By Julian Borger
The Guardian (2/23/19)
The makers of the film Zero Dark Thirty were given detailed information about the torture of an inmate at a CIA “black site” that had been denied to the prisoner’s own defence counsel at his trial in Guantánamo Bay, his lawyers claim.
Members of defence team for Ammar al-Baluchi, undergoing pre-trial proceedings for his alleged role in the 9/11 attacks before a military tribunal at the US base, said they were stunned to see the portrayal of his torture, including beatings, suspension from manacles and waterboarding, in the Oscar-winning 2012 film.
Ammar al-Baluchi’s defense team said they were stunned to see portrayal of his torture, including beatings, in Zero Dark Thirty.
The lawyers discovered that in the CIA’s year-long cooperation with the film-makers, the agency shared details of Baluchi’s torture at a secret prison, or black site, which they had been told were too secret to be divulged.
“A movie director gets greater access than a defence counsel,” Lt Colonel Sterling Thomas, managing defence counsel, said.
It is just one of the anomalies of the Guantánamo Bay military commission hearings that surface in a new Guardian documentary, The Trial.
The trial has yet to begin, despite the fact that Baluchi and his four other co-accused in the 9/11 case have been in Guantánamo for 13 years and were first charged in 2008. The process has been mired in delayscaused by the uncertainty about the military commissions themselves and how to treat testimony provided to the FBI by the defendants after they had been subjected to prolonged torture. …