Torture? What Torture? Torture Not Relevant!

Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 186 times. His child was tortured in front of him and a military judge thinks that this is not relevant in the case against him and Walid bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali. Stalinist Russia, Maoist China and other assorted totalitarian countries come to mind as we wander further and further into the post 9/11 twilight zone.

Five alleged al-Qaeda conspirators accused of aiding the 9/11 hijackers all say they were tortured for years while in CIA custody, but sitting in a military courtroom on Monday, they all heard a judge insist that “torture” is not “relevant” to their cases.

Critics of the Bush administration’s torture program have long argued that it could taint prosecutions with evidence obtained under duress, which is exactly what defense attorneys have argued on behalf of defendants Walid bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, and alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In an exchange captured by Reuters, Army Col. James Pohl, the judge in the military tribunal, curtly refused a motion by Mohammed’s attorney, Air Force Cpt. Michael Schwartz, who argued that his client’s experience being tortured must be discussed.

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