in a statement he gave to a military hearing last Saturday at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The hearing was to determine whether KSM and 13 other prisoners meet US authorities’ definition of an enemy combatant, and can be kept in custody for another year. (From The Dawn, Pakistan)
I wonder if that section of the statement that was blacked out is the part where he screamed I’ll confess to anything you want if you’ll just take the electrodes off my genitals. This case is exactly to the point of the torture issue, when you do things in secret prisons behind closed doors and beyond prying eyes you get the results you want but the results are totally worthless. Like a game of Russian roulette the winner gets nothing he didn’t have already.
So is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a criminal mastermind? The Pakistani’s say so but of course when you offer cash bounty’s for Al Queda members your just as likely to get that man who lets his chickens run loose in your garden or that owes you money or once called your son stupid. Solzenitsyn commented in Soviet Russia if you lived in an apartment building it was important to get along with your neighbors. Or one of them might go to the KGB and tell them of the late night political meetings you were holding. Then as the agent was applying the electrodes to your genitals you could try to explain about the bitchy old woman down stairs but to no avail for these men want confessions not sad stories and would settle for no less.
It is entirely possible he is guilty of every charge but without a fair trial and with the use of torture the defendant has the benefit of the doubt. Under torture he would confess to making the Yankee’s lose the World Series to the Red Sox or that it was he that leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Robert Novak.
Hypothetically if he is not guilty and just some shlub picked up to take the fall then what of the real Al Queda number three? It would be so easy to subvert US counter intelligence by dumping phony Al Queda operatives all supplied by the Pakistani intelligence service. You remember the Pakistani intelligence service don’t you? The same people that brought you the Taliban and the same people who wired Mohamed Atta $10,000 the week before 9/11? You know the country where they think Osama Bin Laden hiding?
If however he is guilty and he knows he’s caught and the jig is up why not brag about your crime and make himself into a martyr? This is what Herman Goering did he denied nothing, “I was a soldier and I was at war” but again with torture if the suspect is too free or too willing to confess then what is he really hiding? Like a carpenter without a square an error of and inch going in is a foot and a half coming out and can never be corrected without completely starting over.
Suspects supplied by sources that are waiting for payment who’s own motives and loyalties are themselves suspect. Our if we were to put it in a mathematical form lets call Pakistani intelligence M for Moe then add US military intelligence which we will call L for Larry then add the Bush administration which we will call C for Curley. Now class, please work this equation and tell us what is the probability of success? M+L+C=?