Accused 9/11 mastermind says U.S. tortured in name of national security
Sketch by Janet Hamlin
October 17th, 2012
06:14 PM ET

Accused 9/11 mastermind says U.S. tortured in name of national security

By Paul Courson

Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed asserted on Wednesday that the U.S. government sanctioned torture in the name of national security, and compared the scale of the terror attack that killed nearly 3,000 people to the "millions" he said have been killed by America's military.

"Many can kill people under the name of national security, and torture people under the name of national security," Mohammed said during a pretrial hearing at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"This is a resilient definition," he said in open court, as military censors stood ready to interrupt the video and audio.

"Every dictator can put on shoes to step on this definition, every law, every constitution, with this definition any can evade the rule and also go against it," he said.

He also compared the nearly 3,000 victims killed in the 9/11 hijack attacks in New York, Washington and western Pennsylvania to killings he blamed on the American military that he said number in the "millions."

Recommended: What not to wear: Gitmo edition

Mohammed at one point also indirectly referred to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed in 2011 in a raid on his Pakistani compound by elite U.S. troops and his body buried at sea.

"I don't want to be long, but I can say the president can throw someone in the sea in the name of national security," Mohammed said.
Military judge Capt. James Pohl granted Mohammed the opportunity to speak.

But when the tone and substance of his remarks were clear, Pohl said he would not allow him or the other defendants in the case to make personal observations about the process.

Mohammed and four other men before the military court are accused of planning and executing the attack.

Pohl has been hearing oral arguments from attorneys representing the government and the defendants on a proposed protective order intended to establish rules over the handling of classified information before and during the trial.

Prosecutors want to keep from public view classified information and also unclassified materials that they consider detrimental to national security. That includes the suspects' knowledge of CIA interrogation methods.

Mohammed, known by his initials KSM, has confessed to organizing the attack, his confession could be called into question during trial.

A 2005 Justice Department memo - released by the Obama administration - revealed that he had been water-boarded in March 2003. The technique, which simulates drowning, has been called torture by Obama and others.

The trial is not expected to start until next summer.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Gitmo • Khalid Sheikh Mohammed • Terrorism
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  27. john Michael kane

    that it, torture is legal now... so what separates america from the rest of the world now?

    October 19, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
  28. Yogi

    Here's one to think about when you are ranting about torture and such in the name of national security... They put people in certain groups of our military through what they call "POW training" where they are subjected to probably alot more than would these terrorists be subjected... This is in the name of national security that our own are being tortured, so that we never divulge anything. There is probably not one arrested that would roll over on his group, same as we train ours. Always exceptions though... If these people want to make a statement, just get an army together and pick a fight, don't dive bomb civilian planes into office towers or blow up cars at a market or place bombs in a cinema, stand up and wave your flag and throw down face to face...

    October 19, 2012 at 4:36 am | Reply
  29. rk ny

    perhaps he should have been beheaded like his masters in pak do....

    October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Spoken like another mindless Tea Partier. No wonder we're so hated around the world! This kind of ignorance is inexcusable, rk ny! Khalid Sheik Mohammed deserves not to be tortured like anyone else!

      October 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  30. Johnny 5

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was probably tortured in to saying "The US tortured in the name of national security".

    We may never know what really happened that day. But any rational person knows that it's not what we were told.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • cas

      Correct Johnny 5 i agree. Who the hell knows what the truth is these days. If you believe more than 5 percent of what the media tells you, you are a fool. I do know this much they dont deserve a multi million dollar strung out trial....oh wait a minute...too late.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  31. michaelfury

    Has "mastermind" KSM confessed to this yet?

    October 18, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
  32. Joshua Barrows

    I certainly do not support torture, but when you have a self confessed plotter in an attack that kills thousands of innocent people then the normal boundaries set up in the Geneva Convention certainly tend to be more gray as opposed to black and white. I think that things that were permitted and authorized during the Bush Cheney years took the luster off what I believed was the the fairest and greatest Country in the world, but as we have found out little by little the U.S. has participated in some very questionable tactics to gain information that most of the time lacks credibility because most people will say anything eventually to make the torture stop.

