Days, weeks and eventually months passed until June 23, 2006, when he received another notification about another hearing, scheduled in July. The rules were the same. But this time, the proceeding lasted much longer. The array of military officials also had more specific and pointed questions, particularly about his relationship with Sheikh Abd Al-Sattar. They also wanted to know how he was being treated and what he would do if he were released.
The hearing ended with no more indication about his status. But several days later a woman from the U.S. embassy came to take a picture of him, saying she needed it to make a new passport, he said.
Then, late in the afternoon on Aug. 9, he was moved to another building and told he would be transferred. The next morning he was put in a Jeep with another American being released. The two were sent to the Baghdad airport where he was given another passport and put on a military flight to Jordan.
About two months later, the sheikh he had once worked with appeared publicly with Gen. David Petraeus, touting the recently formed the Anbar Awakening Council, which led the much heralded – although controversial – alliance between the military and the Sunni tribes in Anbar. The translator believes he'd been held to keep him quiet about the U.S. relationship with this man.
Though his detention is over, the effects have lingered. He tried to get back pay from his contractor but was rejected. He says they told him he was still on a blacklist. And every time he goes in and out of the U.S., he says he is interrogated and his belongings are searched for hours.
"I suffered a lot and my family suffered a lot," he said. "And the persons who are the reasons for me suffering are having a good time."