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Saifullah awoke to the sound of the apartment’s front door being battered with a ram, then falling to the tile of the foyer floor.
Saifullah ripped the covers off his bed, grabbed the pair of jeans he had thrown over a chair the night before, and ripped up the blind of his bedroom window to find an armed and armored man in blue staring back at him. The M-16 aimed at Saifullah’s chest stilled him in front of the window which had started to let in the light of day.
The relatively heavy-set man in the United States Army uniform (with double silver bars on the shoulders) eased himself into the chair directly before Saifullah after ordering his subordinates “At ease.” While Saifullah, his back to the only exit, continued to stare ahead at the blank wall before him (and now up as well, over the new arrival’s close-cropped thatch), the two junior officers at opposite narrow ends of the bare table resumed staring straight at him after re-seating themselves. Saifullah attempted to lean back, away from the martial trinity before and beside him, but only jerked against the handcuffs that held him forward in his chair.
“So, Saifullah,” the officer repeated. “Why don’t you start from the beginning and tell us what happened.” The officer’s smile was soft, in a sarcastic sort of way.
“I’m in America! I want a lawyer!” Saifullah shouted at the tabletop.
“But you’re not an American,” the sidekick with the single silver bars replied.
“And who says you’re in America?” the one with the single gold bars added.
Saifullah looked up from the tabletop, at the golden boy. “Where am I?”