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US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture – World Socialist Web Site

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US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture

By Naomi Spencer 
15 December 2012

The US military trial of five Guantanamo Bay detainees will censor testimony describing torture at the hands of military and intelligence personnel, the judge overseeing the case has ruled.

Citing “national security,” Army Colonel James Pohl ordered that all details surrounding the capture, rendition, detention, and interrogations of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others accused of involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks will be kept secret from the public and the media.

In his ruling, quietly issued December 6 and made public late December 12, Pohl stated that “enhanced interrogation techniques that were applied to the accused … including descriptions of the techniques as applied, the duration, frequency, sequencing and limitations of those techniques” are to be classified. This includes, “without limitation, observations and experiences of the accused.” Pohl also ruled that no mention of those issues could be made in legal papers presented to the court.

In an April filing, prosecutors representing the Obama administration had pressed for all information regarding events at CIA black sites as well as at Guantanamo to remain classified. The administration hailed the ruling.

The order epitomizes the complete illegality, and absurdity, of the military commissions. While evidence obtained through torture may be introduced into the courtroom, no evidence of the torture itself is permitted. The only material that the US government deems suitable for the public is that which was admitted, or fabricated, under extreme pain and threats of death. While trying the accused of war crimes, the government is concerned that its own war crimes will be exposed.

Beyond the immediate issue of torture, moreover, the White House is no doubt sensitive to the fact that testimony may expose links between the activities of al-Qaeda and the US intelligence agencies.

Pohl also approved the continued use of a 40-second audio delay in the transmission of the court proceedings. This will prevent any unexpected mention of the abuse from reaching either spectators seated behind soundproof glass at the US Naval base in Cuba or reporters in the press room at Fort Meade, Maryland. “The broadcast may be suspended whenever it is reasonably believed that any person in the courtroom has made or is about to make a statement or offer testimony disclosing classified information,” the order reads.

Read More:

US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture – World Socialist Web Site: “US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture By Naomi Spencer 15 December 2012

(Via WSWS.)


Written by Sean Bozkewycz

December 17, 2012 at 15:08

Posted in Repost

Tagged with , , , ,

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