In disturbing reports from the US, it appears that Private First Class Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst accused of leaking the Afghan and Iraqi war logs, the US diplomatic cables and the “Collateral Damage” video, which have dominated headlines globally since WikiLeaks began making them available in April this year, is being held in conditions that bear a marked and chilling resemblance to the conditions in which a handful of US citizens and residents were held as “enemy combatants” under the Bush administration.
So it’s finally over. Ali al-Marri, a legal US resident from Qatar, who was held as an “enemy combatant” on the US mainland for five years and eight months without charge or trial, was finally sentenced in a federal court last Thursday. The prosecution was seeking a 15-year sentence, following al-Marri’s guilty plea in April, when, as part of a plea bargain, he accepted that he had receiving training in al-Qaeda camps and had come to the United States on a mission for al-Qaeda on the day before the 9/11 attacks. However, in the Federal District Court in Peoria, Illinois, Judge Michael M. Mihm accepted a request from a-Marri’s lawyers to take into account the nearly eight years he has already spent in US custody, including the five years and eight months that he spent in almost complete isolation as part of the Bush administration’s aberrant “War on Terror” policies.