Padilla Round-Up

Alright- I have had some time to read all the reactions (well, many of them) to the Padilla verdict, and they range from the benign to the chest-thumping on the right (bonus wingnuttery- watch Hot Air try to tie Padilla in to the Oklahoma City bombing. And no, I am not making that up), and from sanguine to thoroughly outraged on the left.

I guess where I stand is as follows- I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why?

It couldn’t have impacted our current operations in Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere- this guy was convicted for attempting to do undetermined bad things in Chechnya. I haven’t seen any allegations he was a terrorist mastermind or anything like that- not to pick on Taco Bell employees, but I doubt it is their planning genius that has them spending their days taking orders and handing out salsa packets. And hell, if he is that big of a threat, now that we have him convicted, let’s try him on the real charges- the dirty bomb, the apartment bombing schemes. You know- the reason we grabbed him in the first place.

So, why?

The only thing I can think of is that after they realized there was no real plot to dirty bomb, or blow up apartments, the only thing they could do to save face was to lock him up forever- which I think they would have tried to do, had the SCOTUS not rumbled.

At any rate- convictions of criminals and terrorists are supposed to inspire confidence in our system of justice and our government. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am not inspired by anything that has happened in this case. Quite the opposite. I am profoundly uncomfortable with the notion that our government can grab anyone they want (Oh- but they won’t- if you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t have to worry!), say whatever they want about them in the press, do whatever they want with them for years on end, and then try them for completely different things. Al Qaeda would have to come a long way and take some serious effort to hurt me- the FBI has an office a few miles from me and the feds apparently now have a license to do whatever the hell they want with someone, so long as they think he is a bad guy. Understand? For obvious reasons, that should bother every American.

Don’t get me wrong- if Padilla is in fact a threat, I want him locked up, too. You can throw him next to the Unabomber and John Walker Lindh and Eric Rudolph and other traitors, if in fact he is a terrorist. I just think the way this all went down, all of us were deprived of ever knowing if he really was a threat.

That bothers me, and it doesn’t inspire confidence in the way our government works.

79 replies
  1. 1
    Zifnab says:

    I guess where I stand is as follows- I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why?

    It’s called setting a precedent. Today Jose Padilla, tomorrow the world. Because if one American can be tossed in solitary for half a decade without a single criminal charge, the government can feel free to expand its grasp to the next target on the line. Padilla was an exercise in political muscle-flexing. The White House wanted to see how long they could successfully fight the Constitution, and how much they could get away with before someone stopped them.

  2. 2
    qwerty42 says:

    yeah, the whole Chateau d’if – “Man in the Iron Mask” business is more wrong than can be imagined. It seems more appropriate to divine-right monarchs of – say – France before the Revolution or Russia before and after the revolution. Or Brazil.

  3. 3
    Tax Analyst says:

    I posted this in the previous thread a couple minutes ago – before this thread was put up, but I’ll put it here as well:

    The discord isn’t about whether Padilla was guilty or not. It’s about whether it’s acceptable for our government to abridge the rights of any citizen just because they “think he’s a bad guy”. If Padilla really did wrong it could have been proven in a court of Law in a manner that still acknowledged and protected his individual rights, and it could have been done several years ago. Is it so radical to ask for no more than that in the case of any American?

    BTW – My position does not equal “this guy wants the terr-er-wrists to win”.

    If you think so, well, then you’re a moron.

    I guess this pretty much just paraphrases John’s thread opening post.

    And no, this trial does not inspire confidence in my government in any way whatsoever, and the damage goes a lot further than anything a former gang-punk and alleged minor terrorist figure could have done.

  4. 4
    dslak says:

    if Padilla is in fact a threat, I want him locked up, too.

    Unfortunately, being a threat is not enough reason to lock up somebody.

    For the violation of his rights in the course of his “prosecution,” Padilla ought to be set free or have his time counted as served. If anyone wants to bitch about “a known terrorist” being set free, blame it on the government. It’s what we do when evidence is seized in violationg of the Fourth Amendment. Of course, I’m sure the Bush administration would simply argue that the Constitution is a threat to our security.

  5. 5
    Perry Como says:

    Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why?

    To show that they can. It’s going to be interesting to watch the wingers’ reaction the first time some militia men get rounded up and treated this way by President Hillary. And no, I won’t agree with it then either.

  6. 6
    dslak says:

    I don’t think they violated his rights to show that they can. They violated them because it was necessary to conceal just how badly they had violated them.

  7. 7
    grumpy realist says:

    Do we have ANY self-proclaimed “conservatives” in this government who demonstrate they understand checks-and-balances? Or why we don’t want Star Chambers? Or introducing “evidence” produced by torture?

