The Last US Enemy Combatant: The Shocking Story of Ali al-Marri

4.12.08

In brighter times, before a fog of fear descended on the United States, and the discourse of decent men and women was coarsened by an acceptance of the use of torture as a “no-brainer,” it would have been inconceivable that an American could have been held for seven years without charge or trial on the US mainland, in a state of solitary confinement so debilitating that he is said to be suffering from “severe damage to his mental and emotional well-being, including hypersensitivity to external stimuli, manic behavior, difficulty concentrating and thinking, obsessional thinking, difficulties with impulse control, difficulty sleeping, difficulty keeping track of time, and agitation.”

And yet, this is exactly what has happened in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. A Qatari national — and legal US resident — al-Marri had studied computer science in Peoria, Illinois in the 1980s, had graduated in 1991, and had legally returned to the United States on September 10, 2001 to pursue post-graduate studies, bringing his family — his wife and five children — with him. Three months later, on December 12, 2001, he was arrested at his home by the FBI, and taken to the maximum security Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, where he was held in solitary confinement as a material witness in the investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2003, al-Marri was charged with credit card fraud, identity theft, making false statements to the FBI, and making a false statement on a bank application, and was moved back to a federal jail in Peoria, but on June 23, 2003, a month before he was due to stand trial, the charges were suddenly dropped when President Bush declared that he was an “enemy combatant,” who was “closely associated” with al-Qaeda, and had “engaged in conduct that constituted hostile and war-like acts, including conduct in preparation for acts of international terrorism.” Also asserting that he possessed “intelligence,” which “would aid US efforts to prevent attacks by al-Qaeda,” the President ordered al-Marri to be surrendered to the custody of the Defense Department, and transported to the Consolidated Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina.

Al-Marri had already been held for 18 months, and had suffered in the Metropolitan Correction Center, where, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Muslim immigrants — 762 of the 1,200 men in total who were rounded up for investigation — were subjected to physical and verbal abuse, held in conditions of confinement that were “unduly harsh,” and often denied basic legal rights and religious privileges, according to a 2003 report by the Justice Department. However, his ordeal began in earnest at the brig.

The Consolidated Naval Brig, Charleston, South Carolina.

As was recently revealed through the disclosure of military documents following a Freedom of Information request (PDF), al-Marri, along with two American citizens also held as “enemy combatants” — Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla — was subjected to the same “Standard Operating Procedure” that was applied to prisoners at Guantánamo during its most brutal phase, from mid-2002 to mid-2004. This involved the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including prolonged isolation, painful stress positions, exposure to extreme temperature, sleep deprivation, extreme sensory deprivation, and threats of violence and death.

Although the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo was disturbingly harsh, it can be argued — with some confidence, I believe — that the treatment of al-Marri, Hamdi and Padilla was worse than that endured by the majority of the Guantánamo prisoners, as all three suffered in total isolation. The exceptions to this are the handful of Guantánamo prisoners who also endured years of solitary confinement — including the released British national Moazzam Begg, and British resident Shaker Aamer, who is still held at the prison, and has been in solitary confinement since August 2005.

Held alone in cellblocks that were otherwise unoccupied, al-Marri, Hamdi and Padilla had to survive without even the small comforts available to most of the Guantánamo prisoners, who, when not held in isolation as a punishment or as a prelude to interrogation, could at least communicate with the prisoners in the cells adjacent to them, and could take advantage of what lawyer Clive Stafford Smith has called the “incredible prisoner bush telegraph,” through which information is conveyed around the prison.

In the case of Hamdi (who was picked up in Afghanistan in November 2001 and initially held in Guantánamo until it was discovered that, although he had lived in Saudi Arabia since he was a child, he was born in Baton Rouge and was an American citizen), the effects of this near-total isolation were already apparent in June 2002, just a month after his transfer from Guantánamo. As one of the officers responsible for him explained in an email to his superiors, “with no potential end in sight and no encouraging news and isolated from his countrymen, I can understand how he feels … I will continue to do what I can to help this individual maintain his sanity, but in my opinion we’re working with borrowed time.”

