“Ghost detainees” from secret CIA gulag to Gitmo tribunals

From the Center for Constitutional Rights via Buzzflash, March 6:

US to Put 14 Ghost Detainees From CIA Black Sites Before Sham Tribunals at Guantanamo

Today the Center for Constitutional Rights issued a statement in response to the news that CCR’s client, Majid Khan, one of the 14 so-called high value detainees at Guantánamo who were kept in secret CIA prisons and tortured before being transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006, would be brought before the Combatant Status Review Tribunal despite having been denied access to counsel:

The Center for Constitutional Rights condemns the government’s announcement today that it will haul our client Majid Khan before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal. A CSRT cannot in any way legitimize Khan’s unlawful detention, which has included his “disappearance” into secret CIA prisons overseas for several years, infliction of “enhanced interrogation techniques” amounting to torture, and isolation for the last six months at Guantanamo. It is equally outrageous that the government has denied Khan any access to his attorneys at CCR since October 2006, solely to prevent his torture and abuse from becoming public, and to protect any foreign governments who may have assisted or been complicit in Khan’s secret detention.

The CSRTs may rely upon any evidence obtained through coercion that the tribunal finds reliable, and the United States has attempted to circumvent prohibitions against torture by redefining acts as “aggressive interrogation methods” rather than as torture. As a result, the CSRTs routinely rely upon evidence that would otherwise have been excluded under the most fundamental notions of due process as tainted information derived from torture. That the CSRTs may consider evidence against Khan obtained by torture or coercion, and do not permit him to see or challenge that evidence or consult with his counsel, illustrate beyond any doubt that the CSRTs are a sham. So too does the fact that the CSRTs will be conducted entirely in secret and that records of the proceedings will be classified.

Any suggestion that Khan’s CSRT proceedings would comport with our values and traditional notions of justice is demeaning to all Americans. They only undermine the credibility of our nation and our commitment to the rule of law. We might expect this in Libya or China, but not America.

CCR will put the U.S. government and the CIA in particular on trial for what has happened to Majid Khan. The torture and abuse that he has suffered at the hands of U.S. officials, and the possible complicity of foreign governments in the CIA’s secret prison program, will be exposed in court. The only question is when that will happen and who will be held accountable.

Link added. See our last posts on the torture and detainment scandal, Gitmo and the secret CIA gulag.