The writ has been suspended only four times in U.S. history; the last one was in 1941 in Hawaii right after the attack on Pearl Harbor, according to this brief.
The government's handling of al-Marri is an utter departure from historical practice. Noncitizens in the United States have constitutional rights, including the right to due process if they face criminal charges. When they're convicted, they routinely file habeas petitions, as they have for centuries. The Supreme Court explained all of this in a 2001 case, INS v. St. Cyr, in which the government wanted to deport an immigrant convicted of a crime without any judicial review. The court forbade that, saying that the constitution protects the rights of "all persons in the United States."
Read all about the just announced $2 million settlement here (hey, they can break into my house anytime) paying Brandon Mayfield, the Oregon lawyer wrongly jailed in connection with the 2004 Madrid bombings. This Bush administration is not as bad as the Nazis. They do pay when they muck up.
What, us torture? Read this from Newsweek.
And get more of Z's articles on these topics over at Usavoice, here, here and here.