Allowing Guilty Pleas and Death Penalties Without Trial for Alleged 9/11 Plotters Would Be the Ultimate Obstruction of Justice → Washingtons Blog
Allowing Guilty Pleas and Death Penalties Without Trial for Alleged 9/11 Plotters Would Be the Ultimate Obstruction of Justice - Washingtons Blog

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Allowing Guilty Pleas and Death Penalties Without Trial for Alleged 9/11 Plotters Would Be the Ultimate Obstruction of Justice

The tin-pot dictator will not let the media talk to the American prisoner captured when his plane crashed.

The dictator says that the prisoner confessed to a horrible murder, and has pleaded guilty.

And so - the dictator announces - there will be no trial, just a death sentence. Indeed, the prisoner is Christian, and the dictator says that the prisoner has asked for martyrdom according to his religious beliefs.

Would the rest of the world believe this is fair?

Of course not. Moreover, world opinion would assume that the prisoner might very well be innocent of the murder charges, especially if it comes out that any confessions were made during extreme torture.

This is exactly the situation we have currently with the prisoners at Guantanamo.

As the New York Times reports:

The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.

The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom.

Raw Story clarifies that:

This option would principally be aimed at a group of detainees accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

This is not simply a ploy to cover up the fact that these prisoners were brutally tortured.

It is also a way to silence them forever, so that they can never tell what their real role was in the 9/11 attacks, and who they received assistance from, and how they were able to convince the mightiest military the world has ever known to stand down from standard air defense protocols on 9/11.

Does Innocence Matter?

Remember, most of those held at Guantanamo and tortured were actually innocent.

According to NBC news:
  • Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
  • At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being "tortured."
  • One of the Commission's main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
  • The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves

The self-confessed "mastermind" of 9/11 also confessed to crimes which he could not have committed. He later said that he gave the interrogators a lot of false information - telling them what he thought they wanted to hear - in an attempt to stop the torture. We also know that he was heavily tortured specifically for the purpose of trying to obtain false information about 9/11 - specifically, that Iraq had something to do with it.

Indeed, the Senate Armed Services Committee found that the entire U.S. torture program was geared around techniques specifically aimed at extracting false confessions (and see this).

This Would Be Unprecedented

Remember, allowing guilty pleas would not follow standard criminal or even military procedure. Normally, prosecutors in military trials are normally required to prove guilt in a trial even against service members who want to plead guilty.

And in normal American criminal trials, the judge has to make sure that the defendant understands that he is pleading guilty, that he has the capacity to understand what that means, and that he wishes to accept the consequences. But some of the prisoners have been tortured until they are literally crazy, and may not understand what they are pleading guilty to or even what the death penalty means.

Obstruction of Justice

In addition, the government has obstructed justice at every turn regarding 9/11. Indeed, even the 9/11 Commissioners themselves now say this:

  • The Commission's co-chairs said that the CIA (and likely the White House) "obstructed our investigation"
  • The Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (John Farmer) - who led the 9/11 staff's inquiry - said "At some level of the government, at some point in time...there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened". He also said "I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described .... The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years.... This is not spin. This is not true."

The torture sessions of the alleged 9/11 suspects were in fact videotaped, but the CIA illegally destroyed the videotapes, so that the extent of torture and the prisoner's actual words will never be known (and see this).

Allowing these prisoners to now be executed without trial would be the ultimate obstruction of justice. It would be just like killing the captured American Christian and putting him to death based upon his supposed "confessions" and his supposed wish to become a Christian martyr.

Indeed, the analogy would be closer to the current situation if the murder in the tin-pot dictator's country were suspicious (for example, if the dictator had received numerous warnings that the victim's life was in danger but had provided no protection), and if the dictator had used the murder as the main excuse to strip away all of the liberties and freedoms in his country and to launch several wars against other nations which he had long wanted to invade.

The world would obviously insist that the prisoner receive a fair trial both to establish his innocence or guilt and to see if the dictator's rationale for launching wars and crushing the rights of his people was an honest one.

The "messy problem" which the proposal seeks to dispose of is not simply the torture of the prisoners. It is also the fact that the government has no real evidence for its version of 9/11.

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  1. Morally indefensible. They tortured these men. They demanded the "power" and the "right" of the State to deny all human rights and to torture human beings. These men, for all we know, were/are tortured into false admissions of guilt - like the men were tortured into falsely "confessing" they knew about WMD's in Iraq.

    They must be tried lawfully or they must be released. In fact, once their human rights have been violated by torture - and they have experienced cruel and unusual punishment - the larger rules of justice may require them to have their charges dismissed and for them to be released from custody because the State has violated their human rights.

    "Unlimited Detention" appears to be moving to "Unlimited Execution".

    Well,Obama, Bush and Cheney ADMIT to their TORTURE of prisoners. Therefore, let Bush, Cheney, and Obama be executed by the State without further trial or any rights for war crimes IF these men are executed. They should live by the same law according to "equal justice under the law", right???

  2. The whole idea about Guilty Pleas is so shameless and disrespectful to anyone who is committed to the truth,I hardly can belief it. It's also a clear sign from the Obama administration that the so called change is just superficial. Compliments for the straight and clear message in the blog on this matter.

    I had some hope that Obama held some arm space to keep balanced between opposite forces in the congress, but these kind of ideas include indirect but clear statements about the direction this administration is going to take.

    Got the same bad feeling when I heard - last week - from the public meeting between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in Canada. Also an indirect statement to protect those who are guilty against the sharp edges of truth.

  3. What a shame that the planners and failed executors of massive American deaths have been waterboarded (as to torture, questionable). I wish they'd torture more of them. They've earned that. Glad to see that there are liberal blogs to speak to power (ha!).

  4. There is a much bigger truth being covered up here. Lack of information always leads to speculation. The simplest explanation is that our leaders are corrupt. I do not think this to be true! I think the truth is so scary the population would freak out if it was discovered. Would we destroy ourselves once we discover this truth?

  5. If our population is so weak that it can't stand knowing the truth of what we have done, then our country does not deserve to go on.
    If our populace is so demented it needs to torture and yet hide from doing so, our people don't deserve to be called human.
    If our citizens need to hide behind false. forced confessions to justify torturing others, then our citizens deserve far worse than they meted out to those they tortured.

  6. The simple truth is that if we try then for instance in a standard US court they would go free because the evidence was gained unlawfully. I'm not sure but I would be the real reason they want and easy way out is for us to know and maybe see what they really did to these people would bring horror and disbelief to a lot more people.

    I figure there must really be some bad stuff they don't want us to see . Give them a trial and let the dice roll.

  7. This is how the world will remember American power.

  8. Oh if you knew the truth.....

    The guilt lies with the those in denial, the glory will allways rest with those who tried.

    You cannot change this, however much harm you cause.


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