Bin al Shibh and government secrets
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Miami Herald
Posted: August 20th, 2009
U.S. military defense lawyers for accused 9/11 conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh cannot learn what interrogation techniques CIA agents used on the Yemeni before he was moved to Guantánamo to be tried as a terrorist, an Army judge has ruled. Bin al Shibh, 37, is one of five men charged in a complex death penalty prosecution by military commission currently under review by the Obama administration. But his lawyers say he suffers a "delusional disorder," and hallucinations in his cell at Guantánamo may leave him neither sane enough to act as his own attorney nor to stand trial. Prison camp doctors treat him with psychotropic drugs. Army Col. Stephen Henley, the military judge on the case, has scheduled a competency hearing for mid-September. Meantime, the judge ruled on Aug. 6 that "evidence of specific techniques employed by various governmental agencies to interrogate the accused is . . . not essential to a fair resolution of the incompetence determination hearing in this case." Prosecutors had invoked a national security privilege in seeking to shield the details from defense lawyers. Many of the techniques used on the men have already been made public. They included waterboarding, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation methods meant to break a captive's will. But Navy Cmdr. Suzanne Lachelier, the Yemeni's Pentagon appointed defense attorney, said court-approved mental health experts -- as well as the judge -- need to know the specifics to assess her client's mental illness. If he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his CIA interrogations, there may be PTSD treatments that could make him competent.
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