As we know, the Bush Administration is out to do away with the quaint notion that we live under a government of laws, not men. Just so it doesn't go by unmarked, let's look at a current instance. The WaPo reports that the U.S. military arrested a U.S. citizen in Baghdad in October, 2004 and has held him without charge ever since. Shawqi Omar, whose parents live in North Carolina, talked on the phone repeatedly with his wife who is in Jordon.
He has not been charged with any crime. When U.S. based lawyers filed papers arguing that Omar should either be charged or released,
A federal judge ordered the government to argue a rationale for its actions on this coming Tuesday. We'll see if they just spirit Omar away in the night. (For what it is worth, this Shawqi Omar has the same name as an individual tied to Zarqawi in a Jordanian court indictment, but presumably someone who moved to the U.S. twenty five years ago, only returning to Iraq after the war, is not the same guy -- and if he were, we'd have given him to the Jordanians by now.)
UPDATE, 2/7/06: Newsweek reported today that the Shawqi Omar held in Baghdad is the same one wanted in Jordan. He is charged by U.S. authorities with connections to the Zarqawi network. Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen who served in the National Guard in the 1980s. His family denies he is a terrorist; his attorneys are asking that he be charged and tried if the government has evidence against him.
Also on the rule of law front, Christopher Allbritton is back in Baghdad and reporting on his observations as a pool reporter at the Saddam Hussein trial. He is surprisingly impassioned in stating his opinion:
Go read all of Allbritton's views and the responses.