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Padilla Found Guilty on All Counts
August 16, 2007 12:18 PM   Subscribe

A verdict on Padillaand the US. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus (91 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here is the three part series on Padilla the Monitor has been running this week:

US terror interrogation went too far, experts say: Reports find that Jose Padilla's solitary confinement led to mental problems.

US Gov't broke Padilla through intense isolation, say experts: Despite warnings, officials used 43 months of severe isolation to force Jose Padilla to tell all he knew about Al Qaeda.

Beyond Padilla terror case, huge legal issues: His detention and interrogation in the US raises basic constitutional questions.
posted by homunculus at 12:19 PM on August 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -- Benjamin Franklin
posted by neuron at 12:33 PM on August 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


The biggest threats to freedom in this country are an ignorant and passive electorate, power-hungry public officials, irresponsible lenders, the baby boomers' demographic timebomb, lack of universal health care, automobile accidents, the degradation of the wall of separation between church and state, kids who won't stay off my lawn, and terrorism. In that order.
posted by mullingitover at 12:34 PM on August 16, 2007 [31 favorites]


Goddammit.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:35 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Atlas wept.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:43 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't care if they found him walkin' down the street with a pound of plutonium strapped to a pound of TNT - what they did to that dude was simply inhuman.
posted by notsnot at 12:47 PM on August 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


From the second link:
A jury will decide in coming days if an American citizen, Jose Padilla, is guilty of aiding Al Qaeda. The verdict will signal whether US civic values must be bent to win a war.
I don't understand how the verdict of this case has anything to do with "whether US civic values must be bent to win a war." That debate would seemingly have nothing to do with this jury.

The fact is, that question has already been answered, by the rest of the federal government's complicity in allowing the Executive branch to do what they've done in this case (and other cases).

Unfortunately, the two unrelated things will be tied together, in the court of public opinion. The fact that Padilla was found guilty will justify the means to many people, no matter how disgraceful and un-American the means have been. But I don't really think this jury otherwise has a lot of say in what goes down in the greater battle for protecting citizens' rights. To say that they do is to scapegoat the wrong group of people.
posted by Brak at 12:49 PM on August 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


OK; they got a conviction in a civilian court. No excuses anymore: everyone in Guantanamo should be indicted or freed by the end of the month.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:51 PM on August 16, 2007 [5 favorites]


.

(i'm so glad i'm on high-blood pressure medicine now. else this news might just have pushed me over the top to the big one.)
posted by saulgoodman at 12:51 PM on August 16, 2007


I guess they can get back to punishing the shit out of him then.
posted by chunking express at 12:54 PM on August 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than our everlasting Leaders.

(With apologies to Marcus Aurelius.)
posted by oncogenesis at 1:07 PM on August 16, 2007


I wonder if the jurors dressed up in red, white and blue again for the occasion.
posted by homunculus at 1:13 PM on August 16, 2007


Get the popcorn and settle in, kids. This one's gonna take a while.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:20 PM on August 16, 2007


:(
posted by zach4000 at 1:29 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


In other Law & Terror news: NSA wiretapping trial begins
posted by homunculus at 1:29 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, good. I feel safer already.
posted by deadcowdan at 1:30 PM on August 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think it's great that they found him guilty, but it's a shame the administration didn't have enough faith in our system to allow it to work.

The system we have works very well, so long as we don't go breaking our own rules.
posted by bshort at 1:32 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


homunculus: Wow. Is that true? It seems like such a thing would send the kind of signals most judges do not want being sent. I would think that a jury who showed up wearing the prosecution's team colors might not be the most partial.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:39 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


In other Law & Terror news: NSA wiretapping trial begins

Bush Approves Using Spy Satellites On Americans.
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on August 16, 2007


What mr_roboto and bshort said.

