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I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bringing Jose Padilla to "justice"

By Hume's Ghost

Jose Padilla, the American citizen who was held without charges for three and a half years after being designated an enemy combatant by President Bush "two days before District Court Judge Michael Mukasey was to issue a ruling on the validity of continuing to hold Padilla under the material witness warrant," whom was transferred into civilian custody on indictments other than the "dirty bomb" claims the administrations had made to justify his loss of his rights as a citizen in a transparent ploy to avoid Supreme Court review of the administration's actions, is now being charged with conspiracy to "kill, injure or kidnap people overseas as part of a global Islamic terrorist network."

But even now the administration is still failing to make a case against Padilla. The AP reports that

A federal judge ordered prosecutors to turn over more evidence to back up allegations that Jose Padilla and two co-defendants conspired to kill, injure or kidnap people overseas as part of a global Islamic terrorist network.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke said Tuesday she agreed with claims made by defense attorneys that the indictment against Padilla and the others is "very light on facts" that would link the defendants to specific acts of terrorism or victims.
Jose Padilla spent 3.5 years of his life in jail, for charges that the administration is not willing to test in a court of law. Yet it is now bringing a case against Padilla that is "light on facts." This administration was willing to void Padilla's rights and lock him away indefinitely on the President's say-so, and it is bringing forth a case that is "light on facts."

This is not justice. It is injustice.

But for a President that may have been willing to torture a mentally challenged man for political reasons, asking George Tenet, "you're not going to let me lose face on this, are you," I suppose it's par for the course.

Recall that in Keith Olberman's report "The Nexus of Terror and Politics" (see here for the video, here for the transcript) he noted that the announcement of Padilla's detention happily came at a time that the administration was being criticized for failing to act on pre-9/11 opportunities to break up the hijackers' plot.

June 6th, 2002. Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent who tried to alert her superiors to the specialized flight training taken by Zacarias Moussaoui, whose information suggests the government missed a chance to break up the 9/11 plot, testifies before Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Graham says Rowley’s testimony has inspired similar pre-9/11 whistle-blowers.

June 10th, 2002. Four days later, speaking from Russia, Attorney General John Ashcroft reveals that an American named Jose Padilla is under arrest, accused of plotting a radiation bomb attack in this country. Padilla had, by this time, already been detained for more than a month.
Draw your own conclusions.

As an aside, the Washington Post's review of Ron Suskind's new book, The One Percent Doctrine, (linked above) reinforces the idea that the administration is operating under the assumption that "all is possible." This point is made by Cheney himself, who expressed the logic as such: "If there's a one percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response."

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