Supreme Court Agrees To Hear CIA Black Site Issue In 9/11 Case

( The Supreme Court is set to hear a case that has to do with the limits of privilege in government state secrets.

The case, which is very high stakes, was brought by the first suspect following the September 11 attacks from al-Qaida that was detained and then interrogated harshly at what is known as a “black site” for the CIA.

Abu Zubaydah was captured in 2002 in Pakistan. While being interrogated, he was allegedly waterboarded 83 times, was subjected to “walling, attention grasps, slapping, facial holds, stress positions and sleep deprivation,” and even spent 11 days in a confinement box that was the size of a coffin.

This is all according to a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee from 2014 that was declassified.

In the case, Zubaydah wants the American government to confirm in public that one of the locations where he was interrogated was Poland. He also wants the government to allow two contractors with the CIA to be deposed. He alleges that these people were involved with how he was treated in the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, which is also known as the “torture program.”

Zubaydah, along with his legal team, say all of this information is crucial to their chances in a case they are pursuing against government officials from Poland for being complicit in how he was allegedly treated.

In court documents, the Biden administration said that revealing all of that information would “cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.”

It’s a complicated and extremely important case that many people will be following. Farah Peterson, a legal historian and law professor at the University of Chicago, explained:

“We have a confrontation in this case between openness and secrecy — major principles that have so corrosively confronted one another during this entire era of modern American history.”

Zubaydah has been in U.S. custody at its Guantanamo Bay location in Cuba since 2006, even though he hasn’t been charged with anything. The American government long claimed he was one of the key plotters for the 2001 terrorist attacks. A 2014 report later revealed, though, that government officials eventually acknowledged he wasn’t tied to the attacks.

But, the Biden administration still says he’s “an associate and longtime terrorist ally of Osama bin Laden.”

The lawyers for Zubaydah insisted that “none of these allegations has support in any CIA record.”

The treatment Zubaydah has received while in U.S. custody has been made public for years now through congressional documents that were declassified, and through reports from outside investigators and media.

Still, the government hasn’t ever denied or confirmed the existence of a “black site” in Poland. They also haven’t denied or confirmed whether Zubaydah was ever held there for a five-month period that he says he was from 2002 to 2003.

International advocacy groups, various independent investigations, former top officials with the Polish government and even the European Court of Human Rights have said a “black site” did exist in Poland. They also allege that Zubaydah was once held there.