Judge Closes Off Pretrial Blackwater Hearings

Nothing like secrecy to ensure the perception of transparency or fairness.

From the WaPo:

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina said Wednesday that he was closing the hearings because he wanted to shield witnesses and potential jurors from pretrial publicity. He said he wanted to ensure the guards a fair trial.

The hearings in the District’s federal court were not listed on the public docket, and filings by prosecutors and defense lawyers over the immunity issue have been sealed. A Washington Post reporter learned about the hearings several weeks ago and was told they would be open to the public. Last week, a court clerk told The Post that Urbina intended to close the hearings.

Such a complicated, convoluted, shrouded in secrecy and hushed tones issue.