Thursday, September 25, 2008
Misunderstander of Islam asks judge if he is misunderstander of Christianity
"We are well-known as extremists and fanatics, and there are also Christians and Jews that are very extremist." They don't fly planes into buildings or cut off heads, but never mind -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has clearly learned how to play the moral equivalence games that will tug on Leftist heartstrings. Apparently he thinks he can get a more favorable judge than Kohlmann, and so is trying to get him disqualified.
"September 11 suspect grills U.S. judge on religion," by Randall Mikkelsen for Reuters, September 24 (thanks to Jeffrey Imm):
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Accused September 11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed asked a U.S. military judge whether he belonged to an "extremist" religious group, at an unusual Guantanamo war-crimes court hearing on Tuesday
Mohammed, acting as his own attorney, asked Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann about his views on religion and torture at a pre-trial hearing of five accused September 11 co-conspirators.
"We are well-known as extremists and fanatics, and there are also Christians and Jews that are very extremist," Mohammed told the judge.
"If you, for example, were part of Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson's groups, then you would not at all be impartial toward us," he said, referring to U.S. evangelical Christian leaders who have denounced Islam as violent.
Kohlmann replied that he did not belong to a congregation. "When I have attended church, I was a member of various Lutheran churches and Episcopal churches, and I have not attended any of them for a long time because I have moved so often," the judge said.
Kohlmann dismissed as "inaccurate," an assertion by co-defendant Ramzi Binalshibh that he had a "Jewish name."
Kohlmann was also asked about how he followed news coverage on the day of the attacks and replied that his memory was imprecise. He also said he had no opinion on the facts of the September 11 incident, which triggered U.S. President George W. Bush's "war on terror."
Binalshibh, Mohammed and three other defendants -- Mustafa Ahmed al Hawsawi, Walid bin Attash and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali -- are charged with conspiring with al Qaeda to kill civilians in the attacks.
The men face 2,973 counts of murder, one for each person killed when hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Prosecutors want to execute them if they are convicted.
UNIQUE TO MILITARY COURTS
Extensive exploratory questioning of a judge's qualifications and bias by the defense is unique to military courts, including the commissions set up by Congress to try suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo U.S. Naval base.
Defense attorneys said they had not yet decided whether to ask Kohlmann to disqualify himself based on his answers....