These al-Qaeda leaders — KSM, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Walid Bin Attash, and KSM’s two nephews, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali — already offered to plead guilty.
“We all five have reached an agreement…to announce our confessions and plea in full,” they stated in a letter that military judge Colonel Stephen Henley read aloud at a December 8, 2008 Guantanamo hearing.
The al-Qaeda bigwigs denied being “under any kind of pressure, threat, intimidations or promise from any party.” They also asked to drop their defense motions.
Henley wondered if they were ready to plead guilty to all charges.
“Yes,” KSM replied. “We don’t want to waste time.”
Ali assured Henley that KSM did not coerce his fellow terrorists into confessing. “All of these decisions were undertaken by us without any pressure or influence by Khalid Sheikh,” Ali said.
Rather than accept the defendants’ wishes, Henley slowed matters by ordering psychiatric examinations of bin al-Shibh and al-Hawsawi. “We want everyone to plead together,” KSM responded.
KSM et al celebrate what they call “the blessed 11 September operation” that killed 2,980 and injured 7,356. As their March 5, 2009 tribunal filing stated: “So we ask from God to accept our contributions to the great attack, the great attack on America, and to place our nineteen martyred brethren among the highest peaks in paradise.”
At a March 10, 2007 Guantanamo hearing, KSM admitted his culpability in 31 actual and attempted terror strikes. Among them:
*“I was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z.”
*“I was responsible for the Shoe Bomber Operation to down two American airplanes.”
*“I was responsible for the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, which was frequented by British and Australian nationals.”
*“I was responsible for surveying and financing for the destruction of the New York Stock Exchange and other financial targets after 9/11.”
*“I was responsible for the assassination attempt against President Clinton during his visit to the Philippines in 1994 or 1995.”
These defendants welcome execution. When Judge Ralph Kohlmann asked KSM if he knew he faced death, he replied: “That is what I wish. I wished to be martyred for a long time.” Bin al-Shibh similarly stated: “I’ve been seeking martyrdom for five years.”
These facts render absurd the notion that these terrorists belong in civilian court. This idea assumes that America must prove that even these butchers can be tried justly here.
Those who detonate girls’ schools because they want Afghan females to cook and reproduce — period — do not care if The al-Qaeda Five are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Those who would weaponize their private parts in order to explode jumbo jets on Christmas Day rarely weigh federal evidentiary standards. That the Obama administration believes otherwise exposes its potentially lethal naïveté.
This fiasco disgusts Americans. A February 1 Rasmussen survey discovered that only 16 percent of likely voters want terrorists to enjoy the same legal rights as US citizens; 74 percent disagree. Meanwhile, HumanEvents.com (which often posts my columns) has gathered 126,653 signatures on its online petition demanding KSM and company’s ejection from civilian court.
“These proceedings will make the O.J. Simpson trial look like traffic court,” says Marc Thiessen, author of “Courting Disaster,” a new best-seller on Obama’s soft-on-terror policies. “KSM will use the platform Obama is giving him to rally jihadist faithful to new attacks.”
This entire escapade can be avoided quickly and cheaply. Guantanamo judges should let KSM and his conspirators plead guilty. And then, as would satisfy these mass murderers, they should be marched before a firing squad and granted instant lead poisoning.