Aafia Siddiqui: Victimized by American Depravity

By Stephen Lendman

April 1 2010

On February 3, 2010, after a sham trial, the Department of Justice announced Siddiqui’s conviction for “attempting to murder US nationals in Afghanistan and six additional charges.” When sentenced on May 6, she faces up to 20 years for each attempted murder charge, possible life in prison on the firearms charge, and eight years on each assault charge.

In March 2003, after visiting her family in Karachi, Pakistan, government Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents, in collaboration with Washington, abducted Siddiqui and her three children en route to the airport for a flight to Rawalpindi, handed them over to US authorities who took them secretly to Bagram prison, Afghanistan for more than five years of brutal torture and unspeakable abuse, including vicious beatings and repeated raping.

Bogusly charged and convicted, Siddiqui was guilty only of being Muslim in America at the wrong time. A Pakistani national, she was deeply religious, very small, thoughtful, studious, quiet, polite, shy, soft-spoken, barely noticeable in a gathering, not extremist or fundamentalist, and, of course, no terrorist.

She attended MIT and Brandeis University where she earned a doctorate in neurocognitive science. She did volunteer charity work, taught Muslim children on Sundays, distributed Korans to area prison inmates, dedicated herself to helping oppressed Muslims worldwide, yet lived a quiet, unassuming nonviolent life.

Nonetheless, she was accused of being a “high security risk” for alleged Al-Qaeda connections linked to planned terrorist attacks against New York landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building, accusations so preposterous they never appeared in her indictment.

The DOJ’s more likely interest was her supposed connection, through marriage, to a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the bogusly charged 9/11 mastermind who confessed after years of horrific torture. US authorities tried to use them both – to coerce KSM to link Siddiqui to Al-Qaeda, and she to admit his responsibility for 9/11 — something she knew nothing about or anything about her alleged relative.

Her trial was a travesty of justice based on the preposterous charge that in the presence of two FBI agents, two Army interpreters, and three US Army officers, she (110 pounds and frail) assaulted three of them, seized one of their rifles, opened fire at close range, hit no one, yet she was severely wounded.

No credible evidence was presented. Some was kept secret. The proceedings were carefully orchestrated. Witnesses were either enlisted, pressured, coerced, and/or bought off to cooperate, then jurors were intimidated to convict, her attorney, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, saying their verdict was “based on fear, not fact.”

Awaiting her May 6 sentencing, Siddiqui is incarcerated in harsh maximum security solitary confinement at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), denied all contact with friends and family, no mail or reading materials, or access to her previously allowed once a month 15 minute phone call to relatives.

Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC)

In February 2010, Muslim women in America, Britain, Canada, and Australia united in outrage over Siddiqui’s treatment and bogus conviction, demanding her release and exoneration.

March 28 was the seventh anniversary of her abduction, commemorated by a global day of protest, JFAC saying it was “to have events, demonstrations, letter-writing campaigns, khutbahs (sermons or public preaching), etc. in towns and cities all over the world in solidarity with Aafia” – for justice, against sadism and barbarity against an innocent woman, guilty of being a target of opportunity, not crimes she didn’t commit.

JFAC published a transcript of the March 26 Kamram Shahid-conducted Pakistan Front Line TV interview with Siddiqui family members, including her mother, Ismat, sister, Fowzia, and young son, Ahmed, who asked “why have they imprisoned her and why did they imprison me?” In response to whether he’d like to give his mother a message, he said:

“I love you and I am waiting for you (to) come back soon, if Allah permits.”

Ismat confirmed some of Aafia’s torture in shocking detail, saying:

She endured a lot, some of the worst of it including “six men… strip(ping) her naked. All her clothes would be removed. She told this to the Pakistani senators too, that they would strip her naked, then tie her hands behind her back, and then they would take her, dragging her by the hair. You cannot imagine the cruelty they have done to her. They would take her like this to the corridor and film her there.”

“After that, they observed that she would read the Qu’ran, from memory and from the book. They again would send six, seven men, who would strip her naked and misbehave etc. They took the Qu’ran and threw it at her feet and told her that only if you walk on the Qu’ran will we return (it) to you. She would cry and shout that she would not do it. Then they would beat her with their rifle butts so much that she would be bloodied. All her face and body would be injured. Then they used to pull out her hair one by one, just like this…. They threatened (to) take her to the court like this, naked.”

