Guantánamo Bay is still a humanitarian horror

In January of this year, on the 20th anniversary of the opening of the notorious military prison at Guantánamo Bay on the eastern tip of Cuba, the United Nations’ top human rights office issued an excoriating report on “Gitmo” and its continued operations. “Guantánamo Bay is a site of unparalleled notoriety, defined by the systematic use of torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against hundreds of men brought to the site and deprived of their most fundamental rights,” the report stated. However, “Despite forceful, repeated and unequivocal condemnation of the operation of this horrific detention and prison complex with its associated trial processes, the United States continues to detain persons many of whom have never been charged with any crime.” TRNN correspondent David Kattenburg speaks about the continued horrors of Guantánamo Bay and the international fight to shut it down with Fionnuala Ni Aolain and Alka Pradhan.

Fionnuala Ni Aolain is the lead author of the recent UN report on Guantánamo Bay. She is the UN Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, University Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota, and faculty director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota School of Law. Alka Pradhan is Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an expert on the application of human rights and humanitarian law in counterterrorism situations, and on the impact of torture on fair trials. Pradhan is currently Human Rights Counsel at Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions and has represented over a dozen of its detainees. She currently represents one of the defendants in the capital case United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

Pre-Production: David Kattenburg
Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino


Transcript

David Kattenburg:     Hello, and welcome to The Real News Network. I’m David Kattenburg. Guantanamo Bay, two words synonymous with cruelty and injustice. This past Jan. 10, on the 20th anniversary of the opening of that notorious military prison on the Eastern tip of Cuba, the United Nations top human rights office issued a report describing Gitmo in graphic terms, “A site of unparalleled notoriety.” The report’s 14 experts wrote, and these continue on with quotations, “Defined by systematic torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment against hundreds of men deprived of their most fundamental rights. A horrific detention and prison complex. A stain on the US Government’s commitment to the rule of law.” Quotes continue, “An ugly chapter of unrelenting human rights violations, state sponsored torture, and impunity” end of quote. And I add, with no end in sight. The Americans call the place Camp Justice.

Today, two guests join me to talk about the Guantanamo Bay facility and its unfortunate inmates. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin is lead author of the United Nations report. She is the special UN rapporteur on the promotion and for protection of human rights while countering terrorism. Ní Aoláin is a university regents professor at the University of Minnesota and faculty director of the Human Rights Center at U Minnesota Law School. Ní Aoláin is also a professor of law at Queens University of Belfast. She joins us today from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Alka Pradhan is adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s an expert on the application of human rights and humanitarian law in counterterrorism situations, and on the impact of torture and unfair trials. Pradhan is currently the human rights council at Guantanamo Bay and has represented over a dozen of its detainees. She currently represents one of the defendants in the capital case United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The so-called 9/11 case.

Warning to listeners, some of the stuff we’re going to talk about today is disturbing. So, warning. Fionnuala, can you give us a rundown on the history of the facility and its detainees? I mean it began in 2002, the first detainees arrived in 2002 shortly after 9/11. Since then, in 2006, more folks arrived from America’s black sites. There have been something like a total of 800 detainees there charged over these years. I’m wondering, have any of them actually been charged with a specific crime, been tried or convicted over the past 20 years? And where do things stand at the moment?

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     Well, I think there’s a lot of questions in there. To start, to say, at least the first official notice we have of a person being transferred to Guantanamo is in 2002 officially. What we know is that the United States chose this site specifically because they thought it would be outside the ambit of the law. That it would be a place where law would not reach. Where the reach of the courts would not touch and therefore safe to continue to engage in the kinds of practices that had predated men’s experiences before they arrived in Guantanamo. We know that hundreds of individuals were brought there. They were rendered through various cooperating third states. Some of them democratic, some not democratic. The 2010 report, issued by my mandate and three other UN special procedure mandates, detailed at least to that extent what we knew at that time, which was the scale of collaboration and support that the United States received in order to engage in these wholesale practices of rendition and transfer.

