Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Confesses to Planning 9/11 Attacks

Bump and Update: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's enemy combatant hearing transcript is here (pdf.) The New York Times analyzes it here.

Update: Binalshibh's hearing transcript is here. Al-Libi's transcript is here.

Binalshibh and al-Libi both declined to attend the hearings. Al-Libi submitted a very interesting and polite letter that was read into the record (page 5 -7) listing his objections.


The Defense Department today released a 26 page transcript of the Guantanamo hearing of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in which he confesses to planning the 9/11 attacks and many others.

If you find the link to the transcript, please leave it in the comments.

Mohammed claimed responsibility for planning, financing, and training others for bombings ranging from the 1993 attack at the World Trade Center to the attempt by would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives hidden in his shoes.

In all, Mohammed said he was responsible for planning 29 individual attacks, including many that were never executed. The comments were included in a 26-page transcript released by the Pentagon, which also blacked out some of his remarks.

Transcripts were also released of the hearings of Abu Faraj al-Libi and Ramzi Binalshibh. The media is not allowed to attend the hearings. All three of these prisoners were held overseas in secret CIA prisons.

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    hmmm.... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Noor on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:35:47 PM EST
    Frankly, I cannot help but be skeptical of these confessions.  I have few doubts that torture was involved in extracting them, and that makes me dubious of their veracity.

    I'll see what I can dig up for you, Jeralyn.  No promises, but I'll try.

    thanks Noor (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:44:36 PM EST
    It would be great to read them. I share your suspicions about the voluntariness of Khalid's.

    regarding the transcripts (none / 0) (#5)
    by Noor on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:54:24 PM EST
    Jeralyn, the news is so new that that a lot of the news sites are really sluggish right now.  Many of them are showing that they just posted the story literally minutes ago.  The ones I could get to do not have links to the transcripts.  I did find an official Pentagon link to the other two suspects' transcripts, but the message on the Pentagon website was something to the effect of "this link is not working".  Either the system has been overwhelmed with searches, or their server is being otherwise wacky.

    I will keep trying, but it may be a few days.  If I make a stray OT post in one of your other threads, it will be because I found it and am pasting it there for your immediate notice.


    No corroboration apparently (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:02:41 PM EST
    Just a one sided release.
    No defence lawyers or reporters [were] present at the hearings.
    --Times Online

    From the html source of the ABC New report (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:17:42 PM EST
    Transcripts for Al Libi and Binalshibh have been posted at: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Combatant Tribunals.html

    That link opens to a DOD page that says:
    Page Not Found We're sorry, the web page you are looking for cannot be found on the server. The page may have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

    Here is the page (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:22:14 PM EST
    United States Department of Defense
    Combatant Status Review Tribunals/Administrative Review Boards


    From google search for (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:23:49 PM EST
    More to dig through (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:15:15 PM EST
    There is only one pdf file on the Defenselink site (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 10:09:26 PM EST
    containing the name Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. Here. It is not a transcript of a confession or his hearing. I think the whole story is crap to divert from news about Gonzales, Rove, Libby, and from Valerie Plames testimony on Friday.

    Found the links (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:26:29 PM EST
    for binalshibh and al-Liby and posted them at the top of the post. the links work.  Nothing for khalid yet.

    Jeralyn, I found it. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Noor on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 10:04:54 PM EST
    The pdf's are saved on their site (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 10:29:29 PM EST
    without the prisoners names in the filenames. Is that a standard or normal practice?

    Thanks, Noor (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 11:54:43 PM EST
    Really appreciate you searching. I've got it saved now in case they take the link down.  In the meantime, I updated the post to include it.

    You're welcome. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Noor on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 11:08:39 AM EST
    I'm starting to wonder if I should have studied international law at the same time as the history PhD.  God knows this stuff is lighting my fire!

    I would save the pdf's (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:29:33 PM EST
    In case the links don't stay there.

    Skepticism (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:45:16 PM EST
    You are not alone.