After “beat(ing) her so much that she bled… they made her lie on a bed. Then they tied her hands and feet – hands and feet both tied so that she (could) not even… scratch her wounds. Then they applied torture to the soles of her feet and head. They put her in some machines to make her lose her mental stability. They gave her such injections on the pretext of medical treatment.” When she pleaded not to do it, “they would make her unconscious and then give them to her. Such is (their) cruelty.”

“This epic cruelty – and look at (the) Islamic world…. They are all silent and making their palaces in Hell…. She was not even a criminal in their law. And she has done no crime. They did not accuse her of terrorism. She is not a terrorist.”

Her sister Fowzia said “It is all on tape. I am not making this up. They are sadists or whatever. All the strip searching was video-taped. (She called Aafia) a poster child for this torture and rendition,” one of many others brutalized in American prisons. Court testimony revealed that her children were also tortured, Ahmed later released on condition he say nothing, two still missing and presumed murdered. “I think even Genghis Khan did not do this,” said Fowzia.

In an August 2008 address to Pakistan’s Senate, Fowzia explained that “Aafia (can’t) get justice in the US…. They are sure to make her out to be a major terror figure to mask the five years of torture, rape and child molestation as reported by human rights groups.”

Her case is much more important than “my sister or one woman. Her torture is a crime beyond anything she was ever accused of (which was basically nothing) and this is a slap on the honor of our nation and the whole of humanity. The perpetrators of those crimes are the ones who need to be brought to account. That is the real crime of terror here.”

Fowzia appealed for Aafia’s extradition to Pakistan, despite little hope of expecting a government complicit in crime to cooperate beyond rhetoric. At first, it denied knowledge, then, after meeting with family, interior minister Faisal Saleh Hayat and other officials promised to work for her release, still denying complicity for what happened.

Because her ordeal sparked nationwide protests, Pakistan’s government is in damage control, apparently wants to shift blame to Washington, investigating officer Shahid Qureshi, in a report to the judicial magistrate, saying “FBI intelligence agents without any warrants or notice” committed the abduction — knowing full well about ISI’s complicity.

During confinement, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said Siddiqui had a kidney and her teeth removed. Her nose was broken and not properly set. Her gun shot wound was improperly treated. Reuters reported that she lost part of her intestines and still bleeds internally from poor treatment. Those around her notice she’s deathly pale because of extreme trauma and pain.

After years of horrific torture and abuse, a federal Bureau of Prisons psychological evaluation diagnosed her condition to be “depressive type psychosis” besides the destructive physical toll on her body.

World Outrage and Support

The Muslim Justice Initiative (MJI) said Siddiqui’s “recent guilty verdict… shocked and outraged masses across the globe” in announcing an April 2 online webinar discussion on her behalf, featuring her brother Mohammed, sister Fawzia, noted UK journalist and Siddiqui advocate, Yvonne Ridley, and Tina Foster, Executive Director of the International Justice Network (IJN). Information on the event can be found at muslimsforjustice.org.

On February 3, Siddiqui’s conviction date, IJN said the following:

It “represents the family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in the United States,” its attorneys “monitoring her trial, which began on January 19 and ended with a guilty verdict today in US Federal Court in the Southern District of New York.”

Today marks the close of another sad chapter in the life of our sister, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Today she was unjustly found guilty. Though she was not charged with any terrorism-related offense, Judge Berman permitted the prosecution’s witnesses to characterize our sister as a terrorist – which, based on copious (exculpatory) evidence, she clearly is not. Today’s verdict is one of the many legal errors that allowed the prosecution to build a case against our sister based on hate, rather than fact. We believe that as a result, she was denied a fair trial, and today’s verdict must be overturned on appeal.

Himself victimized by US torture, including at Bagram, author of “Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantanamo and Back,” Moassam Begg (like others), called Aafia “the Grey Lady of Bagram because she (was) almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continue to haunt those who heard her.” So much so that for six days in 2005, male prisoners staged a hunger strike in protest.

