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December 08, 2008

KSM to Plead Guilty
Update: Nope, Just Wants to Grandstand

Warning: this is breaking now, and there isn't much information available about it.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks, and four co-defendants have offered to plead guilty. The five have been in proceedings before a military tribunal since February 11, 2008. The government is seeking the death penalty for all five.

"The accused in this case had decided that they wished to withdraw all motions... and wished to enter pleas in what was termed as confessions in this case," the judge, Army Colonel Stephen Henley, said shortly after the pre-trial proceedings began.

When asked by the judge if he was prepared to enter pleas Monday to all the charges should the commission allow the defendants to withdraw their motions, Mohammed said "Yes."

"We don't want to waste time," Mohammed told the judge.

Note, they haven't pled yet, they're just saying they will plead guilty.

Rusty asks, "I wonder how the 9/11 truthers are going to spin this one?" Easy: they tortured them into this. Poor KSM just. can't. take it. anymore (sob).

UPDATE: My initial skepticism paid off. This isn't quite a guilty plea, although it appears the defendants want to confess. Rather, it looks like they just want a day set aside to grandstand:

The military judge, Colonel Stephen Henley, read aloud a letter in which the five defendants said they "request an immediate hearing session to announce our confessions".

The letter implies they want to plead guilty but does not make clear whether they will admit to any specific charges. It says the men, who are representing themselves, wish to drop all previous defence motions.

According to courtroom reports, the letter appears intended to short-circuit the tribunal process and expedite punishment for the five detainees. Earlier this year, Mohammed said he would welcome being "martyred" by the death penalty.

In-court confessions will certainly speed the process along. But I suspect KSM will spend more time railing against Zionists and the U.S. government than confessing to involvement in 9/11.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:32 AM

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