In the case of Jose Padilla, who was held in strict solitary confinement for 21 months, the effects of his isolation were so intense that it has been reported that he literally lost his mind (his warders described him as “so docile and inactive that he could be mistaken for ‘a piece of furniture’”). Al-Marri’s experience was similar. As his lawyers explained in May this year, in court documents protesting his treatment (PDF), for the 16 months that he was held incommunicado,

He was denied any contact with the world outside, including his family, his lawyers, and the Red Cross. All requests to see, speak to, or communicate with Mr. al-Marri were ignored or refused. Mr. al-Marri’s only regular human contact during that period was with government officials during interrogation sessions, or with guards when they delivered trays of food through a slot in his cell door, escorted him to the shower, or took him to a concrete cage for “recreation.” The guards had duct tape over their name badges and did not speak to Mr. al-Marri except to give him orders.

Noting his exposure to the “enhanced interrogation techniques” mentioned above, al-Marri’s lawyers also explained that interrogators told him that “they would send him to Egypt or to Saudi Arabia to be tortured and sodomized and forced to watch as his wife was raped in front of him.” They also threatened to make him “disappear so that no one would know where he was,” and on several occasions stuffed his mouth with cloth and gagged him with duct tape. “One time,” the lawyers noted, “when Mr. al-Marri managed to loosen the tape … interrogators re-taped his mouth even more tightly. Mr. al-Marri started to choke until a panicked agent from the FBI or Defense Intelligence Agency removed the tape.” On other occasions, “for periods of up to eight days at a time, Mr. al-Marri was placed in a completely bare and cold cell simply for refusing to answer questions.”

Perhaps the most disturbing treatment al-Marri suffered during this period was the suppression of his religious freedom. His lawyers observed that

Mr. al-Marri’s observance of Islam was restricted and degraded so severely that he could not adhere to the most elemental tenets of his faith. He was denied water to purify himself and a prayer rug to kneel on when praying. Mr. al-Marri was also denied a kofi to cover his head during prayer; when he used his shirt as a substitute, he was punished by having his shirt removed. Mr. al-Marri was prohibited from knowing the time of day or the direction of Mecca, preventing him from properly fulfilling the Islamic requirement of praying five times a day. The only religious item that Mr. al-Marri was permitted was a Qur’an, and his copy of the Qur’an was sometimes taken away to facilitate interrogation and at other times was degraded and abused.

In June 2004, the US Supreme Court made two significant rulings regarding the rights of prisoners detained in the “War on Terror.” One, Rasul v. Bush, granted habeas corpus rights to the Guantánamo prisoners, allowing lawyers access to the prison to begin filing briefs asking why the prisoners were being held, and the other, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, did the same for US “enemy combatants,” although in a rather more muddled manner. Although eight of the nine justices determined that the President could not indefinitely imprison a US citizen without basic due process rights, they were unable to agree about the extent of the prisoners’ rights.

The most immediate impact of these rulings on the “enemy combatants” held on the US mainland was the repatriation of Yaser Hamdi to Saudi Arabia in August 2004. Padilla (photo, left) and al-Marri were less fortunate. Although both gained access to lawyers, and the brutal interrogations came to an end, the government was unwilling to grant them any further rights. In Padilla’s case, the government continued to hold him until November 2005, when, with the Supreme Court circling once more, the supposed justification for holding him — his alleged involvement in a “dirty bomb” plot — was dropped, and he was moved to the federal court system to face sketchy charges of providing material support for terrorism, which, nonetheless, led to a conviction in August 2007, and a 17-year sentence in January 2008.

Al-Marri was even unluckier. Although he too was granted access to counsel — in October 2004 — his lawyers noted, in the submission in May regarding his treatment, that “access initially was monitored and severely curtailed,” and, crucially, that, because he was a resident and not a citizen, the government “refused to recognize that Mr. al-Marri had a legal right of access to counsel (and still refuses to recognize that right to this day”).

