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Thread: Pentagon Closes Guantanamo Bay Hearings To Media

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Pentagon Closes Guantanamo Bay Hearings To Media

    Pentagon closes Guantánamo Bay hearings to media

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Reporters will be barred from hearings that begin Friday in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for the 14 suspected terrorists who were transferred last year from secret CIA prisons, officials said Tuesday.

    Interest in the 14 is high because of their alleged links to al-Qaida. Among them is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. He was captured in Pakistan in March 2003.

    A New York-based human-rights group that represents one of the 14 men accused the Pentagon of designing "sham tribunals." The organization contended that its client, Majid Khan, has been denied access to his lawyers since October 2006 "solely to prevent his torture and abuse from becoming public" and to protect complicit foreign governments.

    U.S. authorities say Khan was being groomed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for an attack inside the United States.

    "We might expect this in Libya or China, but not America," the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement. It said Khan was subjected to CIA interrogation methods that amounted to torture.

    Pentagon officials have said any allegations of mistreatment are investigated.

    In announcing the hearings, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he could not say which of the 14 would go first or how long the process would take. No word of the hearings will be made public until the government releases a transcript of the proceedings, edited to remove material deemed damaging to national security, he said.

    Whitman said the Pentagon is planning to withhold the name of the detainee from the edited hearing transcript, although that will be reconsidered.

    The hearings — known as combatant status-review tribunals — are meant to determine whether a prisoner is an "enemy combatant." If the prisoner is deemed an enemy combatant, then President Bush can designate him as eligible for a military trial. The first of these are expected to begin this summer.

    News coverage of previous combatant status-review tribunals — there were more than 550 between July 2004 and March 2005 — was not prohibited. But there were restrictions on some information.

    Whitman said the hearings for the 14 suspects will be closed to the media to protect national-security interests that could be compromised by the detainees' statements.

    In additional to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 14 include:
    • Ramzi Binalshibh: Believed by U.S. authorities to have helped plan the Sept. 11 attacks. He was captured in September 2002 in Pakistan.
    • Abu Zubaydah: A Palestinian raised in Saudi Arabia, he was believed to be a link between Osama bin Laden and many al-Qaida terrorist cells before he was captured in Pakistan in 2002.
    • Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri: He is the suspected mastermind of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 U.S. sailors in Aden harbor in Yemen.
    • Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani: A Tanzanian who allegedly helped coordinate the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

    The Pentagon opened the Guantánamo Bay prison in January 2002; so far no captives have gone on trial.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    If you change the phrase "National Security", and replace it with the phrase, "Corrupt Bastard Murdering Fascist Politicians", it might be a little more accurate.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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