More information has continued to come into the public domain in the past 20 years, including from court cases in the European court of human rights, in investigations by the European parliament, and some information that’s come out through the highly redacted forward to the Senate investigation and Senate’s intelligence committee’s investigation into the events of that time. But we really have never had a full accounting of everything that has happened in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We do not know exactly what happened there. And that makes the release, in particular of the Senate’s intelligence committee report, all the more compelling. Of the hundreds of men who were transferred there, only a handful – And Alka will keep me right on the numbers – I believe 12 have ever been charged with a crime. But many of us, UN experts, have deep concerns about the process which led to that charging. Namely that anyone who was charged with a crime had been the subject of torture, and any of the information upon which such charges are based is a torture-induced basis.

The whole process by which those people were charged with crime is fundamentally flawed. In the meantime – And again, Alka will speak to this – Guantanamo, although there’s been a number of efforts to ensure that people are transferred out of Guantanamo, I think two points can be made about that. Not a single person who was rendered into Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who experienced torture, arbitrary deprivation, the loss of the most fundamental rights a person can have, has ever been adequately compensated for what happened to them. No one, not a single person of all those hundreds

David Kattenburg:     Many of them were brutally tortured at these black sites.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     Indeed. I mean, we have evidence, we know that people were subject to persistent, pervasive acts of systemic brutality, including waterboarding on multiple occasions

David Kattenburg:     Sexual assault, sexual humiliation at the hands of women guards and police, and sexual assault, and hanging from ceilings. It’s a horror show.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     Well, it’s a catalog of serious sustained brutality. More importantly from a legal perspective, what is deeply concerning is that these methods were authorized. These weren’t things happening by virtue of rogue individuals. This was a systemic process of the use of certain methods which were authorized by law. Fundamentally, despite the fact that we’ve had a repudiation of torture methods by the United States, those individuals who experienced that torture have never had a remedy for it. Not only do we have a small cohort of individuals remaining in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but we have hundreds of men living overseas returned either to countries of origin or third countries who’ve had their lives entirely shattered and no remedy, compensation, acknowledgement, criminal process, apology, or even the means for many of them to reconstruct their lives in an adequate way has ever been put in place.

David Kattenburg:       How many of them actually are there right now? I read that there are like 39 of them there. Of these only, I don’t know, a half a dozen have been actually charged with anything. 13 have been cleared for release, but who knows when they’re going to be released? What’s the current status, the numbers we’re looking at?

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     Well, we have an official tally of 39. An additional individual has recently been cleared for return to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Of that number, as you say, a sizable portion have been cleared for return. The challenge is that we have a concept in international law called non-refoulement. You cannot return a person to a place where they are likely to be the subject of torture. Many of these individuals, particularly Yemenis, who have been cleared, do not have a safe third country to go to. We should also just make clear, while there’s plenty of blame to go around here, the United States has certainly its fair share of blame, but no third countries, including the countries who were responsible for the cooperation in the rendition and torture process, are stepping up to take these men. If they cannot be returned safely to their home countries, a third country has to step up and the conditions have to be made possible for them to be safely taken out of Guantanamo. There’s both responsibility for the United States, but there’s a broader global responsibility for the failure to address the rights of these individuals.

David Kattenburg:      Alka Pradhan, you are an attorney, a human rights lawyer. You’ve represented over the course of the past years, I think, something like 10 Guantanamo detainees, you’re currently representing one of them. Before these military commissions, it’s plural, is there one military commission or are there various military commissions? What are these military commissions? You’ve said that practicing law at Guantanamo is something of an oxymoron. Tell us quickly about these military commissions and how they work.

Alka Pradhan:             Sure. Well, what happened is, and Fionnuala, I think encapsulated the problem very well. You yourself had mentioned, David, that a number of so-called high value detainees were brought from the black sites to Guantanamo in 2006. When they were brought to Guantanamo, there was a decision made that something had to be done with them. Their disappearance for several years at a time had to be justified. At that point, we already had this concept of military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, which really are… The concept of military tribunals is not new, right? In war time, you’re allowed to try combatants before military tribunals and the jurors are members of the military. You try them under the laws of war. The difference with this is that this is not a traditional war.