    Whatever happened to all that old distrust-of-the-government stuff?

    For someone who supposedly majored in history at Yale, our President doesn’t seem to have shown any knowledge of actual history.

    I’m starting to feel like I’m living in Renaissance Venice under the rule of the Ten….

  8. 8
    Jake says:

    They do it so they can say shit that makes us puke:

    “We commend the jury for its work in this trial and thank it for upholding a core American principle of impartial justice for all,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House. “Jose Padilla received a fair trial and a just verdict.”

    Yeah, we won’t talk about all the screaming that had to happen to get him to a court room.

    I wonder what this means for the Terrorist Master Minds who wanted to blow up the Sears Tower (right after they ran out of pot) and “Kill JFK” a second time.

  9. 9
    Perry Como says:

    Who has done more to terrorize the American public: the administration or Jose Padilla?

  10. 10
    Dulcie says:

    I don’t think they violated his rights to show that they can. They violated them because it was necessary to conceal just how badly they had violated them.

    dslak, that’s exactly right. They tortured this guy until he lost his mind, and then tried to cover it up. It almost worked, except for SCOTUS.

  11. 11
    Mike says:

    Lindh’s conviction was also based on stuff they tortured out of him. And while his actions don’t look particularly good, he’s another one we’ll never know the full truth about.

  12. 12
    Fledermaus says:

    I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer?

    The gov’t actually had to answer this question and their basic response was: We had to keep him away from all non-military contact becuase if they brought him to court or let him see a lawyer it would give him hope that he would have a trial and possibly be found innocent and this would undermine their attempts to get him to confess and spill to goods on everyone else.

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    Of course, I’m sure the Bush administration would simply argue that the Constitution is a threat to our security.

    It’s not a suicide pact if that’s what you mean.

  14. 14
    myiq2xu says:

    I think Padilla is a wannabe terrorist who wasn’t even bright enough to get a full time job with al Qaida. At best he would have made a good patsy, like Oswald.

    He’s not innocent, just stupid. But after building him up into the biggest threat since Lex Luthor, the government couldn’t admit they only busted al Qaida’s part time janitor.

  15. 15
    dslak says:

    It’s not a suicide pact if that’s what you mean.

    While it gets bandied around a lot, I’m not even sure what this means. I would assume however that the process of amendments takes care of whatever it’s supposed to be an objection to.

  16. 16
    jnfr says:

    From Salon’s report:

    By the time Hegarty got to examine Padilla, the (Christian Science) Monitor says, tests put his mental abilities at the level of someone who had experienced brain damage. But asked what caused the trauma evident to all the defense experts who examined him, even Padilla wouldn’t say.

    “I can’t talk about what happened to me because it is classified,” Hegarty says he told her.

  17. 17
    Jim Treacher says:

    …watch Hot Air try to tie Padilla in to the Oklahoma City bombing. And no, I am not making that up…

    You kind of are. Here’s what he said (emphasis mine):

    Yeah, I’m the guy who started the Padilla/OKC John Doe #2 speculation when Padilla was first arrested… And we never could rule Padilla out of (or in) the OKC bombing. I don’t think he was involved in that, but not being able to definitively rule him out by placing him in prison or some place else at any key moment of the OKC timeline has always bugged me.

  18. 18
    jnfr says:

    Oh, and this:

    Actually, according to the Monitor, today’s verdict may have come as happy news to Padilla. He was terrified that if he were acquitted, President Bush would declare him an enemy combatant again and move him back to the brig. Angela Hegarty, a forensic psychiatrist who examined Padilla, told the paper that “there is no question in my mind that his first and most important priority is to not go back to the brig. This is what leaves me chilled, if one were to offer him a long prison term or return to the brig, he would take prison, in a heartbeat … He told me more than once that if he went back to the brig he knew what he had to do.” What he “had to do,” Hegarty said, is commit suicide.

  19. 19
    Fledermaus says:

    I would also add that like others I would have had no problem with the verdict if the proper proceedures were followed.

  20. 20
    John Cole says:

    You kind of are. Here’s what he said (emphasis mine):

    Yeah. He is just throwing it out there- cuz ya can’t rule it out!

  21. 21
  22. 22
    jaime says:

    Freeper Chest Thumping:

    One more down, one billion to go. We might as well surrender if we have to have trials convictions and incarcerations for them all.

    This is the coveted Republican ‘base’. I’ve never been more frightened of my country.

  23. 23
    Jay B. says:

    John, the “thoroughly outraged on the left” post by Lew Koch was written in advance of the verdict. While angry, it was mainly angry about the same basic point as you brought up — why did the government shred due process to “get” these gimps?

