December 3, 2004
U.S. Argues Evidence Obtained Through Torture Can Be Used in Military Tribunals
In a hearing in federal court in a suit brought by 550 prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, challenging their detentions by the U.S. in its "War on Terror," U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon asked if "a detention would be illegal if it were based solely on evidence gathered by torture, because 'torture is illegal. We all know that.' Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle replied that if the military's combatant status review tribunals (or CSRTs) 'determine that evidence of questionable provenance were reliable, nothing in the due process clause (of the Constitution) prohibits them from relying on it.'
Leon asked if there were any restrictions on using evidence produced by torture.
Boyle replied the United States would never adopt a policy that would have barred it from acting on evidence that could have prevented the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks even if the data came from questionable practices like torture by a foreign power." More . . . [Mark Godsey]