Judge Kafka rules any mention of the truth is to be disallowed from the trial
This is a mixture of disgusting, pitiful, and even frightening. You know, if we lived in a society based on laws, one in which we had courts that had a semblance of intellectual and moral honesty, this ruling would be stricken down before the ink dried on it. Torture is a crime, and by law, information may not be classified merely because it would be embarrassing, or as a means to cover illegal activity.
According to Supreme Court ruling 403 U.S. 713 (1971), information may only be classified to protect national security objectives. And if torture is now a “national security objective,” then we’ve already lost whatever war we are pretending to fight, for whatever freedoms we are pretending to have.
The military judge in the 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others granted a government request to make all mention of alleged torture in the court classified. The defense called the ruling ’shameful.’
The judge, US Army Col. James Pohl, issued a broad protective order barring the disclosure of any information deemed by the government to be classified. The ruling was handed down Dec. 6 and was made public on the court’s website on Wednesday.
Off limits at the military commission trial at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay are any details surrounding the defendants‚ capture, detention, and alleged torture by the CIA. It includes “the enhanced interrogation techniques that were applied to an accused, including descriptions of the techniques as applied, the duration, frequency, sequencing, and limitations of those techniques.”
The judge added that “without limitation, observations and experiences of an accused” would also be treated as classified information as they emerge from a defendant’s mouth.
Defense lawyers had challenged the government‚s expansive assertion of authority to designate certain subjects as protected secrets in the case, saying it was improper for prosecutors to attempt to censor Mohammed and his four co-defendants from discussing their own personal observations of things they involuntarily endured during years of CIA detention and interrogations.
“The government wanted to ensure that the American public would never hear the defendants‚ accounts of illegal CIA torture, rendition, and detention,” she said in a statement….
“For now, the most important terrorism trial of our time will be organized around judicially approved censorship of the defendants‚ own thoughts, experiences, and memories of CIA torture,” she said. “The decision undermines the government‚s claim that the military commission system is transparent.”