A Tale of Two Courtrooms

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The US military tribunal in Guantanamo began a milestone procedure on May 5.  Under arraignment are five Muslim terrorists captured several years ago.  The most notorious is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the self-confessed mastermind of 9/11, who proudly proclaimed that he personally decapitated Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl with his “blessed right hand.”   The others are co-conspirators.  Some family members of 9/11 victims, and a select group of journalists, watched the proceedings in the courtroom or via live video feed.

In an earlier FrontPageMag.com article, Rick Moran discussed the subversive tactics of the defendants’ lawyers, filing hundreds of motions to delay process and undermine the legitimacy of the entire procedure.  The present writer examines another aspect of the arraignment, the difference between two newspapers’ coverage and the significance of that difference.

The New York Times  describes the detainees’ behavior as defiant but mostly quiet: passively ignoring the tribunal’s president,  Col. James Pohl, refusing to wear headphones (for simultaneous Arabic translation), or kneeling to pray in the courtroom.  The article notes that the five terrorists did display some aggressive disruptions during the pre-trial motions,  but neglects to describe them as other than “frequent outbursts.”  One terrorist was in the courtroom in a restraining wheel chair for reasons unknown. The Times reporter failed to note that by removing their headphones, the detainees effectively brought the proceedings to a halt because international legal custom since the Nuremberg trials (1946)  requires simultaneous translation. [i]

Their action, therefore, was obviously intended to torpedo, or at least delay, the court proceedings. To circumvent this sabotage, Col. Pohl intrepidly used a translator with a loudspeaker.  The defendants’ lawyers complained, but neither the lawyers nor the reporter seemed to notice that the inconvenience was the result of the detainees’ own actions.

Another attempt at sabotaging the proceedings, mentioned but not explained in the Times account, was the refusal of one terrorist to leave his cell and come to the courtroom.  His lawyer sought a court order to prevent prison guards from forcibly extracting him from his cell, but Col. Pohl refused, noting that no detainee had the right to not appear before the court.  This same lawyer, Cheryl Borman, appeared before the court wearing Muslim garb covering everything but her face.  She also admonished women on the prosecuting team to “consider dressing more modestly so that the defendants would not have to avoid looking at them ‘for fear of committing a sin against their faith.’”   The reporter, and apparently Ms. Borman as well, failed to note the striking irony that while looking at an immodestly clad woman would be a sin against their faith, mass murder of almost 3,000 innocent civilians apparently was not.

The article also mentions the terrorists’ claims of torture at the hands of their captors in Guantanamo, but neglects to point out that captured el-Qaeda manuals instruct terrorists to always complain of torture  and accuse the captors of mistreating them.  It also fails to note that the American forces involved in the capture and detainment of these terrorists strenuously deny having tortured them.

The Times also ran a short article on the victims’ families present in the courtroom or watching via live video feed.  This report was as muted as the one described above, except for one note that  “defendants repeatedly and persistently disrupted the courtroom…”  In a follow-up article in the NY Times of May 7, 2012,  we learn that the defendants’ lawyers claim that the terrorists’ non-cooperation was really a justified protest against an “unjust system;” although there is no indication of what exactly is unjust about a military tribunal for terrorists who proudly proclaim their guilt.

In sum, all three NY Times articles describe the behavior of the defendants at the tribunal as, for the most part, passively non-cooperative with occasional passive resistance, and a few understandable noisy outbursts.

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  • BS77

    Cheriyl Borman….how's that hijab working out for you? Have you ever considered the women of 9/11, who had their clothes burned off their bodies by jet fuel fire? Oh, the modesty lost!!! You worry about the "cultural sensitivities" of your insect clients while ignoring the obvious…that they committed mass murder and mayhem on thousands. . You are an idiot and a hypocrit of the first order.

  • Amused

    Put these bums behind a plexi-glass barrier with tint high enough that no one has to look at them or their circus act .Put a tv screen in so they can only see the judge and their lawyer.Get an AMERICAN translater to translate and communicate any relevant comments , so none of their rantings can be heard or seen .
    To see or hear unrepentent vicious murderers "praying " makes my stomach turn . This is nothing more than a show to rub America's nose in their sheeeet .This should not be tolerated , and my suggestion does not deprive anyone of whatever due process UCMJ allows .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The military tribunal will find them guilty and sentence them to death by hanging..and then…it goes
    up the ladder all the way to Mullah Obama who will have to sign the execution order which will be
    opposed by his ignominious regime. Barak Hussein Obama would drop them from a plane over the
    Capitol, burning alive and broadcast to the Nation which would see the flaming bodies falling
    to crash on the White House lawn, embers burning out and used for his barbecue in order to have
    another four years of demon spawned villany. The farce may continue, it depends on the Court
    to make progress and follow procedures which are tighter and less forgiving than Civilian Courts.
    UCMJ covers what is needed, we shall see…………………….William

  • Ain'tNoDhimmi

    Is Cheryl Borman going to have to breastfeed the muslim men in the courtroom?

    It's Islamic Law, ya know.

  • maria

    Those cool blood murderers lawyer make money and she does not care to anything except it. She does not figure out that she or her family members could be the same victims as Daniel Pearl or thousand Americans who were murdered with cry "Allah Akbar". It is war imposed on us by 7 century barbarians (who want only "Islam domination") against our country and Western civilization overall. Still those islamists=modern Nazis are treated like they human being. WE need new laws against those beasts. G-d help us. We need conservatives with principles inherited from our Founding Fathers, who stick to US Constitution in all 3 branches of the Power in Nov-12 to survive country.

