Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri

I was reading this CNN article which stated:
If his cell were at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the prisoner would be just one of hundreds of suspected terrorists detained offshore, where the U.S. says the Constitution does not apply.

But Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is a U.S. resident being held in a South Carolina military brig; he is the only enemy combatant held on U.S. soil. That makes his case very different.

As I was refreshing my memory on the events that have transpired in relation to his case, I came across this article from 2005 (That I recommend reading in full) yet it states:
Unlike Padilla, al-Marri is a foreign citizen, a citizen of Qatar. Some people might think that enables the government to treat him differently than it does Padilla. Not so. Our ancestors had the wisdom and foresight to guarantee the procedural protections of the Bill of Rights to all people, accused of a crime by the feds, foreigners and Americans alike. If the feds get away with doing what they have done to al-Marri, they will be free to do it to you, your friends, newspaper editors, dissenters, critics, and anyone else they decide to pick up and hold indefinitely. Don’t forget that they are currently holding around 8,000 suspected terrorists in Iraq — and denying them right to counsel, bail, due process, and trial by jury. They will do the same here if given the power.

Several other sources state that Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is a citizen of Qatar, even later in that first linked CNN article and an earlier CNN piece that stated:

Al-Marri arrived in the United States on a student visa the day before the September 11 attacks including legal documents.

The important part is of course the story, especially this part:
"What you assert is the power of the military to seize a person in the United States, including an American citizen, on suspicion of being an enemy combatant?" Judge William B. Traxler asked.

"Yes, your honor," Justice Department lawyer Gregory Garre replied.

It'd be interesting to see where the presidential candidates fall on this issue, since many much more expert in the law than I am seem to feel this action by the President is not consitutional.

1 comment:

Scott G said...

I fall on the side of them not being able to do it to me or anyone really. I am kind of fond of due process and basic rights