At his arraignment Thursday, Ramzi Binalshibh admitted he committed an overt act in the 9/11 attack plot:
“I’ve been seeking martyrdom for five years. I tried to get a visa for 9/11, but I could not,” said [Ramzi] Binalshibh, who was a member of the German-based Hamburg cell of Al-Qaeda which planned and then carried out the attacks.
A native of Yemen, Binalshibh shared a Hamburg apartment with Mohammed Atta, a key leader of the 19 hijackers who took over four planes on the day to use as weapons, but unlike Atta and the others, he was unable to get a US visa. — Agence Free Presse (France)
Yet I looked through dozens of news reports and commentaries before determining how he and co-defendants Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek Bin ‘Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi pled to the charges and specifications against them.
As former federal prosecutor, Andrew C. McCarthy noted Friday in the National Review Online:
“…the media leave us in the dark about that detail. It went unreported in breathless on-sight accounts from the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Associated Press. Instead, reporters give us dark reminders that KSM was held for years in secret CIA prisons — secret, at least, until the press exposed their existence. (Have I mentioned that he killed almost 3,000 Americans on one day?) The “black sites” may be an interesting subject, but they’re irrelevant to an arraignment. (Fear not, MSNBC: There will be plenty of time between now and the trial for jihadists and their sympathizers to contend that abusive interrogations and harrowing incarcerations should result in the suppression of evidence or the dismissal of charges).”
I wasn’t there, but we can safely assume there were no guilty pleas — the combatants, who apparently read the newspapers, are taking the tack that the commissions are illegitimate. Whether they actually entered formal not guilty pleas is unclear from the reporting, which focused instead on KSM’s courtroom antics. (We’ll come to those momentarily). Procedurally, the matter is of little moment: If getting straight answers from defendants is a problem, as it appeared to be in Thursday’s occasionally chaotic session, judges typically order that pleas of not guilty be entered for the record.[Editor — McCarthy was the lead prosecutor of the ‘Blind Sheik’ and those who conducted the first attack upon the World Trade Center.]
It took me more than two hours online to find out how they pled — they did not.
Instead, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al staged one last act (for that day) of al Qaeda lawfare against the United States of America:
The session concluded with a formal reading of the charges, in which the chief prosecutor, Bob Swann, coldly read out the highlights: that the defendants did commit murder “in the violation of the laws of war” that led to the deaths of 2,970 people. The judge then asked the defendants to rise for the formal arraignment: All five remained seated. The judge then said he would defer their entering of pleas to a later date. — Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, for Newsweek, in their [4-page, 1,736 word] article’s last paragraph
The mainstream media is so engrossed with repeating al Qaeda’s propaganda they all but forgot to mention an important fact about Thursday’s arraignment. Two reporters seemingly wrote the lone exception only because they had room left on the page. Yet even they failed to correctly state the number murdered: 2,973.