    And Jim, And we never could rule Padilla out of (or in) the OKC bombing. I don’t think he was involved in that, but not being able to definitively rule him out by placing him in prison or some place else at any key moment of the OKC timeline has always bugged me. I think we can say the same thing about you. Hmmmm…where was Treacher when the Murrah blew up? I’m not saying he was involved, but since I can’t definitively rule him out, he’s got to be considered a possibility for John Doe #2. Sure I don’t think you are. But who’s to say for sure?

  24. 24
    John Cole says:

    The Freepers are no more the base than the DU is the Democratic base.

    Are their times when their idiotic rhetoric and ideas bubble up? Unfortunately, too frequently to mention. Are the freepers over-represented in the right-wing blogosphere? No doubt.

    But as much trouble as I have with the GOP, I refuse to accept that they are the “base.” Base, yes. The base? No.

  25. 25
    jaime says:

    But as much trouble as I have with the GOP, I refuse to accept that they are the “base.”

    It’s not you anymore, John.

  26. 26
    Jim Treacher says:

    Hmmmm…where was Treacher when the Murrah blew up? I’m not saying he was involved, but since I can’t definitively rule him out, he’s got to be considered a possibility for John Doe #2.

    Yep, exact same thing.

  27. 27
    Rick Taylor says:

    I think you’re right. And this is what’s happening with lots of prisoners in Guantanamo who aren’t terorrists. Once the government had imprisoned them, it couldn’t let them go without admitting a mistake, and many of them would be at risk because we’ve branded them terrorists, so we just keep them imprisoned because we don’t want to admit a mistake and don’t know what else to do.

    –Rick Taylor

  28. 28
    Tax Analyst says:

    Jim Treacher Says:

    …watch Hot Air try to tie Padilla in to the Oklahoma City bombing. And no, I am not making that up…

    You kind of are. Here’s what he said (emphasis mine):

    Yeah, I’m the guy who started the Padilla/OKC John Doe #2 speculation when Padilla was first arrested… And we never could rule Padilla out of (or in) the OKC bombing. I don’t think he was involved in that, but not being able to definitively rule him out by placing him in prison or some place else at any key moment of the OKC timeline has always bugged me.

    That’s some of the most slip-shod logic I’ve ever read…even on a political blog. Especially when you consider what is known about McVeigh’s politics. It’s really hard to picture Jose Padilla having hung out with Timothy McVeigh & friends.

    …or do you think McVeigh was rail-roaded to the Death Chamber? And if so, by whom exactly?

    “Hot Air”, indeed.

  29. 29
    Perry Como says:

    But as much trouble as I have with the GOP, I refuse to accept that they are the “base.” Base, yes. The base? No.

    Have you watched any of the GOP debates? Doubling Guantanamo? Freepers are sooooo the Republican base.

  30. 30
    Jim Treacher says:

    …or do you think McVeigh was rail-roaded to the Death Chamber? And if so, by whom exactly?

    Rove!

  31. 31
    David Hunt says:

    John Cole: I guess where I stand is as follows- I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why?

    David Hunt: This is speculation but…They kept him from a lawyer because some other poor bastard that they caught and tortured eventually started giving up any name that he attach any degree of credibility to and said that Padilla was trying to detonate a “dirty bomb” because that is what his torturers wanted to hear and he was trying to make the torture stop. The government then snatched up Padilla and held him without charges or representation and torture the snot out of him because some poor bastard had named him as a major terrorist. They wouldn’t let him at a lawyer at first because they wanted to torture their way through through all the terrorist in the U.S. and get them all. They wouldn’t let him see a lawyer later because the Bush Administration is incapable of admitting being in the wrong in any fashion.

    Sorry about my total incompentence with html codes like quotes

  32. 32
    Rick Taylor says:

    This is America. We take innocent people and put them on an island with no possibility of defending themselves. We practice innovative forms of torture involving humiliation. Sometimes we’ll snatch someone in another country and spirit them away to a place like Syria that does the torture for us. I will never ever ever forgive the Republican party for what they’ve done to my country. I doubt I will ever understand how George Bush won a second term of office in 2004.

    –Rick Taylor

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    He told me more than once that if he went back to the brig he knew what he had to do.” What he “had to do,” Hegarty said, is commit suicide.

    Sounds like he just threatened to commit asymmetrical warfare against the United States. How is this guy not a terrorist?

  34. 34

    […] John Cole writes at Balloon Juice: I guess where I stand is as follows- I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why? […]

  35. 35
    Salty Party Snax says:

    I do think the Right should be given the pleasure of burning this guy at the stake. It will give them the kind of happiness they feel is missing from their lives.

