Weeks after they were rebuffed by the Sept. 11 trial judge, civil liberties and media groups have appealed to the Pentagon's Court of Military Commissions Review for more transparency at the Guantanamo war court.
At issue is whether the world can hear accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators talk about what the CIA did to them during their years of secret custody before they got to Guantanamo. Government officials already have acknowledged that CIA agents waterboarded Mohammed 183 times.
But on Dec. 6, Army Col. James L. Pohl, the 9/11 trial judge, adopted a sweeping protective order that systematically closes the court for portions of the coming death-penalty trial that provide details about the harsh interrogation techniques used on the accused in the CIA's now-closed secret prison network.
Pohl also put his judicial stamp of approval on a Pentagon-engineered 40-second delay of what spectators can hear from the court, time enough for censors to mute the audio if someone suspects anyone in the courtroom might spill national security secrets.