Examining the Foundation of a Police State: Tracking the Disappeared
In this second part of this four-part series, we take a look through the eyes and experiences of our guest attorneys representing “enemy combatants” indefinitely detained in this country and abroad. You’ll hear their first hand accounts of deplorable conditions and torture techniques implemented under the umbrella of twisted legislation.
Rather than setting up a narrow intelligence-based effort to prosecute the perpetrators of a criminal action, the Bush administration exploited the tragic events of 9/11 as an excuse to cast a broad net used to justify the demonization of all Muslims. This, as the use of CIA torture techniques sent shock waves rippling through the conscience of all Americans. You will get the sense of how the US government has institutionalized racial profiling, detention prisons, and torture in its fervent effort to implement the so called war on terror.
In the third part of this series we’ll look at the crackdown of dissent in this country, including how the government has set up a “terrorist” database to categorize and target domestic activists. As attorneys on the front lines we bring you exclusive cases of domestic surveillance of protestors. Our final episode will be devoted to the unjust and illegal war in Iraq. We believe that taken together, the four-part series reveals how the plans for a police state and martial law are being cemented. Law and Disorder will call attention to this emergence by bringing you the voices of strength and opposition from activists, authors and attorneys who are well informed, not silent and standing up against the strangling of democracy.
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government has held hundreds of men at Guantanamo Bay as part of its ‘global war on terrorism.’ However, the secrecy and questions about the legality of the imprisonments have drawn concern from lawmakers, foreign governments and human rights groups. The indefinite detentions without trial are seen by many as violations of the Geneva Conventions, they inspire anti-Americanism, and infringe upon the very foundations of our civil rights.
Guest – Gita Guitierezz – attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights defending Guantanamo Bay detainees. Gita has made more than 10 visits to Guantanamo Bay and has represented prisoners such as Mohamed Mani Ahmad al-Qahtani.
Al-Marri, a 32-year-old father of three, and Qatar citizen. He was taken into custody during an early morning raid in Pakistan in December of 2001, just months after the U.S. attack on Afghanistan. He then spent the next several weeks at the US Air Force Base in Bagram, Afghanistan. Al-Marri has since spent four years in Guantanamo Bay military prison mostly in solitary confinement. For nearly two years his only human contact has been with interrogators, prison guards and our guest Jonathan Hafetz.
Guest – Jonathan Hafetz, associate counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. He is an expert on the history of habeas corpus. His articles and legal briefs on habeas corpus are widely cited by scholars and courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Hafetz’s legal practice focuses on the detention of enemy combatants and other issues of executive power.
Hafetz says Al-Marri interrogators slammed his head into a concrete wall, hit him with a 2-by-4 foot piece of wood, and forced him to remain in physically painful positions for long periods of time.
Jose Padilla was first detained in 2002 at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport after he returned from a trip to Pakistan. At the time Attorney General John Ashcroft warned the government had “disrupted an unfolding terrorist plot to attack the United States by exploding a radioactive “dirty bomb.” President Bush declared he was an enemy combatant who could be jailed in solitary confinement indefinitely without charges – even though he was a U.S. citizen. Only recently have the “dirty bomb” charges been dropped.
Guest – Andy Patel, one of the attorneys representing Jose Padilla.