9/11 Suspects Ask to Confess

Alleged plotters drop attempts at legal defense, face execution
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2008 11:08 AM CST
A Guantanamo detainee and a US guard talk at the Camp 4 detention facility on the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Nov. 18, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Five men charged with plotting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks told a military judge today they want to immediately confess at their war-crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, setting up likely guilty pleas and their possible executions. The five said they decided to abandon all efforts to defend themselves against the capital charges on Nov. 4, the day Barack Obama was elected to the White House.

It was as if they wanted to rush toward convictions before Obama—who has vowed to end the war-crimes trials and close Guantanamo—takes office. Abruptly reversing course on previous attempts to defend themselves, the men announced they wanted to drop all motions presented on their behalf. In a letter, the defendants said they "request an immediate hearing session to announce our confessions."