It’s still pretty early in the process, so we don’t really know what will happen, but the early indications are that the Guantanamo defendants, as well as Major Nidal Hasan, may be using insanity or mental incompetence defenses.
Mental State Cited in 9/11 Case
By Jess Bravin, The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — When five defendants are brought before a New York federal judge to face charges for the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the first question may be whether some of them are competent to stand trial at all.
Military lawyers for Ramzi Binalshibh, an accused organizer of the 9/11 plot, and Mustafa al-Hawsawi, the conspiracy’s alleged paymaster, say their clients have mental disorders that make them unfit for trial, likely caused or exacerbated by years of harsh confinement in Central Intelligence Agency custody.
The issue already has arisen in military-commission proceedings at the military’s detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to an August ruling by a military judge, prosecutors have made an “apparent concession” that Mr. Binalshibh “suffers from a delusional disorder-persecutory type” disorder. Mr. Binalshibh has been prescribed “a variety of psychotropic medications used to treat schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, including Haldol, Abilify, risperidone and Ativan,” according to commission records.
More at the link; hat tip to Donald Douglas.
Now, this seems kind of strange to me: if the defendants really are mentally incompetent to stand trial, they we still wind up holding them as prisoners until they are mentally competent to stand trial; we don’t just let them go. They still wind up in jail!
The only thing that gets them out of jail is being acquitted, something that can’t happen unless they actually stand trial. Who knows, it may be that some of them really are nuts, but as long as they are nuts in jail, I really don’t care.
There is virtually no chance that we will ever let these guys go free; the President is already planning to hold about 75 of them whom we know to be really bad guys but can’t prove so in court, without trials, either civilian or military. So, the jihadists are at the point, really, of proudly proclaiming their intentions and actions, and making themselves heroes to their like-minded compatriots, or slinking away from the light as much as they possibly can; the 72 houris await only the brave, not the cowards.
The Q’ran speaks of the rewards, and divides the believers into two groups, those on the right hand (ashab al-yamin) or the ordinary believers, and the foremost, the muqarrabin, in Chapter 56, al-Waqi’ah, beginning with verse 7:
56:7 And you shall be three sorts.
56:8 Then (as to) the companions of the right hand; how happy are the companions of the right hand!
56:9 And (as to) the companions of the left hand; how wretched are the companions of the left hand!
56:10 And the foremost are the foremost,
56:11 These are they who are drawn nigh (to Allah),
56:12 In the gardens of bliss.
56:13 A numerous company from among the first,
56:14 And a few from among the latter.
56:15 On thrones decorated,
56:16 Reclining on them, facing one another.
56:17 Round about them shall go youths never altering in age,
56:18 With goblets and ewers and a cup of pure drink;
56:19 They shall not be affected with headache thereby, nor shall they get exhausted,
56:20 And fruits such as they choose,
56:21 And the flesh of fowl such as they desire.
56:22 And pure, beautiful ones,
56:23 The like of the hidden pearls:
56:24 A reward for what they used to do.
56:25 They shall not hear therein vain or sinful discourse,
56:26 Except the word peace, peace.
56:27 And the companions of the right hand; how happy are the companions of the right hand!
56:28 Amid thornless lote-trees,
56:29 And banana-trees (with fruits), one above another.
56:30 And extended shade,
56:31 And water flowing constantly,
56:32 And abundant fruit,
56:33 Neither intercepted nor forbidden,
Will those who bow down before their infidel captors, who quail that they were mistreated, who whine that they didn’t do it or weren’t really responsible for their actions, earn the title of muqarrabin, or will they be lucky to just be ashab al-yamin? Will the brave men who persuaded nineteen of their compatriots to commit suicide in a bold attack on the Great Satan America show as much courage themselves, and proudly admit what they have done and proclaim that they’d do it all over again, or will they try every legal trick in the book to save their own skins?