    October 18, 2012 at 12:29 am | Reply
    • cocopuf

      The ONLY way to deal with terrorists and their direct supporters is by the mandatory death sentence without trial by jury. There is no point in giving them ANY rights. They never respect the rights of anyone else?

      No doubt, it will have an impact and save tax payers money.

      Just like an animal with rabies ... you just kill it.

      October 18, 2012 at 4:03 am | Reply
  33. Emigdio Alvarez

    can we start the real trial? no wonder the death penalty is more expensive, with all the useless multiple trials for the same person.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  34. mydogsays

    Check out the new "9/11: Examine The Evidence – Experts Speak Out" film by Architects and Engineers For 9/11 Truth. It does an excellent job of addressing all evidence for controlled demolition of WTC 1, 2 and 7. 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out ( Free 1-hour version ) Watch it online at Youtube.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      Total BS. Anyone with any kind of engineering background understands exactly what happened. I watched the live TV coverage of the planes hitting the towers and told my wife the building would collapse. Keep living in your delusional world and enjoy yourself.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • rufftastic

        Actually, I'm an engineer and WTC 7 is definitely a controlled implosion. Watch the video for that building and you will be amazed. I hate conspiracy theories, but that is actually quite compelling.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Fixer

      The only "controlled' part of those events were the planes flying into the buildings, and it was the 19 terrorists that did the controlling.
      As far as KSM saying "US tortured in the name of national security"....lets take a look at "killing in the name of Allah".

      October 18, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
  35. Keksi


    What are they trying to HIDE from public???

    October 17, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  36. Rev. Tyrone Pope

    No trials for Islamofascists! Kill'em dead!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
    • withoeve

      This sounds identical to the rants of the people you are condemning.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
      • Richard Wad

        I believe the correct terminology is "eye for an eye" and yes, that is the only way to treat terrorists.

        October 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Yogi

      Isn't that the logo on a can of Raid Rev?? Catch em in the act, dust em, They get caught later then should be allowed ONE hearing only and with judge only, no jury. They do not have the rights of citizens. They will plead guilty and claim it was their own idea and nobody else involved anyways. At that point stop. They should have been interrogated prior to the hearing anyways. After confession in a hearing then give them their choice, burned alive or suspended upright in a stye with large pigs...

      October 19, 2012 at 5:05 am | Reply
  37. Bob C.

    US gov. afraid of this man because he can show 9/11 was done by the US gov. itself. Hence the audio censorship and closed courtroom. It's a joke.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      The joke is anyone who seriously believes the US orchestrated 9/11 and is covering it up. How can any sane reasonable person believe that in this era of instant news the American government could successfully cover up something of that magnitude when they can't even keep a lid on a Clinton's BJ in the Oval Office? Get help, man.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • CitizenX

      How dare you criticize our Dear Leaders and the Corporate News. Please report to the re-education facility immediately.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:36 am | Reply
  38. withoeve

    While I do not condone any act of violence, the points made are valid. If the USA cannot follow its own standards and laws in its quest and responsibility as a world leader, it is just a lie. We must always take the moral high ground, even when it hurt. No, especially when it hurts.

    We have a responsibility. On a dollar for dollar basis, we export more porn than any other nation on earth. We are the largest consumer of illegal drugs on the planet and therefore the largest funder of illegal organizations. How can any nation stand against the darkness we are perpetuating? What moral high ground do we have?

    Only when we remove these beams from our own eyes can we hope to have a positive influence on the world. You wonder and are horrified at the hate directed at the USA from these terrorist groups. You call them evil. I agree. But I wonder if the evil they take on is created out of desperation that we are directly responsible for.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • maestra730

      What a steaming pile of feces. You sound just like the current tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, whose love affair with all things Muslim (including himself) is beyond disgusting.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
      • rufftastic

        The Buddha said, "The suffering we bring, we create ourselves." You, sir, need to open your eyes. withoeve is right. 100%. Undeniably. They hate us because our culture supports many things considered evil by their standards. At this point though, I fear it is too late to right ourselves. Good luck in the future.