  • Ghostwriter

    If this is what these creeps are going to do,it's going to be a long trial.

  • Ronald Johnston

    The NYTimes is bound and determined to kill their readership!!!!! I wonder who owns it???

    • WilliamJamesWard

      They are sold out to Obama so theoretically they are in his pocket……………however I do not
      think anyone who might hold the mortgage is out bragging about it……..Lucifer most likley.

  • Big Red

    Cheriyl Borman should have been held in contempt by the court Prsident Col. Phoul and fined for insulting the uniformed members of the court. IF the Defendants refuse to cooperate in the trail they should be shakled and have the headphones attached to their heads or have the defendants place in a plexiglass room in the court room
    and have the arabic tranlations of the trial played by speakers in the room. The Defenants should not be able to have any prayer breaks during the trial. Do service members get prayer breaks during couts martial procedings they do not so these terrorists should not either pray before or after court or during mandated breaks ordered by the court president. No speicial privilages fr these muslim animals. If the defense council act out then they should be admonished by the court president and then held in contempt fined and jailed afer 30 days in a cell next to thier cilients should mprove ter demenor in court.


    When China wants to bomb any part of Pakistan… India will allow it’s air-space to be used…. it’s common sense and why not ? It’s either nuclear weapons or islam. We have to choose. Without nuclear weapons islam will never be wiped out …and by wiped out i mean WIPED OUT !!! Only AFTER islam is WIPED OUT can we even think of a nuclear weapon free world. Look around you at these monkeys … can’t you see where they are taking us as a species ? islam is leading the planet to a non- stop blood bath …slowly and surely …and without nuclear weapons islam’s march will never be stopped.
    Someone has to start bombing the monkeys sometime …. i have a feeling that China will be the first to bite back on islam’s arse. …. then free for all….. we live in interesting times…. our generation will see the death of islam….but how it will happen will be worth watching. Intelligence has a way of waking up and crushing the moronic , however vicious and barbaric. The thing to actually wonder is how Mecca and Medina will be pulverised. How will we do it ? And which year? That will be the exact beginning of a new era of peace.


    Let’s not forget that Islamic prayer includes a ritual of repeated MELODIC repetition of the first verse of the Koran, a verse that has been interpreted since its authoratative interpretation in medieval times, and still is today, to be a curse on Jews and Christians.
    The first Sura or chapter of the Koran contains the MELODIC CURSING of the Jews and Christians that is repeated five times daily in prayers. So the next time you hear the melodic Islamic call from the nearest mosque you helped build remember they aren’t calling you …they’re calling FOR non-islamic deaths.
    …. be practical for your children’s sake… there’s no other. Wakey Wakey.

    Daily Islamic life:
    No dogs for children to play with and learn from about unconditional love and devotion.
    Illiterate mothers who cannot read a bedtime story to their children or help them learn how to read.
    No freedom of speech that permits healthy discussion and critical analysis of current events.
    No freedom of religion that is so vital to a pluralistic society.
    No graphic depiction of most living forms which curtails artistic creativity.
    No public displays of affection that lend a romantic atmosphere to daily life.
    No pork or other haram foods that widen the diet and give variety to sustenance.
    No beautiful or shapely women proudly strutting their stuff on the street.
    No non-liturgical music to break up the monotony of constant religious worship.
    No alcohol to unwind with and enhance convivial gatherings.
    No co-ed intermingling that allows young people to refine their social skills.
    Now, imagine how barren and loveless such a world must be. From all indications, it would seem that healthy loving relationships would be the exception and not the rule. If one reflects upon the monumental amount of misery and human suffering that Islam has inflicted throughout its entire history, the sheer existence of this inhumane ideology becomes a blatant affront to all progressive traditions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    • Truly as Sr Anwar Sheikh clearly pointed out in numerous books on Islam he authored , Islam in reality is not a religion as it is portrayed along other major religions of the world, but when the thin veil covering it is unmasked it appears in its true colors to be Arab Imperialism. From Arab point of view the prophet(PROFIT) could be considered to be a great patriot forming wonderful strategies for dominance of Arab Imperialism under the garb of Islam. The most tempting tenets offered to its followers to propagate this Imperialism are knocked into their heads as religious virtues. They kill,loot,plunder,rape,,make slaves of enemy women and children with the sanction of religion. These again lead them to paradise of beautiful women,young beautiful boys, and enhances sexual prowess as rewards. With all this , if the world considers Islam to be a great religion and the PROFIT Prophet to be a great saint or humanist , then so be it. The illiterate prophet(profit) was admittedly a very cunning man but if the wise people of the world foolishly think that Islam is a great religion and cannot see its true colors, they do so at their own peril , and they are destined to suffer and invite disaster for the world.

    Any society populated by a majority of females who have been genitally mutilated can only be one that is so devoid of sexual fairness, true mutual pleasure and anything even remotely resembling gender equality as to be permanently and irreversibly dysfunctional.

  • http://www.maghrebchristians.com Youssef

    An alliance of Islamist parties expecting a strong showing in Algeria’s elections accused authorities Friday of widespread fraud as initial figures pointed to them finishing third, with a spokesman suggesting unrest could ensue.

    Read more: http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/05/11/alger


  • sedoanman


  • "gunner"

    we are not speaking of "family court" or "civil law" here. this trial is being held by a military tribunal, by the rules of the uniform code of mitilary justice, under rules governing "non-state actors" committing illegal acts of war, killing noncombatant civilians. these are barbarians, being tried by civillzed men, they do not respect the laws of civilised society, but they will be judged by, and imprisoned and/or executed under those laws nonetheless.