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March 15, 2007 3:17 AM   Subscribe

Mastermind? admitted planning attacks.... can you believe a verdict from partial transcripts edited by the US defence department that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned these attacks?
posted by Prunedish (111 comments total)

 
I think the question on everyone's mind here is "was he tortured?"
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:21 AM on March 15, 2007


Or, alternatively, "wouldn't it be good to live in a world where we didn't know immediately that he'd been tortured until he said exactly what Karl Rove wanted him to say?"
posted by imperium at 3:22 AM on March 15, 2007


Isn't KSM just about the only person that deserves the Guantanamo treatment?
posted by cillit bang at 3:23 AM on March 15, 2007


Betcha they tortured him. Just a little. Y'know, the ol' dunk in the water...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:24 AM on March 15, 2007


Hell, they didn't even have to torture him, though its doubtless that they did. A significant percentage of people will confess to anything, no torture needed, if you just badger them long enough.

After nearly six yeas in Guantanamo, he might have confessed simply for a change in scenery.
posted by sotonohito at 3:30 AM on March 15, 2007


The only question is, how much is his compensation payment going to cost the US taxpayer when this all unravels?
posted by mr. strange at 3:33 AM on March 15, 2007


It's frustrating that he very probably did do all kinds of bad shit, but we'll never know for sure thanks to the use of torture and lack of fair trial.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:44 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Didn't he confess to this years ago?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:45 AM on March 15, 2007


I find myself simultaneously convinced of his guilt and doubting the veracity of his confession.
posted by felix betachat at 3:58 AM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


I don't know about everyone else, but this completely distracts me from calling for the resignation of Gonzales. Medal of Freedom anyone?
posted by DU at 4:16 AM on March 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


For all w know, he'd pull a Frankie Pentangeli (Godfather II) if he were ever in a public trial. "Al qaida? Yeah...sure!" But 1) we know damn well he's never getting a real hearing, instead of a secret one and 2)all the stuff he's "admitted" to, case closed, we don't get to know who really planned those acts, since all the blame's on him.
posted by notsnot at 4:18 AM on March 15, 2007


Isn't KSM just about the only person that deserves the Guantanamo treatment?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is, at the moment, an innocent man, where 'innocent' is defined as not being convicted by a jury of his peers.

No innocent person should ever be tortured. I'd argue that guilty ones shouldn't be either, but you're advocating far more than that: you're proposing that we punish people for being suspected of a crime.
posted by Malor at 4:22 AM on March 15, 2007 [6 favorites]


When the statement lists planning to blow up the Panama Canal, I move on. The rightwing talkers will mock the umbrage over the torture allusion and Gitmo. They need new material and this will feed them for a few days. This particular story seems to me to have just that invidious purpose.
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:26 AM on March 15, 2007


Of course he confessed. He confessed to this five years ago. Why would they be making such a big deal of out it now?

Ask yourself: Is there anything going on in Washington right now the Bush Administration would dearly love to get off the front pages?
posted by EarBucket at 4:31 AM on March 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


I think the question on everyone's mind here is "was he tortured?"

Was he tortured? Of course he was tortured. We know "detainees" of lesser importance have been subjected to all sorts of deviant inhuman deprivations. And the "mastermind" wasn't? I think the question on everyone's mind here is "HOW did they torture him to get him to admit to that."
posted by three blind mice at 4:33 AM on March 15, 2007


KSM has also confessed to the Oklahoma City bombinb, the assassination of JFK, and buying albums by Britney Spears. This is ridiculous on so many levels. He is clearly "confessing" in the same way that guests of the Inquisition "confessed".
posted by Justinian at 4:35 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Blimey, this guy has quite a resume. According to this dubious evidence:

Directly responsible for:
9/11
World Trade Centre NY Bombing 1993
Bali Nightclubs Bombing 2002
Kenyan Hotel Bombing 2002
Failed Shoe Bombing

Planned to attack:
Heathrow Airport
Canary Wharf
Big Ben
Israel
Blow up the Panama Canal
US nuclear power stations
Los Angeles
Seattle
Chicago
Empire State Building in New York

Behind plot to assassinate:
Pope John Paul II
Bill Clinton

I heard he was also behind a plot to simultaneously reveal the truth about Santa Claus and communicate with aliens & UFOs and make them work against the USA. Did anyone else hear that?
posted by algreer at 4:36 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I heard he was also behind a plot to simultaneously reveal the truth about Santa Claus and communicate with aliens & UFOs and make them work against the USA. Did anyone else hear that?