Moreover, his lawyers explained that, although there was an improvement in his conditions of detention, these conditions “remained unbearably brutal and harsh.” They noted that he “continued to be confined to a 9 by 6 foot cell,” and was “denied regular opportunity for exercise,” and also stated:

The single window in Mr. al-Marri’s cell remained darkened with an opaque covering that prevented Mr. al-Marri from seeing the outside world or knowing the time of day. His cell had only a sink, toilet and hardened (metal) bed affixed to the wall. Mr. al-Marri had no chair on which to sit and no blanket, pillow, or any other soft item inside his cell. For more than two years, Mr. al-Marri was denied a mattress, causing him discomfort and pain whenever he lay down …

Mr. al-Marri was confined to his cell for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for months at a time. Once Mr. al-Marri was forced to spend more than 20 days in his metal bed in his freezing cell, shivering under a thin, stiff “suicide blanket,” unable even to stand because the floor was too cold and his socks and footwear had been taken away from him.

As part of a deliberate policy of controlling almost every aspect of his life “to cause disorientation, discomfort, and despair,” al-Marri continued to be deprived of all external stimuli — he had no access to books, newspapers, magazines, TV or radio — and began showing evidence of the mental collapse mentioned at the start of the article.

His conditions of confinement improved after August 2005, when his lawyers first filed a formal complaint about his treatment, and they noted in May this year that he is “now permitted to move about his cell block (though he remains the only prisoner there) and is given adequate time for recreation.” He is also in regular contact with his family by telephone, although his first phone call was not allowed until April 29, 2008, and was only arranged after his lawyers discovered that his father had died.

Nevertheless, the naked truth about al-Marri’s detention is that the five and a half years that he has spent in solitary confinement in the Charleston brig — on top of the 15 months that he was isolated in the Metropolitan Correction Center — makes him possibly the most isolated prisoner in American history. This would be disturbing enough if he had actually been convicted of a crime, but is all the more distressing because he has never been allowed anywhere near a courtroom.

This is not for want of trying on the part of his lawyers — and of certain judges. Last June, a panel of three judges in the Fourth Circuit appeals court dealt a blow to the administration’s claims by ruling that “the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them ‘enemy combatants.’”

At the time, it looked as if this ruling might stand, but the government appealed, and when the Fourth Circuit reconvened en banc to deliver a second ruling in July this year, the voices of reason — four judges led by Diana Gribbon Motz — were overruled by their five colleagues. In the words of Judge William B. Traxler, whose swing vote confirmed the court’s otherwise divided ruling, “the Constitution generally affords all persons detained by the government the right to be charged and tried in a criminal proceeding for suspected wrongdoing, and it prohibits the government from subjecting individuals arrested inside the United States to military detention unless they fall within certain narrow exceptions … The detention of enemy combatants during military hostilities, however, is such an exception. If properly designated an enemy combatant pursuant to legal authority of the President, such persons may be detained without charge or criminal proceedings for the duration of the relevant hostilities.”

Judge Motz and the dissenters took exception to the mention of “the duration of the relevant hostilities.” After citing the 2007 State of the Union Address, in which President Bush claimed that “the war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others,” Judge Motz noted, “Unlike detention for the duration of a traditional armed conflict between nations, detention for the length of a ‘war on terror’ has no bounds.”

What disturbed the dissenters the most, however, were other elements of the ruling. Judge Motz noted that her colleagues had endorsed the President’s dictatorial right to imprison US citizens — as well as US residents — as “enemy combatants” without charge or trial, and also noted that they had claimed that the President did not even have to allege, as he did with Hamdi and Padilla, that an “enemy combatant” had either been in Afghanistan or had ever raised arms against US forces.

The dissenting judges also supported al-Marri’s lawyers, who had pointed out that the Constitution “prohibits the military imprisonment of civilians arrested in the United States and outside an active battlefield,” and that, although a District Court had previously held that the President was authorized to detain al-Marri under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (the September 2001 law authorizing the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those involved in any way with the 9/11 attacks), Congress explicitly prohibited “the indefinite detention without charge of suspected alien terrorists in the United States” in the Patriot Act, which followed five weeks later.

