You all remember “The Battle of O’Hare,” where the notorious Jose Padilla was captured after a fierce firefight in the United terminal. And of course, who can forget “The Rum Diaries,” which detailed the somehow-yet-to-be-incarcerated Donald Rumsfeld’s crimes against humanity? And included in a postscript to that was the tiny detail about another lesser known battle, also in Illinois Territory, called “The Glory in Peoria,” which reeled in another trophy for George Bush’s “War on Terror:” Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri.
Well. Mr. Al-Marri, so, so sorry!
Al-Marri was in the U.S. legally, studying at Bradley University, living with his wife and 5 children, and sitting at home in Peoria, Illinois when he was detained and then ultimately charged, in a court of law, with committing various crimes. He was set to have a trial in July 2003 when the President suddenly and unilaterally decreed him to be an “enemy combatant,” ordered him put into military custody, had his trial cancelled, and then proceeded to imprison him for the next four years — including many months where he was denied any contact at all with the outside world, including lawyers — all without charging him with any crime.
Does that even sound remotely like the United States?
No, it doesn’t. Makes you wonder where the next battlefield might be. Carbondale? Or Naperville? This “War on Terror” is all-encompassing and never-ending. Anything goes.
Is everyone embarrassed enough yet? (Please say yes, for once.)