WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The alleged mastermind of the 9/ 11 terrorist attacks on Wednesday condemned the military commissions process during a pre-trial hearing for him and four other codefendants, according to U.S. Defense Department.
According to a report by the American Forces Press Service, Pentagon's information wing, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who wore a camouflage vest to the court at Naval Air Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unexpectedly raised his hand during the afternoon session indicating that he wanted to speak.
After Army Col. James Pohl, the judge overseeing the case, granted him opportunity to speak, Mohammed accused the U.S. government of using national security concerns as a guise to circumvent a legitimate legal process.
Through an interpreter, he said the prosecution is being subjective about what activities it conducts and information it protects in the interest of national security.
"The president can take someone and throw them in the sea in the name of national security," he said, a reference to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's burial at sea. Mohammed went on to charge that the U.S. government is so focused on the 3,000 people killed on 9/11 that it has justified killing "millions" in the name of national security.
"Your blood is not made out of gold and ours out of water," he said.
Pohl said the statement would be "a one-time occurrence," emphasizing he would not allow the court proceedings to be disrupted again to allow any of the defendants to express their personal thoughts about how the proceedings are going.
The five defendants were captured in Pakistan between 2002 and 2003 and have been confined at Guantanamo Bay since 2006. They were charged with a host of terrorism charges related to the 9/11 attacks.