Judge Motz’s conclusion — “To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President call them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution –and the country,” — should have sounded the alarm for anyone concerned with the Constitutional rights of Americans, but although Judge Traxler joined Judge Motz and her colleagues in ruling that al-Marri was entitled to some sort of review of the basis of his detention, there has been no progress in the intervening months. Al-Marri is now waiting to see if the Supreme Court, which was deciding whether to take up his case on November 25, will indeed challenge what Judge Motz called “a claim to power that would … alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.”

The question remains, of course, as to why al-Marri was held as an “enemy combatant” in the first place, and although there are many unexplained elements in his story — involving the alleged large-scale credit card fraud that led to his initial arrest, an unexplained visit to New York in 2000, and questions about research on his computer into chemicals that could be used in explosives — he has always maintained that the allegations against him, as laid out in an FBI declaration, are untrue: specifically, that he “associated with high-level al-Qaeda members, met with Osama bin Laden, volunteered for a ‘martyr mission,’ and was ordered to enter the United States before September 11, 2001, to facilitate terrorist activities and explore the possibility of disrupting [the US] financial system via computer hacking.”

What’s particularly worrying about the FBI’s declaration is that the primary source for the allegations is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, who was seized in Pakistan in March 2003, just three months before al-Marri was declared an “enemy combatant,” and subjected to the ancient torture technique known as waterboarding. During his tribunal at Guantánamo in March 2007, Mohammed stated that he had given false information about other people while being tortured, and, although he was not allowed to elaborate, I traced several possible victims of these false confessions in an article last summer, including Majid Khan, one of 13 supposedly “high-value” detainees transferred with Mohammed to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons in September 2006, Saifullah Paracha, a Pakistani businessman and philanthropist held in Guantánamo, and his son Uzair, who was convicted in the United States on dubious charges in November 2005, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

It’s possible, therefore, that al-Marri is another victim of Mohammed’s false confessions, obtained through torture, and that other allegations may have come from Mustafa al-Hawsawi, an alleged al-Qaeda financier, captured with Mohammed, who was also held in CIA custody before his transfer to Guantánamo. The government has alleged that al-Marri was in contact with al-Hawsawi before his arrest, but al-Marri has repeatedly denied the allegation.

Whatever the truth, however, the correct venue for ascertaining Ali al-Marri’s guilt or innocence has never been, and never will be, through long years of torture and extreme isolation in a military brig in South Carolina. I can only hope that the Supreme Court, which now has a long track record of opposing the Bush administration’s attempts to justify holding prisoners without charge or trial, will realize the importance of his case, recognizing not only how it degrades America’s moral standing and her “constitutional foundations,” but also how — in terms of what has been done to Ali al-Marri on behalf of the American people — it is a repugnant way to treat a fellow human, whether a foreigner, a “resident alien,” or a US citizen.

In one sentence that reveals the depths to which the Bush administration has sunk in the treatment of Ali al-Marri, Stuart Grassian, a Boston psychiatrist and an expert on the effects of solitary confinement, explained, after being allowed to meet him at the Charleston brig, that he had “only very uncommonly encountered an individual whose confinement was as onerous as Mr. al-Marri’s, except for individuals who had been incarcerated brutally in some third-world countries.”

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

As published exclusively on Cageprisoners.

Note: See here for a detailed archive of legal documents relating to the case.

POSTSCRIPT: On December 5, the Supreme Court announced that it would “decide whether President George W. Bush can order the indefinite imprisonment in the United States of an al Qaeda suspect without charging him,” as Reuters explained, adding that the Court “most likely will hear arguments in Marri’s case in March, with a decision expected by the end of June.” SCOTUSblog has links to the legal documents, including impressive support for al-Marri from law professors, former federal judges and retired military officers.

