Andrew Mccarthy, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Pakistan discussed on Fox News Rundown


In 2000 and two beginning of a four year stay at CIA black sites. The defendants also include a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of Transferring money to the hijackers on his uncle's behalf while working as a computer tech in Dubai. Mohammed has been in U. S custody for more than 18 years now, like the others, he was captured in Pakistan, and they've all been at Gitmo for 15 years, now charged with crimes, including terrorism, hijacking and nearly 3000 counts of murder. But the case now on judge Number seven has yet to make it to trial after a variety of legal challenges and a high profile fight years ago over the setting the Bush administration Controversially, but I thought at the time correctly try to move the cases out of civilian court. Andrew McCarthy is a former assistant U. S attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Fox News contributor, at least against, uh, the category of terrorists that we called alien enemy combatants. And to move them into a military commission proceeding instead. And that effort which I which I think people should have cooperated in. Was instead turned into a real, uh, hot partisan football and the to make a long 20 year story short. There is that you have the problem. Both that The Democrats. Attacked the Propriety of the commissions from the beginning and and really hammered them relentlessly. And you had a lot of lawyers who volunteered their services to our Enemies in order to to try to dismantle and undermine the commission system. And then to be fair. The commission system didn't work very well. It hasn't worked very well. So in 20 years, we've never gotten a single trial. To completion. I think there's been either eight or nine Guilty pleas and in a lot of those cases, you know, frankly, I say this as someone who prosecuted terrorists and the civilian system sentences in the military system where an absolute disgrace I mean, guys who would have gotten hammered in civilian terrorism trials were virtually given a walk in some of these military commissions. And in the case, particularly of KSM and four other terrorists who were directly responsible for the 9 11 attacks. There's a big issue about Statements that they made to particularly the CIA. And how much of that information is admissible in court. Yeah, and you mentioned the things they may have said to the CIA. This, of course, goes back to the enhanced interrogation techniques. Uh, Eventually Brandon is torture and a limp stopped by the Obama administration. Um could that really him string this case Could that end up throwing Lot of evidence out. I mean, how much of this will end up being a battle centered on that? Well, in the first instance I want to push back a little bit on the common labelling of this questioning is torture. Because I don't think it ever was. The fact that people on the left and in the Obama administration labeled a torture doesn't make it so and I don't think these people were tortured. That's not to say that their statements were not Elicited from physically aggressive tactics that would not be permitted in any court. Whether it's a military court order for civilian court, you cannot Get put in evidence of a confession that's derived by overriding somebody's will to resist, Um, questioning, but I don't think it was torture. But there is a A big problem in that you could lose evidence of Confessions and I should be clear on this. Lisa that Um you can't admit a statement that was directly Elicited by waterboarding or some other form of enhanced interrogation. Or or, you know, physically coercive interrogation. Anything that overbear somebody's will. The issue here is To compare it to a normal civilian trial. The law is if you give if you failed to give somebody Miranda warnings in a civilian Context. And he makes a an incriminating statement. And then subsequently you give that person Miranda warnings and he makes the same statement. The second statement can be admitted even if the first statement is inadmissible because the second statement is deemed Voluntary. So the issue in the, uh, KSM case with respect to the guys who were waterboarded is do the statements that they made under circumstances where they weren't being coerced. Do they get to be admitted in the trial? No one is trying to admit the statements that they made while they were being water boarded. The question is even when the government says they gave their subsequent statements voluntarily. Did they give those statements under circumstances where they should get? The cat was out of the bag because they had talked while they were being waterboarded, And at that point, it didn't matter whether they spoke or not, So that's the that's the legal issue. You are the lead prosecutor in the convictions of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers and a plot to blow up other landmarks to is. How is this different? How is this trial? Different? Of course, The setting of it is different. But are you Are you optimistic that this will also lead to convictions that could hold up? The setting is different. Charges are different. The times are different in the sense that what was miraculous about the World Trade Center bombing was that despite Detonating £1400 chemical explosive at high noon during a period of time when we proved that there was in that area, very densely packed area of lower Manhattan there could be anywhere from 60 to 120,000 people. At any one time in the immediate area of the explosion. The miracle was that only six people, including one woman, who I believe was almost may have been seven months pregnant. But only six adults were killed. There was a lot of damage and there were people who were injured, but the number of the number of people who were killed compared to the thousands that they hope to kill. Was really minimal. And miraculous If you look at the at just the sheer destruction, so it's a very you know, it's a different thing. It's it's different. Not only because it's a military justice system proceeding rather than a civilian justice system proceeding, but also because the country is so different and and the feeling that we have about terrorism, and the aftermath of these terrorist attacks is so different. In 2021 than it was in 1993 94 95. We've seen KSM and the others as pretrial hearings resumed this week for the first time since the pandemic started. We've seen the smiling waving at each other. Um, They appeared just to be happy to see each other in court. But it makes you wonder. You know if they're convicted, and even if they're sentenced to death, um is it going to matter to them? And should it matter to us whether or not it matters to them? I mean, I think part of the reason that they're smiling and waving at each other is because they should have been executed 15 years ago, and they're still alive. So When 9 11 happened, and particularly when KSM was apprehended. If you had told someone that it would be 2021, he wouldn't even his trial wouldn't even be imminent yet because we don't even know when this trial is going to start. I don't think anybody would have believed that so in a sense, these guys are, uh are cheating death and they have good reason to think they've made fools of us. But will it matter to them? I don't know. If we should care so much, whether if they get put to death, it'll matter to them. I think what we need to be concerned about is the national security of the United States. And whether they care about whether they get put to death or not. I think it's important that they do. With the 20th anniversary of 9 11 upon us Have you done a lot of reflecting about the origins of the war on terror, the rise of radical Islam? And whether we've learned the lessons we need to learn from those past cases, including the when you prosecuted leading up to 9 11. Yeah, I've thought of it a lot. And I think the biggest frustration on my end is I feel like We proved in court What the ideology of the jihadist is and the fact that there is a kind of a straight line of causation between Verses that they focus on in Scripture mediating figures like whether it's an Al Qaeda type organization or someone like the blind Sheik who inspire people using these scriptures to commit terrorist acts..

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