GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba â€“ Two alleged orchestrators of the 2001 attacks on America casually declared their guilt on Monday in a messy and perhaps final session of the Guantanamo war crimes court. This week's military hearings could be the last at Guantanamo â€” President-elect Barack Obama has said he would close the offshore prison and many expect him to suspend the military tribunals and order new trials in the U.S.
Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed architect of the terrorist attacks, were unapologetic about their roles during a series of outbursts as translators struggled to keep up and the judge repeatedly sought to regain control.
"We did what we did; we're proud of Sept. 11," announced Binalshibh, who has said he wants to plead guilty to charges that could put him to death. The judge must first determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial.
Mohammed shrugged off the potential death sentence for the murder of nearly 3,000 people in the Sept. 11 attacks.
"We don't care about capital punishment," said Mohammed, whose thick gray beard flows to the top of his white prison jumpsuit. "We are doing jihad for the cause of God."
Mohammed, representing himself, insisted that a uniformed lawyer assigned to assist him be removed from his defense table, saying he represents the "people who tortured me."
In another diatribe over secrecy, the acknowledged terrorist ridiculed the government's position that national security had to be protected. "They want to hide their black sites, their torture techniques," he said.
Told by the judge to limit his remarks to a legal issue being discussed at that moment, Mohammed bristled: "This is terrorism, not court. You don't give me the opportunity to talk."
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