I don’t have much to say about the confessions of Khalid Sheik Mohammed that others haven’t already said; see, for example, Kevin Hayden and Taylor Marsh. Given the nature of the, um, inducements to the confessions, we have no way to know how much is true and how much is I’ll tell you anything you want to hear. All we know for certain is that the Bush Administration is, once again, waving the bloody shirt of 9/11 to distract us from its political problems.
No one is denying that KSM, or perhaps all of the other 14 “high value terrorists”, are creeps and bastards, who should be brought to justice. The problem, of course, is that after five years of being tortured, and there is no doubt whatsoever that that is what we have done, that anything KSM, or anyone else who was a guest of our “CIA black prisons” says, is tainted by that torture thing. Indeed, part of KSM’s script was to note that he was subject to torture, “but is still making his confession freely and voluntarily.”
Er, no. In a real court, once you start poisoning the tree, you may as well pour the whole bottle in, because the tree and all its fruit are poisoned. Period. KSM’s confession would not hold up in a real court– which is why the Bush Administration, helped along by its friends Senators Graham and McCain (who will themselves also eventually have to answer to God, if not eventual war crimes tribunals for their role in turning our country back to the early Middle Ages), changed the rules for the
kangaroo courtsmilitary tribunals at Gitmo to permit such evidence obtained by coercion… or less euphemistically, torture.
Which is neither here, nor there, because it is extraordinarily unlikely that KSM or the other 13 “high value terrorist suspects”TM will ever see even the inside of a kangaroo courtroom; the name of their game, like the Gitmo game in general, is to slowly trickle out the innocent rubes we are holding there (it’s down to 385 now; a few seem to be released each month) until January 2009, when this all becomes some other President’s problem.
It will be interesting to see if there’s much public reaction at all to this news. I think by now all but the most die-hard Bushies realize they are being jerked around.