9/11 conspirators being charged at Guantanamo Bay
Military tribunal for accused underway at Gitmo
- Duration 5:23
- Date May 5, 2012
Military tribunal for accused underway at Gitmo
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After a delay of more than three years the biggest terror trial in American history is underway now at Guantanamo Bay Cuba the five men suspected in the September 11 attacks appearing in a military court.
Hello everybody I'm Kelly right.
I'm Jamie Colby great to have you here this is a brand new hour inside America's News HQ.
And all eyes are on Guantanamo Bay today because self proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohamed.
And four co defendants are being arraigned at gitmo.
They're facing nearly 3000.
Counts of murder for the worst terror attack on US soil ever.
The proceedings come more than three years after the failed effort to try the suspects in federal court that would have been just blocks away from the site of the destroyed trade center.
And after the president's failure to close the prison at the US base in Cuba as he promise.
Chief intelligence source -- and Catherine Herridge who has been to Guantanamo Bay probably more times than anyone I know Catherine.
And today is the day so many of these 9/11 families have waited for break down what happened in court so far for us.
-- -- Cheney and thank you I was here my time in a -- 2008 when the nine elevenths suspects the first -- At that hearing they tried to take control by acting as their own attorneys.
This morning they tried to take control of the proceedings.
By refusing to cooperate by refusing to answer questions by refusing to Wear the headphones that they could hear the Arabic translation.
And they were also plenty of antics in court.
Winzip -- ship who lived with 9/11 hijacker Mohammed -- in Hamburg Germany stood up at one point and said quote.
Maybe they are going to kill us and say that we are committing suicide.
The nine elevenths suspects don't look much like the pictures that you see here they've -- in many ways -- sick Mohammed today.
Had a red and very full beard.
Others look very withdrawn and -- lost a lot of weight.
That the other point I would make it -- this morning is that the where real contentious exchanges between the military lawyers and the judge in this case.
When the lawyers allege that in the year that they've had to prepare for this case.
He never had access to a full time translator.
And he doesn't speak Arabic Jamie.
It seems like these suspects are gonna do everything they can to either stall the proceedings.
Or not allow them to actually accept a plea from them what happens.
If they don't cooperate Katherine.
Well right now just says set the scene for you Jamie were in a recess and we're now going into our fourth hour of the hearing we're waiting.
For these five men to see if they're going to enter pleas one of the only differences.
Between the Obama military commissions and the bush -- trials is that the men can now go into court and enter a plead guilty but ultimately it -- be up to a jury.
To see whether they would get the death penalty or not my sense from this morning.
As -- these men kind of seek the court proceedings as a day out at the mall it's a chance to give them a change of scene and they may want to drag this out as long as possible change.
My understanding is Catherine and please correct me if I'm wrong that if they don't enter a plea that it's an automatic not guilty plea.
And we know that some of the families.
Of those who perished on 9/11.
Work given the opportunity to be there what would that be like for them.
Well -- six of the nine elevenths families here they were chosen through Defense Department lottery when -- court with us and there is this long blue curtain that separates them from the reporters -- we can't really see there.
Our reactions that we did have a chance to speak to Blake Allison Blake Allison lost his wife on American Airlines flight eleven.
And when he said good bye to her that morning in Boston he never imagined that he would never see her again.
-- it's just keep me in your pocket.
But just the thing she always used to say to mean when.
She knew I was.
Feeling anxious -- stressed about something but just she always said that to let me know that she was there.
If there was one sentiment that we heard from a lot of the family members who have been in the courthouse behind me is that they felt they voted to the person their family -- was killed on nine elevenths.
Physically sit in that courtroom and to look Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the self described architects of the attacks and the other -- night that's.
Very much but many of them had just hope for today -- do you think that the defendants in this case -- -- those are family members.
That defendants are not living in a vacuum they have access to the media they have access to television for example they know that it was a year ago that there with the Navy SEALs raid and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
So I would anticipate that they are pretty aware of the rules what I find so interesting is that they think so strategically it's clear today.
But their strategy is to frustrate the system because when we went on to break.
That they refuse to answer questions for the judge they freely talked with each other they lack of each other at one point Khalid Sheikh Mohamed who sits at the front of the room.
Lean back and passed a message to another one of the conspirators behind him and then it was passed down the line kind of like broken telephone.
Some of it is just up plainly absurdity well.
Heart Catherine your take on it is really critical you've followed it -- the beginning thank you so much.
We'll check back with you for --