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Holding U.S. Citizens Without Benefit of Trial

January 15, 2003

Re "U.S.-Born Talib Can Be Denied Trial, Court Says," Jan. 9: The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that gives President Bush the right to hold a U.S. citizen incommunicado indefinitely, without bringing charges and without the right to a trial, is frightening. While Yaser Esam Hamdi may well be an "enemy combatant," the label alone does not determine his situation.

In view of Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's indictment of lawyer Lynne Stewart last April, one wonders if U.S. citizens will necessarily have to be captured on foreign soil to fall into a no-man's land without rights, where the words "U.S. citizen" are stripped of all their meaning.

Phyllis Sladek Jr.

Santa Barbara

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Jose Padilla an enemy combatant (Jan. 11)? Yes, he is. However, he is also a traitor and should be prosecuted as such. There would be none of this nonsense about "enemy combatant."

Tesa Becica

Van Nuys

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