By incarcerating and interrogating the U.S. military’s latest war-on-terror captive at sea, the Obama administration is reaching back to a tactic used during the Bush era.
The so-called American Taliban John Walker Lindh, held by the military as prisoner 001 in the War on Terror, was kept aboard the amphibious assault ship the USS Peleliu in 2001 and the USS Bataan until Jan. 22, 2002, while the Bush administration decided what to do with the 20-year-old California native.
On the ship, U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty wrote in an April 2, 2002, court filing, “he was given regular and nourishing meals and unlimited water; he was permitted to talk with his fellow detainees; and he was repeatedly queried by Peleliu personnel whether there was anything else he needed.”
Lindh was ultimately brought to U.S. shores for a federal trial, and an eventual plea agreement that could leave him locked up until 2019, but another detainee at sea was apparently David Hicks, an Australian “enemy combatant” who was brought to Guantánamo the day the prison opened as Detainee 002.
According to a U.S. military intelligence report written at Guantánamo on Sept. 17, 2004, Hicks, captured by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, “was turned over to US Forces and incarcerated on the U.S.S. Pettiloo.”. . .