Friday, August 01, 2008

Hamdan Trial

The trial of Osama bin Laden's driver finishes its first phase, with the defense having rested, and the testimony of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being read.

The statements of Mohammed, who first appeared in court in June and railed at the military commission system that is expected to try him as well, revealed no lack of self-confidence. He called himself the "executive director of 9/11" and said he oversaw all al-Qaeda cells operating outside Afghanistan. He dismissed drivers such as Hamdan, a Yemeni father of two with a fourth-grade education, as mostly "illiterate."

His statement said Americans do not understand that al-Qaeda is a multifaceted terrorist organization that also employs a support network of professionals, such as teachers and computer engineers. "We are not gangs," he wrote.

"As the American Army (we) have drivers, cooks, crewmen and legal personal," Mohammed wrote, according to a translation from his original Arabic that was provided to the jurors. "We also, are human beings . . . we have interests in life. Our people have wives and children and schools. . . . You can not understand terrorism and Al-Qaeda from 9/11 operation."

He said al-Qaeda has been able to carry out its attacks successfully because of the group's diffuse structure and penchant for secrecy.

For some reason Mohammed keeps claiming that Al Qaeda, rather than the Bush administration, carried out the attacks.

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