U.S. Designates Its Third Enemy Combatant

A man from Qatar who has been held since 2001, first on a material witness warrant, and then under a criminal indictment charging him with making false statements to the FBI, has been designated by the Administration as an enemy combatant, joining the ranks of Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi.

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is now in the custody of the Defense Department where presumably he will await a trial by military tribunal.

The Government concedes they have no evidence linking al-Marri to 9/11. It believes he was planning later harm to the U.S., which belief is based on his having met Osama bin Laden at a training camp, and offering his services to him.

Why not charge him in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists? A secret military proceeding hardly seems necessary --is the Government hiding something? The secrecy with which this Administration is running its war on terror is unprecedented. We hope Congress demands to take a look at this case.

[thanks for the tip goes to our former reader Cliff, who won't post here anymore because we are not tolerant enough of his differing viewpoint. He says he finds this case beyond the pale. That's quite a statement coming from Cliff. We've previously extended our appreciation to Cliff for the time he spent reading TalkLeft and invited him back to the comment section, but so far, he's not interested. The offer stays open.]

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