March 16, 2007


Congressmen witnessed pivotal Guantanamo hearing (Washington Post, 3/16/07)

Key congressional leaders flew secretly Saturday to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to observe the closed military hearing for al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, according to congressional staff and Pentagon officials.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a committee member, watched the proceedings over closed-circuit television from an adjacent room, said Tara Andringa, a spokeswoman for Levin. They were joined by a representative from the CIA, according to one U.S. government official.

The official transcript of Mohammed's hearing, called to establish whether he qualifies as an "enemy combatant," acknowledged the presence of five unnamed military officers, a translator and an official tribunal reporter.

It is unclear why the presence of two senators who helped write the law codifying the tribunals was not announced. [...]

Though there have been hundreds of status hearings for Guantanamo detainees, Saturday's hearings for Mohammed and two other al-Qaida suspects marked the first time that Combatant Status Review Tribunals were closed to the media and the public. Pentagon officials argued that hearings had to be conducted in secret for unspecified national security reasons.

While we've little truck with notion of national security secrets, for those who do believe in secrecy though it is notable that this hearing is leaking like a sieve.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 16, 2007 8:21 AM

Discretion rather than secrecy. Leak all you want but spare us from the MSM's equivocation and demagoguery, thank you very much.

Posted by: at March 16, 2007 11:17 AM

Jeez, could my patriotic Senator, Commie Carl, be the leaker?

Posted by: JimBobElrod at March 16, 2007 12:18 PM


Sadly it could just as easily be Graham.

Posted by: h-man at March 16, 2007 4:07 PM

And the publication of this bit of theater is a bad thing because. . .?

Ponder has this unfolding maximizes the impact of proceedings without the appearance of a show trial.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 16, 2007 7:03 PM

Bad? It's bad to keep stuff secret, not to reveal it. But it's ad to pretend it needs to be secret and then reveal it illegally.

Posted by: oj [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 16, 2007 8:43 PM