After Moussaoui, What Next?Printable Version
By John Sparks, ITN Channel 4 News
May 4, 2006
John: Joining us now live now from Washington is Tim Roemer, who served on the national commission on terrorists attacks on the United States, otherwise known as the 9/11 Commission. Tim Roemer, given that Moussaoui is now done, in whatever sense the administration may respond to that, where would you feel that the administration should now go?
Tim Roemer: Well John I think there are two areas that the United States government, the Bush administration and the Congress need to move into. One certainly is to follow up on the wishes of the 9/11 families, and what we all should be interested in doing around the world, given what happened on 9/11 and that is pursuing the people like the godfather, Osama bin Laden of al Qaeda, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was the mastermind of the plot, like Ramzi Binalshibh, who was the paymaster in the plot. Now that the Moussaoui trial is over, letís go and try, either through the court system in the United States or military tribunal, these three very important people. You have to capture bin Laden first, and then also John, the second part of what we need to do is the United States government still needs to take on some of the changes in our government to make us safer as a people, and we have not passed half of the 9/11 Commission recommendations as of this date yet. Letís finish the job.
John: Well of course itís not just the families of the 9/11 victims but people beyond America who are mystified as to why the two men who are in captivity Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in particular, havenít been processed in any way.
Tim Roemer: Well they need to be John, I think many of us feel that way in the United States. Having paid careful attention to this issue over the past three years, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed took the plot to Osama bin Laden in late 1998, he was the mastermind of this plot. He originally wanted to take ten planes; five on the West coast and five on the east coast and kill thousands of Americans. We have him. Weíve had him since 2003. Binalshibh weíve had since September 2002. There might be an argument that we need to get good information from these people, yet if youíve had them for three to four years respectively, weíve probably have gotten as much information as we can from these two individuals. And the more important issue is for our justice system to be fair and to put these people on trail and to put out a verdict. Thatís what we did in the Moussaoui case, agree or disagree with the verdict, our system prevailed, and thatís where we are different as Americans than the values that the terrorists have.
John: Sitting on the Commission as you were did you see material that convinced you that you could prove a legal case against both those men.
Tim Roemer: John I think that the evidence against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is very strong. Here again is a mastermind of the plot, he originated it. Some people think it was Osama bin Ladenís idea. I think there was also evidence in the Moussaoui trial where both the defendant and the government brought forward statements of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his role, his assessment of the operations and his planning, and then you have Ramzi Binalshibh; paymaster financier, organizer, a quaint person who did much of the planning between KSM, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the people operationally sending them money in the United States. He also tried to get in the United States four or five times. So, I think the evidence in there for these two individuals. Furthermore, we need to catch Osama bin Laden.
John: Mr. Roemer, thank you very much indeed for joining us.