Judge fears secret hearings over Guantanamo Bay
The reason court hearings are public is so that there is oversight and accountability; so the government, i.e. those running it, can't throw you in prison forever just on their "say so" without the public being witness to the evidence. It's a hallmark of civilized nations. Secret hearings and evidence cast doubt on their credibility, and the Bush Administration has abused secrecy and the public trust repeatedly already. They lied about 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, torture, rendition, warrantless spying, Katrina, etc.; why should they be trusted here, an Administration that is criminal and hides everything? These people may really be terrorists, but how can we know? How can the public have confidence the truth is being told told and justice is being done with this kind of performance?
Leon said he would try to run a secure phone line from the military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to his courtroom so the detainees can listen to the hearing. Because prisoners are prohibited from hearing classified information, however, that effort would be useless if the entire hearing were classified.
Closed hearings likely would also increase criticism from civil liberties groups who have questioned the fairness of Guantanamo Bay proceedings for years.
The Justice Department said it would be difficult to separate classified and unclassified information from the cases. But it will be up to the intelligence community, not the judge or the Justice Department, to decide what should and shouldn't be classified.