Response to Open Letter

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 05 Mar 2005 03:03:23 GMT
From: ERMS <>
Reply-To: ERMS <>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 10:29:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Detention, treatment, and trial of alleged terrorists [Incident: 040612-000096]

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it within the next 7 days.
Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

You may also update this question by forwarding this message to Because your message will be automatically processed, you MUST enter your response in the space below. Text entered into any other part of this message will be discarded.
[===> Please enter your reply below this line <===]

[===> Please enter your reply above this line <===]

If your issue remains unresolved, please update this question at[elided...]

Detention, treatment, and trial of alleged terrorists

Discussion Thread
Response (Directorate for Public Inquiry and Analysis) - 03/02/2005 10:29 AM
Dear Correspondent:

Salim Hamdan is being held at Guantanamo as an enemy combatant along with approximately 545 other detainees. They are being held to prevent them from continuing to fight against the United States and our allies in the war on terror. The U.S. operates a safe, humane and professional detention operation at Guantanamo that is providing valuable information in the war on terror. Hamdan's status as an enemy combatant was reviewed by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal last year.

U.S. policy requires that all detainees be treated humanely and to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity in accordance with the principles of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949. For example, detainees receive three culturally appropriate meals each day, and daily opportunities for prayer, showers, exercise, means to send and receive mail, reading materials, and exceptional medical attention.

Investigations have shown that Hamdan's actions before his capture may rise to the level of war crimes and he is being tried by military commission. At present, this commission and three others are in abeyance pending the outcome of the March 8 hearing in Federal court.

DoD News Briefings:

DefenseLINK News: Government to Appeal Ruling That Halts Guantanamo Proceeding: ... in trying Salim Ahmed Hamdan in a military commission. The judge's ruling said the government should try Hamdan in a military court-martial ... officer, Army Col. Peter Brownback, was apprised of the judge's ruling. Hamdan is accused of being a member of the al Qaeda terrorist network and is ...

DoD News: Military Commission Panel Changes Announced:
... that military commission proceedings in U.S. vs. Hicks and U.S. vs. Hamdan scheduled for Nov 1, 2004, will proceed as scheduled. The commission ... commission proceedings Aug 25-26, the defense counsel for Hicks and Hamdan challenged the fitness of three of the four commission members, the ...

DefenseLINK News: Many Issues Raised in First Week of Commissions Hearings:
... the government-appointed attorney for Yemeni national Salim Ahmed Hamdan, noted he has asked for but been denied an assistant defense counsel. Swift ... During his hearing, when Brownback asked Hamdan if he accepted the defense counsel appointed to him, he asked for an assistant for Swift. "I need ...

DefenseLINK News: Officials Working on Commissions Translation Issues:
... the Aug. 24 hearing for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, an Arabic translator was replaced mid-hearing because Hamdan couldn't understand what she was saying. In ...

Many people ask us how they may support our service members. Our website has a wealth of information and resources. For more information, please visit our "America Supports You- Our Military Men and Women".

Auto-Response - 06/12/2004 10:40 AM
Title: Statistical Abstract of the United States

Title: Text Congressional Joint Resolution to Authorize Use of Force Against Iraq

Title: "Our Flag" - the booklet

Title: Global War on Terrorism - First 100 Days

Title: Expedited Citizenship Consideration

Customer - 06/12/2004 10:40 AM
An Open Letter to George W. Bush
Detention, treatment, and trial of alleged terrorists
12 June, 2004

Mr. President:

The photographs of torture and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison have shocked the world. They shocked you as well, as you clearly expressed by saying, "Such practices do not reflect our values." I agree. Such practices appear to be more widespread than one prison in Iraq, however. Prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay have also told stories of torture, deprivation, and humiliation to which no human being should ever be subjected, certainly not at the hands of the United States, the world's moral leader. And more horrific accounts surface every day.

Initially, I was willing to consider these to be isolated instances, the responsibility of a handful of prison guards. But I have concluded that you are at least partially responsible, though not intentionally.

On November 13, 2001, you issued an Executive Order titled "Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism". Your administration has also treated some U.S. citizens apprehended in the U.S. as "enemy combatants", detaining them secretly without charges, denying Writs of Habeas Corpus. Though you were careful in your Executive Order to specify that suspected terrorists should be treated humanely, the spirit of these policies, heard loud and clear by the men and women in the field, is to create a new class of non-persons with no rights.

Mr. President, these practices turn the Sixth Amendment on its head. They deny the fundamental rights of the accused to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, to be informed of the charges against them, and to confront witnesses. Such practices do not reflect our values.

Torturing a man, dishonoring his religion, degrading his humanity, is a horrible crime, inexcusable, unjustifiable, Satan's work. I hope that you do not want yourself or America to be associated with this in any way. I hope that you immediately make it crystal clear that all prisoners of war will henceforth be treated in accord with the Geneva Conventions and that all suspected criminals apprehended within the United States, alleged terrorist or not, citizen or not, will be afforded their usual Sixth Amendment rights.

Before being informed of your unintentional complicity in the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, you were only morally responsible for them; the matter was between you and your conscience. If you do not now make rapid changes in the U.S. policy for handling suspected terrorists, and these atrocities recur, you will be criminally responsible.


Bill St. Clair


George W. Bush <>
Dick Cheney <>
Donald Rumsfeld <>
John Sweeney <>
Charles Schumer <>
Hillary Clinton <>

The Libertarian Enterprise <>
Troy Record <>
Berkshire Eagle <>
New York Times <>
Washington Times <>
Boston Globe <>
Dallas Morning News <>
LA Times <>
Orange County Register <>
San Francico Chronicle <>
Denver Post <>

Question Reference #040612-000096
Topic: General Questions
Sub-Category: Issues and Policies
Please verify:
Date Created: 06/12/2004 10:40 AM
Last Updated: 03/02/2005 10:29 AM
Status: Solved

Add comment Edit post Add post