But it's a shame that to many, this conviction will be a vindication of the un-American treatment Padilla got before the trial.
posted by chimaera at 1:56 PM on August 16, 2007


Ignorance is strength.
posted by zennie at 2:01 PM on August 16, 2007


Time to edit these:
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:07 PM on August 16, 2007 [16 favorites]


mr_roboto, bshort, and chimaera:

what makes you so sure padilla was actually guilty of anything? after it dropped its dirty bomb charges, the government's case basically amounted to what they alleged is a paper-based application (in arabic, naturally) for admission to a terrorist training camp with padilla's fingerprints on it, and a number of allegedly "coded" telephone messages--meaning, conversations that didn't have any explicitly incriminating content, but that the gov't alleges had a double meaning.

should such shaky evidence really be considered as meeting the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt"?
posted by saulgoodman at 2:07 PM on August 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


to be fair, i wasn't there and didn't hear all of the gov't's case. but still, from what many of the people reporting on the case are saying, it sounds pretty far-fetched to me.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:18 PM on August 16, 2007


The system we have works very well, so long as we don't go breaking our own rules.

Tell that to the sea of black people sitting in your jails. Your system of laws sucks. After this conviction it still sucks. This is all irrespective of the fact the US basically tortured the shit out of some dude just because. That adds to the suckage, but i'm not sure how much.
posted by chunking express at 2:21 PM on August 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


The smoking gun has the justice department's original summary of Padilla's alleged activities here.

In reviewing it, I was struck by the number of times the document says "Padilla admits". If the jury hears only that the defendant admits these activities, and doesn't hear of any coercion, it's a natural case to make.

That said, the Al Qaeda application form looks pretty damning; it lists his correct birth date, unusual language skills for the region, and matches his previous travel stops exactly. I assume that his lawyers would have had it thrown out in an instant if any of these items could be shown not to be him.

At least he was in the justice system and not subject to a lettre de cachet sending him off to guantanamo.
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:27 PM on August 16, 2007


Dr. Angela Hegarty speaks for the first time about her experience interviewing Jose Padilla for 22 hours to determine the state of his mental health.
posted by homunculus at 2:28 PM on August 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase an Election, are Republicans.
posted by uosuaq at 2:33 PM on August 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


saulgoodman, I agree that the charges sound dubious. But to put things in perspective, they're at least plausible. The torture and disregard for the constitution was unambiguously criminal.

I haven't followed the case that closely. (I don't want to have to start taking blood pressure medication too.) Maybe Padilla's conviction is warranted, maybe it isn't. But let's focus our outrage where it really matters.
posted by Loudmax at 2:38 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe Padilla's conviction is warranted, maybe it isn't. But let's focus our outrage where it really matters.

loudmax: i hear you. i'm just curious to know if anyone here knows of any more substantial evidence (as opposed to circumstantial evidence) offered up as part of the gov't's case that i might not be aware of.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:51 PM on August 16, 2007


bshort writes "The system we have works very well"

Ha! Good one.
posted by mullingitover at 3:03 PM on August 16, 2007


this is such a giant crock--first he was the dirty bomber, then something else, then something else...

all bull.
posted by amberglow at 3:12 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


if weren't already the USSR, we are now, with this showtrial and what we did to him.
posted by amberglow at 3:13 PM on August 16, 2007


kirkaracha wrote: "Time to edit these"

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure [in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,] shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue. [but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized].

Amendment V
[No] Person[s] shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime. [unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger]; [nor shall] any person[s] [shall] be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; [and] [nor] shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, [nor] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; [nor shall] private property [shall] be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the [right to a speedy and public] trial. [by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.]
posted by Avenger at 3:16 PM on August 16, 2007 [12 favorites]


Nice work, Avenger.

Now that the government has convicted a terrorist through the judicial system, when are we closing Guantanamo and holding trials of the prisoners?

