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Vol. 76/No. 19      May 14, 2012

White House to maintain secrecy
in Guantánamo military tribunal
The Barack Obama administration is seeking to keep testimony secret in the trial before a military tribunal of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 47, who is accused by Washington of helping to organize the attack by al-Qaeda on the U.S. destroyer Cole in 2000 that killed 17 U.S. sailors.

Al-Nashiri was arrested in 2002 in Dubai. Over the next four years he was tortured in CIA secret prisons in Thailand, Afghanistan and Poland. Since 2006 he has been incarcerated at the U.S. naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

According to a 2004 CIA report, of which a censored version was made public five years later, al-Nashiri was subjected to the suffocation technique known as waterboarding, and forced into painful stress positions, including being lifted off the floor by his arms as they were shackled behind his back.

He was hooded, shackled and stripped naked during interrogation sessions. Interrogators threatened him with execution. They put a gun to his head, revved up a power drill, and faked the execution of another prisoner.

A number of newspapers and other media are requesting Judge Col. James Pohl allow them to cover the military tribunal, scheduled to begin Nov. 9. They include the New York Times, Fox News, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, the New Yorker, Reuters, the Tribune Company and Washington Post.
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