Diminished Media Presence at Gitmo for Tomorrow's Hearings
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 defendants have hearings this week, beginning tomorrow at Guantanamo's court for military commissions -- their first hearings since May.
Reporters who are there tonight say on Twitter the number of reporters seems to have decreased by 50%. Some estimate only 25 reporters are there, and several of them are there for the first time, representing organizations such as Jesuit Weekly and the Bergen Record.
The defense lawyers complained today that the office space they were given is infested with rats, rat feces and mold and making them ill. They filed a Motion called "Mr. Mohammad's Emergency Motion to Delay the October 2012 Hearing due to Defense Offices Being Deemed Unsafe by the US Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay due to the Presence of Hazardous Mold, Rodents, and Rodent Feces." While (naturally) the motion and responses are sealed, the Court's one sentence order denying the motion is available on the docket (choose the active case for KSM from the dropdown list and then the link for all documents at the bottom or the docket link.) [More...]
One of the big issues this week will be the government's request to prevent torture details at the trials. Not only that, they are asking the court to limit the defense attorneys' ability to discuss such treatment with their clients. And it seems like the Court is going to go along.
Among the media who is there and will be arguing for openness this week, in addition to the ACLU:
ABC, Inc., Associated Press, Bloomberg News, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., Fox News Network, The Miami Herald and its parent McClatchy Co., National Public Radio, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Reuters, Tribune Company, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
Show Trials. As the ACLU says:
“The government’s claim that it can keep from the public the defendants’ testimony about their ‘thoughts and experiences’ of torture is legally untenable and morally abhorrent,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project and the attorney who will argue the motion Wednesday. “There is an ongoing public debate about the fairness and transparency of the Guantánamo military commissions, and if the government succeeds in imposing its desired censorship regime, the commissions will certainly not be seen as legitimate.”
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