The ACLU asked the Guantánamo Bay military commission to enforce the American public’s First Amendment right to open trials in the most important terrorism case of our time. Our motion challenged the government’s attempts to censor and hide from the public any statements by the 9/11 defendants about their torture and detention in CIA and military custody. The government's request was granted, and our appeal of that decision was denied.
The Guantánamo military commissions were created in part to hide the Bush administration’s illegal and shameful use of torture while also permitting the use of information obtained through torture. The government contends that any testimony by the 9/11 defendants concerning their “exposure” to the CIA’s unlawful torture, rendition, and detention program is classified as “sources, methods and activities” of the U.S. and can be withheld from the public.