After sentencing, her next journey may be to isolated life confinement in federal Supermax hell — according to the US Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections, intended for the most dangerous criminals, guilty of “repetitive assaultive or violent institutional behavior,” the worst of the worst who threaten society or national security.

Hardly the place for a woman called shy, soft-spoken, deeply religious, polite, studious, thoughtful, and considerate of others, especially persecuted Muslims being brutalized in America’s global gulag, courtesy of an administration that pays lip service to ending torture but practices it as sadistically as George Bush and the worst of history’s tyrants.

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Dr Aafia Siddiqui found guilty

Kidnapped tortured for years and now in an American prison.

Even her children were in prison and tortured.

This is a travesty.  This is the American way.

Bush is Scott free in spite of the fact he is responsible for the torture of hundreds or maybe even thousands and the deaths  of over a million  or two million  people.

There sure is something wrong with this picture.

Why haven’t the people who Tortured and Raped Aafia Siddiqui not been charged and thrown in jail?????????

Why is that. Why are they free?????

If they are allowed to go free we definitely live in a sick, demented, sadistic  world. It says a lot about American justice doesn’t it?

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Still no verdict in Dr Aafia Siddiqui trial

February 3 2010

On Tuesday, jurors in New York deliberated for a full day without reaching a verdict in the trial of Pakistani citizen Aafia Siddiqui, who is charged with attempted murder of FBI agents and US military personnel.

The deliberations are scheduled to resume on Wednesday.

Siddiqui is accused of grabbing a US warrant officer’s M-4 rifle in a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan in July 2008 and firing two shots at FBI agents and military personnel when being interrogated for her alleged possession of documents detailing a ‘terrorist’ plan.

The prosecution says she burst from behind a curtain and attempted the ‘murder’ and was shot in the abdomen.

Last week, Siddiqui said she was concerned about being transferred to a “secret” prison by the US forces and was trying to slip out of the room when she was shot. “I’m telling you what I know. I walked toward the curtain. I was shot and I was shot again. I fainted,” she said.

Siddiqui’s lawyer Linda Moreno said during closing arguments Monday that the “science” supported her testimony that she didn’t touch the weapon or fire it.

“Where are the bullet holes? …Did the Afghanis take the bullet holes? …There is no physical evidence that an M-4 rifle was touched by Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, let alone fired,”The Wall Street Journal quoted Moreno as saying.

Siddiqui vanished in Karachi, Pakistan with her three children on March 30, 2003. The next day it was reported in local newspapers that she had been taken into custody on terrorism charges.

US officials allege that she was seized on July 17, 2008 by Afghan security forces in Ghazni province and claim that documents, including formulas for explosives and chemical weapons, were found in her handbag.

She has been brought to the United States to face charges of attempted murder and assault. Siddiqui faces 20 years in prison on the attempted murder charges and life in prison on the firearms charge.

However, human rights organizations have cast doubt on the accuracy of the US account of the event.

Many political activists believe she was Prisoner 650 of the US detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, where they say she was tortured for five years until one day US authorities announced that they had found her in Afghanistan.

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Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel

Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel
January 24 2010

The case against Pakistani citizen Aafia Siddiqui, who is charged with attempted murder of FBI agents and US military personnel, is beginning to unravel as witnesses have offered conflicting accounts in testimony delivered at her trial.

The long-awaited trial of Siddiqui began in a federal courtroom in New York on Tuesday.

On January 21, which was the second day of the trial, Assistant US Attorney Jenna Dabbs showed jurors numerous photographs of the room of the Afghan police station where the shooting allegedly took place, and a photo of the cell where Siddiqui was held when she was first brought to the station on July 17, 2008, the independent online news network Mathaba reported.

But Carlo Rosati, an FBI firearms expert who testified in the federal court on Friday, expressed doubts whether the M-4 rifle, which was allegedly grabbed by Aafia Siddiqui to attack US interrogators in Ghazni, Afghanistan, was ever fired at the crime scene, the Associated Press of Pakistan said.

In addition, on the third of the trial, an FBI agent testified that the FBI did not find Aafia Siddiqui’s fingerprints on the rifle.

