For Immediate Release
ACLU Condemns Banning Of Four Reporters From Guantánamo Military Commissions
NEW YORK - Four
reporters have been banned from future military commissions proceedings
for reporting the name of a military interrogator who was set to
testify in the pre-trial hearings of Guantánamo detainee Omar Khadr.
Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, Michelle Shephard of the Toronto
Star, Paul Koring of the Globe and Mail and Steven Edwards of the
National Post included the name of the interrogator in coverage of the
Khadr trial. The identity of the interrogator had already been
disclosed in previous news reports, including an on-the-record
interview the interrogator gave to Shephard in 2008.
The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director:
reporters are being punished for disclosing information that has been
publicly available for years is nothing short of absurd – any gag order
that covers this kind of information is not just overbroad but
nonsensical. Plainly, no legitimate government interest is served by
suppressing information that is already well known. We strongly urge
the Defense Department to reconsider its rash, draconian and
unconstitutional decision to bar these four reporters from future
tribunals. If allowed to stand, this decision will discourage
legitimate reporting and add yet another entry to the long list of
reasons why the military commissions ought to be shut down for good.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.