The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

US charges six suspects over 9/11

Posted by That Other Mike on 11/02/2008

Via BBC News:

US charges six suspects over 9/11

The Pentagon has announced charges against six Guantanamo Bay prisoners over their alleged involvement in the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the six, who include alleged plot mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

The charges, the first for Guantanamo inmates directly related to 9/11, are expected to be heard by a controversial military tribunal system.

About 3,000 people died in the hijacked plane attacks.

The Guantanamo Bay detention centre, in south-east Cuba, began to receive US military prisoners in January 2002. Hundreds have been released without charge but about 275 remain and the US hopes to try about 80.

It’s good that the rule of law is at least being paid lip service (finally!), but it honestly seems to be too little, too late.

Any evidence presented will be seen as tainted by torture, no matter how truthful, any confessions will be seen as coerced even if given freely, and given the military tribunals, the guilty verdicts which will doubtless occur will make the whole thing seem like a show trial fit for Stalin’s Russia, no matter the guilt of the defendants.

Has this trial been presented earlier, had the process not been turned into a way for the Bush administration to flex its muscles in some kind of anti-terror beauty parade, it might have some hope of being seen as legitimate.

As it is, my dormant conspiracy nutter immediately woke up. Why now? Why after nearly seven years and countless refusals to allow any kind of judicial process?

If I were in the mood to start flinging conspiracy around, I’d say it were related to the Presidential election: a convincing trial “victory” over the “evildoers” who “masterminded” the World Trade Centre attacks* wouldn’t hand the Republicans a victory, but it could put a dent into the Democrats’ efforts and even leave them looking for their own anti-terror victory over the next term. Not to mention that it would also ensure that the legacy of GWB was more than the memory of a wrecked economy and constant, petty squabbling over the morality of torture.

But, hey! I’m not a conspiracy nut, so I’ll be withholding judgement…

*I refuse to say “9/11”; mainly because I know how to write the date properly


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