GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba -- A military judge on Tuesday ordered the Department of Defense to preserve its copy of the CIA "torture report," but left undecided whether attorneys for the men accused of orchestrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be allowed to read it.
Three Pentagon attorneys who saw Army Col. James L. Pohl's four-page order said it also fell short of a request by defense attorneys to secure the full, classified 6,700-page Senate study of the CIA's clandestine overseas prison program in a war court safe.
Instead, the judge, who earlier in his career forbade the Bush administration from razing Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, blocked any notion of the Pentagon returning its rare copy of the report to the Senate Intelligence Committee, something chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has requested.
The Obama administration has partially declassified the report's executive summary, a damning examination of CIA interrogations at the so-called black sites during the George W. Bush administration. But lawyers want the lurid details of detainees kept naked, deprived of food and sleep, rectally abused, waterboarded and shackled in stress positions to challenge both trial evidence and the possibility of military execution of the five men accused of conspiring in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Defense attorney Jay Connell called the decision "a small step toward accountability." He represents Ammar al-Baluchi, accused of helping send money to the hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001.
Texas governor meets Taiwan president, commits faux pas
HOUSTON -- In a friendly gesture, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presented Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen a clock with the Texas seal when they met in Houston on Sunday.
Only in Chinese culture, the phrase "giving a clock" is like saying "it's your funeral," or "your time's running out."
"The governor's choice of a clock was untimely," the Taiwan News reported wryly.