    A good public burning will also have the benefit of confirming much of what the left believes about the right.

    Paging Robert Coover!

  36. 36
    Tsulagi says:

    One more down, one billion to go. We might as well surrender if we have to have trials convictions and incarcerations for them all.

    Okay, I can see the possibility of innocence and acquittals never jumped on board his/her train of thought. LOL

    Maybe to speed things up so we don’t have to surrender, the freepers will come up with a brilliant solution steeped in our Christian heritage that predates that damn hate-America document, the Constitution. A new millennium solution since 9/11 changed everything.

    Inquisition by bullet! Shoot the potential terrorist. If he dies, God agreed with your judgment. If he lives, umm, apologies. Don’t bitch about the hole, though, just be thankful you’re innocent; freedom isn’t free.

  37. 37

    Victories are so rare in this war. Can’t we just let them savor the moment without bitching about it?

  38. 38
    rachel says:

    Marvel Comics has killed off Captain America because he no longer represented the American way. His replacement, a Mr. R. Skull, is expected to be a much more apt exemplar of our current governing philosophy.

  39. 39
    Dreggas says:

    rachel Says:

    Marvel Comics has killed off Captain America because he no longer represented the American way. His replacement, a Mr. R. Skull, is expected to be a much more apt exemplar of our current governing philosophy.

    You sure his name ain’t Skeletor?

  40. 40
    cleek says:

    It’s not a suicide pact if that’s what you mean.

    it’s also not a set of casual recommendations that can be tossed aside when they feel inconvenient.

  41. 41
    JL says:

    John, What upsets me is that commenters on some sites missed reading about the trial and the evidence the prosecution presented. A finger print on the front and back of five pages and ending with a video of Osama. I’m tired of saying that 9/11 changed everything. We are a better nation than that.

  42. 42
    Wilfred says:

    Let’s recount the last three trials discussed here: 6 marines admit to murdering an innocent Iraqi and covering up the crime – all released with time served, maximum of 440 days. Scooter Libby is convicted of a felony but Bush deems the sentence too much and voids all jail time. Padilla gets life for having his fingerprints on a form.

    The usual racist shit.

  43. 43
    Dave says:

    The Always rational Ace chimes in:

    Padilla: Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

    On all three charges.

    Via Hot Air, the Daily Kos — the new center of American politics — is almost unanimous in their previous hopes for acquittal and current heart-ache over his conviction.

    Now that’s what I call patriotism — emotionally investing in the fate of a Al Qaeda terrorist who conspired to craft a dirty bomb with which to kill or at least terrorize Americans.

    These motherfuckers would be rooting for Osama bin Ladin to beat the rap were he captured rather than killed.

    Is it too much to ask that those who pose as favoring law enforcement over military measures in fighting terrorism take the next step and actually, you know, support law enforcement measures and hope for good outcomes?

    Ah. I guess that is too much for the Kossuckers.

    However when you hop over to the Kos diary referenced

    Reading the diary and scanning through the comments I don’t see anyone rooting for acquittal and a handful complaining about the conviction.

    Way to project there Ace!

  44. 44
    Dreggas says:

    Dave Says:

    The Always rational Ace chimes in:

    What a dipshit.

  45. 45
    CaseyL says:

    We are a better nation than that.

    We say that – even I say that – but it’s not true, and I don’t think it ever was. The roll call of atrocities is long and depressing. Just from WWII on: the internment of Japanese-Americans, the HUAC and McCarthy years, the spying on/infiltration of/arrests and beatings of civil rights and anti-war activists, the War on (Some) Drugs… and now, the “War on Terror.”

    We’ve had, really, just two Presidents who didn’t do their share to expand the police state: Ford and Carter. Even Bill Clinton initiated extraordinary detention, and approved the Clipper Chip (the toddler that grew up to be the NSA surveillance program).

    That’s just 6 years out of the last 60.

    The biggest difference is that, thanks to the Net, we know more about it, and can talk more about it.

    Whether greater knowledge and discussion actually changes anything is not yet known. The 2006 election has led to more disclosure of Executive Branch crimes, but hasn’t stopped them, nor even brought the perpetrators to account.

    The only hope, in the long run, is for the citizenry to make better decisions about which politicians to elect and force them to honor the Constitution.

    In the meantime, keep contributing to organizations like the ACLU, the Innocence Project, and any other group that will bring legal challenges to the police state.

  46. 46
    jnfr says:

    We used to be a better nation than that, before we let our fear rule us. I like to think we’ll be a better nation again some day.