I did, actually, and I'm surprised you brought it up because, you know, it's slightly mocking.

But serisouly - here's the rub.
1.) He confessed to all this years ago, probably when they first started beating the crap out of him.

2.) I doubt we are the only one's who remember this.

3.) When this is so obviously such a put-up job, why doesn't the media just fucking ignore it and keep pressing with the real news - which is a damn sight more interesting anyway?

4.) Oh, that's right, because because because because becaaaauuuuuuuse! Because of the wonderful things it does...
posted by From Bklyn at 4:48 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


The hearing was held to determine whether he was an "enemy combatant", which could lead to a military trial.

Sooo... they're going to determine what kind of phoney "trial" he gets by throwing him in a hole for a few years, then getting a confession? Makes sense to me!
posted by rxrfrx at 4:49 AM on March 15, 2007


Sentence first - verdict afterwards!

We really have fallen through the looking glass.
posted by Justinian at 4:57 AM on March 15, 2007


And, lastly:

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
posted by Justinian at 5:00 AM on March 15, 2007 [14 favorites]


This son of a bitch killed my unicorn.
posted by The Straightener at 5:03 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


"ah, i cannot remember now" (squirts water from nose) "i'm senior man." (throws remnant of fingernail onto floor) "many people they know me which i don't them" (squirts more water from nose) "i ask him even if he knew george bush" (takes toothpick out from under fingernail, cleans broken teeth)"

i'll get you the rest of the REAL transcript as i get time ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:19 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


My takeaways from this story:

- if this truly is new... then we must suck as torturers. Any decent professional torturer should be able to produce results in a couple weeks, tops. Read any WM F. Buckley novel.

- KSM must have been a busy boy. 500 or thereabouts detainees at Gitmo, 5 years, and this is IT? the shizzle? (oh, and a couple western Moslem naifs, and 498 goatherds)? Again, Gitmo wasn't so efficient, was it.

Seriously, the images of the trussed, blindfolded, muzzled detainees on their knees at Gitmo still sickens me. I don't want to Godwinize the thread, so I'll just say you know what I'm thinking about.

The existence of Gitmo makes KSM our moral equal. So maybe it wasn't a confession, it was professional courtesy.
posted by Artful Codger at 5:27 AM on March 15, 2007



According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

posted by Phlogiston at 5:36 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Did they get him to cop to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping too?
posted by pax digita at 5:43 AM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


To answer the original question: No.

Was there more to it then that?
posted by jaduncan at 5:43 AM on March 15, 2007


What algreer said.
posted by fungible at 5:44 AM on March 15, 2007


This comes out right when the administration needs to change the subject...RIGHT ON SCHEDULE.
posted by UseyurBrain at 6:18 AM on March 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


Hey, is that Ron Jeremy? What the hell did Ron Jeremy ever do to America?
posted by breezeway at 6:29 AM on March 15, 2007


America...was that the blonde or the brunette?
posted by greatgefilte at 6:38 AM on March 15, 2007


John Mark Karr
posted by caddis at 6:45 AM on March 15, 2007


Given that waterboarding isn't torture, it should be used routinely with all suspects and witnesses in any crime. I have a patent being adjudicated right now for a compact kit for use at the roadside when officers want a traffic law violator to quickly admit their wrong doing.
posted by econous at 6:49 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


"What the hell did Ron Jeremy ever do to America?"

I don't know, but I bet he did it long. And hard.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:55 AM on March 15, 2007


Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said there was no way of knowing whether the confession was the result of torture.

What else do you need to know? There's no way I can believe this. Maybe it's true, but to my mind just as likely not. Also, he seems to have confessed to masterminding almost all the terrorist attacks. Is this credible? Is it credible the guy masterminded the shoe bomb thing? Couldn't that guy corroborate? The shoe bomb thing to me always seemed poorly thought out and the work of one crazy person.
posted by xammerboy at 7:14 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Given that waterboarding isn't torture, it should be used routinely with all suspects and witnesses in any crime.

