In exchange for guilty pleas, President Biden rejected certain conditions asked by five suspected 9/11 plotters, including the accused mastermind of the attack. According to a National Security Council spokesperson, Biden did not agree to the detainees’ demands for guarantees such as avoiding solitary confinement and giving medical treatment for claimed abuses in CIA custody.
However, the option of sparing them the death penalty remained open.
“The President agreed with the Secretary of Defense’s recommendation not to accept the Joint Policy Principles proposed by the 9-11 Defendants as the basis for plea negotiations,” stated the spokeswoman.
“The 9/11 attacks were the most devastating attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor.” In these circumstances, the President does not consider that recognizing the agreed policy principles as the foundation for a pre-trial agreement is acceptable.
Administration’s Commitment to Fairness and Justice in Military Commissions Process
“The Administration is committed to ensuring that the military commissions process is fair and delivers justice to victims, survivors, families, and those accused of crimes,” the spokesperson continued.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged main architect of the 9/11 attacks, and four other suspected terrorists being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had demanded guarantees from the Biden administration that they would not be forced to serve their sentences in solitary confinement and would be allowed to eat and pray together if they pleaded guilty to terrorism charges.
The alleged terrorists also requested treatment for sleep difficulties, brain traumas, gastrointestinal damage, and other health conditions they claim were caused by “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by CIA agents while they were detained.
Biden rejected such criteria, referred to as Joint Policy Principles in court filings. According to the site, plea deals that would eliminate the prospect of death sentences for the five men remain on the table.
When the Biden administration informed relatives of nearly 3,000 individuals killed in the 9/11 attacks last month that plea deals sparing the suspected terrorists the death penalty were being contemplated, some voiced indignation.
Biden, 80, had no opinion on the potential of eliminating the possibility of death penalties for the five individuals, a topic that will be decided by the Pentagon’s Office of the Convening Authority of the Military Commission.
The case involving Mohammed and the four other Guantanamo Bay detainees has been plagued by legal wranglings and delays, particularly with the treatment of the alleged terrorists during their four years in CIA captivity prior to their transfer to the US detention facility in Cuba in 2006.
Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the suspected plotters, was also declared unable to face trial or be granted a plea agreement by a military medical board last month and has been barred from further negotiations.
There is no definite trial date for the five suspected 9/11 conspirators.
Previously, the Trump administration has ruled out any plea agreements with the alleged terrorists.
Biden will not attend any 9/11 memorial ceremonies in New York City, Virginia, or Pennsylvania next week, instead choosing to visit service members and their families at a military installation in Anchorage.
Source: New York Post