  47. 47
    JWW says:

    Hey John,

    I currently live in the largest city I have ever been associated with. When someone gets killed via gang shootings, it bothers me. It doesn’t matter that it was 25 miles on the other side of town. A man who kills a man on the southside, has no problem killing a man on the northside. Location of the threat has no bearing, when a man has a mission, terrain may be a conflict but location does not. If Elm St is not right, move to Maple St only two blocks away. I don’t fear my government, they can listen all they want, they can see all thay want, they are not going to detain me for trivial violations. Do I trust them? No. A terrorist is what he or she is, where or when they plan to accomplish the deed does not matter. Plans change and it could have moved from Asia to Europe to America, with just one phone call.

  48. 48
    jake says:

    Especially when you consider what is known about McVeigh’s politics. It’s really hard to picture Jose Padilla having hung out with Timothy McVeigh & friends.

    Maybe Timmy hung out with blind Skinheads?

    After McVeigh was executed Dana Whorebacker came out with his report that really, really wanted to prove there was an Middle Eastern/McVeigh connection but couldn’t quite cobble enough circumstantial evidence into anything more than “Gee, we wish he hadn’t been executed.”

    But proving a Middle Easterner was JD #1 would rule out Padilla completely so I guess the Freepers wouldn’t like that.

  49. 49
    JWW says:

    As far as detainment, if I have reason enough to detain a person who is plotting to blow up or attack a sand castle on the beach, he will be detained and have no access to outside sources. Solitary confinement may be a blessing. John Cole, have you ever been in a maximum security prison? If not, we are not talking about “Cool Hand Luke” when it comes to solitary confinement. You don’t enter smart and come out stupid these days. In fact, it is to some, the best way to go. As far as lawyers, bottom feeders are always ready. They have no honor, even within the law practice.

  50. 50
    cynn says:

    I’m sure these are difficult cases to prove. And I applaud our judicial system for seeing this through. Still, it would have been nice to have specific charges alleged up front, and speedy conventions observed. Unless and until the legislature defines “terrorists” or whatever and exempts them from regular due process afforded to all citizens, we’ll see more of this extraordinary crap.

  51. 51
    norbizness says:

    “Now that’s what I call patriotism—emotionally investing in the fate of a Al Qaeda terrorist who conspired to craft a dirty bomb with which to kill or at least terrorize Americans.”

    Jeez, that story was abandoned by the government back in 2004 or 2005.

  52. 52
    Pb says:

    Agreed, John–it’s that whole “Constitution” thing. You know, the Federalists weren’t too keen on the idea of having a Bill of Rights in the first place, because it’d be difficult if not impossible to enumerate all of our implicit, inalienable rights, period. And, interestingly enough, that’s the position some on the Supreme Court have often taken with respect to such Amendments that refer to those rights–except that they assume that because these rights aren’t enumerated, they don’t exist. I think that if there had previously been any doubt, there should be none now–Bush has proven that the Anti-Federalists were right. His answer? Just ignore the Bill of Rights!

  53. 53
    Anne Laurie says:

    This is the coveted Republican ‘base’. I’ve never been more frightened of my country.

    I’ve never been more frightened for my country.

    Five years and who-knows-how-many hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the best legal minds the Oval Office could buy… and we end up “convicting” some no-hoper wannabe, basically, of not being smart or mean enough to survive whatever the minions of the Global War on Adjectives did to him. When he was first arrested (as a distraction from the latest White House screw-up-du-jour, if I recall correctly), I think the great minds behind Operation Yes We CAN Sniff Through Your Panty Drawers, or whatever the NSA was calling it that week, wanted to “set an example” by turning Padilla into a human Guy Fawkes dummy. Unfortunately, in the ensuing years, too many Americans have come out of their post-911 funk and/or decided that Dubya’s Brain Boys couldn’t be trusted to housesit a bowlful of goldfish over a long weekend much less make competent choices against our “enemies”, so televising Padilla’s prolonged execution via pay-per-view no longer looks like a marketable proposition…

    The people responsible for this travesty, and that includes whoever told Dubya where to sign his name on the original executive order, couldn’t have done more to hurt America if they’d been taking their paychecks directly from Osama bin Laden.

  54. 54
    Dave says:

    Shorter CaseyL:

    Truth.

  55. 55
    Dave says:

    Five years and who-knows-how-many hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the best legal minds the Oval Office could buy

    The best? how about the most acquiescent.

  56. 56

    What’s bothering me is a crazy thing… I’m not sure he’s guilty of anything.

