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March 15, 2007

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

I'm dismayed to find Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on my radio this morning, bragging about his crimes.  I'm also dismayed at the thought that my government is helping him advertise his megalomania and skew the record in ways that -- absent an open court proceeding -- will never be set straight.  Can't we do better than this?

The way the Administration chose to subject Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to rendition, torture and enemy combatant status means that he could never be convicted in any civil court in any democracy; which means that we'll never have an impartial, open accounting of what acts of terror he really did mastermind and/or participate in.

Instead, we have this confession which -- at least according to former FBI agent Jack Cloonan and other terrorism experts I've heard discuss it so far -- magnifies his role well beyond what it may actually have been, including describing every training in reconnaisance he ever did as a plot to blow something up.

To repeat, his likely-exaggerated claims will never be tested in the only forum we have for establishing such truths, a court of law.  Instead, we help KSM make himself into an even bigger hero/martyr in the radical Islamic world; and an even bigger bogeyman stoking inflated fears here at home.

It's worth reading the transcript, by the way, for a glimpse into the mind of a US-educated jihadi who can rebuke his American captors with references to Manifest Destiny, repeatedly voices concern for people wrongly arrested, remains confident in his cause and is equally confident that

... war will never stop.  War start from Adam when Cain he killed Abel until now.


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"...for a glimpse into the mind of a US-educated jihadi..."

I wonder if he has read "Eichmann in Jerusalem?"

The only "minds" that the transcript offers a glimpse into are the minds of the people who have been working KSM over for a few years now. At this point, I'm sure he will say that he is also the Zodiac killer, the real killer of Nicole Simpson, the anthrax mailer and the kidnapper of the Lindbergh baby if that is what is required of him. So, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad fully endorses the notion of the permanent Long War between Islam and the west. Who could have guessed! And why, oh why, oh why would he be allowed to brag about his dark exploits in public? What could US authorities be thinking of?

On a related note, have you ever heard a more rambling and incoherent interview than that NPR affair, with Renee Montagne and Mr. Cloonan writhing in the linguistic chains of our collective Orwellian imprisonment?

I often wonder, now, if a lot of this isn't, frankly, exaggerated.

Yes, I'm sure the unreality in KSM's confession list of is all due to the fact that he is just a big, boastful exaggerater.

There's sort of a cloud hanging over the whole Khalid Sheikh Mohammed issue.

Hmm ... what cloud is that, I wonder. A "bit", you say? It truly is so hard to see through these dense clouds. If only things weren't cloudy than maybe we could see the truth. And if only my embedded reportorial mind wasn't so clouded by fear and cowardice, I would have the courage to speak the truth, and clearly articulate what I am thinking about.

I think he's claiming a lot of responsibility for it because it's his ego. He has an enormous ego. I don't think he was a very difficult guy to ... deal with.

Yes, it's amazing how having one's head under water and one's nuts in a meat grinder for a few years will inflate one's ego. I'm sure all the "exaggerations" are all due to KSM's spectaclularly enormous ego and inherent boastfulness.

I did review part of the videotape when he was first captured in Pakistan. And I don't think it was going to take much to get him to confess.

It was incredible: just a few broken fingers and dunks in the tank, and he was spilling his guts. We hardly had to do anything. It's disappointing really, because I was jst starting to get turned on.

I think what you're hearing now is the transition from a man who went from a person who was dedicated to the radical notion of jihad, carrying on operations, to a guy who's made the transition from that, having been captured.

The transition ... from that, to what exactly? Broken-down nutcase? Cooperative US government showpiece? Caged canary making up the songs as he goes along?

And I think that what you see now is that transition, and the ultimate fact that he is facing reality and that he will be sentenced to death. And I think that is what you hear coming out.

Oh, that's what it is. As we all know, when people are staring death in the face they typically respond with boastful exaggerations rather than the urge to reveal the truth. Or could he be staring something else in the face? Like more of the same treatment if he does not say what is expected of him?

Do you think we've learned all there is to learn from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

I don't know. The devil is always in the details.

Certainly. I'd say we might as well give him a few more passes through the nut wringer just in case we missed anything.

It so reassuring to have outfits like NPR, armed with that urbane liberal delicacy we have all come to rely on, graciously refraining from discussing in any direct way all those distasteful subjects and bad thoughts like torture, and its effects on the veracity and mental condition of human beings. I mean, I could hardly enjoy those charming musical interludes between stories during my car ride home if my thoughts were "clouded" by images of pain.

screw him and david hichs and the american people who have an exaggerated feeling of importance in the world and where they fit into the universe americans have a mentality of superiority and the brain of a snail , sorry snails

NPR has "gone over." Might as well switch to Fox if you want to hear fairy tales. I wonder who wrote the "transcript?" Did he also do yellow cake and aluminum tubes?
Get ready, folks, these are prototype procedures for the new methods to be used on Americans, complete with "confessions" to be aired on NPR. Ooops--they've already done it to an American--Jose Padilla.

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