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CIA Tapes Loom Large at Guantanamo Hearing

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December 11, 2007

Hina Shamsi is back from Guantanamo after observing the military commission proceedings of Salim Ahmed Hamdan for two days. Hina wrote about how the news of the CIA’s destruction of the torture tapes loomed large in Hamdan’s hearing, and how the use of evidence obtained through torture, like the waterboarding allegedly depicted in those tapes, could mean for future proceedings for Gitmo detainees in Salon today.

[T]here’s no doubt that government torture and cruelty – and the question of what other evidence might exist or have been destroyed – will be an issue in their trials. Given the CIA’s destruction of the interrogations tapes, it will now be even harder to take government assurances of fair play and transparency at face value. There’s also the danger that information obtained through torture will be introduced in the military commissions, in violation of more than 200 years of American law and values.

We also just posted a podcast of Cecillia Wang, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, giving her observations of the Boumediene v. Bush oral arguments at the Supreme Court last Wednesday. The decision in Boumediene has the potential to affect all detainees in U.S. custody, not just at Guantanamo.

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