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The Forgotten Man in the War on Terror

December 25, 2008
John W. Whitehead

In a world where the president has the power to label anyone, whether a citizen or permanent resident, an enemy combatant and detain that person indefinitely without trial, no liberty exists and everyone is potentially an “enemy combatant.”

According to the Bush Administration, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is such a person.

This legal alien was residing in Peoria, Ill., with his wife and children and attending college when he was swept up by government agents. Although three charges were initially filed against al-Marri by the government-credit card fraud, false statements to the FBI and on a bank application and identity theft-they were dropped less than a month before trial. In their place, a declaration was issued by George W. Bush asserting that al-Marri was an enemy combatant. Thereafter, al-Marri was transferred between facilities, eventually ending up, in 2003, in a South Carolina military prison, where he has been held since. Amazingly, for the first 16 months of his imprisonment, this man’s family was not allowed to see him, speak to him or even reassure themselves that he was alive and well.

For the rest of the story …..

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