        October 18, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  39. Jason Black

    just more media to take your mind off who the real killers were. It was a setup by our own government, and we will never get the answers or the truth from this government.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      you, sir, are a moron

      October 18, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
      • John

        There is no need for negative comments.

        October 18, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  40. OffTheWorldPolitics

    Your people chop heads off of Westerns without a second thought. We in the West debate whether or not to chop of your beards.

    Malarkey anyone?

    October 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  41. Jeremy

    No other country in the world would allow this animal to have his day in court. He'd have already been dead.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • Steve-O

      His sentence has already been decided. This is all just for show to prove that we're still a free country with rights and due process. They got you to believe it.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply
  42. James DiGeorgia

    The sooner our government executes them the better. They murdered 3000 American CItizens including women and children. The claim we've killed "millions" is just fiction.

    Our nations enemies should have no doubt that we won't tolerate terrorism. These men are terrorists. Torture isn't apart of our ideology, we're too enlightened. Execution however is part of our ideology when merited.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Thank you, James DiGeorgia. Spoken like a true dimwitted, hateful Tea Partier! Where did you Tea Partiers learn how to hate like that anyway? They need to indict and try those who tortured this man bigtime but won't, sadly enough. That makes me want to puke!

      October 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
      • usausa

        "This man"; how about this psychopathic mass murderer. He murdered 3000 of your fellow citizens, suppose your a 'citizen of the world' – go complain to your hippy world government. Rule of law only stands when their is a government that can secure it – Pakistan? Afghanistan? please.

        October 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
      • Crow


        One crime does not translate into committing another crime. I know it's hard to grasp BUT everyone in the USA is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. So yes, the torturers need to face the full brunt of the legal system for their crimes as well.

        October 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Eric Jackson

      You are so damn ignorant. The US has killed millions of people around the globe not just since after 9/11. Our country is the largest terrorist group ever known to mankind. Look what we've done all around the world, China, the Phillipines, Korea, Guatemala, Libya in the 80s, Panama, Haiti, Chili. our "great" country has stepped foot in nearly every democracy on this earth and innocently killed and caused death to thousands. What did the innocent people in East Timor or Vietnam do to deserve to die? They did nothing.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
      • Imitiaz Khan

        How many people have been Killed by Islam Eric-any idea ?

        Try and find out who Mohammed Bin Qasim, Mohammed Ghori, Mohammed Ghazni, Chingez khan, Ogedei Khan, Timur the lame, Babur, Ahmed Shah Abdali, did in India/Iran.

        "Allah dislike Shrik"-so they would happily cut down Indians-and take their women.

        Al-Anfal 8:41:

        And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain, verily one-fifth (1/5th) of it is assigned to Allâh, and to the Messenger, and to the near relatives [of the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)], (and also) the orphans, Al-Masâkin (the poor) and the wayfarer, if you have believed in Allâh and in that which We sent down to Our slave (Muhammad SAW) on the Day of criterion (between right and wrong), the Day when the two forces met (the battle of Badr) – And Allâh is Able to do all things.

        Al-Ahzab 33:27:

        And He caused you to inherit their lands, and their houses, and their riches, and a land which you had not trodden (before). And Allâh is Able to do all things.

        The same great things were carried out by the Ottamans in the West.

        Till about the 18 century this great ideology was responsible for 600 Million deaths. If u take the last two centuries the toll might start coming close to a Billion deaths–

        October 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
      • ReligiousGuy

        @Imitiaz Khan
        Liar liar pants on fire!!!!!
        Every king was interested in expanding their empire and take away what they can from the defeated has hapened all over the globe by all kingdoms of all religions. The reason there are more Muslim kings killing people in war is because there were more Muslim kings. It is very clear from your post that you do not know the history of Babur. When he conquered India, most of India was being ruled by Muslims. Religion is just what you are injecting into this non-religious but pure politic wars fought in the past.

        October 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  43. Parick

    that's not torture Paki turd. Annaloscopy is for your health check. Mandatory for all terrorists.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      If that's you above trying to make me look like an ignorant Tea Partier Phunnie boy, then you left the "t" out of my name above. Either way, your statement is equally senseless!

      October 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply

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