GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — The defense team for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, charged with capital murder in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, on Sunday angrily called the military commission legal process a political “regime” set up to put him and the four other defendants to death.
David Nevin, Mohammed’s civilian attorney, said new rules imposed under the Obama administration bar them from discussing with their clients whether they were mistreated by U.S. authorities — in the case of Mohammed, “tortured” — after their arrests eight years ago.
According to CIA accounts and other documents, Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was subjected 183 times to waterboarding at a classified CIA site before he was moved to the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
On Saturday he and four alleged Sept. 11 comrades were arraigned on conspiracy, terrorism and murder charges. They deferred entering pleas of guilt or innocence in the case, with the government planning to seek five death sentences.
Army Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor, said Sunday that the public should remember Sept. 11 and what happened that morning when nearly 3,000 people died at New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon outside Washington, and a field in western Pennsylvania.
Mohammed, a Pakistani citizen who grew up in Kuwait and attended college in Greensboro, N.C., has admitted to military authorities that he was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks “from A to Z,” as well as about 30 other plots, and that he personally killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Mohammed was captured in 2003 in Pakistan.
Wife Skyping with soldier saw bullet hole in wall
DALLAS — An Army nurse showed no alarm or discomfort before suddenly collapsing during a Skype video chat with his wife, who saw a bullet hole in a closet behind him, his family said Sunday.
Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark’s family released a statement describing what his wife saw in the video feed recording her husband’s death in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan.
“Clark was suddenly knocked forward,” the statement said. “The closet behind him had a bullet hole in it. The other individuals, including a member of the military, who rushed to the home of CPT Clark’s wife also saw the hole and agreed it was a bullet hole.”
The statement says the Skype link remained open for two hours on April 30 as family and friends in the U.S. and Afghanistan tried to get Clark help.
“After two hours and many frantic phone calls by Mrs. Clark, two military personnel arrived in the room and appeared to check his pulse, but provided no details about his condition to his wife,” the statement said.
In the statement, Susan Orellana-Clark said she was providing details of what she saw “to honor my husband and dispel the inaccurate information and supposition promulgated by other parties.”
Clark, 43, grew up in Michigan and previously lived in Spencerport, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, his wife’s hometown. He joined the Army in 2006 and was stationed in Hawaii before he was assigned to the medical center in El Paso. He deployed to Afghanistan in March.
Clark’s body was returned Thursday to Dover Air Force Base.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters, aged 3 and 9.
Afghan soldier fires on NATO troops, kills 1
KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan soldier killed one U.S. Marine and wounded another before being shot to death in return fire Sunday in southern Afghanistan, the latest in a series of attacks against foreigners blamed on government forces within their own ranks.
Nearly 20 such attacks this year have raised the level of mistrust between the U.S.-led coalition and their Afghan partners as NATO gears up to hand over security to local forces ahead of a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of combat troops.
In another sign of deteriorating security, the United States is considering abandoning plans for a consulate in the country’s north because the building chosen was deemed too dangerous to occupy. The U.S. spent $80 million on the project despite glaring security deficiencies in the former hotel, according to a copy of a document drafted by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.