The Defense Department has posted transcripts of the “enemy combatant” hearings of Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, Abu Faraj al-Libi and Ramzi Bin al-Shib here. These are, I believe, the three highest-ranking al Qaeda members in custody. So far, I have only had time to read the transcript of Khalid Shaykh Muhammad’s hearing. Of most interest, I think, is the list of actual and attempted terrorist acts for which Khalid proudly claims credit; click to enlarge:
I’m not sure whether there is much new information in Khalid’s confession. What is noteworthy is the sheer volume of terrorist plots in which Khalid claims to have been involved. It’s impossible to say from the information here how many of the schemes he describes may have been foiled as a result of his capture, or that of other al Qaeda leaders.
Beyond that, what is most striking about the hearing is the elaborate courtesy and respect with which Khalid is treated by the presiding officer. It is somewhat galling to see this sadistic mass murderer chatting amiably with the President of the tribunal, complaining that his name is misspelled in one of the pleadings, and comparing himself to George Washington. I can only wonder what those who howl endlessly about America’s allegedly barbaric treatment of terrorist detainees would make of it. Khalid obviously saw no reason to fear for his own well-being. Personally, I would have preferred it if the government had released a video of Khalid being waterboarded.
Blog of the Week Jules Crittenden has more.
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