Boise’s Nevin tells ’60 Minutes’: 9/11 trial not ‘set up to deliver justice’

David Nevin, the Boise lawyer who has been defending 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) for more than five years, told a national television audience that the process is deeply flawed.

“This is not a system that is set up to deliver justice,” Nevin told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” Sunday night.

Nevin said government surveillance of privileged conversations between lawyers and defendants, restrictions on evidence and testimony tainted by torture compromise core constitutional values.

“Think about this for a minute,” Nevin said. “The government says they can’t talk publicly about what happened to them because it’s classified. If the government didn’t want to reveal its secrets to them it shouldn’t have tortured them — and yet this information is classified.”

Stahl pressed Nevin about KSM’s admission that he planned the 9/11 attacks, saying, “This is a bad guy by his own confessions. You’re saying he’s not the mastermind?”

Nevin: “Here’s what I’m saying: I’m saying that in the United States we have a process, we follow it, we’ve always followed it, we apply it to everyone — except not now.”

Of government eavesdropping on consultations between lawyers and clients, Nevin said, “The constitution guarantees certain rights and one of them is that you don’t listen in on the lawyers in a serious capital case. You just don’t do it.”

Chief prosecutor Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins told Stahl: “We are going to do these trials fairly.”

The trial won’t began for more than a year. CBS showed what it called exclusive video of the courtroom at Guantanamo, Cuba, as well as KSM’s holding cell.

To read an Idaho Statesman profile of Nevin shortly after he took the case click here.


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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