At Guantanamo Hearing, Alleged Cole Mastermind Is 'All Swagger' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

At Guantanamo Hearing, Alleged Cole Mastermind Is 'All Swagger'

Play associated audio

[The alleged mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was seen today for the first time in nine years during an arraignment in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It's the first test of the Obama administration's revamped rules for military commissions. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston was there.]

When Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri walked into the Guantanamo courtroom this morning, he was all swagger.

He was wearing a white prison uniform and black high top sneakers and even waved to the gallery that came to see him.

While he spoke almost exclusively in Arabic, aside from occasionally saying "yeah" or "wait a minute" to his lawyers, it was clear he was very engaged in the proceedings. He was answering the judge and occasionally smiling.

Before today, there had been some question as to how vigorous al-Nashiri would look.

He had been held in a CIA "black site" and had been subjected to waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques by interrogators before he came to Guantanamo.

Since then he has been in a secret maximum security facility here.

But he entered the courtroom without leg shackles. And while pictures taken of him before his arrest made him look thin and weedy, today he appeared to have bulked up — perhaps from working out.

Al-Nashiri, a 46-year-old Saudi, was formally arraigned. He is accused of masterminding the attack on the Cole that killed 17 service men and women. Scores more were injured. If convicted, he could be put to death.

As we reported earlier, the enhanced interrogation techniques used on him make this a complicated case. It means the military commission will have to grapple with torture in this case as well.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Christmas Bells Are Ringing, And Cable Holiday Movies Are Unrelenting

Christmas cable movies are a genre unto themselves. We take a look at some of the Hallmark (and other) romances that are surprisingly big business this time of year.
NPR

Could Turkey Breeders Cure The Ailments Of Our Big-Breasted Birds?

The standard commercial American turkey is the product of decades of intense selective breeding. But breeding for efficiency and size has created new health problems scientists must grapple with.
NPR

EPA's Proposed Rules Add To Obama's Collision Course With GOP

The Environmental Protect Agency has drafted regulations on Ozone pollution. The latest move exposes divisions between the Obama administration and leading Republican lawmakers over the environment.
NPR

In Darren Wilson's Testimony, Familiar Themes About Black Men

Wilson's descriptions of Michael Brown reminded some people of negative depictions of African-Americans in history. Recent studies suggest these perceptions have deeper psychological roots.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.