Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The War: Airman at Guantanamo Charged With Spying

This report in from Matt Kelly of the AP:

An Air Force translator at the U.S. prison camp for suspected terrorists has been charged with espionage and aiding the enemy, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Senior Airman Ahmad I. al-Halabi is being held at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, facing 32 criminal charges, spokesman Maj. Michael Shavers said.

Al-Halabi worked as an Arabic language translator at the prison camp for al-Qaida and Taliban suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Shavers said. The Air Force enlisted man knew the Muslim chaplain at the prison arrested earlier this month, but it's unclear if the two arrests are linked, Shavers said.

The translator was arrested more than six weeks before the chaplain, Shavers said.

Al-Halabi is charged with nine counts related to espionage, three counts of aiding the enemy, 11 counts of disobeying a lawful order, and nine counts of making a false official statement.

Al-Halabi was based at Travis Air Force Base in California and assigned to a logistics unit there, Shavers said.

Pentagon officials said an investigation into possible security breaches at Guantanamo Bay continues.
Two members of the American Armed forces are accused of espionage? In support of al-Qaida and the Taliban? These allegations are simply stunning.

So what if both are practitioners of the Islamic faith. They are both Americans who grew up with the benefit of a secular and free culture. If these charges are true, I would like to understand exactly what thought process turned these men against their freedom.

And then I would like to see them hang.

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