Col. James Pohl

Guantanamo Secret Censor Frustrates Judge In 9/11 Case

Ryan J. Reilly
Posted: 01/28/2013

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba --A judge expressed frustration on Monday that an unknown U.S. government entity censored his courtroom audiovisual feed, cutting public access to pretrial hearings for five accused Sept. 11 plotters.

"If some external body is turning the commission on or off based on their own views of what things ought to be, with no reasonable explanation ... then we’re going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on and off," said the judge, Col. James Pohl.

Pohl's comments came after an unknown censor cut off a live media feed to the court proceedings as David Nevin, a lawyer defending Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, began discussing his request for information on his client's case.

Proceedings at Guantanamo's maximum-security court are broadcast over closed-circuit television to journalists observing from an adjacent room. Additional reporters monitor the feed from a nearby media center, and at Fort Meade, Md.