"We're gonna give you a fair trial, followed by a first-class hanging." -- Brian Dennehy in Silverado.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:20 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have not been following any of this. So excuse what might be a dumb quesion: putting aside what might have aken pace to question him, etc, did he or did he not board a plane with explosives in his shoes and if so for what purpose?
posted by Postroad at 3:27 PM on August 16, 2007


He was very angry that the civil proceedings were “unfair to the commander-in-chief,” quote/unquote. And in fact, one of the things that happened that disturbed me particularly was when he saw his mother. He wanted her to contact President Bush to help him, help him out of his dilemma. He expected that the government might help him, if he was “good,” quote/unquote.

this is beautiful -- the Lubyanka boys weren't nearly as good. and to think that they did it all in a naval brig, no need to take him to a CIA gulag, even. AAAA++++ would do torture again
posted by matteo at 3:27 PM on August 16, 2007


In a rebuke of President Bush, the American Psychological Association has resolved to condemn brutal CIA and military interrogations
posted by homunculus at 3:30 PM on August 16, 2007


Postroad, you're thinking of Richard Reid, the so-called 'shoe bomber.' Padilla was allegedly (still allegedly since this trial was about other things) involved in a laughable 'dirty bomb' plot.
posted by jedicus at 3:36 PM on August 16, 2007


That said, the Al Qaeda application form looks pretty damning

That would be the application form that was found by a CIA agent in Afghanistan who does not understand or read Arabic from among a pile of literally tens of thousands of documents and does not have Padilla's name on it anywhere but instead a supposed code name Abu Abdallah Muhair. What extraordinary luck. An application form that says nothing at all about al Qaeda and gives no hint at all what it is applying for. That would be the application form that curiously has Padilla's finger prints on the first page and the last page but none of the four interior pages. Fingerprints that exactly match the man who was held in prison blindfolded most of the time and handed all sorts of things for the last 5 1/2 years. Pretty damning.
posted by JackFlash at 3:44 PM on August 16, 2007 [11 favorites]


Tell that to the sea of black people sitting in your jails.

You mean because of ridiculous crack laws that their own communities and politicians demanded in the 80s?

1960s-style race rhetoric doesn't begin to do justice to the problems of today. We have the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world, militarization of our police, a justice system that's predisposed in favor of wealth, criminals in charge of the DoJ, and rampant physical and sexual abuse throughout our military and civilian prisons. That spells problems enough for people of any color outside of the ruling class.
posted by kid ichorous at 3:45 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Glenn Greenwald on the Padilla verdict.
posted by homunculus at 3:53 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's nice to see that BB has gloriously done away with this week's Goldstein. Let the next Goldstein be brought out! We have always been at war against this latest Goldstein, all right-thinking people know that already!
posted by clevershark at 3:57 PM on August 16, 2007


(long comment, sorry)
“But to put things in perspective, they're at least plausible”

That’s exactly the problem. The government switched the charges around from the initial “dirty bomb” bullshit after they’d had him custody for a while. So of course the charges are plausible, they had 3 years to crush his testicles to wring out of him whatever he had.
And indeed, they’d be plausible even if they were completely manufacured. They had enough time with him to do that.
But it is precisely the case that the 5th amendment is supposed to protect an individual from the government coercing a confession out of him.
He might well be guilty of a number of crimes, that those crimes actually occured and he did participate in them doesn’t legitimize a guilty verdict gained through the means the government used.
You can’t let your operatives pull someone’s fingernails out because they know he’s guilty.
You need proof derived from a source other than through the coercion of the subject himself.
Under no circumstances is Padilla’s conviction warranted. If I saw him on a battlefield and saw he was up to no good, I’d kill him.
The fact is none of the charges (?) by the government against him 3 years before he was held were part of the later indictment.
So (for the folks not paying attention) the government grabbed a U.S. citizen in the U.S., ostensibly as a material witness to testify before a grand jury. Then before a hearing was held on his release transferred him to a military brig as an “enemy combatant.”
Two days later his PD files a writ of habeas corpus. The court says that he has to be released. Ok, so Bushco appeals and the Supreme Court says Oh, yeah, the writ was filed wrong, so...SOL.
Ok, so it’s filed properly then (in south carolina) and that court says he has to be released. The Fourth Circuit court reverses it, and it goes back to the Supreme court where the government - still not having charged him, but having this cock-and-bull about the dirty bomb, changes course and sends him to a civilian prison on charges completely unrelated to anything he was picked up for or what the government has been alleging all along.
Now, judges are often pigheaded and biased, but they’re not blind.
The Fourth Circuit court which had gone along with this says “waitjustaminutehere” and lets the administration know that Padilla might have been held for years - even if justifiably - by mistake and detaining Americans without charges or trial is, y’know, bad, and they can roll with the system without screwing up the war on terror and look, we’re starting to think you guys are full of all kinds of bullshit on this now (to paraphrase Judge Luttig).
So the administration asked for and got permission from the supreme court to transfer Padilla.
So Padilla’s lawyers protest that and petition the Supreme Court who tell them to go to hell because he’s not in military prison anymore.
See? They’re saying, yeah, it’s an issue that he was held without charge for 3 years, but that’s not the case *right now* so forget it - but y’know, if he’s thrown back into military prison, maybe give us a call.

