Get on Board
A farewell to Habeas Corpus in one act.
Scene: Allan Uthman is walking down a street in Buffalo, NY, when an unmarked black van pulls up alongside him. The side door slides open and two armed Homeland Security officers aggressively drag him into the van. The door slams shut and the van speeds away. Uthman is quickly shackled to an eyebolt in the van’s floor. One of the officers retires to the front passenger seat of the van, while the other one sits on a crate facing Uthman.
Homeland Security Officer: Hi, my name’s Dennis and I’ll be detaining you this evening.
Allan Uthman: What—what the fuck is this?
HSO: Just relax; that’s what I’m here for, to help ease you through this transition.
AU: What the—what transition?
HSO: I regret to inform you that you’ve been declared an unlawful enemy combatant.
AU: What? What are you talking about?
HSO: You’re going to Cuba, son.
AU: But, but—how? Why?
HSO: I don’t really have to tell you that. Let’s just say, um… you’ve been fingered by a terrorist detainee.
AU: What? Who?
HSO: Hmmm. Well, let’s say, I don’t know… Abu… Ahmed… Sharif… al Mahmoud.
AU: You’re just making that up.
HSO: [Chuckling] No, seriously. He says you have anthrax, something like that.
AU: Anthrax? What? I’ve never had any Anthrax! Hell, I don’t even listen to Anthrax!
HSO: Seriously? What about their version of “Bring the Noise?”
AU: That atrocity? How do you start with Chuck D on the vocals and then switch over to stupid Anthrax guy for the rest of the song? There’s no logic to that.
HSO: Whatever. We don’t have to tell you what evidence we have anymore.
AU: Well, I want a lawyer. Call Paul Fallon.
HSO: Sorry kid, but you’re living in a “Law and Order” rerun. No lawyer for you; you’re an enemy combatant. Besides, we picked Fallon up this morning.
AU: What for?
HSO: Can’t say—enemy combatant.
AU: Jesus! So… what do I do?
HSO: I dunno. Maybe if you’re nice and confess to plotting to kill innocent Americans, we’ll let you have some books to read. You can get a Koran, no problem.
AU: I don’t want a frigging Koran!
HSO: You sure? There’s some really beautiful imagery in there.
AU: Look, you’ve got to help me. I haven’t done anything!
HSO: Oh really. What about this?