Michael: US detains five Americans in IraqNow even U.S. citizens are subject to unconstitutional detention in Iraq by this rogue Administration. Five U.S. citizens have been detained without charges or access to legal counsel on suspicion of activities related to the insurgency over the past few months. As of Thursday, the 7th of July, the Penagon would not identify the detained citizens, but only suggested a variety of pretexts upon which they had been detained. It is also known that 3 of the detained Americans are of Iraqi descent, one is Iranian-American and a Navy veteran, and one is Jordanian-American. It seems obvious that their national origin has been leaked, even as their identities have been withheld, in an effort to discredit them due solely to their Middle Eastern origins.
If these American citizens were involved in criminal activity, they should be investigated and charges brought against them with the full weight of the law, but detension in a war zone does not automatically subject U.S. citizens to some irregular or ad hoc system of frontier justice. They could be tried by military tribunal if their activities fall within the competence of military courts, or by Iraqi or U.S. criminal courts otherwise. But to suck more American citizens into the legal limbo Bush has built upon the excuse of waging the 'war on terror' is clearly unconstitutional and unconscionable. These Americans have rights which are being willfully violated by military and civilian authorities in Iraq.
The Supreme Court has already ruled that American citizens in these circumstances must be provided counsel and must be arraigned before a competent court promptly or released. This Administration's incompetence in all things related to Iraq is no excuse for denying Americans' constitutional due process.