Sunday, February 18, 2007

Judge Orders Padilla's Military Jailers to Testify

Required for Con Law Students (Read Boston Globe Article)
Jose Padilla is an American citizen who has been detained for five years as an "enemy combatant." As Jurist stated:
Padilla, a US citizen, was arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and subsequently detained as an "enemy combatant" at a Navy military brig in Charleston, South Carolina. Padilla, initially accused of planning to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States, was finally charged in November 2005 on unrelated counts.
The Boston Globe reported: "His lawyers say Padilla was tortured, drugged and psychologically damaged during the 3-1/2 years he was interrogated and held in "extreme isolation" at a military brig in South Carolina prior to being charged in the civilian court." Jurist has an archive of its media coverage. The Supreme Court's decision dismissing Padilla's case on procedural grounds can be read here (pdf).


Anglestani said...

Anyone know what he's currently going to trial for?

Anonymous said...

What I am wondering is if the guy didn't do anything wrong, then why was he held for 3 1/2 years? Is it possible that a major disaster was avoided by detaining this guy?

You know, everyone wants to cry for this guy, but what if he had set off a "dirty bomb" in the middle of NYC? What would you say then?

There's nothing wrong with questioning the government, but don't question it just for the sake of questioning.

I'll be the first to speak out if the government has violated this man's Constitutional rights, but not until there is some hard evidence that this guy never qualified as an "enemy combatant".

We are at war! And I am surprised to see all those who were so gun-ho about the war on terror after 9/11 recently lose their will to fight.


Professor Davis said...

The constitution requires the government to prove guilt in order to imprison us. We are not required to prove our innocence in order to be free from imprisonment. Also, note that the government is not charging Padilla with plotting to detonate a dirty bomb - or with plotting to harm anyone in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Patriot, I agree with your premise, however it seems you advocate a "guilty until proven innocent" approach with your "hard evidence" requirement to prove he isn't an enemy combatant, rather than the reverse. Shouldn't the burden of proof be on the government?

Patriot II

Anonymous said...

I dont think he has been treated fairly at all. And seeing as President Bush was directly involved, what is the U.S coming to?

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why there even has to be litigation on the matter. What possible defense could the government even devise to prove that this man had anything to do with anything? It is quite clear that he was held for 3 1/2 years without trial (that whole speedy trial clause must not have meant anything) and had not even been informed of his "crimes" (i think i just saw the due process clause balled up in a trash can somewhere).
the government is turning into a sort of tyrannical police state, and honestly we as americans are standing by and letting it happen because of ignorance (masked by fear and "pre-caution"). i want people to realize that there is a rather bold line between safety and discrimination.

-the giant black guy

Muslim American said...

It seems as if the court is side-stepping the issue completely. The Constitution, does however guaruntee us freedom from the use of cruel and unusual punishment (8th Amendment). I am pretty sure extreme isolation and drugging are illegal under those grounds.

Now for my opinion of the case:
Utterly horrible. Intolerable. Mr. Padilla has yet to be charged with any wrongdoing in regards to the reason he was detained: minding his own business at Chicago O'Hare. This is insane, why is there almost no SPOTLIGHT coverage! This man is being tortured on American soil by the navy! What about a writ of habeas? Even if he isn't guarunteed the right to a trial to prove he's innocent, he is guarunteed as an American protection from unlawful or wrongful detention. Also the Framers would have called the current administration the greatest evil to our constitutional republic by now. In the old days, we would charge Padilla with sedition or treason if he was acting to harm our nation, not declare him an enemy combatant so that sadistic sailors could experiment on the poor man! We're AMERICANS, what makes us any better than the Arab Evil Terror we have declared ourselves to be war with, if while the Behead people, we torture them with more and more inhuman techniques?

Welcome to Dick Cheney's America

FBI: I love America, please don't arrest me...

Muslim American said...

It is sad to see America's law system, once the world's light and hope for peace and democratic enlightenment sink to the level of Nasser's Nazi Egypt, or Stalin's USSR. How did G-d's Grace to mankind become so enfeebled by evil and hatred? Where did democracy go wrong?

We Elected a Republican. That's how.

bring democracy back to the USA

Anonymous said...

A few questions to clear things up here.

1) Do we want to win the war on terror?

2) Should prisoners of war be given a civilian trial?

3) Can US citizens be considered "enemy combatants"?

4) Should we allow the president certain powers during times of war?

5) And just how does everyone feel about the Japanese-Americans who were held in detainment camps during WWII? Was that justified?

My personal opinion is that all these terrorist suspects should go on trial. That way they can be convicted and then sentenced to death or life in prison. However, I am not going to shed a tear for someone who wants to kill innocent civilians if he doesn't get a trial.

I save my tears for the honest hard-working Americans who are victims of the system.


Propagandhi said...

Patriot you said, "I am not going to shed a tear for someone who wants to kill innocent civilians if he doesn't get a trial."

That assumes he is guilty. A big issue here is that the onus of proof is being put on him to prove his innocence instead of the other way around as enshrined in our constitution.

If he's guilty fine, then punish him but don't tell me the government doesn't make mistakes.