No Pakistanis reporters were granted press credentials when opening statements began on Tuesday.

The MIT-educated neuroscientist is currently on trial, facing charges of trying to kill US soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan in 2008 and connections with Al-Qaeda operatives.

She insisted on the first day of the trial that she knew nothing about a plan to carry out terrorist attacks on targets in New York, The New York Daily News reported.

“Give me a little credit, this is not a list of targets of New York,” she said. “I was never planning to bomb it. You’re lying.”

Siddiqui told jurors at her trial on Tuesday that she was held in a secret prison in Afghanistan, her children were tortured, and the case against her is a sham.

She was ejected from the federal court on the first day of here trial after her shouting outburst.

Siddiqui vanished in Karachi, Pakistan with her three children on March 30, 2003. The next day it was reported in local newspapers that she had been taken into custody on terrorism charges.

US officials allege Aafia Siddiqui was seized on July 17, 2008 by Afghan security forces in Ghazni province and claim that documents, including formulas for explosives and chemical weapons, were found in her handbag.

They say that while she was being interrogated, she grabbed a US warrant officer’s M-4 rifle and fired two shots at FBI agents and military personnel but missed and that the warrant officer then fired back, hitting her in the torso.

She was then brought to the United States to face charges of attempted murder and assault. Siddiqui faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

However, human rights organizations have cast doubt on the accuracy of the US account of the event.

Many political activists believe she was Prisoner 650 of the US detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, where they say she was tortured for five years until one day US authorities announced that they had found her in Afghanistan.

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Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 8:07 am  Comments Off on Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel  
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US Trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has started

New York trial prompts outrage in Pakistan

Aafia Siddiqui, shown in custody in Afghanistan in 2008, faces life in prison on charges of attempted murder. AP

The U.S. says Aafia Siddiqui is a terrorist. Her countrymen say she is a victim of American injustice

By Saeed Shah

January 20 2010

In the United States, she’s been dubbed “the most dangerous woman in the world.” In Pakistan, she is seen as a victim of American injustice in the fight against al-Qaeda. And at the opening of her trial in New York, the judge found her too disruptive and had her removed from the courtroom.

“I was never planning a bombing! You’re lying!” Aafia Siddiqui shouted as she was taken out of court less than two hours into the proceedings yesterday.

The outburst came as U.S. Army Captain Robert Snyder testified that documents found in Dr. Siddiqui’s possession included targets for a mass casualty attack, including the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street and the Brooklyn Bridge.

There was shouting in Pakistan, too, at demonstrations in cities across the country in support of Dr. Siddiqui, who is a national cause célèbre as a symbol of Muslims mistreated during U.S. antiterrorism efforts, just like the prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, or Bagram, the Afghan prison where her supporters say she was secretly held for years.

Dr. Siddiqui’s frail appearance and tormented outbursts in pretrial hearings have added to allegations that she has had to endure years of torture since going missing from her hometown of Karachi in 2003. But according to her detractors, including her former husband Amjad Khan, she was a jihadist who spent those years on the run. Some have even suggested that she became a double agent, working at some point against al-Qaeda.

U.S. officials have accused Dr. Siddiqui, a 37-year-old neuroscientist educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of working for al-Qaeda, in particular as a facilitator for the 9/11 hijackers. The only charges she faces in the New York court, however, are related to the extraordinary circumstances of her supposed capture in Afghanistan in 2008.

“They couldn’t find a more innocent person,” says Fauzia Siddiqui, Aafia’s sister in Karachi. “I don’t believe that there’s any justice possible in the post-9/11 U.S. system.”

Fauzia Siddiqui cares for 13-year-old Ahmed, one of her sister’s three children, who were all with her when she disappeared. The whereabouts of the other two, Suleman, who would now be 7, and Maryam, 10, remain a mystery.

Dr. Siddiqui’s family says she was abducted by Pakistani intelligence and then handed over to American agents.

Shortly after the stories of Dr. Siddiqui’s alleged detention at Bagram hit the international headlines in 2008, she turned up in American custody. U.S. authorities said she was arrested after acting suspiciously in Ghazni, Afghanistan, a town 80 kilometres south of Kabul, and found with documentation on U.S. landmarks and jars containing chemicals.