For a sequence of articles on Ali al-Marri’s case, see The Ordeal of Ali al-Marri (June 2007), The torture of Ali al-Marri, the last “enemy combatant” on the US mainland (November 2007), Court Confirms President’s Dictatorial Powers in Case of US “Enemy Combatant” Ali al-Marri (July 2008), Ending The Cruel Isolation Of Ali al-Marri, The Last US “Enemy Combatant” and Why The US Under Obama Is Still A Dictatorship (both March 2009), Dictatorial Powers Unchallenged As US “Enemy Combatant” Pleads Guilty (May 2009).

Also see related articles on Jose Padilla: Jose Padilla: More Sinned Against Than Sinning (August 2007), Why Jose Padilla’s 17-year prison sentence should shock and disgust all Americans (January 2008), US Justice Department drops “dirty bomb plot” allegation against Binyam Mohamed (October 2008), Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low (April 2009).

17 Responses

  1. intelligence preparation of the battlefield | Digg hot tags says...

    [...] Vote The Last US Enemy Combatant: The Shocking Story of Ali al-Marri [...]

  2. Elaine Supkis says...

    I have been writing about the torture situation for years and years now.

    The US kept its torture ‘outsourced’ since WWII. Only after 9/11, did the US decide it was time to ‘bring home torture’ and it was stealthily applied to American citizens, one by one.

    I have called for the criminals who have upended our Constitution which outright forbids torture and detention without trial: arrest all the parties who have done this. The Attorney General, a notorious torturer, collapsed this month while mouthing excuses for his crimes.

    I hoped it was a silent lightning bolt of retribution from the Gods.

    We know who is responsible for destroying the Constitution and punishing the man who is the ringleader is very important. But far from impeaching Bush and Cheney, it turns out that the most ‘liberal’ members of Congress like Pelosi and Feinstein of liberal San Francisco are both no edging towards justifying torture.’

    Here is my story from tonight that talks about all this: http://emsnews.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/the-fishy-phoenix-group-brookings-institute-warmongers/

    Obama’s UN and State Deparment staff are all warmongers. They can’t even condemn torture outright! It is fearfully disgusting. But then, under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, not matter how liberal, they all supported torture and military coups, assassinations, etc. in order to spread our peculiar and repulsive form of ‘Pax America’.

    Or rather, a ‘Pox on Amerika.’

    Alas! I am ashamed of what we have become but really, we have been this monster now for over 50 years!

  3. GS says...

    Holding people in jail with no real evidence against them is a well known propaganda method used by mentally unfit leaders in authority. They create more credibility for their personal defense, which is to proselytize that the terrorists (or witches, etc.) are right here among us, because, “see we caught one.”

  4. the talking dog says...

    Well, we can all hope there is some light at the end of the tunnel, as the US Supreme Court has granted review in al-Marri’s case; I discuss it further here: http://thetalkingdog.com/archives2/001211.html .

    My fear is that the Bush or Obama Administration attempts to moot the issue by changing their legal position moving al-Marri into civilian custody in the same way that the Bush Administration moved Padilla on the eve of his date with the US Supreme Court, and leaves dictatorship on the books as “good law,” at least in one federal circuit.

  5. Andy Worthington: Return To The Law: Obama Orders Guantanamo Closure, Torture Ban and Review of US "Enemy Combatant" Case | BlackNewsTribune.com says...

    [...] been signposted well in advance, the memo was unexpected, but is long overdue. As I explained in a detailed article last month, the torture of al-Marri and his long isolation, which is more severe than any other “War on [...]

  6. Why the U.S. Under Obama Is Still a Dictatorship By Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Two weeks ago, when the Obama administration announced that it was bringing to an end the disturbing isolation endured by Ali al-Marri, a U.S. resident who has been held without charge or trial for seven years [...]

  7. Why the U.S. Under Obama Is Still a Dictatorship says...

    [...] weeks ago, when the Obama administration announced that it was bringing to an end the disturbing isolation endured by Ali al-Marri, a U.S. resident who has been held without charge or trial for seven years [...]

  8. Why the U.S. Under Obama Is Still a Dictatorship « DC: Freedom & Linux says...

    [...] weeks ago, when the Obama administration announced that it was bringing to an end the disturbing isolation endured by Ali al-Marri, a U.S. resident who has been held without charge or trial for seven years [...]

