US citizen arrested by US forces in Iraq, denied Constitutional rights

First a warning, this is a very emotionally difficult story to read:

A quick summary of the story. An American citizen (although he was originally born in Iraq and had two muslim wives) was arrested by American military forces in Iraq. Two other prisoners being interrogated under torture had named him as someone connected to their terrorist group. But there does not appear to be any other evidence. Shawki Omar has been in held in prison since October 2004, and has suffered (fairly severe) torture during that time. He was never officially charged or had evidence presented against him. In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Omar could be transferred over to the custody of the new Iraqi provincial government, removing him from Constitutional and legal protections in the U.S.

To spell it out plainly, this sets a kind of disturbing legal precedent that an American citizen can be arrested by American forces, in a territory controlled by U.S. forces, and then handed over to another government and denied U.S. legal rights.
(The first elections and approval of the new constitution for Iraq didn’t take place until January 2005.)

Omar continued to be under U.S. custody for another 3 years after the Supreme Court ruling, until June 2010, when he was formally charged by an Iraqi court of “entering the country illegally”.
Those close to Omar say this is an incredulous allegation. Omar claims his entry card was stamped when he had crossed the Syrian border into Iraq in June 2004, but the American forces who had seized him during his arrest had taken all his identity documents, so he now has no way to prove it.
Omar was sentenced to 15 years in prison based on the charge of entering the country illegally.
So this seems to be just a legal excuse to keep him in prison, because they did not actually have adequate evidence to try him for terrorism (or did not want to openly present the evidence for some reason).
It seems basically all the Iraqi government had to do was lose the record of Omar entering the country, and then the absence of the recorded entry was enough evidence to convict him of having entered illegally.

This of course potentially raises other troubling legal issues about burden of evidence when it comes to registration laws.

But more to the core issue, it also raises legal question about whether (or how much) someone should be punished for a crime based only on the fact that another prisoner names them as an accomplice. The authorities holding that prisoner might be incentivizing or coercing that prisoner to give them another name, even if it’s falsely.
That would very much likely be the case in this situation, since those prisoners were subjected to torture during interrogation. They might have just said any name they could think of to try to make the torture stop.

While some of you might argue that what happened in this story was justified, due to the situation, these type of cases still set a very concerning legal precedent. It can be a very slippery slope, if the rights of one citizen are denied.

If martial law is declared in the US, US citizens can be arrested (under whatever excuse) by the US military police in countries where the US military is present.
South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Germany… just to mention a few.
The Canadian government will also comply, seems like.

The Intercept? Seriously? Propaganda not even good enough to call any sort of news even fake.

There is nothing alarming about this at all. He was born in Iraq which means he is a naturalized citizen. as with all naturalized citizens, the United States government can strip them up their citizenship at any time. Being a terrorist is one of those reasons. It’s too bad he and his entire family didn’t get taken out in a drone strike.

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He wasn’t convicted of terrorism and never had a trial where they presented adequate evidence of terrorism.

That’s the issue.

Okay then, but can we agree there might have been an issue if the US had forcefully deported him to some third country he was never a citizen of, instead of handing him over to Iraqi authorities?

Obama killed a US citizen with a drone strike. If you want to complain about precedent, it’s already been set.

Shawki made several bad decisions in his life. Becoming a terrorist was unforgivable. His wife followed his lead with her own mistakes. Her biggest mistake was marrying the man. He second biggest mistake was converting to Islam and wearing a black tent thereafter.

I have sympathy for the children only…and that will last only until they become radicalized. Then I will want them dead also.

If he was indeed, there would not be such a big problem here. Where’s the proof he actually was a terrorist?

What is this garbage? This story is a year old!?!


I am aware only of what I had read in your posted article. This one paragraph is enough for me. I’ll break it down beneath the full quote of it.


He was captured as part of a group of terrorists. Logic would say he was “one of them” and not just an innocent passerby.


A man with previous accusations is captured by US forces in the process of fighting terrorism (terrorists) could logically be considered a terrorist despite not having been convicted of it. (When we capture enemy combatants in the arena of a firefight, we don’t go through the process of a trial by jury…the bastard goers to GTMO.)

It is no wonder that he and his family deny his role.


Where is the proof that he has been tortured? :joy:

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No it is not the issue! If a US citizen knowingly goes to join forces to fight for a hostile adversary where he intends to kill US soldiers in the battle field, he forfeits all rights as a US citizen and is fair game in the theatre of war. If he is captured he is then made a POW where he will be treated equally under the Geneva conventions and is subject to a tribunal court under military jurisdiction not under US civilian court!

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So what! It’s worthy of discussion.

The story actually started prior to 2004. That’s when he was captured. (15 years ago).

That’s so passé, the US has been extrajudicially killing alleged enemy combatants/terrorists at least since the days of George Bush.

He’s catching us up on the old stories…:man_shrugging:

That’s not true, it’s obvious you didn’t read the story.

He was in his home with his family when captured, and he had gone to Iraq to get lucrative government contracting work, when the US was dumping millions of dollars rebuilding Iraq at that time.

I read quite well. You are naive to think think US Intelligence takes lightly the naming of enemy combatants. Perhaps you missed (or ignored) these points made in the article.

The man was captured in the company of other terrorists and was falsely claiming they were simply relatives.

The man is a lying terrorist and should remain in detention…until he dies. I have no sympathy whatsoever for this worthless turd.

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Thank you for finding that.

Well, that would make a huge difference if he happened to have a group of terrorists in his house who were not family relations.

This does go to show the inherently flimsy nature of evidence that can be used to indicate criminal activities though. You have to admit, the nature of evidence against him is very circumstantial in nature, in a sense.

I would still point out that, even if that claim was true, there is still a small chance, but not likely, he could be innocent, if both prongs of evidence against him were very unfortunate coincidences.

There were probably a lot of militants in that part of Iraq, and the chance that a person trying to develop business connections could inadvertently make social connections to some of these militants isn’t that low. Especially an outsider who was not a native of that community and may not have known about everyone and what was going on as well as those who had lived there longer.