waterboarding gitmo defendants

Bloomberg News Sept. 11 Defendants Press for Right to Waterboarding Talk


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Sept. 11 Defendants Press for Right to Waterboarding Talk
By David Lerman on October 16, 2012
Lawyers for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks asked a military judge to reject secrecy rules they said would prevent public disclosure of details about “waterboarding” and other CIA interrogation techniques the defendants experienced.

“You cannot classify an observation and experience of the accused, particularly when it was imposed on them against their will,” David Nevin, Mohammed’s chief counsel, said yesterday, the second day of preliminary hearings at the U.S. naval station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

With a trial of the Sept. 11 defendants before a military judge and jury still a year or more away, lawyers for the five men have filed a barrage of motions seeking to define or expand the legal rights they will be afforded as they attempt to air grievances about their treatment in captivity.

Defense lawyers for the five men said the government’s proposed protective order governing the handling of classified information is too broad and would prevent them from effectively representing their clients.

Joanna Baltes, a prosecuting attorney, said the proposed protective order is almost identical to one often used in federal courts. She said the government wants the order approved to guard against “potential disclosures that could be harmful to national security.”

Army Colonel James Pohl, the military judge, recessed the hearing day without ruling on the issue.

The consideration of how to handle sensitive information in the biggest terrorism case in U.S. history coincided with a ruling questioning the credibility of military tribunals.