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?”
But little stood out more than toward the end of the process when, after a request from the judge, Ralph Kohlmann, Mohammed promised to protect classified information that is off-limits to the American public.
'It was weird conceptually,' said Joanne Mariner, a director at Human Rights Watch who observed the arraignment. 'It was one of incongruous moments of the hearing.'
Under the rules of the military tribunals, the Pentagon said the defendants would have access to all of the evidence presented in court, even if it is classified. The military said the rule would help guarantee the suspects get a fair trial although that assessment has been challenged by human rights groups.