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February 13, 2008

Death To The Gitmo Six: "This Has To Happen"

Jules Crittendon with an interesting post.

How is the government finessing the issue of information elicited by coercive methods?

Well, I don't know if this is going to fly, but here it is:

FBI and military interrogators who began work with the suspects in late 2006 called themselves the “Clean Team” and set as their goal the collection of virtually the same information the CIA had obtained from five of the six through duress at secret prisons.

To ensure that the data would not be tainted by allegations of torture or illegal coercion, the FBI and military team won the suspects’ trust over the past 16 months by using time-tested rapport-building techniques, the officials said.

It's not really fruit of the poisonous tree (the doctrine that evidence gathered due to testimony gathered illegally, like a gun used in murder found because someone admitted to its location after being slapped around, is also not permitted). The law allows exceptions, like "inevitable discovery" ("We would have found it anyway") and alternate discovery ("We would have found it via this permissible route").

So there's some legal juice here. And the main point is whether or not these men originally admitted their roles under coercion or not, they're now freely admitting it without the coercion. So unless someone wants to claim that a slap in the face gets you off automatically -- and some will claim just that -- it seems the main reason for not permitting coerced testimony -- its dubious reliability -- is overcome here.


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posted by Ace at 07:14 PM

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