According to the U.S. account, when in custody at a police station in Ghazni, the petite Dr .Siddiqui jumped out from behind a curtain, grabbed an M-4 rifle that was lying at the foot of a U.S. soldier, and shot at him twice, missing. A second soldier fired back, hitting her in the stomach. She was then flown to the United States.

In New York, she faces life in prison on charges of attempted murder, armed assault on U.S. officers and employees and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence – all stemming from the Ghazni incident.

Defence lawyer Charles Swift – whom Dr. Siddiqui has disowned – told jurors there was no conclusive evidence she ever picked up the rifle. “There are many different versions of how this happened,” he said.

In Pakistani cities such as Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, there were small but emotional demonstrations.

“They [the Americans] are just trying to lock up people to show they have some bad guys, to try to prove they are winning the war,” 18-year-old student Mohammad bin Ismail said in Islamabad. “They are using people like trophies.”

The fact that Dr. Siddiqui is a woman seems to have generated much anger in conservative Pakistan, where her support is noticeably from the religious right. “It’s a case of rendition,” said Amina Janjua, a local campaigner for missing people. “We feel that as a Pakistani nation, our respect, honour and dignity is at stake.”

Source

Aafia Sid NEW YORK:

Pakistani neuroscientist and an alleged al-Qaida sympathiser Aafia Siddiqui accused of shooting at US military officers in Afghanistan, today promised to behave in court and refrain from any outbursts.

Siddiqui has been accused of shooting at US military officers and FBI agents, was taken out of the court, following an outburst on the first day of trial.

Siddiqui exploded into an disjointed protest shortly after the first witness, Captain Jack Snyder began testifying about a paper on which the defendant allegedly had written words like “radiation material”, “dirty bomber”, and names of New York City landmarks including Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building.

“I was never planning to bomb,” “When you’ve been in a secret prison,” “When your children have been tortured” are some of the things, she said, before being taken out from the courtroom.

Siddiqui told Judge Richard Berman she would be quiet on even though she might disagree with testimony. The prosecutors requested that Siddiqui not be allowed back in for the rest of the trial that is expected to last about ten days.

The defendant, herself, has refused to participate in the court proceedings, several times, and does not recognise here defence team retained by the Pakistani government including, Charles Swift, who is well know for being the lawyer for Osama bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamadan.

Siddiqui was picked up by Afghan forces after she was found wandering around the governor’s house in the city of Ghazni with a small boy, the alleged handwritten paper and a thumb drive with more notes in various languages including Urdu.

After opening statements from both sides, the prosecutor presented three witnesses who proceeded to describe how the defendant had picked up a M4 rifle that had been left unsecured by one a military official during her interrogation in the police headquarters in Ghazni.

Snyder recalled that the gun was pointed straight at his head and being able to see in the barrel of the gun. “I used the arms of my chair to spring out of my seat and get out of the line of the fire,” he said.

The defence team intends to show that the suspicious material that the defendant allegedly had on her person is not credible as it changed hands several times between Afghan and American officials, and also that the petite 90 pound, Siddiqui, could not have lifted a M4 much less fired it.

The defendant, 37, who studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has also been described as an Al Qaeda sympathiser but this case is only about whether she shot the army personnel and she is not facing any terrorism-related charges.

Siddiqui left the United States for Pakistan in 2002. The following year she disappeared from Pakistan and suddenly resurfaced in 2008 in front of the governor’s house. It is believed she was held by the US authorities during this time.

Source

Jury selected for Dr Aafia’s trial

By Masood Haider
January 16, 2010

NEW YORK: A 16-member jury was chosen on Thursday for Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s trial next week, as the Pakistani neuroscientist repeatedly interrupted questioning of potential jurors about the Sept 11 terrorist attacks.

Of the 16 jurors, 12 will be part of the jury team and four will be alternate team in case someone falls sick.

“I have nothing to do with 9/11,” Ms Siddiqui declared when a potential juror who cited her personal experience on Sept 11 was dismissed. Dr Aafia suggested Israel was behind the attacks.

