source:  nytimes.com

A Guantánamo detainee is seeking information from two former government contractors in connection with a Polish criminal inquiry into a facility there.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether the government can block a detainee at Guantánamo Bay from obtaining information from two former C.I.A. contractors involved in torturing him on the ground that it would expose state secrets.

The detainee, known as Abu Zubaydah, sought to subpoena the contractors, James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, in connection with a Polish criminal investigation. The inquiry was prompted by a determination by the European Court of Human Rights that Mr. Zubaydah had been tortured in 2002 and 2003 at so-called black sites operated by the C.I.A., including one in Poland.

Mr. Zubaydah was the first prisoner held by the C.I.A. after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to undergo so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which were based on a list of suggestions drawn up for use on him by Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen, both psychologists.

 

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether the government can block a detainee at Guantánamo Bay from obtaining information from two former C.I.A. contractors involved in torturing him on the ground that it would expose state secrets.

The detainee, known as Abu Zubaydah, sought to subpoena the contractors, James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, in connection with a Polish criminal investigation. The inquiry was prompted by a determination by the European Court of Human Rights that Mr. Zubaydah had been tortured in 2002 and 2003 at so-called black sites operated by the C.I.A., including one in Poland.

Mr. Zubaydah was the first prisoner held by the C.I.A. after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, to undergo so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which were based on a list of suggestions drawn up for use on him by Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen, both psychologists.

A federal judge granted the government’s motion to block the subpoena, saying that “proceeding with discovery would present an unacceptable risk of disclosing state secrets.”

But a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that it might be possible to segregate information protected by the state secrets privilege, which bars disclosures that could endanger national security, from other materials.

The full Ninth Circuit declined to rehear the panel’s decision, over the dissents of 12 judges who said the ruling was riddled with “grave legal errors” and posed “a serious risk to our national security.”

The government, in briefs filed by both the Trump and Biden administrations, asked the Supreme Court to intervene, saying that “the identities of its foreign intelligence partners and the location of former C.I.A. detention facilities in their countries” could not be disclosed “without risking undue harm to the national security.