Zeitoun can’t imagine how long his case might stretch out, but it doesn’t seem like any change is imminent. He’s had no contact with anyone from outside, and the prison is so isolated that there appears not to be any oversight. He can only hope to give his name to every prisoner he might meet, to increase his chances of Kathy hearing about him should the prisoner be released. But he can’t truly believe that others will be convinced he’s innocent.
At least at Camp Greyhound, Zeitoun had a sense that people were coming and going from the outside world, and there might be a chance for him to contact Kathy. Here, it appears that he’s been forgotten, left to languish in a prison without any recourse to legal action or even the ability to contact his family.
Zeitoun isn’t given to conspiracy theories, but given the last few days, he starts to fear that he might be taken to a secret prison abroad, even Guantánamo Bay. He’s heard about Muslim men being suspected by the U.S. government which, under the Patriot Act, is now allowed to seize them anywhere in the world and bring them anywhere without charging them with a crime. Some, he knows, would immediately suspect two Syrians paddling around in New Orleans after the storm. Zeitoun doesn’t want to believe this about his adopted country, which he loves, but he can’t rid his mind of these stories.
The Patriot Act gave the U.S. government expanded authority to work against terrorism, but has been controversial for what many see as an infringement on people’s civil rights. Zeitoun shows here how conflicted he feels about his adopted country: he appreciates the opportunities that living in the U.S. has given him, and yet he is frustrated by its continued attitude of intolerance and prejudice.