|Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a captured Al Qaeda leader, is currently being tried at Guantanamo Bay under military tribunal. Here's the New York Times article:|
Suspected Leader of 9/11 Attacks is Said to Confess
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, long said to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, confessed to them at a military hearing held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Saturday, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon yesterday. He also acknowledged full or partial responsibility for more than 30 other terror attacks or plots.
“I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z,” he said.
In addition to the 9/11 attacks, the transcript provided by the Pentagon has Mohammed confessing to a role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the actual beheading of Jewish American journalist Daniel Pearl, as well as many other terror plots that were never performed. Sounds convincing, right?
I can't help but find myself somewhat skeptical of this confession. Perhaps it is the sheer breadth of the crimes he is supposedly confessing to, perhaps it is the audacity and extra-newsquip-friendliness of his statements, but something seems amiss here. Especially as the Bush Administration faces sharper and sharper criticism for its War on Terror, including the failure even produce results. In that light, Mohammed's confession seems awful convenient.
I am not the only one to have doubts. Another perspective is that Mohammed is something of a self-glorifying egotist who is claiming a bigger part in these attacks than he actually played. I could also imagine there being a strategy in admitting to a plethora of crimes to take heat off of other operatives still in the field. Anyway, here is an NPR piece about it:
Mohammed Confession Leaves Room for Skepticism
"The 9-11 Commission said Mohammed had an inflated view of himself, cultivating an image as a super-terrorist. Some observers believe that a sizable ego has led him to claim credit where credit isn't due."
I'm trying not to let the conspiracy fiend in me take over, and of course it is not totally unimaginable that Mohammed actually did play the role he says he has. But I think there are enough other motivations and factors at play here to leave room to wonder. This is particularly true in the demonstrated willingness of the Bush Administration to distribute misinformation to suit their causes.
What do you think?