April 5, 2002 |
Pentagon officials said Thursday they are all but certain that a 22-year-old detainee from the Afghan war being held in Cuba is a U.S. citizen, and they are considering turning him over to federal law enforcement authorities. The captive, identified as Yasser Esam Hamdi, was seized during a late November prison uprising in Afghanistan, as was John Walker Lindh of Northern California. But while Lindh was readily identified as an American citizen, U.S.
April 4, 2002 |
The U.S. government may have in its custody a second American who fought for the Taliban in Afghanistan, authorities said Wednesday after checking birth records that appear to support that he was born in Louisiana. The young man, identified by government officials as 22-year-old Yasser Esam Hamdi, was captured after a late November prison uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif, the same site where the military seized John Walker Lindh, a Northern Californian who fought for the Taliban.
April 6, 2002 |
Yasser Esam Hamdi, who officials believe may be a second American Taliban fighter, was flown Friday to the United States as the military continued to review whether he was born here and should be handed over to federal law enforcement for prosecution. The 22-year-old was taken under heavy guard from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a naval base at Norfolk, Va. Authorities have found a birth certificate that appears to verify his claim that he was born in Baton Rouge, La.
June 11, 2002 |
The Pentagon plans to hold an alleged Al Qaeda bomb plotter indefinitely without charges despite his U.S. citizenship, citing two World War II court decisions that allowed Americans to be held as prisoners of war or charged in military courts. The Defense Department is holding Jose Padilla, identified Monday as the planner of a radioactive "dirty" bomb attack, as an "intelligence source" for questioning about the Al Qaeda terrorist network, senior Pentagon spokesman Richard McGraw said.
August 11, 2002 |
The chief of the Justice Department's criminal division told a lawyers' group Saturday that Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft has gotten "an unfair rap" from civil libertarians and that the Bush administration has been "very balanced and very restrained" in its legal response to the Sept. 11 attacks. "We are in a time of war," Assistant Atty. Gen. Michael Chertoff told a meeting of the American Bar Assn.
February 23, 2003 |
Times of war and emergency jeopardize civil liberties. Ironically, it is precisely at such moments, when we most need independent judges to check executive abuse, that judicial safeguards are weakest. Protections must therefore come from outside the courts. That has been the pattern in the past, and it appears, thus far, to be the record after the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and the Pentagon.