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U.S. DOJ: Prisoners Tortured by U.S. Can’t Reveal That They’ve Been Tortured … Because It Will Reveal “National Security Secrets”

U.S. DOJ: Prisoners Tortured by U.S. Can’t Reveal That They’ve Been Tortured … Because It Will Reveal “National Security Secrets”

By Y. (8/27/12)

Editor’s Note: In the short commentary that follows, Y comments on the Reuters report that Guantanamo Bay detainees and their attorneys may not reveal that the detainees have been tortured. As Reuters’ Jane Sutton and Josh Meyer write:

Prosecutors have said in court filings that any revelations about the defendants' interrogations could cause "exceptionally grave damage."

Civil libertarians argue that if those interrogation methods really are top secret, then the CIA had no business revealing them to al Qaeda suspects.

But, of course, the top secret “enhanced interrogation methods” that the U.S. government has used and is using on its prisoners must not under any circumstances be revealed because this is “double secret probation” material. And when the U.S. government refers to “exceptionally grave damage,” they aren’t including and certainly don’t mean the exceptionally grave damage done to the bodies and psyches of the people they’ve tortured and are torturing.

The T word.

Torture has been more or less taboo for government officials - for years they denied that they were doing it and now that the cat’s out of the bag, the people who they’ve tortured aren’t supposed to reveal that they’ve been tortured. U.S. officials at Guantanamo Bay now have to clean up after themselves and are tracking what inmates are disclosing and to whom. The question is no longer whether prisoners were tortured, we know that they were and are; how government officials justify it is a whole other story. Guantanamo Bay prisoners are being censored when talking about their torture experience to their attorneys. Law is now at the government’s discretion. These prisoners were finally given attorneys, yet the minute they have them, they are told that certain matters in regards to their case may not be discussed, even with their attorneys.

Whose side is Justice on? Who is the law protecting? Every day government officials are coming up with a new strategic rule that prohibits prisoners from leaking out the truth about how they were and are tortured. Not just in Guantanamo, but everywhere, people are fighting laws in place, from immigration to health care. Once people come up with a way to take on the system, the system itself comes up with an act or passes a law that prohibits that too. How far or close are we from Democracy? Or have we just gotten accustomed to thinking of the U.S. as democratic that we overlook how far from Democracy we are?

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