    My Reaction Too (none / 0) (#8)
    by john horse on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:05:31 PM EST
    I share Noor's concerns about how these statements were obtained.  I recently watched the movie The Road To Guantanamo about the Tipton Three.  All three were innocent yet all three of the detainees signed confessions due to abusive treatment that they were the people depicted behind Osama Bin Laden at an Al Queda rally in Afghanistan.    

    I have no sympathy for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  However, we should be bending over backwards to make sure that there is nothing questionable about his trial or the way the investigation and evidence was obtained because of the enormity of the crime.  Unfortunately this is what we do not have in Guantanamo.


    That film was my epiphany. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Noor on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 10:13:23 PM EST
    I saw Road to Guantanamo last spring while I was in Amsterdam.  I wrote a review/diary on it for dKos then.  I had long had strong feelings about the policy regarding torture, strong enough to politely but firmly turn down a cousin's offer to help me get work in the federal government (I studied Urdu and Fasi in grad school).  I like being able to look at myself in the mirror in the morning.

    Seeing the film confirmed my feelings on the subject.  It's impossible for me to even consider joining the Foreign Service until our policies return to sanity.  I'd rather starve while living out of my car than serve a government that has approved torture.    


    Foreign service (none / 0) (#33)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 06:23:10 AM EST
    Our people's loss for sure.  Watch out, some films are not real.  Do not believe the Lion King, for example.

    I'm sure he did...a long time ago (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by fafnir on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:06:09 PM EST
    And, who wouldn't after havinig thrumscrews fastened tightly to every dangling appendage. I'd admit to anything to make them stop the pain.

    Considering the growing swirl of corruption scandels plaguing the Bush Crime Family, It's about time for them to pull the 9-11 boogyman out of Cheney's hideyhole.

    He may well have taken part in it. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kindness on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:28:51 PM EST
    But I can't believe, as the above do, tat torture wasn't part of the confession.

    With that in mind, I can't in good concience use the confession and think the whole thing should be thrown out.

    This isn't to say I think these are "nice" men.  They probably aren't.  But I think they deserve the same rights as me if they are facing a United States judgement system, be it military or civillian.

    They probably just :::beat it:::: out of him (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:34:51 PM EST
    the first day or two they had him.

    Can you tell me? (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 08:17:09 AM EST
    They are getting the same rights as you, if you were facing a military trubunal.

    Since you are a citizen, you won't be there.

    He is not getting the rights of a citizen because he is not a citizen, and because he was not captured within the US on a visa, or illegally, although I confess (no torture involved, btw) I am uncertain of  the rights of someone accused of a crime if they are in the US illegally.

    That's really pretty basic, and I wonder if you can tell me why you think he should?


    So where does Osama fit in all this? (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by retriever on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:41:14 PM EST

    Who's Osama?? (none / 0) (#40)
    by annefrank on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 01:41:04 PM EST
    Everything changed after 911.

    And Iraq comes in to this where?? (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:46:35 PM EST
    Oh wait, this guy was captured in Pakistan.  Sorry, I keep forgetting Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism or 9/11.  Silly me.

    Timing of this report too.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:54:06 PM EST
    ...considering other news the past couple of days that they need to distract from. Plame on a webcast tomorrow.

    I mean friday... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 07:56:50 PM EST
    comment (none / 0) (#15)
    by orionATL on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:42:39 PM EST
    edgar and fafnir:

    josh marshall's comment at Talking Points Memo:

    the bush admin is using this unexpected release to get abu gonzales off the front page.

    sounds about right to me.

    in the past six years, whenever there was a domestic political problem for bush,

    the LIGHT changed colors.

    it's changing colors again, i fear,

    to take attention away again, i fear

    from the bush/rove/gonzales use-of-DOJ-for-retaining-political-power reasons.

    gonzales is alberecht, right?

    I agree (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:45:48 PM EST
    So let's keep it on the front page (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 08:47:51 PM EST
    Alberto Gone-zales?

    Sorry for the OT, JM.

    In Bush's Kangaroo Court... (none / 0) (#19)
    by annefrank on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:16:29 PM EST
    no reporters, detainees not allowed attorneys - exactly the kinds of injustices we "deplore" in other countries. Everything changed after...

    Re: Bush's Kangaroo Court (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:40:02 PM EST
    Human Rights First Analyzes
    DOD's Combatant Status Review Tribunals:
    The Status Hearings Fail to Satisfy the Supreme Court's Ruling
    On all these scores, the status hearings fall short. Indeed, the status hearings do not even measure up to the military regulation they claim to mirror.

    That article is from 2004 (none / 0) (#39)
    by annefrank on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 01:39:05 PM EST
    Didn't the Republican passed 2006 Military Commissions Act give Bush what he wanted...er -"resolve" those issues?

    Oh sure. Heh. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 01:45:58 PM EST
    That was my first reaction too (none / 0) (#25)
    by Al on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:49:27 PM EST
    that this confession was probably extracted by torture, specially since he seems to be confessing to things that never actually happened. To which I would add, that the "information" obtained in this way is mostly useless.

    kalid's masterful mind (none / 0) (#32)
    by quick T on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 01:13:37 AM EST
       One person would not be able to mastermind a plot as complex as the 911 attack.  To think that before, during, or shortly after the time he was making arrangments for 911 he was also planing 29 other conspiracys is amazing.  If he was this smart and resourceful he could of easily destroyed the usa by now.  

        At first we were told Osama B did it.  But, I guess now we know that Osama didn't do it. He just told someone else to.


    Very simple. (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 08:29:55 AM EST
    Actually, 9/11 was a very simple affair. That was the beautift of it. The weapons? Box cutters.

    Find terrorists willing to die.

    Get them through flight school, at least enough to guide an airborne aircraft.

    Select a date and time.

    Select targets.

    Get terrorists through security, no problem on the morning of 9/11.

    Hijack aircraft. Very easy since all security plans called for the crew to surrender and get the plane on the ground.(They had a problem on the one who figured out what was going on.)

    Kill 3000 innocent people.


    simple affairs (none / 0) (#44)
    by quick T on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 01:10:04 PM EST
        Interesting point, how ever I would describe the events of 911 as complicated, elaborate, tangled, circuitous, arduous, difficult, hi-tech, labyrinthine, perplexing, intricate, and so on.  

        I would describe having sex with someone's wife as a simple affair.


    I'm almost surprised.... (none / 0) (#34)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 10:38:43 AM EST
    that they didn't have him confess to sticking needles into Barry Bond's arse.

    Greenwald is priceless this morning (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 12:04:31 PM EST
    Support for al-Qaida plots on large right-wing blog
    Revelations that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned assassination plots against former Presidents Carter and Clinton -- especially Carter -- are causing great confusion among right-wing Civilization Warriors. After all, as John Hinderaker previously pointed out: "Jimmy Carter isn't just misguided or ill-informed. He's on the other side."

    Michelle Malkin's Hot Air expressed this confusion: "[Mohammed] confessed to 29 plots in all, including the Richard Reid shoebomb plot and planned assassinations of the pope and . . . Jimmy Carter?" These extremists come to believe their twisted rhetoric that Democrats are on the side of Al Qaeda and so they literally can't understand why Mohammed would want to assassinate his own allies like President Carter.

    But commenters at Little Green Footballs have not only expressed surprise, but outright support, for Mohammed's assassination plot against a former U.S. President. They are out in droves expressing sorrow that Al Qaeda did not have the opportunity to carry out its plot.

    In the immortal words of Alberto (Abu) GONE-zales:

    Well Then (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 01:18:31 PM EST
    Looks like we have won the war on terror. The mastermind has confessed. He is, no doubt responsible for all future attacks and many more terror operations that they have not tortured out of him as of yet.

    Can we get the troops home now.


    I think we have to have it ok'd by ppj first. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 01:26:58 PM EST
    Nope? Yep? Mebbe? All three? Or none of the choices on the left?