  9. Why the U.S. Under Obama Is Still a Dictatorship | Congress Check says...

    [...] weeks ago, when the Obama administration announced that it was bringing to an end the disturbing isolation endured by Ali al-Marri, a U.S. resident who has been held without charge or trial for seven years [...]

  10. Andy Worthington: Dictatorial Powers Unchallenged As US "Enemy Combatant" Pleads Guilty | BlackNewsTribune.com says...

    [...] his lawyers also explained in court documents filed last May, during this period interrogators told him that “they would send him to Egypt or to Saudi [...]

  11. Dictatorial Powers Unchallenged As US “Enemy Combatant” Pleads Guilty by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] his lawyers also explained in court documents filed last May, during this period interrogators told him that “they would send him to Egypt or to Saudi Arabia [...]

  12. Back to military commissions for trials? « Later On says...

    [...] U.S. criminal justice system can be. Not only was the Justice Department able to get a man who was subjected to prolonged isolation, painful stress positions, exposure to extreme temperature, sleep deprivation, [...]

  13. mary says...

    My name is mary. In nov. 27, 2002 I was working for the DHS/TSA at Detroit Metro Airport, MacNamara terminal. At about 7:30 pm I first came across two men and a woman who appeared to be see off a party of 6 people.Long story short, I was responsible for the appreshension of a man whose peoria, Ill. driver’s licsens name was revealed to be Ali saleh kahlah al-marri, who had two passports, claimed duel citizenship (american and Lebonese), a boardingpass to lebanon, hundreds of newly mented credit cards with womans names and men’s names,none with his name, a corporate check book with the Ford Motor Credit Company’s logo imbossed on it and all pre signed with the name Galenger of Zalenger, 87,000 cash, and looked just like the picture in the CNN article dated feb. 27, 2009. all this was fully documented by 4 federal and one state agency, yet nothing in the news has made any mention of this fact. I have tried to alert the proper authorities as to the miss information, to no avail. If you care to hear of my conversation with FBI, contact me

  14. Ali al-Marri, The Last US “Enemy Combatant,” Receives Eight-Year Sentence + Ali al-Marri’s Statement In Court by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] It was at that point that President Bush declared him an “enemy combatant” and moved him to the US Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was held until February this year, and where, in his first 16 months of chronic isolation, he was subjected to the type of “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were prevalent at the time in Guantánamo (as I explained at length in an article last December, “The Last US Enemy Combatant: The Shocking Story of Ali al-Marri”). [...]

  15. The 14 Missing Guantánamo files says...

    [...] Saudi Arabia as a child, was immediately moved to the US mainland (on April 5, 2002), where he was one of only three US citizens or residents held as “enemy combatants” — along with Jose Padilla and Ali al-Marri — and [...]

  16. WikiLeaks and the Guantánamo Prisoners Released from 2002 to 2004 … » WeNewsIt says...

    [...] Saudi Arabia as a child, was immediately moved to the US mainland (on April 5, 2002), where he was one of only three US citizens or residents held as “enemy combatants” — along with Jose Padilla and Ali al-Marri — and subjected to [...]

  17. Bradley Manning Hearing Date Set, the Alleged Whistleblower Who Exposed Horrors Of America’s Wars And Guantanamo « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] Manning was moved to a military prison in Quantico, Virginia, in July last year, and it was from this prison that disturbing details began to emerge about his treatment, as I discussed, in particular, in my articles, Is Bradley Manning Being Held as Some Sort of “Enemy Combatant”?, Psychologists Protest the Torture of Bradley Manning to the Pentagon; Jeff Kaye Reports, and Former Quantico Commander Objects to Treatment of Bradley Manning, the Alleged WikiLeaks Whistleblower. Among the disturbing details to emerge was information about his chronic isolation, and about the enforced use of nudity to humiliate him, al of which provided uncomfortable echoes of the Bush administration’s torture program, as used in military brigs on the US mainland on two US citizens, Jose Padilla (who lost his mind as the result of his torture) and Yaser Hamdi, and US resident Ali al-Marri. [...]

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