    Have you read his application? It’s mostly blank. There’s exactly one questionable item on it, claiming he moved through Yemen for purposes of Jihad. Jihad doesn’t just mean “killing people”. In fact, many Muslims feel that Jihad is *only* the holy struggle to be righteous, not actual warfare. (How many Christians have misinterpreted Jesus saying he came “not to bring peace, but a sword”, and then talks about how people will be arguing and upset – not killing – one another?)

    He’s broken… he was pissed off at his lawyers for a stern cross examination of an FBI agent, for undermining the Commander in Chief’s authority. If he’s that broken, why isn’t he confessing to his crimes?

    And he asked his mom to try to get Bush to intervene.

    To me, it sounds like he didn’t actually do anything wrong, that he sees this as a big misunderstanding, something that Bush could set right.

    Okay, yes, he’s broken, so he’s a bit nuts, it’s hard to reason from this. But remember, they couldn’t show him to be even talking in code, and his AQ application included the devastating war-making skill of carpentry.

    The model of “stupid ex-gang banger who found religion and was trying to help Muslim charities” might not be as crazy as it might seem to those who are remembering talk about dirty bombs and blowing up apartment buildings.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    The best? how about the most acquiescent.

    Why I said “the best… they could buy”. From what we know of the current Oval Office occupants, they didn’t waste much time soliciting assistance from people with a history of actually, y’know, “following the law” or “unbiased reasoning” or any of that helpin-the-terrust kinda jive.

  58. 58

    […]  From Balloon Juice, via Avedon Carol: I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why? […]

  59. 59
    myiq2xu says:

    Wingnuttia would love to tie al Queda to the OKC bombing. Then they wouldn’t have to be ashamed that the 2nd worst terrorist incident on US soil was committed by an all-American war hero who looked like Opie.

    I’ve been the the OKC Memorial and it’s chilling. Fuel oil, ammonium nitrate and a Ryder truck.

    I remember right before it happened, there were all kinds of militias forming and the talk radio chatter was off the hook. Clinton was President so any talk of assassination or revolution was patriotic, not treasonous.

    G Gordon Liddy made some comment about “jack-booted storm troopers” wearing vests, and advised his listeners to aim for their heads. Waco and Ruby Ridge were talked about like Lexington and Concord.

    When the bomb went off, everybody suspected that it was Arab terrorists. A few Arabs were even detained. The War Machine started to warm-up.

    The only debate among Wingnuts was whether it was Saddam or Khaddafy that was behind it. Iraq or Libya? The general consensus was we should smash both of them, just to be sure.

    But when Tim McVeigh was charged and his picture shown on television, Wingnuttia went silent. He was one of theirs, root, tree and branch. So was Eric Rudolph.

    And they stayed quiet until 9/11. Oh, they squealed and shrieked about Monica’s blue dress and demanded impeachment, but all the talk of violence was 86’d.

    But after 9/11 they came back out of the closet. Since one of their was President, they talked of killing Democrats as traitors. They did everything but burn crosses and start goose-stepping.

    Let’s see how patriotic they are when a Democrat is sitting in the Oval Office. Especially if that Democrat is either black or a woman named Clinton.

    Padilla was such a threat he couldn’t even be allowed a trial? Come on, he couldn’t blow up a balloon.

    Unlike McVeigh, or Rudolph.

  60. 60
    Person of Choler says:

    Simple analysis of Padilla’s conviction.

    The Bush Administrated wanted it.

    The right wingnuts are happy about it.

    Therefore, it is wrong.

  61. 61
    Redhand says:

    Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why?

    Because we have dictatorial scum in the White House who don’t know the first thing about the way our system of government is supposed to work, and couldn’t care less if it interferes with their sick need for power. It all goes back to Dick Cheney’s explanation for going to Baghdad in 2003 vs. 1991: “9/11 changed everything.”

    Is it any wonder that truther lunatics think 9/11 was a latter day Reichstag fire? The Bush Administration seized on this tragedy to justify anything and everything. They’ve made “national security” an excuse for undermining our basic rights time and again.

    Who would have thought, before this mob got in office, that the American government would openly espouse torture as a legitimate exercise of power? Gonzales’ slimy testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee shows that they’re still trying to get away with it.

  62. 62
    Redhand says:

    As far as lawyers, bottom feeders are always ready. They have no honor, even within the law practice.

    To JWW. I happen to be a lawyer and you, Sir, are a complete idiot.

    Note to John Cole. I retract my prior suggestion that “personal attacks” should be out of bounds here. Some people deserve them.

  63. 63
    norbizness says:

    Person of Choler: That would be true, apart from the fact that the Bush Administration had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into even bringing charges in a criminal court… and the charges they brought were significantly less grandiose than the dirty bomb allegations originally floated.

