Judge Pohl did not. “To me, the starting point is what the government doesn’t want to be revealed,” the judge told the prosecution and defense on Monday during the initial public hearing. “If there’s other stuff they don’t care if it’s revealed, they’re the gatekeeper on that as far as I’m concerned.”
Schulz, who was not present at Guantánamo for the hearing, had no comment.
Martins told reporters that national security and the rules compelled secrecy for the hearing.
A war court source with knowledge of the process said a court stenographer with top secret clearances created a typewritten record of the secret hearing, but that transcript was to be sealed and not released.
Nashiri, who allegedly served as al-Qaida’s chief of Arabian Sea operations, was not even brought to the war court compound on Wednesday. He chose to stay at the prison camp rather than be moved by guards to wait out the closed session in a holding cell at Camp Justice.
Martins, who often touts transparency at the war court, said that closure would be “based upon a compelling interest preserved on the record for appellate review” and that “embarrassment is not a legal basis for closure, nor is the fact that a law may have been broken.”
Admissions made under torture or coercion are forbidden at the Guantánamo trials. But treatment may be brought before a panel deciding whether to hand down a death penalty after a conviction. In addition, defense lawyers are trying to surface secret information about what happened to CIA captives to argue that some evidence beyond confessions may be tainted by torture.