It involves non-state actors like Al-Qaeda. And so this is really the first time that you have people who, certainly the defense would argue, but I think even the ICRC have argued should be civilians being tried on terror charges, being tried in regular courts, instead being tried in these sort of brand new military commissions – They’re called military commissions – At Guantanamo Bay for which a courtroom was built at Guantanamo. Really, the purpose of trying them in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay is so that they could write an entire new set of rules for these particular trials at Guantanamo. There are different standards of evidence than you would find in a normal courtroom in the United States. There are completely different conditions of confinement at Guantanamo than there are in prisons in the United States. That’s not to defend prison conditions in the United States, which are horrific. It’s a completely different system made of whole cloth just specifically to prosecute Muslim men brought to Guantanamo Bay, which is illegal.

David Kattenburg:     The US Supreme Court rendered a ruling in June of 2006. The quote from that US Supreme Court ruling was that the commissions “Lack judicial guarantees recognized as indispensable by civilized people.”

Alka Pradhan:              Yeah, that’s right. So that was in the Hamdan decision in 2006. What happened was after that, the Bush administration scrapped the first set of military commissions and then the detainees just sat there for a few years. There wasn’t really anything being done. Then, the Obama administration, after the failure to bring them to the United States for prosecution, reconstituted the military commissions again under a new statute, and that was in 2009. The new statute really didn’t have all that many improvements, in my opinion, from the old statute. For example, there’s still a provision in that statute, that we’re now laboring under, that allows the use of evidence that we consider to be torture acquired, that was taken from the men shortly after they were tortured at the black sites when they didn’t have legal representation and were being held in the same conditions of confinement that they were held in at the black sites. Things like that, that’s why I say that it’s sort of kafkaesque or an oxymoron to say we’re practicing law at Guantanamo. Because the entire place, and certainly the military commissions themselves, were built to be outside of our recognized system of law.

David Kattenburg:      I’d like to get back to these arcane theories of, well, the exclusionary principle and a law that you can’t use evidence that was procured through the use of torture. It’s tainted evidence. But then this counter theory – Well, it’s a theory, the exclusionary theory – Or no, the attenuation theory. Let’s get back to that in a moment. But Alka, can you tell me about Ammar? Ammar al-Baluchi, the gentleman who you are now representing, the one person you’re now representing. Who is he and what’s his story? I mean, it’s a huge story, one could go on. Could you describe him and his story kind of concisely?

Alka Pradhan:          Of course. Ammar al-Baluchi, he’s a Pakistani citizen. He lived most of his life in Kuwait and then in the United Arab Emirates, he is turning 45 this year. Goodness. Yeah, he’s turning 45 in August. He’s just a few years older than me. He was arrested in 2003 in Pakistan and very shortly thereafter transferred to CIA custody. In CIA custody he was, we were talking about earlier, just brutally tortured, and actually his specific torture and the techniques used on him were depicted in the film Zero Dark 30. The first 20 minutes or so of that film show a detainee being abused, tortured with water, hung by his wrists in a site code named Cobalt. That is Ammar. They call him Ammar in the film, what happened to the detainee in that film is what happened to Ammar.

David Kattenburg:     He was used as a “training prop.”

Alka Pradhan:               That’s correct.

David Kattenburg:     Talk about that.

Alka Pradhan:               And that is so interesting because we had one of the architects, or what we would call the architects at the torture program, Dr. Mitchell, on the witness stand a couple of years ago. We asked him about what happened to Ammar. He didn’t personally torture Ammar, but we told him what happened to him. He said, the people who did these things to Ammar – Even though Dr. Mitchell himself sanctioned the techniques as a whole, he said, the way they were applied to Ammar was as if they were experimenting on him. As if he was being used as a training prop for interrogator certification so that these new interrogators could literally be certified as people authorized to do these techniques. They were practicing on him, which is how he ended up with a traumatic brain injury from having his head bashed into a wall dozens of times at this site.

He was detained by the CIA in multiple sites for three and a half years during which he was sleep deprived. He was sleep deprived for nearly three of those three and a half years. He had 24 hour fluorescent lights on him. Such that he now cannot sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. He’s been at Guantanamo since September 2006, so more than 15 years now. What we’ve seen in the past two years is a really alarming decline in his cognitive abilities. I’ve been working with him for about six and a half years. When I started working with him we could converse for hours at a time. I could show him motions, sometimes really lengthy motions we were about to file. We could talk about advocacy strategies. Now, it’s really difficult for him to write letters that are more than a couple of lines at a time.

