How my Polaroids of the September 11 attacks led me into America's secret court system for terrorist suspects
On the day of the attacks, I lived directly across the Hudson River from the Twin Towers, in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey. As the buildings burned and then collapsed, the police shut down the entire Jersey City waterfront except for one small area, Morris Canal Park. The park had an unobstructed view, and I took a set of Polaroid shots of the disaster.
Later, as a senior writer for the New Jersey Law Journal, I investigated the cases of the 762 Muslim men who were randomly rounded up by the FBI after the attack, cleared of being terrorists, but secretly deported anyway to the countries of their birth. Some of them were tortured by local authorities when they arrived.This is the story of how, after taking these Polaroids, I discovered that the US set up an invisible court system outside the control of the federal judiciary to deal with Muslim immigrants after September 11.