Digby treats us to the latest sickening details of the sickening saga of American citizen, the Brooklyn born Jose Padilla (who, according to an NPR account I heard this morning, told a Miami court he wishes his name pronounced more in accordance with the usual Spanish pronunciation (rhymes with "tortilla") as opposed to how his attorney Andrew Patel told me (rhymes with "Godzilla") in his interview with me here.
Needless to say, after asserting the right (a right it still insist it has, and indeed, under which it still holds legal resident Saleh Al-Marri) to just ignore the Constitution on the say-so of the President ("he's an enemy combatant-- and not an Anglo-Caucasian Protestant-- so lock 'im up without due process and throw away that thar' key"), it appears that the government, beyond merely holding Padilla in indefinite extra-legal limbo, engaged in what amounts to methods used in egregious Soviet style torture (isolating and disorienting Padilla for years, forcing him to stand in stress positions, sleep deprivation, etc.) to the point where psychiatric experts say that he is unfit to stand trial.
Now that Mr. Padilla's mind appears to have been damaged, if not destroyed, of course, by the government's own actions, the government says it can now see clear to incarcerate him in a psychiatric prison-- exactly the way they would in... the Soviet Union! Thus far, not a single charge has been proven, and the original bases to hold Padilla (the "dirty bomb" plot, and later the apartment bombing plot) have fallen apart, leaving only a very vague conspiracy theory that the trial judge assigned has grave doubts about.
And thus, without ever having to prove a thing, the government has taken it upon itself to have the power to incarcerate and torture a citizen (claiming it can do so because it won't use any "evidence" obtained through the torture against Mr. Padilla!) and nthen, having driven him to madness, claim the right to continue incarcerating him, again without trial.
Mr. Padilla is a citizen of this country. Even if he is guilty of everything he is accused of (and throughout the war on terror, when the government has been required to prove its accusations in court once and for all for those for whom it claimed it could evade due process, it has folded every single time, without exception) our Constitution is supposed to prevent this sort of thing. That's, you know, what's supposed to make us "better than the terrorists."
And yet... because Padilla is a Latino ex-gang-banger who converted to Islam... the outrage isn't there. Just galling... not to mention maddening.
Not sure if you've seen these amazing videos of the US military in Iraq or not...unreal
Posted by MinorRipper at January 4, 2007 8:58 AM