Thu, 09 Feb 2006 05:50:49 GMT

Lawyers Seek Due Process for American Citizen Detained in Iraq.

by TChris

Shawqi Ahmad Omar, an American citizen, has been detained in Iraq for more than a year. No charges have been filed, and he’s had no access to a lawyer. His wife says he traveled to Iraq to seek construction contracts, while the military insists that Omar was harboring insurgents and plotting against the interests of the United States.

If Omar is placed on trial for treason, with counsel and an opportunity to confront his accusers, the truth might come out. The Bush administration has an aversion to the truth, and to due process; it prefers to hold Omar without being bothered to prove that he assisted insurgents.

Lawyers assisting Omar’s wife have asked a federal court to protect Omar’s rights, but the Justice Department argues that Omar has no rights. Besides, the Department contends, Omar isn’t in American military custody. Rather, he’s being held by the “Multi-National Force” — the infamous “coalition of the willing.” Omar’s lawyers argue that the U.S. military is playing a shell game to thwart federal court jurisdiction.

[TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime]

Another American citizen held without any of the benefits of the Bill of Rights. The arrest and detention of an American now is solely determined by the decisions of the Executive branch. Well, playing shell games to thwart court jurisdiction is something they have gotten good at.