Ms Siddiqui’s trial for allegedly shooting at her US interrogators in Afghanistan last July begins in the US District Court in Manhattan on January 19. She’s not facing terrorism charges.

When Judge Richard Berman quizzed the jury panel whether their 9/11 experiences would influence their deliberations, Ms Siddiqui stood up from the defence table.

“The next question will be on anti-Semitism, Israel was behind 9/11. That’s not anti-Semitic,” she said before being escorted out.

Judge Berman later said that anyone who disrupts proceedings will be removed, but that Ms Siddiqui has a right to be present for her trial and would be allowed to return.

On Wednesday, Ms Siddiqui demanded that Jews should be excluded from the jury at her trial.

Ms Siddiqui has repeatedly said she is boycotting her own trial and has attempted to make her case directly to prospective jurors and the judge.

In the end on Thursday, a jury of seven women and five men was chosen, with four alternate jurors, two men and two women.

Ms Siddiqui is accused of attempted murder of US Army officer by grabbing rifle during an interrogation in Afghanistan in July 2008.

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Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 12:40 am  Comments Off on US Trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has started  
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Last Guantanamo trial of Bush era is delayed

December 10 2008

By Jane Sutton

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba

A U.S. military judge on Wednesday indefinitely delayed the January trial of a young Afghan captive, leaving the future course of justice at the Guantanamo prison camp in the hands of President-elect Barack Obama.

Defendant Mohammed Jawad had been set to go to trial at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba on January 5 on charges of throwing a grenade that injured two U.S. soldiers and their Afghan interpreter at a bazaar in Kabul in December 2002.

His was the last trial scheduled to start before Obama takes office on January 20. Obama has said he will close the Guantanamo detention center and move the prisoners’ terrorism trials into the regular U.S. civilian or military courts.

Human rights groups have urged him to issue an executive order immediately upon taking office, halting the tribunals that have been widely condemned by rights activists, foreign leaders and military defense lawyers.

In the seven years since President George W. Bush first authorized the tribunals, military juries have convicted only two prisoners on terrorism charges and a third pleaded guilty in an agreement that limited his sentence to nine months.

A military judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley, indefinitely postponed Jawad’s trial on Wednesday to give prosecutors time to appeal his earlier decision to throw out much of the evidence.

Henley had ruled that Jawad’s confession to Afghan government authorities was obtained through death threats that constituted torture and that his subsequent confession to U.S. interrogators was fruit of that torture.

The judge ruled that neither could be admitted as evidence against Jawad, who was drugged and only 16 or 17 years old at the time of his arrest in Afghanistan. Jawad was turned over to U.S. forces and sent shortly afterward to Guantanamo.

A hearing is still scheduled at Guantanamo on Friday for a young Canadian captive, Omar Khadr, who is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in July 2002. His trial is scheduled to start on January 26, a date now in doubt because of the change in the U.S. administration.

CONFUSION IN HIGH PROFILE CASE

No further hearings have been set for the most high-profile case among the 17 pending at Guantanamo, that of five al Qaeda suspects charged with orchestrating the September 11 attacks.

The five, including self-described mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, came to the Guantanamo courtroom on Monday ready to hand the Bush administration a major victory in its final days by confessing to the mass murders that prompted its war on terrorism.

What stopped them was confusion over whether the murky tribunal rules allowed the defendants to plead guilty to charges that could lead to their execution and whether their treatment at U.S. hands had left them sane enough to do it.

All five said they were tortured, though details have not been made public. A decision is still pending on whether two of them, Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa Ahmed al Hasawi, are mentally competent to act as their own attorneys and carry out their plans to confess.

“Each one of these individuals has some problems because of what we did to them,” said Army Maj. Jon Jackson, the military lawyer appointed to defend Hawsawi.

The defense lawyers said the confusion over whether the tribunal rules allow guilty pleas in death penalty cases illustrates why the trials should be moved into the regular courts where the rules have been long tested.

They said they were confident Obama would pull the plug on the Guantanamo tribunals, which are formally known as military commissions.

“What you saw was the death throes of the commissions,” said Michael Berrigan, deputy chief defense counsel for Guantanamo. “Everybody knows why — it’s not justice.”

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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