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Excerpts from transcript of detainee's tribunal

On Nov. 26, Saifullah Paracha answered questions from a tribunal of military officers in Guantanamo who later recommended that he continue to be held as an enemy combatant. Here are excerpts from the transcript:

Q: Did you ever recommend to al Qaida to use nuclear weapons against U.S. troops?

A: Never, sir.

Q: Did you ever recommend this to anyone?

A: No, sir. I told the interrogator about this. Is a nuclear weapon something I could buy off the shelf? Can you buy it from Tony Blair? Is that something to say to anybody?

Q: Do you not consider Osama bin Laden to be al Qaida?

A: I never saw any definition of al Qaida. The first time I heard this was from President Bush who said al Qaida.

Officer: You do understand this is an administrative hearing and not a legal proceeding. ... You will be receiving more specific instructions shortly of how to bring your question to U.S. courts.

Paracha: Your honor, I have been here over 17 months. Would that be before I expire?

Officer: I would certainly hope so, especially since you are under the care of the U.S. government while you are here. ... This is a U.S. government executive decision in regards to the detention of enemy combatants.

Paracha: My question is, is your executive order applicable around the world?

Officer: It is a global war on terrorism.

Paracha: I know sir, but you are not the master of the Earth, sir.

Officer: No, but we are in a coalition with allied partners to fight this new war.


(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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