former Attorney General John Ashcroft describes the arrest five years ago of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri at his home in Peoria, Ill. Al-Marri was picked up as a material witness in the 9/11 investigation and charged with credit-card fraud and making false statements to the FBI. His case was a month away from trial in federal court. And then it wasn't. Al-Marri "rejected numerous offers to improve his lot by cooperating with the FBI investigators and providing information," Ashcroft writes, and "consequently," President Bush declared him an enemy combatant.
Hearsay is admissable in combatant status tribunals. Perhaps the appellate courts ought to take judicial notice of Ashcroft's hearsay statement as well, in making its decision.