For the past five years, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been under the care of federal civilian and military employees who have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The experience apparently has not enamored him of the document.
At his arraignment here Thursday, the alleged 9/11 mastermind said he would not accept any attorney, even a fellow Muslim, who is sworn to your American constitution. Displaying a surprising understanding of such concepts as federalism and dual sovereignty, Mohammed referenced recent decisions by state courts in California and Massachusetts under the powers reserved to them under the Tenth Amendment.
I consider all American constitution evil, he said, because it permits same-sexual marriage and many other things that are very bad, he told the military judge, Col. Ralph Kohlmann. Do you understand?
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on pro se represenation:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who’s insisting on representing himself, told Col. Kohlmann, the military judge, that while he was an expert in the gospel and the Koran, he had no training in the common law system. Nonetheless, the alleged terrorist commanders comments suggested he held sympathy for the 20th century American analytical movement known as legal realism.
When Kohlmann urged Mohammed to keep an open mind about the value of having an attorney represent him in his capital trial, Mohammed remarked on the judges brusque treatment of civilian attorneys, whom he repeatedly silenced before they could state their objections.
You tell [David Nevin, a volunteer civilian attorney], Sit down! Sit down! Sit down Sit down!, said Mohammed. It is inquisition, not trial.
Mohammed continued: We have been five years under torturing, he said, and yet are being told to listen to American attorneys they’ve barely met. All of this has been taken under torturing, and after torturing they transfer us to Inquisitionland in Guantanamo.”
“I hope you can reconcile your concerns” about his religious duty with the issues involved in self-representation, Kohlmann said.
“You will continue now to the end, to the plea guilty?” Mohammed, more eager than impatient.
“Yes,” the judge said.