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February 17, 2010
Why hold a trial for a terrorist who has confessed?
The Obama administration considers and reconsiders where and/or whether to hold a civilian trial in the United States for the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM).
What a lot of the American public may not know or remember is that KSM has confessed not only to the murders of 3,000 Americans in the World Trade Center in 2001, but to many other terrorist attacks and deaths.
Though the video and transcript of the confession were released by the U.S. government in March, 2007, links to the video appear to be missing or broken from many websites. At the time that they were released, the video and transcript had certain portions removed.
The blog MyThomsonGitmo has posted Mohammed's confession on a dedicated server for the public to review.
On March 10, 2007, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad stood before a U.S. military Combatant Status Review Tribunal to determine if he met the criteria to be classified as an "enemy combatant." The public record of the hearing consists of a 26-page transcript (redacted pdf) and a 54:12-minute recording (redacted mpg).
See video full-screen HERE.
Fox News summarized the many terroristic claims made by Mohammed in 2007 when the video of the confession was originally released:
In listing the 28 attacks he planned and another three he supported, Mohammed said he tried to kill international leaders including Pope John Paul II, President Clinton and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession also quotes him saying he beheaded American journalist Daniel Pearl with his "blessed" right hand, and held the head for everyone to see on a videotape which he said was available on YouTube.
The estimated cost of security for such a controversial proceeding as a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was originally estimated at $75 million per year. Because of the extreme security measures required, and that the entire proceeding of pre-trial motions and trial could take years, the cost was recently put at $1 billion to try KSM in New York City and the plans were scuttled.
All this expense, plus a frightening security risk for any host city, for a radical Islamic enemy combatant who has confessed.
Hat tip: Jawa Report
Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog, UNCOVERAGE.net