It’s difficult for him to read long documents. He has to wear dark glasses often because of that fluorescent light that – He’s in a prison setting and in the courtroom, it’s fluorescent light. So he has to wear dark glasses most of the time. It’s horrific to watch someone deteriorate in front of you in real time. It speaks to not just the torture that happened to him years ago, but the ongoing conditions of confinement at Guantanamo and the withholding of what Fionnuala pointed out, not just reparations, but any kind of medical care for the torture that he suffered.

David Kattenburg:     I was reading in one of the articles that you wrote about, and this is brings us to this idea, this theory of attenuation, that if you wait a certain number of years after people have been tortured, they kind of recover. Then you can start to ask the same questions you did in the beginning, and they’re okay, that’s admissible, but there was something. Let’s talk about that in a second. But this idea of neurotoxicity, that torture actually inflicts long-term, if not permanent damage that amounts to actual… I don’t want to say destruction, but toxic effects, long-term permanent effects on the nervous system. I’m not sure how much you can talk about that. Let’s talk about these ideas of the exclusionary principle. What is the exclusionary principle Fionnuala? This counterposed theory that people are cooking up about attenuation. Can you talk about these two?

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     Sure, and maybe just to add on the comment around the idea that torture victims are somehow, that they rehabilitate in a short period of time. Which is really a convenient excuse. It’s like a charter for torturers to continue to do their work. I think there’s zero, the evidence – We have a lot of knowledge about torture because we’ve been tracking torture in the international human rights community for decades. We have organizations like the Center for Victims of Torture and rehabilitative centers for torture victim survivors in parts of the world where, actually, we understand as both a physiological, as a neurological matter. Torture victim survivors struggle for the rest of their lives with the harm that has been done to them. We know this from Holocaust survivors who were tortured and who survived. The long-term impacts on them, but also on their family members, which is a form of secondary trauma survival and sometimes meets the threshold for torture, inhuman, and degrading treatment in its own right in terms of being generationally subject to the harm, the extreme harm experienced by individuals. There’s little or no, I think, scientific legs in the theory that individuals can somehow be put back into the saddle of torture and that that’s okay. And that, in fact, being subject to the same kinds of patterns of behavior over the long run is sort of negligible harm for them. One of –

David Kattenburg:     This is actually a theory that’s being put forward, isn’t it? It’s been put before courts and there’s, I gather, case law regarding attenuation theory that people get over their torture.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:  I defer to Alka on the litigation, so maybe she’ll want to say something about that. But I can tell you from an international human rights perspective, in terms of the treaty law we have and the kind of jurisprudence of international courts, these theories are not accepted. I’ll pass over to Alka on what domestic courts are saying about it.

Alka Pradhan:        Absolutely. I have to say, I’ve been working on this case at Guantanamo for a few years, and I’m actually also working on a case of the international criminal court with similar issues. The problem is that the courts are split on this theory of attenuation, right? Scientifically, as Fionnuala mentioned, the science doesn’t support the theory of attenuation. The theory is basically, years down the line, given a enough time, change in circumstances, medical care, change in interrogators, you can get a person to a point where their statements will be reliable and not the product of their torture.

David Kattenburg:     They’re trying to use this at Guantanamo.

Alka Pradhan:               Exactly. And so the science doesn’t support this anyway, but there is a body of case law, both domestically and in certain regional courts, where they’re sort of analyzing criteria as in, how long has it been? Was there a real change in interrogators such that the detainees would understand that they were no longer in the same danger from the same group of people? Really super subjective criteria. At Guantanamo, the way this is applied is they’re brought from the black sites in CIA custody to Guantanamo Bay, they’re told they’re now in military custody, although they’re being held at a camp that was purpose-built for these CIA detainees. Still, as we know from the Senate report, still under operational CIA control. Then, they’re left alone for a few months by and large. And a few months later FBI interrogators come in, introduce themselves as FBI, give them McDonald’s hamburgers and french fries and desserts, and say, eat as much as you want and now we’re going to ask you a few questions. They ask them the same questions they were asked at the black sites –

