The son-in-law of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden entered a plea of “not guilty” to charges of conspiracy to kill Americans. His defense is rock solid: English to Arabic just doesn’t translate properly.
“I had no idea what I was saying!” swears Suleiman Abu Ghaith, the accused. “You see, in English you have a word like ‘chair’. In my native language, that word would be ‘shurit’. However, ‘shurit’ does actually mean chair; it means ‘cow’. In English, the word would be ‘soup’! It’s completely mental!”
Abu Ghaith was an active al Qaeda spokesperson, seen in numerous internet videos. He claims that in those videos, he was clueless as to the true meaning of his statements. “When I found out it was about hurting innocent people, I was floored. I thought I was reading from the 2005 Afghan Farmer’s Almanac! I mean it was a poor year for wheat, but never so bad as to hurt someone!”
Legal aid is being rendered to the suspected terrorist, but due the nature of his defense strategy it cannot be known if the words that lawyers are exchanging with Abu Ghaith are being comprehended and responded to as they are intended. Additional translation services have been requested; as it stands currently, one translator will translate to a second translator, who will draw a picture on a dry erase board. If the defendant presses a green button, the second translator will retranslate to the first, who will translate to Abu Ghaith’s attorneys. If he pushes a red button, substitute translators will replace one or both of the original two translators.
Currently, the bench of stand-by translators is twelve-deep. It’s unsure if the twelfth translator actually speaks Arabic.
To strengthen his defense, Abu Ghaith also offered this: “I’m an Iron Maiden fan; how could I kill American citizens when I’m afraid to shoot strangers?!” The judge responded with a nod, and did the sinfist to himself under his desk.