Saturday, November 23, 2002

Zacarias Moussaoui has maintained that he was a member of an Islamic fundamentalist group, but had nothing to do with the September 11 terrorism. Captured al-Qaeda leader Ramzi Binalshibh has now apparently given evidence to support the claims of Moussaoui. Binalshibh has stated that Moussaoui met with terrorist planner Khalid Sheik Mohammed in Afghanistan in the winter of 2000. Binalshibh also met with Moussaoui in Karachi in June 2001. However, he and Mohammed decided that Moussaoui was too unreliable and too much of a blabbermouth to use in the terrorist attack unless it was absolutely necessary, and would only give Moussaoui instructions at the last minute if they decided to use him. This basically confirms Moussaoui's story, and may explain why the U. S. government is so loathe to allow Moussaoui to call Binalshibh as a witness. Indeed, the case against Moussaoui, which was weak to begin with, is falling apart so much that the government is floating the idea of labelling Moussaoui an 'enemy combatant', shipping him to Guantanamo Bay, and possibly eventually trying him in a military tribunal. It's bad enough that they are thinking of using military tribunals, but the idea of using military tribunals after they have decided to use the regular court system but don't look to be successful there is really repugnant. The way the United States is going, you can foresee defendants being shuffled down through various layers of courts with decreasing levels of constitutional protections until the prosecutors find one that will provide a conviction.