A former chief investigator at Guantanamo Bay is accusing the Defense Department of withholding the publication of his book, which covers the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques at the facility, as well as the advocacy of what the author deems torture from top U.S. officials, Reuters reports.
The book, entitled “Unjustifiable Means,” according to its author Mark Fallon, contains no classified information, but instead details the internal decision-making process regarding the use of “enhanced interrogation” and identifies officials who advocated such techniques.
“This is more of an inside view of the fight to try to stop torture,” Fallon told Reuters. “There was a tremendous opposition within the government itself believing these were war crimes, and I name names.”
Fallon was told it wouldn’t take longer than six weeks for the Pentagon to review the book, with the purpose of removing any unauthorized information—that was seven months ago. In the meantime, Fallon was forced to cancel a book tour and missed his publisher’s submission deadline.
Now he has called upon the ACLU to challenge what he says is an attempt to suppress his work.
Fallon, a veteran of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), was appointed deputy commander of the Criminal Investigation Task Force in the wake of the September 11 attacks, a unit charged with bringing suspected terrorists to justice. In 2002, as described in a 2015 op-ed penned by Fallon in the Huffington Post, the NCIS vet says he became aware of “cruel treatment of detainees.”
Despite witnessing what he describes as “heroic, moral leaders” within government who resisted the brutal interrogation practices, Fallon says the torture continued nonetheless.
The Pentagon denies it is attempting to suppress the book, with chief of the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review, Darrell Walker, claiming the lengthy review process is a result of 10 different federal agencies having to scour the manuscript, two of which still have not completed their reviews.
“We are definitely not trying to keep him from publishing,” Walker told Reuters. “We are trying to push it out.” He added that a staff shortage has also helped to prolong the delay.
The ACLU is now taking Fallon’s case to the legislature, asking lawmakers to “expedite” the review process.
“Mr. Fallon has a First Amendment right to timely review, and the public has a First Amendment right to hear Mr. Fallon’s account,” the ACLU wrote in a letter sent to lawmakers on Wednesday. Its recipients include four Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Senator John McCain and Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The ACLU is still waiting for a response from the lawmakers.
Fallon, now an avowed opponent of torture, serves as the committee chair for the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group Research Committee, an organization devoted to studying effective, ethical interrogation techniques. He retired from government work in 2010.
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