High court to hear Guantanamo prisoner’s state secrets case


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Courtroom is ready to listen to arguments concerning the authorities’s skill to maintain what it says…

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Courtroom is ready to listen to arguments concerning the authorities’s skill to maintain what it says are state secrets and techniques from a person who was tortured by the CIA following 9/11 and is now held on the Guantanamo Bay detention middle.

On the middle of the case being heard Wednesday is whether or not Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and thought on the time to be a high-ranking member of al-Qaida, can get data associated to his detention. Zubaydah and his lawyer need to query two former CIA contractors about Zubaydah’s time at a secret CIA facility in Poland the place they are saying he was held and tortured.

A federal appeals court docket sided with Zubaydah, and mentioned that although the federal government maintained that the data must be stored secret, a decide ought to decide whether or not any data he’s in search of will be disclosed.

The case has its origins within the aftermath of the Sept. 11 assaults when the CIA arrange a detention and interrogation program designed to gather intelligence about terrorist plots towards People. As a part of that program, the company arrange secret prisons, so-called black websites, in different international locations and used excessive interrogation methods now broadly considered as torture.

Zubaydah, the primary individual within the CIA program, spent 4 years at CIA black websites earlier than being transferred to Guantanamo Bay in 2006. In accordance with a 2014 Senate report on the CIA program, amongst different issues Zubaydah was waterboarded greater than 80 occasions and spent over 11 days in a coffin-size confinement field.

He’s in search of data from former CIA contractors James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, who’re thought of the architects of the interrogation program.

Zubaydah needs proof from them as a part of a legal investigation in Poland into his detention at a black web site there. The U.S. authorities has by no means publicly acknowledged a CIA black web site in Poland, although the previous president of Poland has and its existence has additionally been broadly reported within the media.

Zubaydah and his legal professional observe that Mitchell and Jessen have testified twice earlier than in different conditions, together with hearings at Guantanamo, and that Mitchell wrote a ebook about his expertise. They are saying they need nonprivileged data from the boys corresponding to the main points of Zubaydah’s “torture in Poland, his medical therapy, and the circumstances of his confinement.”

The Biden administration, just like the Trump administration earlier than it, says the data shouldn’t be disclosed as a result of it might do vital hurt to nationwide safety. America has declassified a major quantity of details about the previous CIA program however sure data, together with the areas of former CIA detention services, can’t be declassified with no threat to nationwide safety, the administration says.

A federal court docket initially dominated that Mitchell and Jessen shouldn’t be required to supply any data. However an appeals court docket dominated 2-1 that the decrease court docket made a mistake in ruling out questioning solely earlier than making an attempt to separate what can and may’t be disclosed.

In its briefs earlier than the Supreme Courtroom the federal government says Zubaydah was “an affiliate and longtime terrorist ally of Osama bin Laden.” Zubaydah’s legal professionals say the CIA was mistaken in believing he was a high-ranking member of al-Qaida.

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Aila Slisco

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