Now what? Well, the lawyers have to answer the charges that are now before them in civilian court which weren’t at all related to the charges Padillia had when he was held incommunicado.
So the trial begins and the government alleges Padilla was part of a conspiracy to harm all kinds of people. The defense (and the judge) say “who?” Well, according to the prosecution - anyone ‘cos terrorism is a random act of violence, so anyone can be a victim at any time.
The judge calls bullshit on that (disclaimer: IANAL) and he’s down to one count of conspiracy to materially aid terrorists. Later tho the court of appeals overturns that and the conspiracy to harm, maim, kill “somebody” is reinstated.
So now we have to have the evidence (after 4 years). One biggie is the application to the terrorist training camp (funny how bureaucratic those terrorists are, the IRA had reams of forms to fill out, you had to pass a drug test, have notarization, give references, be a member of the Rotary, etc.) under the name “Abu Abdullah al-Mujahir” - except, y’know, it has his fingerprints on the first and last pages on the outside.

Now I’m not going to speculate whether someone just handed the thing to him, but I will say I can drive a few miles out of town or to a number of locations in the U.S. and get trained in small arms usage, hand to hand combat, tactics, and a number of other quite anti-social things and pay cash without having to fill out any forms.
So the beef becomes Padilla is a terrorist vs. he was over there just to study.
Well really, at this point, who cares?
If I’m really a bastard (and I was) and I thought he was a terrorist and a threat, and no longer an intelligence asset, I’d’ve just killed him.
Why all the effort in this direction though? The trial, the show, everything else.
I mean, seriously, did anyone think he could possibly be found innocent even if he is?
(I was hopeful, but...)

Either you believe the government is actively lying about a number of things or you think the war in Iraq is still a good idea and all the rest of it.
Or you’re an agnostic - for whatever reason.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:58 PM on August 16, 2007 [24 favorites]


Breaking News
posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM on August 16, 2007


Really, we should have known when, at the beginning of the trial, the judge sent the bailiff out "to get some good strong rope".
posted by clevershark at 4:11 PM on August 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


(Re: the mediascape - I liked CNN’s footage from the ‘terrorist training camp’ with guys in black keffiyeh and mismatched camoflage throwing spinning back hook kicks and inside crescents at 10 year old beat-to-crap round Tae Kwan Do kick targets. Yeah, put on a field kit, rifle, harness, and get into a fight on uncertain rocky terrain, you’re gonna wanna throw some ariels in close quarter combat. Uh, huh. Who’s the Bond villian in charge of that place? & Good luck Jenna!)
posted by Smedleyman at 4:20 PM on August 16, 2007


Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the trial.


Avenger, why do you want gangsters and terrorists to *enjoy* their trial? I think I know who your sympathies are with.
posted by geos at 4:33 PM on August 16, 2007


Smedleyman:

Great post but in short "America is screwed"
posted by zouhair at 4:39 PM on August 16, 2007


That said, the Al Qaeda application form looks pretty damning

Really? Because I think it's more than a little odd that Al Qaeda would have applications. Is joining them like getting a job at Burger King? Do they need to know where to send your paycheck and who your In Case of Emergency numbers are?

I thought the whole point of Al Qaeda was that they were cellular and decentralized. More specifically, that they eschewed things like paperwork that would form a path which an investigator could follow to break apart a cell.

