had a legitimate concern about "national security issues.""But that concern then inspired him to participate in the creation of a parallel universe that fools everyoneexcept a small circle of judges. We don't allow the justice system to create false impressions," Gillers said.ProPublica obtained the original version of Kennedy's opinion when it appeared briefly in the court record andconducted a line-by-line comparison with what was published five weeks later. That comparison, highlightinginformation that was removed, can be found here .Reporting for this story was complicated by the fact that much of the evidence is classified, and judges, lawyersand prosecutors are barred from discussing most aspects of the litigation. But an examination of the opinionsand additional documents, as well as interviews with government and intelligence officials, former military prosecutors and key players in the habeas cases, makes it possible for the first time to publicly examine theevidence against a detainee designated for indefinite detention.To justify Uthman's incarceration, the government relied on statements from five current or former detainees who were previously discredited by judges in other cases, questioned by internal Obama administrationassessments or found unreliable by military psychiatrists because they were mendacious, mentally ill orsubjected to torture.Kennedy's first opinion reveals that some of the government's evidence came from a detainee who committedsuicide at Guantánamo three years ago after months of hunger strikes. In the second opinion, the detainee'sname is concealed, making it impossible for the public to know he is dead.DOJ's Miller said witness testimony is thoroughly reviewed before it is presented. "In every habeas case where we ask the court to rely upon detainee statements, we do so because we believe courts can and should considertheir accounts based on the totality of the evidence," Miller said.The Justice Department has appealed Kennedy's ruling and officials there declined to say what they might do if the government does not prevail.Uthman, according to senior government officials, is on the secret list of 48 Guantánamo detainees who theObama administration designated for indefinite detention and, officials said, he is the first of those men to winhis habeas petition.Further complicating matters, Uthman hails from Yemen -- a country the White House has deemed too unstableto handle such a transfer. Should he send Uthman home, President Obama risks a fierce political backlash fromRepublican lawmakers eager to portray the president as weak on terrorism.Disclosure of the Uthman case comes at a pivotal moment in the government's complicated efforts to prosecutedetainees and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On Oct. 6, a federal judge in New York barred thegovernment from using its main witness  against a terrorism defendant because the information that ledinvestigators to the witness was obtained through torture.
When Kennedy, who serves on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled in February thatUthman was being improperly detained, his 27-page opinion was turned over to a court security officer forclassification review.The judges themselves have very little insight into the process and no sway over what is redacted. Government