I was looking forward to hearing how it was used in the Scooter Libby trial!

After all it was a case of endangering an undercover intel officer during wartime, so surely a little tortureconvincing would have been appropriate.
posted by clevershark at 7:16 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


after martyring Saddam Hussein, our government is now hell-bent on making Khalid Mohammed into a victim.

everything about this seemed laughably out of Stalinist Russia.
posted by geos at 7:17 AM on March 15, 2007


This comes out right when the administration needs to change the subject...RIGHT ON SCHEDULE.

Damn skippy. How terribly convenient it is that the Justice Department gets to look good after two weeks of looking very very bad, and how the "Gonzales Must Go" and "Rove Did It" stories fall right off the front page at the end of the week.
posted by briank at 7:28 AM on March 15, 2007


It makes me so sad that my government has so completely lost my trust that I instinctively, with my heart, side with (probable) terrorists against them.
posted by PhatLobley at 7:36 AM on March 15, 2007


The existence of Gitmo makes KSM our moral equal.

Give me a fucking break.
posted by Joe Invisible at 7:44 AM on March 15, 2007


I was looking forward to hearing how it was used in the Scooter Libby trial!

There are opportunities upcoming with Gonzalez and Rove over the firing of US attorneys. It's just a little dunk in the water anyway. Why should they protest? FOX wants the exclusive though, sorry CSPAN.
posted by caddis at 7:54 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


USA: Not as bad as Stalin, or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Talk about the soft prejudice of low expectations.
posted by Freen at 8:00 AM on March 15, 2007


I heard KSM is Dannielynn's real father and also the "grassy knoll" shooter.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:27 AM on March 15, 2007


Hey, now KSM has claimed to have personally beheaded Daniel Pearl! This guy is like the freakin' Forrest Gump of terrorists!
posted by Justinian at 8:28 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


We need some Ubik, and fast.

9/11, and the events since then, remind me of a Philip K. Dick novel. You have one arch-nemesis or supervillian, in this case KSM, but, back in 2001, Osama Bin Ladin, who does something destructive and becomes the enemy of the planet. He frequently taunts the book's protagonist (in this case GWB) over the mass media, as a disembodied, laughing head.

I mean, come on. KSM is supposed to be responsible for 9/11, planned an attack on the Sears tower, was the mastermind behind the shoebomber's attempt to bring down a jetliner, and on and on. Seems implausible.

I'm going back to my conapt to play with my Perky Pat dolls.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:29 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Give me a fucking break.

They don't need to break you. You've already been broken.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:31 AM on March 15, 2007 [6 favorites]


Isn't KSM just about the only person that deserves the Guantanamo treatment?

I heard someone say you were a bad person. I therefore think you deserve to be imprisoned without charge and tortured until you admit to the bad act we all know you committed.
posted by odinsdream at 8:33 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


How can the Government expect us to keep changing supervillains so fast? (Khomeni, Khadaffi, Osama, Kim Jong Il, Ahmadinejad, and now this guy, responsible for EVERYTHING bad.)

Everybody else in the world has settled on Bush, except for those of us who like to throw in various puppetmasters.

My Perky Pat setup needs some serious work, too. Bye now.
posted by kozad at 9:01 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


everything about this seemed laughably out of Stalinist Russia.

I love when this gets trotted out. What a great indicator of ignorance.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:06 AM on March 15, 2007


It makes sense to give your captors what they want which in the long run protects the organization you belong to. All these admissions more or less means there's no real incentive to find the real planner of one of these events he may not even have heard about. The captors get a propaganda victory. Its really a win-win. There's no need to torture when both parties know what they want and are willing to give it to each other. Khalid knew he was a dead man the second they captured him and is creating his legacy.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:10 AM on March 15, 2007


very interesting linkheavy thing about his "arrest" way back when.

And he's been tortured for years now, so whatever he says is not necessarily true.

This is completely politically-timed, and his "confessions" are not new at all.
posted by amberglow at 9:16 AM on March 15, 2007


I hear he's also confessed to coming up with the original design to the Virgin Killer album by Scorpions. Hang him!
posted by clevershark at 9:17 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


news flash! ... he also confessed to janet jackson's wardrobe malfunction!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:21 AM on March 15, 2007


I mean, come on. KSM is supposed to be responsible for 9/11, planned an attack on the Sears tower, was the mastermind behind the shoebomber's attempt to bring down a jetliner, and on and on. Seems implausible.

