(RightWing.org) – A group of men who allegedly plotted the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York City and at the Pentagon, as well as other violent acts like the bombing of the USS Cole, have been negotiating with prosecutors in their military tribunal trial for a plea deal that would see them plead guilty.
Among their requests were guarantees from President Joe Biden that they would not have to serve their life sentences in solitary confinement and to have treatment for their mental and physical health issues sustained in the years spent purportedly being tortured by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Those requests have been denied.
The Decision Is In
Biden has shown a reluctance to address these issues because he believes these decisions should be made by the top military officers in charge of the case, according to an unnamed National Security Council official who was not authorized to comment publicly. After nearly a year of hemming and hawing by the commander-in-chief — not coincidentally, the highest-ranking military officer in the country — he took the recommendation of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and refused the defendants’ terms.
To say this has been a long road would be an understatement, the defendants were first captured in 2002-2003 and sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo) in 2006. They have been there since. Nonetheless, many of the people who lost loved ones on that day have expressed outrage at the idea of any plea bargains being made and would rather see the men tried with the death penalty still in play as a punishment.
A Win for the Defense
All of the defendants claim to have been subjected to severe cruel and inhumane torture at the hands of the CIA at several secret “dark sites” for years. Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed Abdu Al-Nashiri’s attorneys filed a motion to have his statement suppressed because the “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) that included waterboarding and hours of confinement in boxes only “slightly larger than a miniature refrigerator” means any admissions he made were coerced.
The current presiding judge, U.S. Army Colonel Lanny Acosta Jr. of the Judge Advocate’s office issued a ruling on August 18 saying that any statement made by Al-Nashiri during his time in CIA custody is inadmissible. However, the ruling says, “it is clear that the accused understood by 14 March 2007 that he had rights,” and so any admissions made to interrogators after that time can be used during the trial.
According to the Military Commission website, the government filed a brief in support of their appeal of the ruling on September 5. They contend that “the military judge abused his discretion, and that the ruling was based on clearly erroneous factual findings.”
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