David Kattenburg:      They have access to those questions that got asked that’s black sites –

Alka Pradhan:              Not only do they have access to them, they wrote those questions. Those exact interrogators, the FBI agents, wrote the questions that were sent to these men to be asked of them while they were tortured at the black sites. So they know the answers that they gave under torture at the black sites and they know how to ask the questions again. To us, it’s one long interrogation. There’s no attenuation whatsoever. The government’s argument though, is that it’s a totally different location. They’re told they’re in different custody. They’re not being tortured. They’re very comfortable, they’re smiling. All of this is voluntary, right? We’re really having to combat this. I’ll tell you, the government has a decent amount of domestic case law on their side in this. It’s not just domestic case law.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is one of the regional courts that actually says, attenuation is not possible. Don’t try it. We don’t buy it. The European Court of Human Rights has actually carved out this standard to kind of judge, okay, well, when is attenuation enough? How can you determine when that change has taken place? The International Criminal Court at the moment, in my other case, is turning out a whole bunch of new decisions that adopt that attenuation standard. That say, look, even if the prosecutors interview these detainees while they’re in torturous custody, as long, the interviewers are not torturing them, that’s acceptable. You know –

David Kattenburg:     The bottom line in all this is, of course, that they’ve got the 39 detainees still at Guantanamo and they really want to try them. I guess top of the list is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, number one. They can’t put them on trial in anything other than the most absurd kangaroo court situation in a gulag because the evidence has been acquired under torture and it’s completely inadmissible.

Alka Pradhan:           That’s the dirty secret, right? That the United States can’t admit to the population. It’s incredibly embarrassing that you cannot really try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind, or anybody we think was associated with 9/11, because the whole case has been tainted.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     It’s also the case that one presumes that a trial is wanted. I think that really one has to ask, interrogate quite consistently, the presumption. Because states that want to move quickly to trial release evidence. If you’re a defense lawyer – And I think Alka can speak to this – The challenges that defense lawyers have had to have documents released, the slow walking of evidence, the slow way in which the proceedings have played out. I think it’s important to stress this isn’t a lawless court. It’s not a gulag. Law is extremely important to this process because law provides the cover by which, in fact, serious human rights violations take place. In fact, there are many, many, many places where the most extreme violations occur under cover of law. This is what makes Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, particularly challenging as a site of… Because it shows what can be done under cover of law.

David Kattenburg:       Do you think that it’s in a certain real sense that, under cover of law, this supposed Camp Justice is a little bit of a legal fraud? It’s this huge legal fraud. Maybe that’s not the way you’d put it, but it’s really a miscarriage of justice.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     I think it’s certainly a miscarriage of justice, but I think we shouldn’t underestimate how law is used. One of the long-term legacies of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is not even so much what’s happening in Guantanamo, but in other sites where indefinite detention is taking place under the framework of law. For example, the mandate I hold has done quite a bit of work on Xinjiang, China. We are very closely watching the ways in which legal process can justify the arbitrary detention of hundreds and thousands of people. The reason, again, is that law is put into the service of the state in a way that actually undermines the rule of law. It’s one of the extraordinary challenges of our time. That the moment, the post World War II moment in which, in some sense, the triumph of the rule of law through the UN charter, through human rights treaties, is in fact being done away by a thousand cuts when law itself comes into the service of undoing the fundamental human rights of individuals. I think in that sense, the impact of Guantanamo is not only felt by the hundreds of individuals who came through it, but also for the broader impact on the rule of law across the world.

David Kattenburg:    Well, this brings me to my possible penultimate question. That, given the huge gravity of the situation and situations we face here in 2022, that all involve profound human rights issues and the violation of fundamental norms of international humanitarian and human rights law. I mean, think about Uyghurs, and you think about the horrible situation that Syrians are facing at the hands of the regime there. You think about allegations of apartheid in Israel. You think about the situation that First Nations people face in Canada that’s been described by the government itself, genocide happened in the past. And the situation facing people of color in the United States. I mean, international law, human rights are huge, huge. My question to you is, Fionnuala and Alka, what impact, what damage do you think this whole Guantanamo experience over the last 20 years is having on the integrity of international law? On the integrity of human rights law and international law, kind of at large? What’s at stake when you look at Guantanamo?