  64. 64

    I’m sorry, but what exactly did Padilla do? I want to know so that I don’t accidentally do it the next time I go to Trader Joes.

  65. 65
    NickM says:

    It should bother every American that potentially, they could be thrown in jail forever if they piss of the wrong politician or agent, but it doesn’t. Because it’s never going to happen to Instapundit, or Pammy, or Ace, or the Cap’n, or the blogger who goes around threatening to beat other guys senseless with his penis, or any of them. Neither does Dobson have anything to worry about, or Norquist, or Limbaugh or the guys who produce 24. Nor, frankly, almost anyone at the country club or the megachurch out on Route 46.

    Have any of that crew ever been concerned with the rights, liberties or happiness of someone named “Jose”? Why should they start now?

  66. 66
    pharniel says:

    because a riot is an ugly thing…..
    and this country has proven along with frnace that if a man is insecure in his women, or his life, he has nothing more to fear and will rebel. machiveli.
    sun tzu said something similar, but i can’t remember the quote.
    but when enough people start to think that the game is unwinable, they change the game.
    and rarely does the changed game ANYTHING better than the original.
    Our country’s formation was an anomoly, almost every revolution since has been bathed in blood and co-opted by psychopathic madmen.

  67. 67

    […] Coulda, would, shoulda? So the government claims it could have proven its case if it would have respected Padilla’s rights in the first place, which it should have all along. […]

  68. 68
    Tim in SF says:

    Scooter Libby did far more damage to this country than Jose Padilla ever did. Guess which one is going to prison forever?

  69. 69
    ATS says:

    My Lord, how they must all wish his name were Yassir Mohammed, or Abdullah Hezzbollah!
    And if only Fat Jack’s name had been Hamdi Hamas.

    There would be clamor to free Jonathan Jay Palestine!

  70. 70
    timb says:

    NickM, thanks for not mention the penis slapper by name. He would have his disciples here in a heartbeat, hurling insults and the like.

    …Anyway, I think John nailed this one. This guy was no danger to the US and could have been handled — easily — by our existing criminal structures.

    In my humble ACLU-esque opinion, he should be set free on probation, so he can help with the civil suit against the government which turned his small brain into jello. I suppose Ace would think that’s impolitic.

  71. 71
    keatssycamore says:

    I don’t believe Tim McVeigh got a fair trial under our system (the prosecution withheld many bits of evidence from the defense that they were not entitled to withhold) and the Dem cheerleaders, on this board at least, ought to recognize.

    Which is to say, recognize that Clinton got the Patriot Act ball rolling. Recognize that prosecutors’ and prosecutions are, sometimes, not fair because the State doesn’t always play fair. And recognize that ALL administrations of any political stripe play the cover-up ballgame and don’t care who takes the fall, or how hard the fall is.

    In other words, be cynical and suspicious of the State. We have to guard our personal liberties zealously because government naturally wishes to take them away from us. I’d suggest purchasing a gun, but we all see how well that worked for Randy Weaver under the Poppy Bush regime.

    That said the PADILLA case is several orders of magnitude more serious, at least as serious as the Japanese internment and almost as serious as Lincoln’s outright suspension of Habeas Corpus.

    Side note, here’s a brilliant article about just one aspect of the McVeigh case that prosecutor’s withheld from the defense and it just so happens to be a story about John Doe #2. Sidenote for the Hot Air idiot, John Doe #2 does not remotely resemble Jose Padilla.

  72. 72
    cleek says:

    Which is to say, recognize that Clinton got the Patriot Act ball rolling

    yeah, but Bush kicked it in while the keeper was cowering in the corner of the net. give Clinton the assist if you like; Bush got the goal.

  73. 73
    JWW says:

    Redhand or is it redhanded,

    In the current day, I can be caught redhanded, if I have enough money for a legal team, I am found not guilty or not responsible,(unless I have offended a organized and established “Stand up for group”. If I have the right lawyer, I can find a way to prove the police in the investagation don’t like my race, religion,lifestyle, or shopping habits or whatever. If I am stupid enough to put an extremely hot cup of coffee between my legs and get scorched, most would chalk it up as experience, “don’t do that, it hurts”. Tis a shame but most lawyers are willing too sell their sole on a big case. They really have nothing to lose.

  74. 74
    JWW says:

    Redhand,

    Let me as you a question, if a person is caught on video tape robbing a store at gunpoint, is there a need for a jury trial? Do we need to tie up the system for months and await a full trial? Can’t a Judge listen to the circumstances and apply the law in accordance with the statutes for the offense.

