So Khalid Shaikh Mohammed confesses to everything. To better disseminate the glorious news, the Pentagon has taken the unusual step of releasing a transcript of his statements before a military tribunal in Guantanamo. All hail our crushing victories over Eastasia! (Wait, I seem to have drifted a bit there.)
The terrorist cospiracy was organized and guided by myself, Zinoviev and Trotsky. ... Two paths remained: either honestly and copletely to put a stop to the struggle against the Party, or to continue this struggle, but without any hope of obtaining any mass support whatsoever, without a political platform, without a banner, that is to say, by means of individual terror. We chose the second path. In this we were guided by our boundless hatred of the leaders of the Party and the country, and by a thirst for power with which we were once so closely associated and from which we were cast aside by the course of historical development.
And he then went into similar specifics:
In the summer of 1932 a meeting of our Zinovievite centre was held in our villa in Ilyinskoye. I myself, Zinoviev, Evdokimov, Bakayev, Kuklin and Karev were present. At this meeting Zinoviev reported that the union with the Trotskyites, who had received Trotsky's personal instructions to commit terroristic acts, was an accomplished fact. At this very meeting Bakayev was instructed to carry out a terroristic act in Moscow, and Karev in Leningrad. The exile of myself and Zinoviev somewhat held up the execution of our terroristic plans. When we returned to Moscow, we made no changes whatever in the basis of our bloc. On the contrary, we proceeded to press forward the terroristic conspiracy.
Sorry, those were actually excerpts from the confession of Len Kamanev, from the 1936 Moscow trials at the start of Stalin's first Purge. That's just what popped into my head upon reading the statement.
Defenselink has the full transcript (pdf), in which K. S. Mohammed seriously does confess to everything you can think of:
I was Emir (i.e., commander) of Seit Al Shuhada (ie., the Martyrs' House) in the state of Kandahar, Afghanistan, which housed the 9/11 hijackers. There I was responsible for their training and readiness for the execution of the 9/11 Operation. Also, I hereby admit and affirm without duress that I was a responsible participant, principal planner, trainer, financier (via the Military Council Treasury), executor, and/or a personal participant in the following:
1. I was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center Operation.
2. I was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z.
4. I was responsible for the Shoe Bomber Operation to down two American airplanes.
5. I was responsible for the Filka Island Operation in Kuwait that killed two American soldiers.
6. I was responsible for the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, which was frequented by British and Australian nationals.
7. I was responsible for planning, training, surveying, and financing the New (or Second) Wave attacks against the following skyscrapers after 9/11:
a. Library Tower, California.
b. Sears Tower, Chicago;
c. Plaza Bank, Washington state.
d. The Empire State Building, New York City.
8. I was responsible for planning, financing, & follow-up of Operations to destroy American military vessels and oil tankers in the Straights of Hormuz, the Straights of Gibralter, and the Port of Singapore.
And so on and so forth at great length, claiming a total of 31 attempted or actual major terrorist operations. A passage from the Times article that jumped out at me: "Mr. Mohammed indicated in the transcript that some of his earlier statements to C.I.A. interrogators were the result of torture. But he said that his statements at the tribunal on Saturday were not made under duress or pressure."
That's the funny thing about torture -- it fails utterly to extract reliable information, but as recently noted at the Prospect, really excels at breaking people. That post highlighted an article that recently observed that
the psychological practices which are in vogue right now "do not seem to be substantially different from physical torture in terms of the extent of mental suffering they cause, the underlying mechanisms of traumatic stress, and their long-term traumatic effects."
Indeed, the KGB excelled at that kind of thing. Apparently, so do we. Happy Ides of March.
From Worldmapper, note that almost 25% of all prisoners are in the United States.