Tags: cia | torture | testimony | guantanamo | censor

CIA Reportedly Tried to Suppress Torture Testimony at Gitmo 9/11 Trials

Image: CIA Reportedly Tried to Suppress Torture Testimony at Gitmo 9/11 Trials
A soldier walks through an abandoned camp at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Photo by Chantal Valery/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 Aug 2016 02:57 PM

Documents obtained by The Intercept show the Central Intelligence Agency censored trial records, claiming affected portions were related to interrogation techniques, which are classified.

At the Guantanamo Bay Navy Base in January 2013, someone cut off audio segments from the trial of five men accused of planning the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Initially, a military escort told reporters the gap in the sound feed to an observers' gallery was a glitch, but it quickly became apparent that the tampering was intentional censorship.

It occurred during a defense attorney's discussion of a motion related to CIA "black sites," or secret places used to detain and interrogate prisoners, and was marked by a red light.

"If some external body is turning the commission off based on their own views of what things ought to be, with no reasonable explanation, then we are going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on or off," said Army Col. James Pohl, the presiding judge, according to a Miami Herald report at the time.

Later, the judge said the cutoff was made by the Original Classification Authority (OCA) involved in matters relating to the case.

Declassified documents show that the CIA was the OCA and sought to omit information related to torture in the Guantanamo trial. Dean Boyd, the director of the CIA's public affairs office, told the Intercept that "we stand by the document," and referred reporters' questions to the Pentagon, where a spokeswoman didn't "have anything to offer beyond what is written in (the court) transcript."

The documents outline the "guidelines" that give court security officers employed by the Pentagon "general direction about when national security information may be at issue … triggering the need for protection."

The oldest document, from 2008, says "conditions of confinement of detainees" and "treatment of detainees" are classified, but "general allegations of torture are unclassified."

The CIA did release the names of three prisoners who had been subjected to a technique known as waterboarding, but specified that "allegations of waterboarding by any detainees other than the three … are false allegations and are (Top Secret) and (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information)," two high levels of classification.

"In effect, the government was making the chilling and breathtaking assertion that it owned and controlled detainees' memories of torture, whether true or false," Ashley Gorski, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Intercept.

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Documents obtained by The Intercept show the Central Intelligence Agency censored trial records, claiming affected portions were related to interrogation techniques, which are classified.
cia, torture, testimony, guantanamo, censor
398
2016-57-15
Monday, 15 Aug 2016 02:57 PM
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