Not only that--in a breaking story:
He personally beheaded Daniel Pearl!!!

Turns out, this guy IS Al Qaeda! It was all just one guy all along! (How embarrassing we've wasted all this time and money hunting that Osama Bin Laden fella!)

But the good news is, once we kill KSM, the War on Terror is officially over! Hurrah! We win! Whoot!
posted by saulgoodman at 9:21 AM on March 15, 2007


They don't need to break you. You've already been broken.

Huh? Because I can see a moral distinction between running a prison camp with drastically limited, potentially meaningless legal protections for the inmates, and carrying out a decades-long campaign to bomb and murder thousands of civilians? I don't follow your meaning.
posted by Joe Invisible at 9:31 AM on March 15, 2007


LOOK! DINOSAURS! diversion is childish, Mr. President:

Other than a couple of minor details, this is all old news. Nearly 3 years old. ...

posted by amberglow at 9:33 AM on March 15, 2007


I don't follow your meaning.

Having our tax dollars go to running torture and disappearance camps brings us down to the level of terrorists, by employing terror on those we have a conflict with.

When you willingly brush aside the moral implications of torture and disappearance with a comment like, "Give me a fucking break," you've bought into the same black-white, good-evil philosophy used by terrorists to help them justify their acts.

As such, you've bought into the administration's message of means justifying any ends. You don't need a break. You've been broken.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:41 AM on March 15, 2007


Or ends justifying the means, rather.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:43 AM on March 15, 2007


No innocent person should ever be tortured. I'd argue that guilty ones shouldn't be either, but you're advocating far more than that: you're proposing that we punish people for being suspected of a crime.

Christ. Are you trying to get laid?
posted by cillit bang at 9:44 AM on March 15, 2007


...and carrying out a decades-long campaign to bomb and murder thousands of civilians?

The Iraq war has only been going on for 4 years, and it has managed to kill ten times the civilians that al Qaeda has murdered. I'm not saying that America and al Qaeda are moral equals, but I am saying that al Qaeda and the Bush Administration are moral equals. Both have consistently displayed an attitude of the ends justifying the means, even if the ends are some ludicrous utopian fantasy, and the means is the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:48 AM on March 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


I don't mean to brush aside the moral implications of torture and disappearance. I'm no fan of those tactics, and I agree that practicing such tactics both is unamerican and weakens whatever moral authority our country could otherwise command. But, Gitmo as the moral equivalent of 9/11? I'll say it again: Give me a fucking break! I just can't accept that.

A further thought: if it were certain that the torture of one individual could prevent a large scale attack (say, over one hundred civilian deaths), wouldn't that be sufficient justification for torturing that individual? In practice, of course, one never could be certain.

If you had just captured KSM, wouldn't you want to know what plans he might have set in motion?
posted by Joe Invisible at 9:53 AM on March 15, 2007


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed wants to be Chuck Norris.
posted by casarkos at 9:54 AM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


A further thought: if it were certain that the torture of one individual could prevent a large scale attack (say, over one hundred civilian deaths), wouldn't that be sufficient justification for torturing that individual? In practice, of course, one never could be certain.

There's an article I'll post as an FPP later tonight or tomorrow, where military leaders from West Point tried to visit the producer of 24, Joel Surnow, to ask him to stop presenting torture-based interrogation techniques in this light, because torture doesn't work that way, and West Point students who watch 24 seem to be taking the wrong impression. Surnow never showed up to the meeting.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 AM on March 15, 2007


Yeah, that's the problem with my hypothetical. In the real world, you can never be certain that torture will work; in fact, you can be pretty certain that it WON'T work.
posted by Joe Invisible at 10:10 AM on March 15, 2007


This is, ultimately, what angers me so much about Guantanamo and torturing. Right-wingers suggest that liberals like myself don't actually care about justice for 9/11 or punishing the criminals and terrorists who hurt and kill Americans, and it's bullshit. It hurts me every fucking day that there is no justice for the 9/11 victims- for one thing, nothing will bring their loved ones back. But for another, it's painful that because of all we've done over the last six years I can't honestly believe if any of this shit is true.

