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Guantanamo judge declines to explain mysterious censoring

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Guiantanamo trialsThe military judge presiding over the trial of the five men accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks declined Tuesday to explain a mysterious episode in which the audio and video feeds to the proceedings were severed.

The feeds to the public gallery and media centers were stopped for a period of a few minutes during pre-trial arguments Monday at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — apparently startling the judge, Army Col. James Pohl.

On Tuesday, Pohl said the feeds should not have been cut off, but he did not explain who censored the hearing or explain whether some invisible hand has the authority to do so.

There is a 40-second delay in the transmission of commission proceedings to prevent the disclosure of classified material. Pohl said no classified material was being discussed at the time the feed was shut down. He stressed that only the judge can close the courtroom, and he must uphold any decision to cut the feed.

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