SAN DIEGO -- The court-martial of a Navy SEAL lieutenant accused of abusing a prisoner in Iraq is a case full of secrets -- even the defendant's name is classified.
The SEAL is accused of punching an Iraqi detainee in the arm and allowing his men to abuse the prisoner, who later died during CIA interrogation at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. He faces a trial set to begin today on charges of assault, dereliction of duty, and conduct unbecoming an officer.
The Navy is taking precautions to protect the identity of its terrorist-hunting SEALs, members of an elite force named for Sea, Air, Land.
The lieutenant will be referred to only by the first letter of his last name, as will all SEAL personnel in the courtroom -- a step specialists on military law say is virtually unprecedented.
Swirling around the case are reports that point to the involvement of the CIA's interrogation tactics in the death of the detainee -- one of a handful of cases that the spy agency has referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.