The Bush administration is rounding up people it thinks may be terrorists, sending them to the four corners of the world and detaining them in secret prisons. No one knows who these people are, where they are, how many there are, what crimes (if any) they are suspected of, how long they will be held and under what conditions, or what is being done to them. They are in an "invisible universe," as reporter Dana Priest aptly described it ["CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons," front page, Nov. 2].

Never mind the issues of legality (both in the letter and spirit of the law) and morality that these actions raise. The practice is clearly both illegal and immoral. But how about this question:

What will happen when the governments of other countries start labeling U.S. soldiers and mercenaries "terrorists" and decide to set up secret detention centers (read: torture chambers) to hold them incommunicado for years on end -- or perhaps for the rest of their lives -- without informing anyone whom they are holding or where they are?

This outrageous practice must be terminated immediately. These people should be publicly acknowledged and either charged with a crime and tried in a court of law or released.

JOANNE HEISEL

Columbia

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I was disgusted by Dana Priest's story.

It revealed secret information damaging to our nation's war on terrorism. It endangers lives of Americans here and abroad and could "out" hundreds of CIA operatives in Europe.

All just to get a scoop. Disgusting.

ELLIOT COHEN

New York