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Guantanamo 9/11 detainee contests court’s secrecy rule

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An accused September 11 conspirator filed a motion challenging a rule that keeps statements by the Guantanamo detainees secret, his lawyer said.

Attorney James Connell called for end to “the presumption of classification” that applies to everything the Guantanamo detainees say.

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His client, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, is scheduled to be arraigned May 5 at Guantanamo along with four other accused terrorists.

All statements made by the detainees are reviewed by US military judges for national security implications before they are released publicly.

Asked whether his client would plead guilty or not guilty during his arraignment, Connell said he could not answer because everything his client says is “presumed classified.”

“Some of the things that the prisoners say are classified, other parts are actually unclassified but even the parts that are unclassified, we are required to treat as if they are classified,” Connell told AFP.

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The motion Connell filed on behalf of Ali “tries to open up the situation so things that have nothing to do with national security could be discussed,” he said.

“Presumptive classification contradicts both our democracy’s need for transparency and its rules for protecting national security. It only serves to hide the truth about the torture these men experienced,” Connell said in a statement.

“Under federal law, only information relating to nuclear weapons is presumed to be classified; all other information must be reviewed by a government official… before it can be classified,” he said.

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The motion, which is scheduled to be discussed at the May 5 hearing, is “part of an overall push to make the military commissions open up a little bit so people can find out what’s really going on,” Connell told AFP.

Connell’s court filing follows a request at a Guantanamo hearing last week by a lawyer acting on behalf of the US media that an accused terrorist’s testimony about torture he suffered be made public.

Ali, a Pakistani, is scheduled to be arraigned alongside four other co-defendants.

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The five are accused of planning and executing the September 11, 2001 attacks against New York and Washington, as well as the downing of a hijacked airplane in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which killed a total of 2,976 people.

One of the co-defendants scheduled to be arraigned at the May 5 hearing is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 attacks.

The charges against the defendants carry a possible death penalty.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘It’s basic, basic, basic’: Liz Plank hilariously mocks Trump’s reality show behavior as recession looms

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President Donald Trump is distracting from the potential of his reality TV show behavior an MSNBC guest explained on Tuesday.

"The Beat" host Ari Melber reported, "the Trump Administration first pushing back on the criticism they have no plan for a recession. Emergency tax cuts is now something they’re offering or maybe rolling back Trump’s tariffs. And these reports, if nothing else, they concede there could be a downturn. This is important. Trump’s allies in the press have found some bizarre ways to spin the jitters claiming it’s rich coastal elites who want to lose money in a recession."

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Plutonium found in Colorado soil at five times higher level than acceptable radioactive level

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Why is there plutonium in the soil of a national wildlife refuge that is five times higher than the rate that demands a "clean up?" It's a question Colorado state health officials are examining Tuesday after their soil sample readings showed 264 picocuries-per-gram found in Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

The Denver Post reported the findings of the radioactive substance, but toxicologists at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said they don't believe "there is an immediate public health threat."

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Trump supporters are furious about Trump’s anti-Semitic comment because now they can’t criticize Democrats anymore: CNN correspondent

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President Donald Trump continues to suffer fallout from his anti-Semitic claim on Tuesday that Jewish Democrats are guilty of "great disloyalty."

As CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins noted on "The Situation Room," he is even facing blowback from his own party — which spent months trying to paint Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as rabid anti-Semites for far less.

"He's ... being criticized by people on both sides of the aisle for this comment," said Collins. "Not just the president's usual critics who don't like things that he says or say he oversteps the line, but people who are on his side are saying, by making this comment, he doesn't realize why they have been critical of people like Rashida Tlaib, like Ilhan Omar for their in the past."

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