The Center for Public Integrity published, “The Pearl Project: The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl,” in 2011. This private investigation has a left-wing slant. Nevertheless, it concludes, as the government did, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) murdered Daniel Pearl. The report provides gruesome detail on what happened:
Without hesitation, KSM took a knife and slashed Pearl’s neck. Muzzamil, a guard, said the “Arabs did ziba,” the Muslim ritual of slaughter. Muzzamil started to wretch. KSM yelled at him angrily and threw him out of the room. Another guard was told to go: Hussain, who later described the strangers as “Arab” to police. Only Karim and the spindly guard, Siraj ul-Haq, remained. KSM then returned his attention to Pearl. Ul-Haq was later quoted in his interrogation report saying, “Sheikh Khalid slaughtered him.”
But then there was a problem. It’s not clear if the camera actually jammed, but the cameraman, who U.S. and Pakistani officials believe may have been the younger nephew, exclaimed that he hadn’t been able to videotape the killing. KSM yelled at him. Chastened, he hurriedly fixed his camera. “The camera guy was startled,” KSM later told the FBI. “He didn’t put the video in.” KSM reenacted the scene, “this time separating Danny’s head from his body,” the guard Karim said later. To prove that Pearl was alive just before the beheading, KSM pressed on Pearl’s chest to show blood still pumping through his throat. It was a scene that would later turn the stomachs of even the most hardened Pakistani and U.S. investigators.
KSM then took Pearl’s decapitated head by the hair and held it in the air for the camera. “Khalid Sheikh picked up his head and said something in Arabic” before cutting the body into pieces, Siraj ul-Haq later told cops. Dispassionately, KSM later told FBI agents that, indeed, he had chopped up Pearl’s body. “We did it to get rid of the body,” he said.
This is a stark reminder (contrary to what politicians and pundits are now claiming) that we have seen this type of brutality before (and it also reminds people why the terrorists might have done what is now being alleged).
The execution of Daniel Pearl rightfully outraged people. And the fact that KSM did it combined with his role in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. should have been enough for people to stay outraged against him and other Islamic terrorists. But it wasn’t. In fact, it’s arguable that national leaders and the public are now more outraged with the U.S. forces that captured KSM and continue fighting Islamic terrorists than with KSM . . . something KSM apparently predicted:
In his book, Rodriguez recalls an unsettling prediction: “At least two of our people at the black site told me that KSM made an observation that would later prove eerily accurate. Talking about his interrogation and that of his colleagues, he said: “You know, some day your government is going to turn on you.”
At the same time, the support and defense of KSM has swelled. It’s even become something of a popular thing to do, and is part of the larger terrorist defense industry. Defending Islamic terrorists has become a great way to advance a career. An Army officer even chose to separate from the Army in order to continue defending KSM, with one family member of a September 11 victim remarking:
“He had to make a choice between defending Khalid Sheik Mohammed or his army career,” he said. “He chose to defend Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. These are career-making cases for attorneys. And it is not without a fair degree of cynicism I say this. I mean, who makes that choice unless it’s a career option?”
Even when they are confronted with family members of September 11 victims, those defending KSM eagerly boast of doing so:
Donald Arias, whose brother Adam was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, said that he walked out of yesterday’s meeting just ten minutes in when a lead lawyer for the defense team told him that he enjoys his job.
“I asked them why they do what they did and they started spouting Constitution to me. Obviously they think that they’re coming down from Mt. Olympus to mix with the great unwashed here, we objects of pity, 9/11 families,” Arias said just moments after storming out of the meeting room. . . .
So I asked [Mohammed’s lead defense attorney David] Nevin why does he do what he does. ‘Because I enjoy my job,’” Nevin responded.
A desire to be involved with KSM isn’t limited to lawyers. The Guardian reported on an Englishman who has become a pen pal with him, making sure to explain to its audience during the article that, “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 49, who is held at Guantánamo Bay, has endured the harshest of the CIA’s interrogation methods and allegedly confessed to a career of atrocities.”
Again, as all this goes on national leaders and others aggressively pursue the U.S. forces that captured KSM and others, and who continue fighting against Islamic terrorists. Senator Dianne Feinstein is the head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She, in concert with the media and activists, have spent years putting together a partisan report attacking the intelligence community, specifically the CIA for using waterboarding and other “harsh” interrogation techniques—the same ones used against KSM. President Obama has already deemed the U.S. guilty of torture because of this and The New York Times has proclaimed that it will from here forward refer to waterboarding and other techniques as “torture,” specifically referencing KSM even as it avoided mentioned his name:
Far more is now understood, such as that the C.I.A. inflicted the suffocation technique called waterboarding 183 times on a single detainee and that other techniques, such as locking a prisoner in a claustrophobic box, prolonged sleep deprivation and shackling people’s bodies into painful positions, were routinely employed in an effort to break their wills to resist interrogation.
Everyone seems to be on board with these attacks against those who have fought against KSM and others like him. And no one seems to realize that this effectively rewards long-practiced al-Qaeda influence practices.
Therefore, if history is any indication, all the current anger over James Foley’s beheading will likely soon disappear. Furthermore, any future anger may be redirected at U.S. forces should they catch Mr. Foley’s murderer. And Mr. Foley’s murderer may become a cause célèbre.