    Should I be able to file and win a lawsuit, when the sign says “Do Not Jump From Bridge, Shallow Water” so I dive off the bridge and break my neck. I sue the county and and am rewarded with several million. I am paralyzed, and now rich.

    I’m only 13, I was involved in an armed robbery, as I exited the store I pointed a pistol at the officer. I was shot, now I am paralyzed, but my lawsuit has made me a millionaire.

  75. 75
    JWW says:

    Tim,

    What exactly did Scooter Libby do?

  76. 76
    Aaron says:

    JWW- Scooter Libby repeatedly lied under oath to a grand jury investigating an act of treason- the outing of a covert cia agent.

  77. 77
    scarshapedstar says:

    I guess where I stand is as follows- I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why?

    What’s not to understand? For chrissakes, John, the government already told us. And I am not making this up.

    Developing the kind of relationship of trust and dependency necessary for effective interrogations is a process that can take a significant amount of time. There are numerous examples of situations where interrogators have been unable to obtain valuable intelligence from a subject until months, or even years, after the interrogation process began.

    Anything that threatens the perceived dependency and trust between the subject and interrogator directly threatens the value of interrogation as an intelligence-gathering tool. Even seemingly minor interruptions can have profound psychological impacts on the delicate subject-interrogator relationship. Any insertion of counsel into the subject-interrogator relationship, for example — even if only for a limited duration or for a specific purpose — can undo months of work and may permanently shut down the interrogation process. Therefore, it is critical to minimize external influences on the interrogation process.

    If you couldn’t grok that Orwellian fascist-speak, here, let me translate: their goal is to convince Padilla that he will spend the rest of his life in sensory deprivation with daily beatings until he dies. The poor bastard didn’t even know he was in court, I guarantee it. The government wouldn’t allow it. That would have given him hope. Hell, he didn’t even know his case had come before the public. He is constantly blindfolded and earmuffed and they shuttle him between prisons every day, just as they have for the past three years.

    In short, they want to break him by convincing him that this isn’t America anymore. I can’t speak for Jose, but they’ve certainly convinced me. Hell, I’ve always thought it was pretty obvious: they realized a long time ago that this kid has no information. Occam’s Razor tells us that the government simply doesn’t want to admit they fucked up big time. But I can’t help but suspect a darker motive to treating a U.S. citizen in such a fashion: “This could be you.”

    Prove me wrong, motherfucker. I remember the zombie stares on the faces of Bush voters circa 2004. Padilla was a cause for celebration, not introspection. You guys loved this kinda shit. Maybe you’ve woken up the morning after and terrorizing your own citizens ain’t so pretty, but all your friends took pictures of it and you’d better think up a good explanation, because it looks to me like Padilla is just what the Reich wing was rooting for.

  78. 78
    JWW says:

    Aaron,

    Read the history of Libby and Fitzgerald. Read the case law. In reality Libby had nothing to do with Plame and she was not a covert. Those who did identify her were charged with nothing. She may very well be in court for perjury in the case.

    President Clinton was found guilty of perjury, he is free, no fines, no jail, just lost his license to practice law. George Bush made that possible.

    Look at it in equal terms.

  79. 79
    Glen says:

    Sorry to be late to comment, but Zifnab’s first comment was entirely correct: it was done to set a precedent. Others’ comments — variations on “to show that they can” — are also on the mark, but the precedent is the most dangerous.

    Another, even more dangerous precedent was also set: nobody did anything for years; until Padilla was turned into a walking vegetable. This should have been challenged in days, if not hours. I’m mildly surprised that there haven’t been seismic events all along the East Coast: the Founders spinning in their graves, wailing. Well, not literally surprised: I’m an atheist, and I think that when you’re dead, you’re dead. Fortunately, for them; unfortunately for we the living. Very unfortunately for those who have children, or just know children we’re fond of.

    I’m using a phrase more and more in conversation: it was a nice republic while it lasted. That is, of course, a one-off from Benjamin Franklin, who, when asked what form of government he envisioned: A republic, sir, if you can keep it.

    Last, to paraphrase Monty Python: nobody expected George W. Bush. True. But some of us recognized him when he walked into the room. He came armed with the comfy pillows…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Coulda, would, shoulda? So the government claims it could have proven its case if it would have respected Padilla’s rights in the first place, which it should have all along. […]

  2. […]  From Balloon Juice, via Avedon Carol: I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why? […]

  3. […] John Cole writes at Balloon Juice: I guess where I stand is as follows- I still do not understand why it was necessary to keep this guy in solitary confinement until he was basically a grunting vegetable. I just don’t. Why was it necessary to violate his rights as a citizen? Why keep him from a lawyer? Why? […]

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