NPR, David Green, Senate discussed on Morning Edition


Morning edition from NPR news I know well king and I'm David green the new movie the report tells the true story of a U. S. Senate staffer who doggedly investigated the CIA's torture program after the September eleventh terror attacks this is a look back at a controversial part of our country's past but the CIA's use of torture continues to have huge implications at the US military court and prison in Guantanamo bay Cuba where forty accused terrorists are still being held Sacha Pfeiffer of enters investigations team reports and just a warning here the story may be disturbing to some listeners because it does include descriptions of torture techniques when the United States captured the people it believed were responsible for nine eleven it put them in an overseas network of secret CIA prisons called black sites and for years subjected them to what it called enhanced interrogation techniques that was a euphemism for torture beatings water boardings mock burials a decade later a Senate report concluded that torturing those prisoners was not only immoral and illegal but also ineffective but the fact that they were tortured is a major reason there has still been no trial and may never be a trial for alleged nine eleven mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Guantanamo prisoners that's partly because evidence obtained through torture can rarely be used at trial and it's because information that is still secret like the identities of the torturers could come out at trial the CIA absolutely does not want that to happen Rick cannon is the former lead defense attorney for the man charged with orchestrating the USS Cole naval warship bombing Abd al Rahim al Nashiri who's been held at Guantanamo for thirteen years what the public has seen through the Senate torture report probably represents thirty percent of the reality you feel like they're still details that could be conscience shocking yes is a criminal defense lawyer I thought my ability to be shocked was pretty high and yet some of the things I've seen and read our genuinely breathtaking and horrify is there anything you can share that isn't classified now the physical legacy of torture is on display and Guantanamo's courtroom Mustafa al how sorry is a prisoner accused of financing the nine eleven hijackers the CIA subjected him to what it called rectal we hide rations CIA documents say his captors use the largest too they had for those procedures conducted them with quote excessive force and described them as a means of behavior control CIA records show he was later diagnosed with a condition called rectal prolapse and other related problems our house so we now sits on a pillow when he appears in court Guantanamo medical officials have tried to reduce his discomfort with surgery but a knowledge only that he has hemorrhoids defense attorney Walter Ruiz represents outhouse Ali and says he suffers permanent injuries from the black sites and for them to say that it was a simple case of hemorrhoids is absolute disgrace out has always physical condition has consumed hours of debate and Guantanamo's military courtroom it's an example of why the nine eleven case has proved so difficult to get to trial the fact of torture is at the heart of what's delaying these trials that's Terry Rockefeller whose only sibling her younger sister Laura died at age forty one in the World Trade Center attacks Rockefeller has made six trips to Guantanamo to watch it's a military court proceedings for the people who think the tortures in the past they don't realize that it's coming up over and over and over again they don't realize how alive the issue remains the torture inflicted on the CIA prisoners was at the core of almost every discussion in Guantanamo as military court during the two weeks I spent there this summer it's like two years of ongoing legal fights over what evidence is admissible over what details about prisoner treatment should be classified over whether prisoners are getting proper medical care over whether they're entitled to more lenient sentences because they were tortured if there is one feature of Guantanamo that probably can't be repeated enough because I think it is the original sin that creates all these problems is the use of torture Michelle parody is a defense attorney for al machinery the USS Cole bombing suspect all this is function why this non living case for example has taken all this time the vast majority of issues that come up are in one way or another tie defect they were tortured and secret for four years it just contaminates everything the legacy of torture from slamming prisoners into walls to locking them in coffin like boxes has also at into the massive cost of Guantanamo's court and prison six billion dollars since two thousand two despite only one finalized conviction so far that amount includes tens of billions of dollars in annual legal expenses including defense experts who specialize in torture we have experts on the impact of torture for example the way it changes your brain neurologically how it influences false confessions how it affects memory out up for don isn't one ton of the defense attorney for Ammar al Baluchi who's accused of funding the nine eleven hijackers we have experts on sleep deprivation because Mr ability was sleep deprived continuously for two and a half years the CIA claims that by torturing prisoners it extracted information from them that helped capture other terrorists stop future attacks and ultimately save lives the Senate torture report concluded that was not true and the torturing prisoners yielded no helpful new information retired airforce colonel Gerry brown is a former top attorney for Guantanamo's military court who's filed a federal whistle blower complaint alleging quote gross financial waste and gross mismanagement there brown doubts military court trials could ever happen since so much evidence is tainted by torture and he says Guantanamo has been a failure at all but one thing they've been successful at doing something that I would have thought never could have been done and that is generating more sympathy for the detainees and they've really turned the detainees and two mortars and victims earlier this year a military court judge set a trial date of January twenty twenty one for the nine eleven case he says he's determined to finally resolve it but defense attorneys for the prisoners say that date is wishful at best since nearly twenty years after the attacks the aftermath of the torture program and.

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