I want there to be justice. I want to know for a fact that we've captured the motherfucker who did this, and because of Guantanamo and because of torturing and because of Abu Grahib and because we've made confessing to all of this shit heroes out of madmen I can't. And somewhere out there, there are thousands of mothers and sons and spouses and friends of victims who feel that way to and they don't fucking deserve that. Because if all the doubt and lack of resolution bothers me this much I can't imagine what it could be doing to them.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:14 AM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Jesus people. I despise the Bush administration as much as the next guy, but did you even read the transcript? Yeah, it's a smokescreen for Abu Ghraib Gonzales, and Yeah, I highly doubt he's (KSM) responsible for all that shit, and we can never know (as the torture thing certainly makes us question the veracity of the claims) how much is true.

Do you really think he had no role to play at all?

Even though he claims otherwise, I have a feeling that he's doing a bit of self-aggrandizing. That said, I have no doubt that he clearly and competently claims and feels that he is a "enemy combatant"

He disputes certain evidence in the transcript (whether the "President" of the tribunal agrees with his dispute is another thing).

There are a few things I find interesting that I'd like to hear some rational discussion on. But I'm afraid I'm not gonna find it here :(

1) His claims about Daniel Pearl. Very lightly touched upon, but interesting nonetheless.

2) His claims of the three faiths as all worshipping "One God" and saying "People of the book, as you call them." It seems that he would rail against, as an extremist Muslim, the polytheism of Christianity. But he doesn't. Either this is part of the brainwashing or he's not as extreme as we'd like (or been led) to believe, or he is, and he's just coldly calculating what he's saying. I had always thought Ahl al-Kitab (people of the book) was a standard term for the 3 Abrahamic religions in Islam, but he makes it sound like it's a Western or US invention. Or at least, they don't use that term from where he comes from.

3) The "you spelled my middle name wrong" is kinda funny.

4) His "understanding" of the horrors of war and innocent loss. This seems to me the most humanizing aspect of this transcript. He doesn't merely give platitudes as so many Americans tend to do about "Oh, it's such a shame, but it has to be done. (collateral damage)" There's something there, I'm not sure what, that seems as if he understands it a bit more than the average Joe Blow. This doesn't let him off. He's a killer. Maybe he's not responsible for all the shit "he" claims. But regardless, he is ultimately guilty of killing civilians. So he's just as guilty as Bush and his ilk. But again, I feel his statement was more heartfelt than any American politician (aside from the weaselly Muslim form of "But... Clinton did it!"

5) His concern for the other prisoners in Gitmo, who are admittedly NOT enemy combatants. Those who he says are truly innocent of wrongdoing and were merely caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time. He understands that. I loved the reference to an individual who is now in Guantanamo who was actually captured by the Taleban because he was sent by a Sunni Country to kill bin-Laden. And now, though he should, in theory, be an ally, he is our prisoner instead.

These are the things off the top of my head (I read it late last night) I don't recall the part of him personally killing Pearl, so maybe I wasn't as focused as I thought. But the document is certainly not quite the dehumanizing thing you'd think it is. He doesn't cackle madly about his deeds. He's calm, collected, rationally states his views, his objections and truly seems to accept responsibility (unlike certain other people. I'm looking at you Alberto!)

I also found it interesting that Faraj al-Libi's transcript indicates he didn't want his wife to Testify after learning about the lack of protection for witnesses who testify. That's another interesting thing.

God, I hate it that I have to somehow seem like the right-winger merely because I'm not piling on the administration for it's misdeeds and focusing on the content of the transcript instead.

Metafilter: Makes the Libertarian Socialist, symbioid, seem like a nazi.
posted by symbioid at 10:17 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thank you amberglow for correctly pointing out that this is very old "news".

Whether this guy exists or not (is dead or alive), changes nothing in regard to 9/11 and growing anti-Western-world hatred and terrorism.

And some people still think it's because they hate "our" freedom.

Oh heavens-to-betsy.
posted by rmmcclay at 10:21 AM on March 15, 2007


Great, we caught the guy responsible for 9/11!

