Most of the words uttered or written by the five "high-value" suspects are considered classified, a situation the lawyers call completely unworkable. And even the lawyers with security clearance can only discuss top secret material in a secure facility, so designated by the government.
"When we leave the room and we're not with him (Mohammed) any more, we can't turn to each other and say 'What do you think of what he just said?"' said Nevin, who has called the commission process "very, very unfair."
"And at the end of this, the government's desire is to execute Mr. Mohammed," said Capt. Prescott Prince, another of Mohammed's legal advisers. "I find that just insane."
With all the roadblocks, why have the men decided to defend themselves? It could be because prosecutors and some defendants are working toward the same goal -- executions.
Maj. Jon Jackson, who represents Hawsawi, noted that Mohammed and bin Attash both said at their first court hearing that they wanted to be executed as soon as possible.
"Lawyers get in the way of moving from where they are now to their ultimate goal, to martyr themselves," he said. (Editing by Tom Brown and Philip Barbara) REUTERS@ Reut13:00 07-13-0807-13-2008 17:00UTC / (RE.ny-reu.08a.am-nyny-inwcp01) /