Military Judge Orders Release of Information about CIA Torture at Secret Prison

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri (drawing: Janet Hamlin, AP)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been ordered by a military judge to turn over classified information regarding its secret prisons used last decade to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists.


The order came during the military tribunal for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, accused mastermind of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, which killed 17 American sailors and wounded 42 others.


Nashiri was held at several secret CIA prisons before being shipped to Guantánamo Bay, where he has been detained since 2006.


His lawyers contend that he was tortured at the clandestine facilities, including being subjected to waterboarding and threats involving a gun and a power drill while CIA officials sought information from him about future terrorist plots.


The defense team wants the CIA to disclose its records of what took place, in order to challenge certain evidence against Nashiri in the hope it will keep him from being executed if he is convicted.


Prosecutors argued before the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, that the secret CIA records are irrelevant. But Pohl rejected this claim, and ordered the agency to provide details about the detainee’s capture, imprisonment, rendition and interrogation.


This information, if turned over to the military court, would not be released to the public, according to Pohl’s order.


But it remains to be seen if the CIA will comply with the judge’s demand. The agency could assert that it cannot release the records on national security grounds. The prosecution could also ask the military commissions appellate court to overrule Pohl’s decision.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Govt Must Turn Over Info on CIA Prisons to Defense (by Deb Riechmann, Associated Press)

Guantánamo Judge to CIA: Disclose ‘Black Site’ Details to USS Cole Defense Lawyers (by Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald)

CIA Paid $15 Million Cash to Create a Torture Prison in Poland (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Military Court Holds Session so Secret Defendant Can’t Attend (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Ex-CIA Officer Defends Destruction of Torture Videos (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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