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Letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

Location: Unknown

September 27, 2006

The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We are writing to request that you immediately resolve the case of Bilal Hussein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the Associated Press, who is being held without charges in a US military prison in Iraq.

As you may be aware, Mr. Hussein was arrested by US military troops on April 12, 2006. It has been reported that he is being held for alleged improper ties to insurgents. However, after being imprisoned for more than five months, Mr. Hussein has yet to be charged.

First, we would like your assurance that he is being held in safe conditions and is being treated humanely. Secondly, we ask that you allow his attorney to review the evidence the Army has compiled against Mr. Hussein and provide him with the opportunity to respond to the claims. Finally, we ask for an immediate resolution of this matter. If there is evidence that Mr. Hussein is a security threat, then that evidence should be heard in a court of law and a verdict rendered.

The fact that Mr. Hussein has not been charged with any crime only fuels speculation around the world that he is being held not because of security reasons, but because his work portrayed the situation in Iraq in an unfavorable light. Recent high-profile cases of others being held for months and even years without being charged, and without legal recourse, have damaged our county's reputation and jeopardized our efforts in Iraq. We urge you not to allow the case of Mr. Hussein to further undermine our international credibility or worsen conditions faced by our troops in Iraq.

We appreciate your attention to this request, and await your response.


John Murtha Ike Skelton
Ranking Member Ranking Member
Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Committee on Armed Services

John Conyers Henry Waxman
Ranking Member Ranking Member
Committee on Judiciary Committee on Government Reform

Barney Frank Louise M. Slaughter
Ranking Member Ranking Member
Committee on Financial Services House Committee on Rules

Jerrold Nadler
Ranking Member
Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution

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