The torturous truth about Guantanamo�s 9/11 hearing
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
Jun 6, 2008, 00:20
So, here we have
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in his first public showing since
his 2003 capture, a man who has confessed to everything but the torching of
the Reichstag now telling an American judge he doesn�t want his American legal
team, that is, his Pentagon-appointed legal team. �I want to represent myself,�
he said. How can that be?
Well, his first
reason was religion. He said basically the he cannot accept any attorney who is
governed by secular law, not the Lord of the law. In fact, in the face of the
judge warning him he faced a death penalty, he welcomed the sentence with open
arms; even said �Yes, this is what I wish, to be a martyr for a long time . . .
I will, God willing, have this, by you.�
Again, for a guy
whose had the masterminding of 9/11 as well as the killing of 2,973 innocents
pinned on him (and his four alleged co-conspirators), that�s pretty tough talk.
This while reporters from around the world were watching the hearing, with a
20-second delay, in a separate room in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in case any
�classified information� erupts, or screams of rage or accusations of savage
treatment slipped out. Is this why the courtroom�s soldiers must attend without
weapons? We wouldn�t want any ugly flare of tempers.
Yet, Mohammed is
described in a New York Times blog as wearing thick glasses, fussing with his
turban or stroking his bushy gray beard, and looking noticeably thinner. Could it
be the food, the tension, or the torture? Could that be the truth that would
lead a man to prefer death over life, as his four cohorts do?
Here�s a guy up for
conspiracy, murderer in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians,
terrorism, providing material support for same. Yet, he says he�ll bite the
bullet without a lawyer. And in fact, for such crimes that involved civilians,
shouldn�t he be tried in a court by civilians? But then the civilian courts
have presented some torturous truths in trials.
The torturous questions
include whether waterboarding constitutes torture. Nah, it�s a great practice
for swimming, diving and surfing. Next question: how will statements gotten by
coercion be handled? I would say with kid gloves, and as much avoidance of the
principles of the Geneva Conventions and all human rights standards as
might say this is another kangaroo court, like the one Zacharias Moussaoui was
pushed through, what with a stun gun under his shirt, and a slavering Giuliani
ready to depict him as a guilty fiend, which in psychiatric circles is called
�transference,� given Hizzoner�s performance on that day and after, enriching
himself on the disaster.
Next question: are
detainees so psychologically damaged that they may not be able to assist in
their defense? C�mon, what are these guys, softies? Just because they had to
sit for years in tiny cells of barbed wire in the grueling sun with black hoods
on their heads, shackles on their wrists and ankles, and were pulled by Marines
from outside to god knows where out of sight for their daily diet of torture?
What, are we going soft, too?
Question: and what
are the rules of the trials to be? Well, gee, we never had anything quite like
this before, besides Moussaoui and a few other enemy combatants, who have no rights by law, our law,
anyway. Rules are for legit soldiers who wanted to kill us, like the Nazis or
North Koreans or North Vietnamese.
Those guys were
straight up soldiers; even though a couple of rags qualified for a uniform with
the Cong -- and they seemed to vanish or appear out of the jungle, a doorway, a
village like mirages. But they got theirs, 2 million dead in nearly 11 years,
including civilians who they so often resembled. How were we supposed to know
one from the other?
So, how do we know
enemy combatants from �real soldiers,� by their expensive camo, bullet-proof
vests and standard issue weaponry? Perhaps some of this latent hypocrisy led
one accused's lawyer to say the trial was a �fundamentally flawed� process.
That was Colonel Steven David, who swore to �zealously identify and expose each
and every� hole in the prosecution�s case.
Save your time,
Steve, the whole circus is a hole, a dark hole in space, a void that�s sucking
away legal ethics, morality, constitutional justice, in one long moan, which is
the reaction, too, of the world. Still another military lawyer, according to
Bloomberg News, said the commission was �definitely not a search for justice on
the merits of the case itself.� He noticed, that the accused have been tortured
to a human pulp that�s asking for death.
Yet the government
claimed evidence from torture sessions wouldn�t be used. But then there�s that
old gray line between when somebody�s sparking your testicles and when they
stop and when they start again, like when you say what they don�t want to hear.
Aw shucks, no fun. And then there�s all that �hearsay� evidence from
intelligence reports whose sources you will never see in a courtroom to face
any kind of cross-examination. Are those the rules? Well!
We�ve got real evidence to
convict the administration
My sources tell me
that the George Bush administration was behind 9/11. Here�s what really
happened. Based on not just hearsay, but a massive gathering of evidence,
with real names and reputable faces attached to it, I think we should indict
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Richard Myers, Tenet, and Robert Mueller for
starters. And if they won�t talk, hey, send them for a little waterboarding.
Nah, just kidding, or am I? Cheney in chains, Dov Zakheim and all his Mossad
friends in barbed wire cages, they�ll talk, eventually. And if they don�t, we
have the goods on them right now.
Then they won�t want
our lawyers as well. They�ll confess to everything because the pain they will
be facing will make death look like a holiday. Maybe Brigadier General Thomas
W. Hartmann, a senior office in the Pentagon�s Office of Military Omissions
(excuse me Commissions) will offer his vow to �follow the rule of law� when we
try these criminals -- Emperor Bush and his Boyz.
And we the people
will try not to rush the tribunal like Bush because his time is dwindling (you
said it) like his number of days in office. No, we should take our time and
enjoy sentencing the real terrorists, the real murderers of our people and our
joy. We should do it like a slow dance on the killing ground, just the way they
like it, when they go to meet their maker, the Maker of Law, like a group
hanging in jolly old Elizabethan England that brought out the crowds for a good
time. Here, here, get your souvenirs. Buttons, T-shirts, and pennants, manuals
of torture, miniature pentagrams, get �em while they�re hot as hell.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor