Khalid Sheik Mohammed: Sings in Court, Welcomes Death Penalty

At his arraignment today, Khalid Sheik Mohammed sang in court, praised Allah and said he welcomed the death penalty so he would be a martyr.

He has rejected his attorneys and says he wants to represent himself.

My shield is Allah most high," he said, adding that his religion forbade him from accepting a lawyer from the United States and that he wanted to act as his own attorney .

Shades of Zacarias Moussaoui, who having been tried in federal court, is now serving life at Supermax. Moussaoui has a chance to appeal. If Mohammed stays on this course, he'll be dead. [Update below]

This just in from the ACLU (by email, no link yet):

It hardly comes as any surprise that after holding individuals in solitary confinement for five years and subjecting them to torture, these detainees would reject the legal system and offers to represent them. It is highly suspect that the government changed its protocols for the interaction of the defendants on the very day they were arraigned. For several years they’ve been held separately without communication and yet, on the day of their arraignment, they were allowed to interact with the obvious goal of allowing them to present a unified rejection of legal representation.

“No matter who is representing these defendants, many of whom have been abused and tortured, there needs to be a process in place that adheres to the values of due process and the rule of law that are the foundations of American justice – and this isn’t it. Without constitutional guarantees in place, any verdict rendered by these proceedings will be regarded as illegitimate by the American people and in the eyes of the world.”

< Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Arraignment at Gitmo Today | Perspectives On Sexism >
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    If I were KSM (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:18:23 AM EST
    and had to endure what he did, I'd probably welcome death too.

    I read that KSM had literally been driven insane by torture in our names at Gitmo.

    What a proud legacy BushCheney has left us.

    he was tortured in a secret (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:20:26 AM EST
    overseas prison, not at Gitmo. He only got to Gitmo in 2006.

    But otherwise, you are correct and I agree with you.  It's torture in our name.


    Thank you for the correction... (none / 0) (#3)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:21:59 AM EST
    in some ways, that's even worse.

    In case you haven't guessed, I agree with you very strongly in your anti-torture views. :-)


    I agree wholeheartedly both on (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by JoeA on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:34:15 AM EST
    the torture and the death penalty issues.

    This guy would test my opposition to the death penalty though.


    I am opposed to torture especially (none / 0) (#12)
    by hairspray on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:39:21 PM EST
    when done by a civilized society in my name. However, becoming a Muslim martyr doesn't have much to do with torure if you read INFIDEL by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. This fascinating book details her growing up as a Muslim in 3 societies which practice a strict interpretation of the Qu'ram. It is a fascinating book about the abuse of women, but an important point she makes is that fundamental muslims do not see life on earth as anything more than a gateway to the hereafter. Because of this, life is easily sacrified for later glory. That differes quite a bit from Christianity and Judeaism which focus on the gift of life.  I heartily recommend reading it.  

    It's a tragedy (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Emma on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:41:49 AM EST
    when the only way left to protest or end your illegal imprisonment and torture is to die.  A tragedy that I can hardly believe the U.S. is purposely creating.  We learn nothing from history:  India, Ireland, and I'm too depressed to try and think of any more.

    And there has to be a better word than tragedy, or travesty, but I can't come up with one at the moment.

    torture is torture, (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:13:26 PM EST
    regardless of who's meting it out. we are supposed to be a nation of laws, applicable to everyone. vengeance has no place in our society, it's what separates us (supposedly) from the tribals.

    if this guy wasn't nuts when they first got him, he probably is by now. trying him, in his present mental state, would be farce added to insult. just keep him locked up, where he's no danger to himself or others, until he regains his senses, then try him, in a real court of law.

    Death penalty ...or life! (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Oceandweller on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:44:45 AM EST
    Those people thrive on becoming a martyr; lets oblige him to pay tribute to the WTC victims by staying live and having to endure every day a sunrise, they will not see.
    They believe western justice is weak, well it is not.
    As for torture, I am not proud of Cheney and it is god awful what we did as we must accept the burden of co-responsability : but vengeance is a very human feeling , and we all seem to forget that we are not talking here of Gestapo, Pinochet type torture
    it is bad, it is wrong we must not do it ahain
    I wholly support that above message
    but after 9/11 we got slightly nuts and we certainly have some excuses
    but we must stop it now otherwise we shall lose our souls
    it is like the difference between first degree and second degree
    temporary madness is acceptable
    not defying madness

    The planet will be saved! (1.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:55:09 AM EST

    If Mohammed stays on this course, he'll be dead.

    He will no longer be a carbon polluter exhaling that nasty CO2.  What a hero.

    Perhaps heroes like this are part of BHO's plan to slow the oceans rising.

    Don't weep for him (none / 0) (#8)
    by davnee on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:56:42 AM EST
    I doubt seriously his position would be much different even if he had been treated gently and given three squares a day all this time.  He wants to be "martyred."  This is his only way.

    This is not to say that we should condone torture as a nation.  We should not.  And I want our policies changed.  But our rejection of torture is in my opinion important for our own souls, not the welfare of the likes of KSM.

    That's the thing... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:26:28 PM EST
    since the govt. decided to play fast and loose with our principles we don't know if he is the evil the govt. claims or just a broken, tortured, crazy man.  

    If he did help plan the attacks, I want him to get a fair trial, I want him convicted, and I want him imprisoned for life.  Let him kill himself if he wants to die.  If it cannot be proven that he had a part in the attacks, I want him released.


    Speedy trial by jury (none / 0) (#11)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:33:13 PM EST
    The time for a trial is long paqst. This man, guilty or not, has been tortured and held for years  with no access to attorneys or....anybody.
    Our system guarantees some rights and our administration has flaunted those rules and there can no longer be a fair trial.
    They must drop the charges and release him, with apologies.
    Law is not the same thing as Justice - but I believe that phrase goes both ways. The way we have treated our detainees is against both Justice and Law and I believe his sanity has paid the ultimate  price. Neither death nor life imprisonment can give  that back.

    I hear you.... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:58:29 PM EST
    Waiting years in captivity for your day in court is unexcusable and the definition of anti-american.

    I should have said that's what I would have wanted to have happened...but it didn't, and I can't really argue with you that the only righteous thing left to do is let all the detainees go.


    I agree. See my note about the book (none / 0) (#13)
    by hairspray on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:43:10 PM EST
    INFIDEL by Ayaan Hirsi Ali which explains the funamentalist Muslim view of life and Allah.

    It is hard for me (none / 0) (#15)
    by facta non verba on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 01:33:00 PM EST
    not to wish this man all the pain in the world. I hate him. I went to college with Dannny Pearl. He was one of my closest friends. I visited Danny in India back in August 2000, six months before he was killed. We spent a joyous weekend in Udaipur. Danny was an exceptional human being and the irony of all this is that these people killed someone who was actually sympathic to their grievances. Danny's death formed my break with Islam. It is evil, it enslaves women, it kills homosexuals at a rate over 1,000 a year, there are over 5,000 honor killings a year. I have no tolerance for intolerance and I make no apologies for being free and Western. If co-existence with Islam is possible, it must come on Western terms.

    As much as it seems you and I have opposite views on most other things discussed here on TL, I too have a very hard time finding any sympathy for KSM.

    It seems to me (none / 0) (#17)
    by arwe on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 02:21:52 PM EST
    that when we have the least sympathy with the accused, we have the most need for strict adherence to the law to prevent injustice.

    Does the Law = Justice? (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 02:49:40 PM EST
    Not always....n/t (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 03:26:55 PM EST
    I'm sorry I wasn't clearer in my comment. (none / 0) (#20)
    by arwe on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 04:14:17 PM EST
    I meant rules of law as in innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and all evidence presented in court and the accused may confront his accusers in court etc.  I didn't mean this trumped kangaroo court in Guantanamo.  The legal system supposed to replace revenge, although it seems in many instances to merely be an instrument of it.

    why don't you read (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 06, 2008 at 12:47:12 AM EST
    our about page before making comments like that. You will probably be happier at another site. This site promotes the rights of those accused of crime.