A group of attorneys, including military counsel, are being blocked from meeting with their clients -- the Sept. 11 suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Fox News learned Wednesday.
The lawyers represent four of the Sept. 11 suspects, including the self-described architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Sources say the lawyers wanted to notify their clients via letter of the situation but those efforts are being blocked as well.
The lawyers' failure to meet with their clients followed travel to the Cuban island detention facility this week on military flights. The trip had been cleared through standard channels the attorneys have used before on multiple trips to see the suspects.
The apparent change in policy comes after military commission charges were withdrawn without prejudice against the Sept. 11 suspects, meaning military trials remain a future option -- if charges are brought again.
Sources said detainees who have also had charges withdrawn before have continued to see counsel so this recent block "is not standard." As one source put it, once on the ground, the lawyers were notified that attorney client meetings in the future would need the approval of Defense Department General Counsel Jay Johnson.
One source questioned whether the move is an effort to cut off all contact with the military commissions as the administration pursues the federal court plan.
But Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told Fox News that the lawyers "are being given access."
Smith said she did not know whether attorney-client meetings now require the approval of Johnson. Given the clear political sensitivities of the case -- in part because a venue for trial has not been set -- Smith said she would do a thorough investigation. Riiggghhhttt!
So much for transparency.