The New York Post is reporting that Blake Allison, whose wife died in one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center on 9/11, recently went to Guantanamo Bay on a "shocking secret mission."
What was his intention? Apparently, to save the lives of confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other suspected terrorists connected to the attack.
As one of ten people related to the victims who won a lottery for tickets to the arraignment, the 62-year-old wine company executive reportedly even offered to testify against the death penalty in clandestine meetings with the terrorists' lawyers.
“We can’t kill our way to a peaceful tomorrow," Allison said. “9/11 was a particularly egregious and appalling crime...I just think it’s wrong to take a life.”
The man is under no illusions that the suspects have reformed, saying they have "no apparent remorse and would do it again," but, he reasons: “I’ve been opposed to the death penalty for decades, before my wife was murdered on 9/11...I’m still opposed to it.”
How do other families he has spoken to feel about the issue? Apparently, Allison was shocked to find that no one shared his opinion, conceding: “I know they’re sincere in their beliefs...They want what they perceive as justice for their loved ones. I would never tell anybody in my position what they should feel.”
The New York Post described the arraignment, and Allison's reaction:
[One of the lawyers] singled out defense attorney Cheryl Borman, who dressed in traditional Muslim garb, leaving only her face uncovered, and who asked that all women in the courtroom be ordered to dress modestly for the sake of the five defendants.
“She looked like the angel of death, this black shrouded figure, as she got up and walked up and back in the courtroom,” Allison recalled.
KSM and his cohorts employed a variety of tactics to turn the proceedings into a circus.
In a particularly sick and tasteless gesture, bin Attash made a paper airplane and interrupted the session by resting it on a microphone.
He later ticked off the judge by tearing off his shirt to show scars he said he suffered in beatings from guards at Gitmo.
All the while, their lawyers questioned the judge’s credentials and the validity of the military commission, and kept bringing up accusations of torture.
But none of that kept Allison from wanting to help.
“When Martin Luther was being asked to recant by the hierarchy of the Roman church for all his Protestant actions, he said, ‘Here I stand. I can’t do otherwise,’" Alison declared.
He would probably feel more comfortable, he says, if the suspects were tried in a federal courthouse like Obama originally proposed.
"Can the prosecutors credibly say that their evidence remains free of taint?" he asked, skeptical of the pledge that military prosecutors won't use evidence obtained through torture.