Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guard our secrets: Deny you a lawyer

Majid Khan, 26 immigrated from Pakistan and graduated form Owing Mills High School, Maryland. He was arrested in 2003 while in Pakistan and spent more than three years in a CIA prison. Defense attorneys say that his treatment in the prison amounted to torture. Being labeled a "suspected terrorist," Khan has been denied access to a defense lawyer and in September of this year, he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay. This is the Military Commissions Act in practice. Even worse is the reason that is being given to deny this man a lawyer: according to the government,the CIA's network of prisons, are among the nation's most sensitive secrets. Prisoners who spent time in those prisons should not be allowed to disclose that information, even to a lawyer.

I'm just wondering what prisoners can do then? They can't get a lawyer. If by some stroke of luck, they are somehow given access to a lawyer, they cannot give them information about their treatment while in prison. So basically, this situation implies that prisoners who are in all probability being tortured have been abandoned not only by the government, but also that people who could help them cannot because it is necessary to guard the secrets of this nation.

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