The Washington Post

During Gitmo hearings, a bit of escapee humor

A courtroom sketch shows the five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, back row from left, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, Ramzi Binalshibh, Walid bin Attash, and the alleged mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. (Janet Hamlin/AP)

The judge was reminding each of the defendants that the trial against them would continue in their absence, for whatever reason. Even if they escaped custody — which, he repeatedly assured them, would most definitely NOT happen (just a hypothetical, he kept reminding them) — the trial would go on.

The judge asked Pakistani national Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali whether he understood. “I am not saying this is going to happen, but, for example, if you were to somehow escape and go back to some other country ... and again, I am not saying you are going to ... this trial would go forward.”

To which Aziz Ali responded, “I will make sure to leave them notes.”

Ba-dum-bum. Joking about escaping Gitmo? Brought down the house, we’re told, among some of those watching the delayed video feed of the hearing, which was much tamer than the raucous arraignment this spring.

What kind of notes might he leave, we wonder? Might they read, “Gone fishin’?” Or start with “Dear John”?

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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