So should I set a few extra dinner places for the soldiers coming home tonight, or you think they might like to rest up from the trip first?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:24 AM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


It is terribly unfortunate that anything associated with Gitmo is suspect. No one can ever claim this man, nor any of the others, was nor will be convicted by proper due process of law. It will always be tainted. I wonder if the executioners will chant "Bush! Bush! Bush!" at his hanging?
posted by taosbat at 10:27 AM on March 15, 2007


Do you really think he had no role to play at all?

he did, but thanks to our government's decision to grandstand with internment camps, torture, and lawyerless questioning, we're never going to be certain of the extent of that role ... or who many of his buddies were ... or where was he when he was plotting all this and how did he do it?

no, we're just going to have some rambling transcript that admits to everything the guy could think of

wouldn't have a transcript of a real trial with actual evidence been better?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:31 AM on March 15, 2007


symbioid, i thought "people of the book" is just a common term for us Jews, not for both Jews and Christians.
posted by amberglow at 10:32 AM on March 15, 2007


He keeps bragging and Chuck Norris will have to kick his ass.
posted by nofundy at 10:47 AM on March 15, 2007


"Do you really think he had no role to play at all?"
I don't think anybody here has suggested that he is innocent of wrong doing. I'm pretty sure the guy is a scumbag terrorist and could care less about him.
What I do care about is justice, and there is no way of knowing if justice has or will be served by torturing this guy and making him confess that at long last, 2+2=5 and that he loves big brother.
posted by 2sheets at 10:47 AM on March 15, 2007


pyramid termite, I do agree a real trial would be infinitely better (you know, being legal and according to our Western traditions and not hypocritical).

amberglow, according to wikipedia, it seems that Christians are included in this term. And supposedly Sabeans (Manaeans) and an early scholar apparently wanted to include Zoroastrians as well. And according to that article, Sikhs are often included in this, as they are readily Monotheistic.

I do find a confusion between the supposed protections afforded to Ahl al-Kitab (Dhimmi protections) and the claim by extremist Muslims that Christians are polytheists. Khalid's referral to Christians as monotheists is one of the thing that confuses me.

But it seems pretty clear, according to that article, that the term "People of the Book" is an Islamic term, not something invented by the "West." There is, according to the wikipedia entry, the same term in Judaism that refers to Jews as a whole, but not having a relation to other religions. That's the only thing that I can find where it's specifically Jewish people that are included only. Otherwise, it seems as if there's a wide variation... Up to the point of refusing acknowledgement of certain Islamic sects (Ismaili, Ahmaddiyah), and even support for post-Islamic sects such as the Druze.
posted by symbioid at 10:48 AM on March 15, 2007


Amberglow— Nope, all three are people of the book. The Koran accepts the Bible as revealed scripture.
posted by klangklangston at 10:54 AM on March 15, 2007


Well, I expect he was hassled more then a little (i.e. tortured), but he also strikes me as the kind of guy who might own up to more then he actually did, just for the infamy of it all. "Ohh, is that important then? Yeah, I planned that! It was all me!". Especially when he is probably pretty sure he is going to buy it anyway. Protect his buds, get famous, go down a great martyr!

Besides, with that list, he is truly the new super-terrorist. The Jackal was a pussy.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:09 AM on March 15, 2007


Transcript released with sections edited for reasons of national security!

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted: I was ............................responsible............ for the .........................................................................9/11 operation ..............................................................................................................from A to Z.
posted by JJ86 at 11:34 AM on March 15, 2007


"LOOK! DINOSAURS! diversion is childish, Mr. President:"

I can't believe that:

A) The administration is so cynical that they keep trying this and

B) Damned if we don't keep buying it.
posted by UseyurBrain at 11:42 AM on March 15, 2007


VERY SLOW DELIVERY, CONFESSION ARRIVED IN BAD CONDITION. WOULD NOT TORTURE AGAIN F----
posted by bshort at 12:00 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


ahhh...thanks all--i had only ever heard it in regards to us alone, and it was why we were treated well in the Caliphate and afterwards (even during the Crusades when they were fighting Christians, etc) during the diaspora.
posted by amberglow at 12:09 PM on March 15, 2007


He had a reputation within al Qaeda for claiming credit for things he didn't do. And that was without being tortured.

