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Wednesday, June 12, 2002

John Walker Lindh gagged by Michael Chertoff

Today, actions will be taken to prevent John Walker Lindh from presenting evidence during his trial that confessions signed by him were done so under coercion.

Federal District Judge T.S. Ellis stated that he was likely to allow Lindh, at trial, to put on the stand military officers and even Guantanamo detainees who were witnesses to or participants in his alleged abuse. Under oath, Lindh would tell about how he signed a document of confession only after being tortured for days by US soldiers.

However Michael Chertoff demanded--reportedly at Defence Department insistence -- that Lindh sign a statement swearing he had "not been intentionally mistreated" by his US captors and waiving any future right to claim mistreatment or torture. Further, Chertoff attached a "special administrative measure," essentially a gag order, barring Lindh from talking about his experience for the duration of his sentence.


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