Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Sentencing will be passed down later today on Salim Hamdan, a man described by defense attorneys and witnesses as a low level driver who knew nothing of Al Qaeda. The driver will face life imprisonment while it was revealed last week that Osama Bin Laden’s most senior bodyguard was simply let go from the prison at Guantánamo Bay.
|The so called "mastermind of 9/11" Khalid Sheik Mohammed dismissed Hamdan in written testimony as a mere chauffeur "not fit to plan or execute".|
A jury of six military officers at Guantanamo Bay reached a split verdict Wednesday in the war crimes trial of a former driver for Osama bin Laden, clearing him of some charges but convicting him of others that could send him to prison for life, reports AP.
The so called "mastermind of 9/11" Khalid Sheik Mohammed dismissed Hamdan in written testimony as a mere chauffeur "not fit to plan or execute".
U.S. authorities do not even claim that the driver and sometime mechanic, who earned a mere $200 a month, was a major terror figure. But prosecutors alleged that he carried weapons used by Al Qaeda and helped to spirit Bin Laden out of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban.
The trial of Hamdan, the first Guantanamo war crimes trial, has been used as a show piece to promote the virtues of the Bush cabal’s "war on terror".
Last week we revealed that a Pentagon produced documentary on Al Qaeda, which was presented as evidence at the trial, was created by a terrorism consultant who has previously attempted to pass off Pentagon released propaganda as directly released by Al Qaeda.
Furthermore, human rights groups have slammed the trial as proof that the tribunal system should be scrapped in favor of regular civilian or military courts, saying dubious interrogations were allowed as evidence.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said that "statements made at Guantanamo were allowed into evidence, despite reports that Hamdan had been subject to extensive sleep deprivation, sexual harassment, and other abuse."
Hamdan’s Pentagon-appointed defense attorneys told reporters the trial was "lacking in certain fundamental rights that would be available in any other American courtroom" and admitted that the tribunal system’s rules seemed designed to achieve convictions.
"I don’t know if the panel can render fair what has already happened," Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer told reporters as the jury deliberated.
The status of this trial as a complete kangaroo court show piece is compounded by revelations last week that soon after Hamdan arrived at the Guantánamo prison in 2002, he told interrogators the identity of the Osama Bin Laden’s most senior bodyguard, then a fellow prison-camp detainee, only to subsequently see the man released by the prison-camp interrogators.
A McClatchy Newspapers report outlined the details:
Michael St. Ours, an agent with the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), provided the first tidbit. He testified for the prosecution that his job as a prison-camps interrogator in May 2002 was to find and focus on the bodyguards among the detainees.
Hamdan helped identify 30 of them, 10 percent of the roughly 300 detainees then held here. They had just been transferred to Camp Delta from the crude compound called Camp X-Ray, and U.S. intelligence was trying to unmask all of them.
Chief among them was Casablanca-born Abdallah Tabarak, then 47, described by St. Ours as "a hard individual," and, thanks to Hamdan, "the head bodyguard of all the bodyguards."
St. Ours said he was eager to speak with Tabarak. But the Moroccan was "uncooperative," and St. Ours moved on to other intelligence jobs — and never learned what became of him.
On cross-examination, Hamdan defense attorney Harry Schneider, of Seattle, dropped a bombshell: "Would it surprise you to learn he was released without ever being charged?"
St. Ours looked stunned.
"Yeah," he said.
This information should not come as such of a shock to Infowars readers however, as we have persistently documented how so called "Al Qaeda" prisoners miraculously and routinely "escape" from maximum security prisons all over the world or are allowed to walk away from attacks they are said to have perpetrated. Al Qaeda’s top brass never ended up at guantanamo because they were all flown out on US planes in a deal done with Pakistan in late 2001 as the Afghanistan invasion began. This was later verified and passed off as just another "mistake". Watch Veteran reporter Sy Hersh describe these events:
The detention facilities at Guantanamo bay are a media showcase, nothing more than a public relations scam designed to give us a glimpse of "the new rules of war". We are slowly being acclimatized to torture and imprisonment without fair trial. These things are now even being implemented within our own laws.
We have tirelessly exposed how no Al Qaeda "leaders" have been captured or discovered at Guantanamo Bay either first hand or via information garnered through torture. The truth is that those we are told are dangerous terrorists are students, goat herders and taxi drivers.
The reality of the situation with Salim Hamdan is that he was the perfect patsy for the Pentagon and the Bush cabal to make a show piece out of to promote the war on terror. While so called "high-value" terrorism suspects (read intelligence assets and go betweens) are kept locked behind closed doors and away from the scrutiny of the media, Hamdan was a low level know-nothing, thus there was no risk he could reveal anything of any significance regarding Al Qaeda, which we have consistently exposed as a creation of the intelligence agencies.