This whole War on Terror would be a lot less heated if more people realized that Islam has a relationship to Christianity that's similar to the relationship of Christianity to Judaism and that Islam isn't some deranged cult that's totally different. You can take things from each religion's holy book to justify all kinds of violence.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2007


(incidentally, i just reading something that said that Mohammed used to pray towards Jerusalem in the beginning, and then when they rebuffed him, switched to praying towards Mecca)
posted by amberglow at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2007


(incidentally, i was just reading something that said that Mohammed used to pray towards Jerusalem in the beginning, and then when they rebuffed him, switched to praying towards Mecca)
posted by amberglow at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2007


oops


kirk, wouldn't that just make it worse? You'd just have 2 offshoots warring with each other because the one doesn't accept the other as being the true heir. And look at all the trouble simply within sects of each faith alone throughout history.
posted by amberglow at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2007


He took Stalin's pipe, too.
posted by gamera at 12:25 PM on March 15, 2007


Nope, all three are people of the book.

Some just also happen to be the sons of pigs and dogs.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:31 PM on March 15, 2007


If they had anything even approaching a credible confession for the 9/11 attacks, I am sure the state of New York, Pennsylvania, or Virginia would be glad to bring him up on approximately 2,800 charges of murder in the 1st degree.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:42 PM on March 15, 2007


i've heard it used for all the Abrahamic religions.
posted by Miles Long at 1:02 PM on March 15, 2007


Apparently Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has also confessed to killing Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Jon Benet Ramsey, and fixing the 1919 World Series.
If you fucking beat this prick long enough, he'll tell you he started the goddamn Chicago fire. Now that don't necessarily make it fucking so!
-- Nice Guy Eddie

wouldn't that just make it worse?

I don't think so. But maybe I have too much faith in education.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:22 PM on March 15, 2007


I'm a little late to this but, Joe Invisible:

"Because I can see a moral distinction between running a prison camp with drastically limited, potentially meaningless legal protections for the inmates, and carrying out a decades-long campaign to bomb and murder thousands of civilians?"

Have you seen what Iraq looks like these days? In case you didn't watch the news since 1990, we've carried out a decades-long campaign that's bombed and murdered thousands of civilians there.

As a country, we Americans do not have the moral high ground in any sense in this particular conflict. All sorts of hideous slaughter has been done on our watch, since at least the 1960s, probably earlier.
posted by zoogleplex at 1:48 PM on March 15, 2007


torture rarely, if ever, really works.
And if you'll do so reprehensible for a good reason you'll do it for a bad.
the US has compromised itself so much that anything it says is suspect. KSM confessed? Sure he did. ayuh.
posted by edgeways at 2:23 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


So basically America won the war on terror way back in 2002, but decided to shoot itself in the foot anyway? Bravo! [insert slow clap here]
posted by furtive at 5:18 PM on March 15, 2007


symbioid writes "Do you really think he had no role to play at all?"

If you can find anyone who's actually saying that in this thread -- by which I mean, outside your fevered imagination -- feel free to let us know.
posted by clevershark at 6:47 PM on March 15, 2007


I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!
posted by Bovine Love at 6:48 PM on March 15, 2007


Incidentally I've always heard "people of the book" as a reference to Christians. I guess I learn new things every day...
posted by clevershark at 6:53 PM on March 15, 2007


Maybe I'm missing something in the articles, but is there some system of verification in place that gives us some expectation that the story, or anything coming out of Guantanamo, is not 100% manufactured? I'm not saying there isn't; I'm just wondering what it is.
posted by troybob at 7:48 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I heard KSM is Dannielynn's real father

Wouldn't that have been torture enough?
posted by watsondog at 7:56 PM on March 15, 2007


Please read the transcript posted above, at least around page 20 when he starts speaking in detail. It's going to take me a little longer to process it all, but it's certainly more insightful than any story I've seen written about it thus far.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:45 PM on March 15, 2007


A further thought: if it were certain that the torture of one individual could prevent a large scale attack (say, over one hundred civilian deaths), wouldn't that be sufficient justification for torturing that individual?

