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Pentagon Cyber Chief Takes Stand

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- The Pentagon's chief information officer has taken the witness stand at Guantanamo Bay amid a computer security dispute that threatens to delay the Sept. 11 trial.

Ronald Bechtold says a computer network used by defense teams in the terrorism trial contains safeguards to prevent disclosure of confidential legal material. Bechtold also defended monitoring of the network as necessary to protect against aggressive hacking attempts.

His testimony came Thursday in a pretrial hearing for five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged with planning and aiding the Sept. 11 attacks. Lawyers for the men are seeking to create an independent computer network because over fears that private case information has been lost and is subject to monitoring. That could delay the case at least three months. Bechtold resumes testifying Friday.

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