GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed lashed out Wednesday at his military judge and prosecutor, saying that Americans have killed "millions" more people than the nearly 3,000 who died during the 2001 plane attacks.
"My only advice for you is that you do not get affected by the crocodile tears," he told Judge James L. Pohl at his pretrial hearing. "Because your blood is not made of gold and ours is made out of water. We are all human beings."
Mohammed was in court as part of a weeklong hearing focusing largely on the secrecy rules that will govern legal proceedings against him at the U.S. base in Cuba. In a green camouflage vest covering his white robes, his thick, orange beard hiding most of it, Mohammed sat at his counsel table in front of the judge and sternly ridiculed the military judicial process. He specifically singled out the chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins.
"When the government feels sad for the killing of 3,000 people who were killed on Sept. 11," Mohammed said, "they should also feel sorry that the same government that is represented by Gen. Martins and others has killed thousands, millions of people."
Pohl said Wednesday he will file a protective ruling on whether secret classified issues, such as torture and other enhanced interrogation techniques, would be allowed in open court, an issue that has sharply divided prosecutors and defense attorneys. The matter clearly set off Mohammed, who was water-boarded 183 times at a secret CIA "black site," and he broke his silence.
The judge was unimpressed.
"No matter how heartfelt, I'm not going to entertain personal comments of any accused," he warned Mohammed and the defense lawyers. "I want to make that very clear.
Information from Associated Press was used in this report.