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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The sister of one of the pilots who died on September 11th is outraged that the military judge, 61-year-old Colonel James L. Pohl is allowing the terror suspects to wear camouflage clothing inside the courtroom. The accused, she says, want to portray themselves as soldiers during the trial. It's a blatant move that Debra Burlingame says they wish to promote their violent cause.

Judge Pohl granted the request during the second day of the pretrial decisions in the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the hijacked plane attacks and his four alleged al-Qaeda conspirators.

Judge Pohl granted the request during the second day of the pretrial decisions in the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the hijacked plane attacks and his four alleged al-Qaeda conspirators.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: JIhad, camouflage, Judge Pohl, 9/11


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "This judge has to grow a backbone," Burlingame told reporters.

"They are trying to use their situation to rally jihadists around the world and that puts American troops in danger," she said.

"If these defendants were members of the Klu Klux Klan and they were on trial for killing a black family, for burning their house, would they be allowed to wear their Klan uniforms in court to show their solidarity with their fellow Klan members? Absolutely not!

"These men are guilty of war crimes . you have to strip them of all those things that promotes their murderous cause," she says.

Judge Pohl granted the request during the second day of the pretrial decisions in the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the hijacked plane attacks and his four alleged al-Qaeda conspirators.

The only stipulation made regarding the dress code for the five defendants is that the camouflage they wear must not be U.S. military uniforms.

"I'm sympathetic because he's under a microscope and he wants the proceedings to be fair and to be perceived as fair and legitimate," explained Burlingame, who is a former attorney, "but he doesn't have to take it when defense council and the defendants go over the line.

"It is the judge's job to insure a fair trial for the defendants and prevent them from making propagandist statements from inside an American military courtroom.

"They are speaking to Islamists members of al Qaeda and those who would be ripe for recruitment for their cause. They want to portray themselves as soldiers of Allah."

Judge Pohl is the lifetime soldier currently at the heart of the biggest terrorism trial since the September 11th attacks. This is far from the first time Pohl has been in a contentious situation.

Appointed to lead the Guantanamo military commission, Pohl first made headlines while serving over several of the cases involving American soldiers who were tried for their role in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

Pohl crossed swords with then President George Bush over the issue of whether or not that prison should be destroyed. Bush argued in favor with Pohl dissenting that it could not be razed because it is a crime scene.

Judge Pohl then went on to preside over the trial of the Fort Hood shooting in 2009.

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