We have no reason to fear that the normal processes of law will be inadequate to deal with any situation, no matter how grave, that may arise in the future. But we do have a great deal to fear if we begin to lose faith in our constitutional ideals.

As for your questions, number 3 in particular, I don't think the President should have the power to declare a citizen an enemy combatant. I believe that is a violation of 1971 Non-Detention Act which states "No citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress." 18 U.S.C. §4001" This was put in place after we suffered as a nation under the 1950 Emergency Act.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

Propagandhi said...

On a related subject Here is an excert from a recent NYtimes editorial regarding Tuesday's decision from DC's Circut Court of Appeals:

In another low moment for American justice, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that detainees held at the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, do not have the right to be heard in court. . . . The right of prisoners to challenge their confinement — habeas corpus — is enshrined in the Constitution and is central to American liberty. Congress and the Supreme Court should act quickly and forcefully to undo the grievous damage that last fall’s law — and this week’s ruling — have done to this basic freedom. . . . Congress should not wait for the Supreme Court to act. With the Democrats now in charge, it is in a good position to pass a new law that fixes the dangerous mess it has made. Senators Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, and Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, have introduced a bill that would repeal the provision in the Military Commissions Act that purports to obliterate the habeas corpus rights of detainees. . . .

Muslim American said...

1) Yes. We do want to win the "War on Terror", which is poorly named, as I have yet to see us target Hindu terrorists in South India, or the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, or Greek seperatists in Cyprus. But to win this war, we need to stick to the law system we have in place, not for the sake of sacred tradition, but because our law system is the most equitable and just we can afford at the moment.

2)Define "prisoners of war"--what do you mean by that? Do you suspected American traitors such as Padilla, or idiots like Rasul who pranced into Afghanistan in search of "naan" (Rasul is Pakistani-Briton who literally heard stories of the large sized bread served in afghanistan known as "naan", and so decided to go to Afghanistan in order to eat some. See the documentary "Road to Guantanamo" for more info) during the US's invasion in 2001? Or possibly do you mean people with guns who killed other people.

3)I think the court has ruled on this issue. I personally believe no, Americans who betray the flag should be tried for treason (like the Rosenburgs).

4)The President's powers are enumerated, and in times of crises should NEVER be expounded upon by any Justice (we don't need another Marshall court in other words), for history has taught us to fear bestowing more power into the hands of individuals when battles are being waged. (recall Julius Caesar, Hugo Chavez, Ruholla Khomieni and Shah Pahlavi of Iran). There is especially no need for more power as Article 2 gives the executive ample listed strengths to conduct business in times of conflict: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, and of the Militia of the several states..."

5)Fred Korematsu went as far as to get plastic surgery done in order to fit more safely into American society following the Peal Harbor bombings. He had an Italian-American girlfriend (who left him after he spent a decent time in FBI custody) who he met after he lost his job as wielder when his union voted to expel all Japanese-Americans from their ranks. I give this information to show you how horrible a place America had become following the advent of WW2. Charles Burdell, a prosecutor in a case against American citizen Min Yasui actually argued the "genetic disloyalty" of the "inferior race" that the Japanese belonged to. The internment of Japanese Americans was racist and humiliating, as was the Court's decision to allow FDR to treat law-abiding citizens as cattle or sheep. We cannot accept the Japanese internments because they were bigoted and evil. German Americans were never treated in this manner because of their white complexion.

Propagandhi said...

Here is an excerpt from an interesting editorial.

For the whole editorial go to

"Now that Padilla's mental state is the central issue in the case, the government prosecutors have a problem. The CIA and the military have known since the early 1960s that extreme sensory deprivation and sensory overload cause personality disintegration--that's the whole point. "The deprivation of stimuli induces regression by depriving the subject's mind of contact with an outer world and thus forcing it in upon itself. At the same time, the calculated provision of stimuli during interrogation tends to make the regressed subject view the interrogator as a father-figure." That comes from Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation, a 1963 declassified CIA manual for interrogating "resistant sources."

The manual was based on the findings of the agency's notorious MK Ultra program, which in the 1950s funneled about $25 million to scientists to research "unusual techniques of interrogation." One of the psychiatrists who received CIA funding was the infamous Ewen Cameron of Montreal's McGill University. Cameron subjected hundreds of psychiatric patients to large doses of electroshock and total sensory isolation and drugged them with LSD and PCP. In 1960 Cameron gave a lecture at the Brooks Airforce Base in Texas in which he stated that sensory deprivation "produces the primary symptoms of schizophrenia."

There is no need to go so far back to prove that the US military knew full well that it was driving Padilla mad. The Army's field manual, reissued just last year, states, "Sensory deprivation may result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, depression, and anti-social behavior," as well as "significant psychological distress."

If these techniques drove Padilla insane, that means the US government has been deliberately driving hundreds, possibly thousands, of prisoners insane around the world. What is on trial in Florida is not one man's mental state. It is the whole system of US psychological torture."

Muslim American said...

It brings back scarey images of Pakistan and Iran under the I'm going to have nightmares.