JANUARY 24, 2012
Classified U.S. government information was found in the cells of high-value detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison that houses the world’s most dangerous terrorists, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The alarming revelation comes just days after lawyers for an al-Qaeda operative—USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri—jailed at the facility tried convincing a military judge that monitoring detainees’ mail violates attorney-client privilege. Judicial Watch covered the pretrial hearing at the U.S. Naval station in Cuba last week.
Ironically, a large portion of the two-day proceedings involved security measures put in place to ensure that contraband does not make it into the facility that houses 171 prisoners. Attorneys for al-Nashiri argued at length to convince the military tribunal judge hearing the case, Army Colonel James Pohl, that al-Nashiri’s mail not be monitored. The admiral (David Woods) who runs the prison took the stand to explain that detainees’ legal mail is promptly marked after being identified and not read to preserve attorney-client privilege.
This was not satisfactory to al-Nashiri’s extensive legal team or the leftwing civil rights groups that attended the hearing in a top security courtroom built to try terrorists. Most mainstream media outlets were also critical of the screening process, which military officials say is necessary to intercept contraband before it gets in the hands of the prisoners.
Supporting the argument is this week’s DOJ announcement that an agent with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been criminally charged for repeatedly leaking classified information, including the identities of covert agency operatives involved in the capture and interrogation of terrorists. Some of the materials were actually seized from the cells of Guantanamo detainees, according to the DOJ.
The disgraced CIA officer (John Kiriakou) divulged the classified information to journalists who, in turn, disclosed it to an investigator working for the taxpayer-funded defense team of an incarcerated terrorist. Authorities subsequently found some of the files, including photographs of certain government employees and contractors, in the cells of high-value detainees at the military prison.
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