Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Gets His Trial Date – Guantánamo Tab: $6 Billion and $380 Million a Year For 40 Prisoners

Ed.’s note: There are people who actually still think the repeatedly waterboarded Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his band of 4 terrorists masterminded dropping three buildings in New York and the attack on the Pentagon 18 years ago on September 11, 2001. A Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was needed so that the Middle East could be shattered.

How the US Shattered the Middle East

This is how you “shatter” (shoot the cameraman and almost kill the little girl in the van who had absolutely nothing to do with dropping buildings in New York) the Middle East:

The terrorists require reinforcement on the anniversary of 9/11 with a little assistance from their handlers working through the western media:

Al-Qaida chief in 9/11 speech calls for attacks on West

The only concern now is will Israel employ the US to bring down Iran? And consider the fact John Bolton was alleged to be fired one day before September 11?

Editorial: Trump vs. Netanyahu

Donald Trump taps Jewish defence analyst as new National Security Advisor

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Source: The American Conservative

Why is the 9/11 Mastermind Still Awaiting Trial?

One word: torture.

By KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS • September 10, 2019

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed when he was captured by U.S. forces in 2003.

The trial date for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cohorts for their role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, which were responsible for the deaths of 2,976 people, has been finally set.

For January 11, 2021.

Wrap your heads around that for a moment. Kids who were born the year of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil are now applying for colleges and signing up for Selective Service. They’ll be able to vote in the next presidential election.

For those of us who went the through painful process of covering the evolution of the U.S. military tribunal at “Camp Justice” at Guantanamo Bay, the announcement that a date has been “set” means very little. Most observers don’t think it’ll happen, not in January 2021 or ever. Why?

Torture.

The U.S. military and the CIA took KSM and other high level detainees who later spent time at the infamous GTMO off the battlefield and into “black” interrogation sites that most Americans would rather forget ever existed. They tortured these individuals for information before bringing them to GTMO and then tortured them some more. Anyone who does not believe that has been living in a politically warped state of denial for the last 18 years.

If it hadn’t happened, the U.S. military might have had a lot more than a handful of convictions (out of the hundreds of detainees who have rotated in and out of the prison). Out of the handful of convictions at Camp Justice, most have been overturned in the last several years. The record of this tribunal is pathetic. The only thing truly accomplished here is the U.S. military ecosystem flourishing a short hop from the Cuban mainland. What was supposed to be temporary has been made permanent, like all things in the American military industrial complex.

But back to the torture. The reason why KSM and his four cohorts have not gone to trial yet is because there is a dispute over whether their confessions are admissible because they were gleaned through torture sessions in CIA prisons. By law the any evidence obtained under these conditions is inadmissible. Defense lawyers in this case, as well in the other major case at Camp Justice—the 2000 USS Cole bombing—have been able to hold up the progress of both cases on this basis. If for some reason these men are convicted, and they get the death penalty, their lawyers were use torture to prolong that process too.

Please go to The American Conservative to read the entire article.

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Source: npr

Guantánamo Has Cost Billions; Whistleblower Alleges ‘Gross’ Waste

September 11, 2019 | By SACHA PFEIFFER

An NPR investigation finds that the military court and prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have cost taxpayers billions of dollars, with billions more expected. (Above) An American flag is seen through the war crimes courtroom at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay on Oct. 17, 2012.
Michelle Shepard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. military court and prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have cost more than $6 billion to operate since opening nearly 18 years ago and still churn through more than $380 million a year despite housing only 40 prisoners today.

Included in that amount are taxpayer-funded charter planes often flying just a few passengers to and from the island; hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of government electronic devices intentionally destroyed each year due to spills of classified information; some Pentagon-funded defense attorneys billing about half-a-million dollars a year; and total legal costs of nearly $60 million annually even though Guantánamo has had only one finalized conviction.

Criticism of that spending comes even from inside Guantánamo. A former top attorney there has filed a federal whistleblower complaint alleging “gross financial waste” and “gross mismanagement,” NPR has learned.

Retired Air Force Col. Gary Brown also claims that he and the former head of the military court were fired because they were negotiating a controversial cost-saving proposal with defense lawyers: allow Guantánamo prisoners — including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison rather than face the death penalty. Such plea deals, Brown says, “would stop wasting resources.”

“My two words to summarize my time at military commissions was ‘Wait — what?’ ” said Brown, who was legal adviser to the head of Guantánamo’s military commissions from April 2017 until both of them were fired 10 months later. “At least a couple of times a week there was an instance where someone would tell me some expense we had or some individual we were paying for, and I would just have to stop in my tracks and say, ‘Wait — what? How can that possibly be?’ Many of them involved unnecessary expenditures or waste of money.”

Many attorneys and other officials who have worked there openly condemn the spending.

“It’s a horrible waste of money. It’s a catastrophic waste of money,” said Michel Paradis, a Guantánamo defense attorney for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole naval warship. “No matter if you want to see all of these guys shot in the street or whether or not you think Guantánamo itself is an aberration that should have closed yesterday — whatever your goal is, the military commissions have failed to achieve that goal.”

“There have been billions of dollars spent on Guantánamo that were totally unnecessary,” said Morris Davis, Guantánamo’s chief prosecutor from 2005 to 2007. Davis says he quit when he felt pressured by his superiors to use evidence obtained through torture, and he calls the military commissions “an overwhelming failure.”

When NPR asked in April for the annual cost of Guantánamo’s military court and prison, the Defense Department initially responded with a figure of $180 million a year. Three months later, it revised that number to $380 million a year. That does not include the $60 million annual expense of operating Guantánamo’s naval base or the salaries of military personnel, including the 1,800 guards overseeing the detention center’s prisoners.

Add the Pentagon’s updated tallies to historical figures it has given Congress, and the total cost of Guantánamo’s court and prison has exceeded $6 billion since 2002.

Nearly 800 detainees have passed through Guantánamo since prisoners began arriving there in 2002, and 40 people are still confined there. Some have been held for nearly 18 years without being charged. Only one conviction has been finalized, and Guantánamo’s legal cases have been virtually deadlocked for years.

Yet the court and prison continue to spend what Brown calls an “eye-popping” amount each year on construction, travel, housing, vehicles, computer systems, linguists, translators, investigators, expert witnesses, case analysts, paralegals, court reporters, various types of contractors and hundreds of attorneys.

Brown said it wasn’t just the spending that shocked him. He also questions whether Guantánamo prosecutors can win death penalty convictions at trial, because so much evidence is tainted by torture. He notes that if trials do happen, the appeals process is expected to last another 10 to 15 years, incurring costs of at least another $1.5 billion. And the government argues that even if the defendants are found not guilty at trial, it can continue to keep them imprisoned indefinitely.

Because of the time, expense and possible futility of pursuing death penalty convictions, Brown said he and Harvey Rishikof, who was the “convening authority” of the military commissions, thought a different solution was necessary.

“They haven’t been successful. They’ve stalled. They’re incredibly expensive,” Brown said. “Instead, wouldn’t it be better if we just said, ‘You know what? They didn’t work this time.’ “

Please go to npr to read the entire article.

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Related:

THE FBI WAS DEEPLY INVOLVED IN CIA BLACK SITE INTERROGATIONS DESPITE YEARS OF DENIALS, GUANTÁNAMO DEFENSE LAWYER SAYS

Trial Date Set For Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 4 Others Charged In Sept. 11 Attacks

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