High Court Sides with Government in Gitmo State Secrets Case

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The sun sets behind the closed Camp X-Ray facility in Guantanamo Bay.
In this photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, the sun sets behind the closed Camp X-Ray detention facility, on April 17, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled for the U.S. government in a case involving a Guantanamo Bay detainee seeking what the government said is secret information.

Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in Pakistan in 2002, was once thought to be a high-ranking member of the terrorist group al-Qaida. He was tortured while being held at so-called CIA black sites abroad before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay in 2006. Zubaydah was seeking to get the testimony of two former CIA contractors as part of an Polish investigation into his treatment.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in an opinion joined by six of his colleagues that the government had argued “Zubaydah’s discovery request could force former CIA contractors to confirm the location of the detention site and that confirmation would itself significantly harm national security interests.”

"In our view, the Government has provided sufficient support for its claim of harm to warrant application of the privilege,” he said.

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