Sunday, June 22, 2008

"I Want My Lawyer"-Khalid Sheick Mohammed

From a long article on CIA secret prisons and interrogation techniques in the International Herald Tribune of 6/20 or 6/21:

"Mohammed met his captors at first with cocky defiance, telling one veteran CIA officer, a former Pakistan station chief, that he would talk only when he got to New York and was assigned a lawyer — the experience of his nephew and partner in terrorism, Ramzi Yousef, after Yousef's arrest in 1995."

"Mohammed" is the infamous Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, who has proudly claimed the honor of sawing off the head of Nathan Pearl, the American journalist.

Assuming the accuracy of the Tribune's reporting, is there even one knee-jerk liberal TPM reader who would concede that the more (American) rights granted to legitimate terrorists, the less likely those terrorists are to relinquish information that could prevent the loss of innocent lives?

That's the sole question.

[It presupposes the fact that the individuals are terrorists, not in any narrow legal sense, but in the meta-sense. Example: If one of the hijackers who slit a flight attendant's throat on 9/11 survived, as did 3 passengers who witnessed the event, that throat slitter, prior to any trial, would be a terrorist.]

This question is not posed as a subtle defense of torture. It's posed because fairly soon Sen. Obama is going to face these real-world questions as the president....Perhaps his FISA position reflects the fact that he is much more realistic than many of his doctrinaire supports?


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