No.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:08 PM on March 15, 2007


And if you don't understand my answer, try it this way:

If it were certain that the torture of one innocent six-year-old girl could prevent a large scale attack, wouldn't that be sufficient justification for torturing that innocent little girl?
posted by bashos_frog at 10:11 PM on March 15, 2007


See also; "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. le Guin.
posted by Justinian at 8:45 AM on March 16, 2007


More:
Please ignore the outed CIA agent, and the perjured Attorney General, behind the curtain
--...Suspected members of extremist groups have signed up as school bus drivers in the United States, counterterror officials said Friday, in a cautionary bulletin to police. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:54 PM on March 16, 2007


Justinian, that's such a heartbreaking story, but we're worse, because all our shit is now official govt and military policy.
posted by amberglow at 2:55 PM on March 16, 2007


“A further thought: if it were certain that the torture of one individual could prevent a large scale attack (say, over one hundred civilian deaths), wouldn't that be sufficient justification for torturing that individual? In practice, of course, one never could be certain.”

No. You cannot uphold the values you are charged to protect by violating them yourself. Apart from that - your statement presupposes the lives of one hundred people are more valuable than the rights of one man. Some things are more important than life. And the number of lives are irrelevant - I would argue that I would let the world die before I would violate that man’s human rights. Or I’d be tortured myself first.

So, is this the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that was captured in June of 02? Or is this the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that the Pakistani’s killed in September of 02 ? Or the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed they subsequently captured in March of 03? Or the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sent to Jordan to be tortured in October of 04?
Is this the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who’s capture wasn’t announced until the administration was being criticized for not doing anything about actual terrorists because it was distracted by the war in Iraq - and many countries and groups were refusing to participate in military action in Iraq, and when thousands of anti-war portests were planned, and when Pope John Paul II denounced the war, and when Iraq destroyed its Al Samoud 2 missiles and allowed UN inspectors to interview a bunch of scientific and military folks with no restrictions and when a story broke that the NSA had been spying on UN Security Council delegations in New York to win support for the war in Iraq and when there were allegations that Pakistan was providing nuclear materials to North Korea?
Is this the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who despite being in custody, or dead, or whatever in March of 03, was responsible for the elevation of the terrorist alert status because he had directed operatives to target bridges, gas stations, and power plants in a number of locations, including New York City?
That Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

Huh, I’d’ve thought they’d have tried and sentenced him by now.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:59 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


You cannot uphold the values you are charged to protect by violating them yourself.

Worth repeating, and worth tattooing on the criminals who thought this policy up--and liked it.
posted by amberglow at 3:27 PM on March 16, 2007


OMFG: In their rush to change the news coverage, they've jeopardized other cases in the pipeline! (they did this before too)

NYT: Confession at Guantánamo by 9/11 Mastermind May Aid Other Qaeda Defendants--... But those same statements, released on Wednesday by the Pentagon, may complicate the prosecution of his former colleagues.

Speaking to a military tribunal that considers just the narrow question of whether Guantánamo detainees were properly designated as enemy combatants, Mr. Mohammed was so expansive in his acceptance of responsibility that other defendants might be able to use his statements in their own defense.

In a transcript of the hearing, Mr. Mohammed also disavowed information he had told Central Intelligence Agency interrogators about his accomplices, again potentially helping the other defendants....

posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on March 16, 2007


Support for al-Qaida plots on large right-wing blog
posted by homunculus at 7:26 PM on March 16, 2007


Pearl murder convict to appeal after confession

KARACHI (Reuters) - The lawyer of an Islamist militant sentenced to hang in Pakistan for his role in the 2002 murder of U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl said on Monday he would use a top al Qaeda militant's confession to support an appeal...
posted by taosbat at 7:29 AM on March 19, 2007


Sympathy for the Devil By Bill O'Reilly
posted by taosbat at 8:31 AM on March 19, 2007


I like how ol' Bill notes that Mohammed claims "irresponsibility" for the 9/11 attacks.
"We were just going to fly the planes around a bit, and then land them at JFK. We probably should have had the martyrs do more flight training."
posted by klangklangston at 10:46 AM on March 19, 2007


Yes, I wondered what whoever was irresponsible for that was thinking, klangklangston. Perhaps it's irreprehensible of me to say that's the turn of phrase that made the link irresistible.
posted by taosbat at 3:26 PM on March 19, 2007


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