Pentagon Ejects 4 Journalists From Trial For ID Of Protected Witness

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The Pentagon barred four journalists from the trial of Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr because they allegedly reported the name of a military interrogator who testified yesterday that he tried to frighten Khadr with the possibility of being raped in prison, reports Politico.com. “We threw some people out of there today because they disclosed the identity of a protected witness,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. “He had been clearly identified as someone who needed to be protected.”

The journalists kicked out of the proceedings, currently in the midst of pre-trial hearings, are Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers, Michelle Shephard of the Toronto Star, Paul Koring of the Globe & Mail, and Steven Edwards of Canwest Newspapers. The reporters have noted that the name of the interrogator in question, Joshua Claus, was widely reported in the Canadian press before the trial. The American Civil Liberties Union called “nonsensical” the move against the four reporters. “That 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,” the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer said. “Plainly, no legitimate government interest is served by suppressing information that is already well known.”

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