Nation

"The U.S position is that no one can seek habeas corpus if they are incarcerated on Guantánamo Bay," said Joseph Margulies, the attorney representing the Australian Hicks. "It doesn't matter if the person is a U.S. citizen or not. If they are on Guantánamo Bay, the court has no jurisdiction to make any ruling."

But as Bush presses his endless war against terrorism, his policies could end up endangering both his fragile alliance and Yankee troops. "American soldiers will find themselves in harm's way, and if that happens we will want them treated pursuant to the rule of law," Margulies said. "We would rely on the support of our allies to say, 'We demand that these prisoners are treated under the rule of law.' But the United States is taking an independent position and not treating these prisoners according to the rule of law, and indeed in violation of the Fifth Amendment of our constitution."

Abdeen Jabara, attorney for the blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is currently representing Egyptian national Asmid Omar Abdel Rahman. Jabara believes the younger Rahman is being held at Guantánamo Bay. "I have been trying to get some information on my client in American custody," he said. "All I have so far is from some sketchy news reports and an acknowledgment from the government that they have received an inquiry.

"I think it was probably very politic that the first case was for British and Australians—since they're considered to be in the pale of Western protection. They're not wogs, in other words," said Jabara. "If it was Pakistani or Yemeni nationals it would be an even rougher time. I understand that now the U.S. government is going to turn the British prisoners over to Britain. They will obviate the problem. They'll get rid of those, and then no one will be concerned with the other parties. They will try to obviate the real, serious legal questions by diffusing the complaint."


GOP Patron Gets Nod for Alaska Pipeline
Pay Before You Pump

The donor asked for it, and the donor got it. Forrest Hoglund, CEO of Arctic Resources and big-time Republican contributor, admits he used an invite to Vice President Cheney's secret energy confabs last year partly to seek support for an Alaskan gas pipeline. In its final report, the task force recommended building just such a pipeline, routed near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to carry gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48. "This was an apolitical issue," Hoglund told the Center for Public Integrity, which broke the story.

According to the Washington watchdog, Hoglund has given GOP causes over $200,000 since 1997. He reportedly made $34,572 in soft-money contributions to the Republican National Committee last year alone, with one $25,000 check around the time the task force considered his proposal. "I've been a supporter for some time," Hoglund said. "There is no new pattern to this. This is standard business practice."

Hoglund's outfit had asked Enron to become a partner in the deal. The pipeline could have connected with Enron's Northern Natural Gas Pipeline, the largest system in the U.S. The executive said he had already severed ties to the energy trading firm—itself a major campaign contributor—when he met with Cheney. Now the Center for Public Integrity says documents show that on the same day Enron announced a $1.2 billion reduction in shareholder equity, the Republican National Committee recorded a $60,000 contribution from the soon-to-be-bankrupt company.

Robert Bennett, Enron's Washington attorney, did not respond to calls from the Center. "Donations come in throughout the year," said Kevin Sheridan of the Republican National Committee. "It would be a stretch to make any kind of link between these meeting dates spread throughout the year and contributions."

Last weekend, President Bush used his Saturday radio address to put the heat on Congress to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.



Enron Souvenir

In remembrance of the fallen energy trader, Frame-A-Stock, Inc., is offering shares of the company’s stock, ready for display at $18 apiece. "Enron Corp. is quite possible [sic] to be the largest bankruptcy in the history of the U.S.," says the blurb. "This is a sure to be collectible. Share may be registered in the name of your choice."


Additional reporting: Gabrielle Jackson, Michael Ridley, Meritxell Mir, and Adrian Brune

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