Editor, The News:

According to President Bush, the CIA has held a "small number" of terror suspects with "unparalleled knowledge about terrorist networks and their plans" in secret prisons.

These suspects have now been sent some to their home countries, some to countries with legal claims against them and others to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay. The CIA reportedly maintained a network of secret prisons outside the U.S. but never disclosed the same, wherein they conducted interrogation of the prisoners which had been "largely completed" so the men could now stand trial.

Bush said that the interrogation by the CIA hadn't included torture.

Included among those transferred to Guantanamo is Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the so-called mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot. According to President Bush, in a speech to an invited audience in the East Room of the White House, he, in relating to the evidence gained by the CIA in interrogating the prisoners, said that Mohammed "sang like a canary."

Mohammed was captured in March 2003. That's 3 1/2 years of interrogation. And the "ringleader" sings freely? Sure.

Now the president wants a military trial. But he asks Congress to legislate:

1. The defendants do not see all the evidence against them.

2. Hearsay evidence from dead or unavailable witnesses would be admissible and therefore, couldn't be challenged by the defendants.

3. Coerced testimony of a prosecution witness would be admissible.

4. "Classified" testimony would be shown to the jury and not the defendants.

The president and his non-veteran White House "compatriots," knowing that this violates the U.S. Military Code and the Geneva Conventions, make this request of Congress.

I hang my head in shame.

Richard Audino

New Castle

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