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     I mean, what’s at stake is the rule of law, which is a quite big thing. Also, I think on the one hand, I think we would all recognize some of the challenges that have existed for the US executive to address the situation in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That includes a Congress which is unwilling to accept transfer of individuals and that has put obstacles in place to prevent resolution. At the same time, my mandate continues to hold the view that the United States executive is under an absolute obligation to take every single measure open to it, which includes releasing individuals unilaterally, that they are unable to convict or charge expediently with the crimes that they’ve been charged with. That is both politically unpalatable, but morally necessary when you have subjected people to the scale of harm that has been meted out to these individuals. The broader challenge we see is when the leading democracy engages in these practices, and neither holds anyone accountable.

Not a single person has been charged with any crime as a result of the scale of torture that took place. No one who performed torture, acquiesced in torture, enabled torture, or authorized torture has been held accountable. The signal that that sends to states across the globe is that impunity rules. That you can engage in mass torture practices with no consequence. The second thing that we’ve seen is the failure to ensure reparations or remedy to the individuals who experienced torture, who were sent back to their countries of origin or third countries, many of whom exist with serious financial, many of them live in penury. Many of them have, as Alka has described, longstanding health and psychosocial challenges because of the torture they received. None of them have received adequate remedy. Thirdly, we have not put in place, in my view, adequate systems to prevent the recurrence of transporter rendition as took place in 2000.

Again, my mandate closely follows events in other parts of the world. We’ve been tracking the evolution of extraordinary rendition to what is now lawful transfer, where states make deals with one another to lawfully transfer one person to another jurisdiction based on allegations of terrorism. In many cases, which are used to transfer dissidents, to transfer human rights actors, to transfer people who simply disagree with their governments. The sum of that is to say the failure to address Guantanamo in all of its dimensions has had serious, profound repercussions for the rule of law around the world.

David Kattenburg:    Alka Pradhan, I’d like to finish with you. You’re engaged in this process that you’ve described as reconstructing personhoods. When you deal with folks that you’ve been representing, detainees, and thinking about Ammar al-Baluchi, you aim to try to reconstruct personhoods in the course of your counseling work. Can you talk briefly about that?

Alka Pradhan:            Sure. I mean, the way I see Guantanamo and certainly what happened at the black sites, but Guantanamo writ large, it’s just a big experiment in dehumanization of people. I tend to draw a straight line between, for example, the fact that the American public has gotten very, very comfortable withholding specifically a group of Muslim men in this kind of offshore prison for so long. A straight line between that and the fact that we eventually got comfortable with holding women and children and families on the border. People of color again. Everybody was up in arms for the first few weeks, months, and then it petered off. It’s still happening. I think that eventually the government’s campaign of dehumanization is so profoundly successful in the worst ways, that in order to be able to represent these men you really do have to reconstruct who they are as people. Because they themselves don’t always see themselves as people anymore.

They’re sort of going through the motions. It can take a long time and it can be very difficult through no fault of their own. You really do have to strip away what’s happened to them and what the government is saying about them and what perceptions are of them and get back to who they are fundamentally, which is separate from what they have or have not done. No one is only one thing. No one is only one action in their lives. You have to reconstruct them as a whole human being in order to represent their interests.

David Kattenburg:     Fionnuala Ní Aoláin is a lead author of the January United Nations report on Guantanamo Bay. She’s the special United Nations rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism. Alka Pradhan is adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania and Human Rights Council at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions, representing Ammar Al-Baluchi, one of the defendants in this case entitled United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9/11 case. Alka and Fionnuala, thank you so much for joining me.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin:     Thank you.

Alka Pradhan:            Thank you very much.

David Kattenburg:      Before you go, please don’t forget to subscribe to The Real News YouTube channel and head on over to the realnews.com/support to become a monthly Real News sustainer. Your contributions help us keep bringing you important coverage and conversations like this one. Thank you so much for joining us. Take care. Bye bye.

David Kattenburg

David Kattenburg is a journalist, human rights advocate, and science educator based in Breda, Netherlands.