One of the alleged masterminds of the September 11 attacks lectured a military court on government hypocrisy on Wednesday and wore a previously banned camouflage vest to his pre-trial hearing before being rebuked by the judge for his comments.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was in court in Guantanamo Bay as part of a week long hearing focusing largely on the secrecy rules that will govern his trial at the US base in Cuba.
Mohammed was allowed to wear a hunting-style camouflage vest with his white tunic and turban over the objections of prosecutors, who feared it might disrupt the proceedings.
It had no apparent effect, but his five-minute speech denouncing the government's arguments about the need to protect national security transfixed the court and drew a reprimand from the judge.
Until that point, the 47-year-old Mohammed sat quietly through a day of courtroom arguments on proposed rules for handling classified evidence in the war-crimes case.
When he finally spoke, it was to point out what he saw as the prosecution's hypocrisy for seeking to keep secret some details of what happened to him during years of captivity in the Central Intelligence Agency's secret prisons.
Mohammed, who has allegedly told authorities he was behind the hijacking plot, is charged along with four co-defendants with crimes that include terrorism and murder.
He has a history of making inflammatory statements in the handful of times when he has had an opportunity to speak.
In a closed 2007 appearance before a panel of military officers, he compared bin Laden to George Washington, boasted about planning the September 11 attacks "from A to Z," and said he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl with his "blessed right hand," according to a transcript.
Mohammed is believed to see himself as a prisoner of war and has sought the same right to wear a uniform as Japanese and German troops prosecuted for war crimes after World War II.
A small group of relatives of September 11 victims were chosen at random to view the proceedings at the base.
Mohammed and his four co-defendants face charges that include terrorism, conspiracy and 2,976 counts of murder in violation of the law of war, one count for each known victim of the attacks at the time the charges were filed.