August 21, 2012
Starting tomorrow, almost 11 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the U.S. military commissions at Guantanamo Bay will hear the first set of arguments in preparation for the trial of the five alleged plotters.
Lawyers will argue over whether the U.S. constitution applies at Guantanamo Bay, as it would in a regular U.S. court; whether everything that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators say is “presumptively classified” — especially any statements about their capture and treatment by the U.S. government in CIA custody; and whether the government can prevent defense lawyers from sharing even unclassified information with the media.
In the upcoming hearings, scheduled over the next eight days, the government is expected to argue that the judge shouldn’t decide whether or not the U.S. Constitution applies at Gitmo; that the government can keep secret every statement from the five defendants about their experiences being subjected to torture and so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” by the CIA; and that the government should be allowed to keep the public from seeing information that’s not classified but, the government says, would nonetheless be “detrimental to the public interest” if released.
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