October 15, 2012
It didn’t take long for the word “torture” to rear its ugly head in the September 11th terrorism case, as pre-trial hearings began today with a slew of procedural issues. Though the question of whether the five accused men have to actually show up in court every day wouldn’t seem all that exciting or controversial, as soon as one of the defense lawyers started to say his client was traumatized by having been tortured at the hands of his U.S. interrogators, the judge shut him up.
“We have to talk about torture,” said defense attorney Captain Michael Schwartz, who represents Walid Bin Attash, claiming it’s relevant to whether the accused should be “forcibly extracted” from their prison cells.
“No we don’t. I’m telling you I don’t think it’s relevant to this issue,” said Judge James L. Pohl, presiding over the military commission case of the five 9/11 co-defendants. “I’m not going to keep revisiting the issue I told you is not relevant.”