Military judge allows total blackout of 9/11 plotters’ torture testimony

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 14:43 EDT
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Demonstrators protest against torture. Photo: Lilac Mountain / Shutterstock.com.
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A military judge presiding over the trials of the accused 9/11 plotters decided last week that any and all testimony relating to their treatment by U.S. personnel shall be censored, according to a ruling released Wednesday.

In a statement sent to reporters, the American Civil Liberties Union made it clear that they are deeply troubled by the judge’s ruling.

“The government wanted to ensure that the American public would never hear the defendants’ accounts of illegal CIA torture, rendition and detention, and the military judge has gone along with that shameful plan,” ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi said in an advisory.

The ACLU will give supporting arguments next week on its motion to lift censorship of the plotters’ testimony. The civil liberties group is also pushing to block a 40-second delay on an audio feed from the courtroom. They are joined in the complaint by a consortium of media organizations seeking public access to the trial.

“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,” Shamsi added. “The decision undermines the government’s claim that the military commission system is transparent and deals a grave blow to its legitimacy.”

Photo: Lilac Mountain / Shutterstock.com.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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