Thursday, March 15, 2007

Khalid Sheik Mohammed: Still Terrorist, Still Guilty, Still Evil, But...

In what is no doubt a super big coincidence following the worst back-to-back two weeks of news the Bush administration has dealt with in some time, terrorist bigwig Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (or KSM, as the kids call him)-- basically bin Laden's Vice President-- has confessed (again?) to being the mastermind of the 9/11 plot... and a number of other plots, seemingly everything short of being the Zodiac killer.

What happens from here is anyone's guess.

Of course, it must be noted that KSM's confession came as part of a secret hearing (natch) in Guantanamo Bay, where he was transferred to last Fall after spending years being waterboarded and tortured gently interrogated in the CIA's overseas secret prisons (which were then swept back under the rug). The White House, of course, is a bag of contradictions on this matter, standing by their torture policies, while refusing to admit that the prisoners they tortured were ever tortured at all! What courage! It's a helluva policy, no?

(Think Progress has more on that aspect of the story)

There's no question that this guy is the real deal, but once again the administration has sabotaged what should've been a unifyingly slam-dunk case with their own incompetence and immoral policies. These policies have been undertaken not out of necessity, but out of hubris. And, as President Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said last night on the Daily Show, "The real problem is that we have had a policy lately that has been dividing our friends and uniting our enemies, and should be the other way around."

Furthermore, the torture, the secret prisons, etc... this all makes it easier for anyone to dismiss the veracity of KSM's confession, such as it was, and to dispute the information he provided under these circumstances. Take, for instance, the tale of the so-called 5th Beatle '20th hijacker' Zacarias Moussaoui. During his trial one year ago, Moussaoui 'confessed' that a) there was to be a fifth hijacking on 9/11, and b) failed shoe-bomber Richard Reid was part out of the plot. Except that it didn't take long before we found out (what was obvious at the time) that this was all bullshit. How much of what KSM said is bullshit and how much is true?

But that's the 'war on terror' for you. One step forward, two steps back.

[PS- On a related note, our new Democratic majority continues to give us bold and decisive leadership. From Raw Story: "House Democrats have dropped plans to use the coming Defense Supplemental Appropriations legislation to permanently close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay" (but they promise to come back to it later... maybe). And yes, that was sarcasm before.

UPDATE: As if on cue, new AP headline just in: Officials: Mohammed exaggerated claims]

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