Friday, March 16, 2007

"I confess!"

posted by k

When church services were in Latin, confession would begin with the word "confiteor". That's usually translated as "I confess" but it's a passive verb, suggesting something more like "I have been confessed."

Mohammed Sheikh Khalid has been confessed. You can read his confession in the transcript of his trial, though it's a pdf file so be careful opening it.

He's been confessed to all sorts of terrorist conspiracies: not just 9/11 but more terrorist plots than I can recall, all over the world, including planned acts that never happened such as the assassination of every U.S. president from Carter onwards and blowing up numerous bridges, power stations and tall towers. The trial transcript has omissions but subsequent reports have assured us there were other confessions too: apparently he killed Daniel Pearl with his own hands.

It's just too much. I don't believe anyone - even Professor Moriarty - could have done as much. I suspect that if he'd been asked who stole a cake from a tea shop in Chipping Campden last Thursday week he'd have confessed to that too.

He wasn't under oath, by the way.

Comments pages have plenty of people saying, "he confessed - you must believe it." He said he'd been tortured too. Do they want me to believe that?

I think he probably was tortured. I think he may have committed some of the crimes to which he confessed. But how can I know? There was no fair, public trial and no proper assessment of the evidence. Mohammed Sheikh Khalid didn't get to choose his own lawyer and the trial transcript shows that his English is imperfect.

Evidence gained through torture and confessions from people who have been confined and tortured over a long period are not reliable. The Moscow show-trials and the Reichstag fire trial had more claim to public justice. Even the McCarthy hearings were public and filmed. What happened to justice?

A post on Craig Murray's excellent blog explores this further and with more authority. I recommend you read it - and bookmark his blog!

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