Federal Judge: Release Those Guantanamo Videos!

A federal judge has ordered the Defense Department to turn over to the court three video recordings showing Guantanamo prisoners being forced out of their cells.

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates’s unusual order came Wednesday in

Guantanamo jog

Guantanamo jog (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)

a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by families of Kuwaiti prisoners being held at the U.S. military-run prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Bates said the Pentagon, which is represented in the case by the Justice Department, had failed to offer detailed enough explanations to sustain the government’s position that the videos are exempt from disclosure under the law.

Bates suggested he’d lost patience with the government in the case, noting that he’d given the Defense Department three chances to explain its position but that officials repeatedly offered “inconsistent and confusing” explanations.

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FOI Lawsuit Seeks Access to Guantanamo videos

A legal group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit on Monday asking that videotapes showing the interrogation of a terror detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be made public.

The suit filed in the Southern District of New York is focused on interrogation techniques used on Mohammed al-Qahtani, a man U.S. authorities have said was intended to be the 20th hijacker in the 9/11 terror attacks.

“From 2002 through 2003, Mr. al-Qahtani was the victim of a deliberate and calculated interrogation strategy involving the repeated use of torture and other profoundly cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” according to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

The lawsuit says al-Qahtani was subjected to severe sleep deprivation, isolation, 20-hour interrogations, severe temperatures and forced nudity. The suit says al-Qahtani also experienced “religious, sexual, and moral humiliation” including instances in which female interrogators straddled him.