Monday, May 07, 2007
Disturbing news from the National Coalition for History. According to a protective order filed by the US District Court for DC, all classified information used at Guantanamo military tribunals by defense counsel-- namely, all papers, correspondence, memoranda, logs, photographs, and videos-- are to be physically "destroyed" after the trial ends. Further, the order states that prosecutors "may" choose to destroy all their classified materials as well.
The order essentially creates a legal memory hole into which the government can drop any information it deems embarrassing or illegal at the conclusion of a tribunal hearing. This includes any Combatant Status Review Tribunal transcripts, interrogation logs, or "Immediate Response Force" videos that depict the infliction of torture or cruel or inhumane treatment.
So far, only one tribunal hearing has concluded at Guantanamo-- that of Australia's David Hicks. In a 2004 affidavit filed from Guantanamo, Hicks alleged he was "deprived of sleep as a matter of policy", "beaten while blindfolded and handcuffed", and offered "the services of a prostitute for fifteen minutes if I would spy on other detainees."
One can only imagine what classified Hicks records the Pentagon has legally destroyed so far.