Suspect In USS Cole Bombing Wins One Legal Battle | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Suspect In USS Cole Bombing Wins One Legal Battle

The man accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, won a key battle at Guantanamo on Wednesday — a judge said he could meet with his lawyers without having to wear restraints.

The ruling might seem like a small thing, but the judge's decision allows the government to avoid possibly having some things discussed in open court that it doesn't want revealed. Al-Nashiri's defense team had planned to put him on the stand to testify about why he feels the shackles are such a problem. Before he came to Guantanamo, Al-Nashiri had been held in CIA black sites for four years. He is one of three men the U.S. has admitted it waterboarded. Al-Nashiri, a 47-year-old Saudi, says being shackled is traumatic today because he was restrained in the same way when he was in CIA custody years ago.

The mere possibility of al-Nashiri's testimony set off a maelstrom. The prosecution immediately demanded that the testimony be heard in secret because he could reveal classified information. Critics of the military commissions system said a closed session flew in the face of the transparency and openness the leaders of the commissions had promised when they reformed the system. A lawyer representing a roster of news organizations, including NPR, discussed the importance of keeping the proceedings open with the presiding judge.

In the end, the judge's ruling has made all the to-ing and fro-ing moot — for now. Al-Nashiri's first hand account of CIA interrogations will have to wait for another day. Because his treatment by the CIA is a centerpiece of his trial at Guantanamo, the subject is bound to come up again.

As we reported Wednesday, Al-Nashiri's actual trial doesn't start until November.

[Dina Temple-Raston is an NPR counterterrorism correspondent.)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dared To Dream

In her new memoir for young adults, Woodson uses free verse to tell the story of growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. Her work for young readers often touches on themes of race and identity.
NPR

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

If you don't think you like bitter foods, try them again. Jennifer McLagan, the author of Bitter: A Taste Of The World's Most Dangerous Flavor, is on a mission to change hearts and minds.
NPR

Senate To Vote On Bill To Authorize Arming Syrian Rebels

The House voted Wednesday to authorize the training and equipping of Syrian rebels to fight militants in the group called Islamic State also known as ISIS. The vote didn't split down party lines.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.