I don't doubt that there was an application, I just really question if it had anything to do with joining a terror cell.
posted by quin at 4:42 PM on August 16, 2007


Geos:

is that sarcasm? if not and if you're American, you seem stupid to think that the person that gets convicted is automaticly guilty.
posted by zouhair at 4:46 PM on August 16, 2007


thanks for straightening me out. Now when I board a plane and have to take off my shoes, I get angry and would like to know who was responsible for making me buy and wear socks
posted by Postroad at 4:49 PM on August 16, 2007


I liked CNN’s footage from the ‘terrorist training camp’ with guys in black keffiyeh and mismatched camoflage throwing spinning back hook kicks and inside crescents at 10 year old beat-to-crap round Tae Kwan Do kick targets.

I prefer the one with the guys climbing across monkey bars myself, but that one is good too.
posted by homunculus at 4:54 PM on August 16, 2007


Geos:

is that sarcasm?


I'm not geos, but I'm going to go with 'sarcasm'.
posted by Brak at 5:09 PM on August 16, 2007


Postroad: thanks for straightening me out. Now when I board a plane and have to take off my shoes, I get angry and would like to know who was responsible for making me buy and wear socks

And guess what TSA has in store for you after they catch some guy trying to smuggle explosives in a body cavity.
posted by JackFlash at 5:09 PM on August 16, 2007


Sad day for the U.S. justice system. Sad day for us all.
.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:46 PM on August 16, 2007


i've read it before, but it's just striking me now. al qaeda has an application? that in itself sounds like total bullshit. this isn't kinko's or mcdonald's, did they have a spot for "been convicted of a felony?" so i'm supposed to believe that a complex worldwide terror organization has an HR department that's doing background checks on applicants? do they also have a yearly review? i can just imagine the interview process.

"so, it says here you left your last job for lack of advancement opportunities? hmm, well, we can start you out at as a regional sleeper cell mgr. but..."

that's like having an application for la cosa nostra or a columbian drug cartel. that makes no sense to me. i've gotta read a bit more about that.
posted by andywolf at 6:23 PM on August 16, 2007


File the Padilla case with all the other recent terrorism bullshit under pretty damn thin, right next to the binary explosives plot to blow up planes that still has airports being run like camps for nasty children. Then there’s the plot to blow up JFK by igniting fuel pipelines in New Jersey. And the awful planned attack on Fort Dicks.
posted by Huplescat at 6:25 PM on August 16, 2007


Then there’s the plot to blow up JFK by igniting fuel pipelines in New Jersey. And the awful planned attack on Fort Dicks.

Was this the one planned by Alexyss?
posted by Maias at 6:28 PM on August 16, 2007


Vague threat of a radiological attack

EEK!
posted by homunculus at 6:31 PM on August 16, 2007


It's not over. I'm certain the verdict will be appealed.
And in a way, it's a slap in smirking face of the Bush administration.
He's not a dirty bomber.
He wasn't tried by military tribunal.
He won't be executed.
Where there is life, there is hope.
posted by the Real Dan at 6:34 PM on August 16, 2007


What's with the "Guesthouse Management" section on page 6 of the application?
posted by Challahtronix at 6:40 PM on August 16, 2007


that's like having an application for la cosa nostra or a columbian drug cartel. that makes no sense to me. i've gotta read a bit more about that.

"Al Qaeda is an equal opportunity employer. "

Christ. This is such bullshit. If the jury actually believed that Al Qaeda or COBRA or SPECTRE have employment apps that must be signed in triplicate and then forwarded to HR (which is located in a base underneath a volcano, of course) they all deserve to be sterilized.

Fuck, people are stupid.
posted by Avenger at 7:00 PM on August 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


filling out an application for something without actually going and doing that thing is not a crime. there's no real evidence he ever did anything except talk to people and fill out a form that he never sent anywhere.
posted by amberglow at 7:06 PM on August 16, 2007


and what Avenger and others said--there's no application to join terrorist groups.
posted by amberglow at 7:06 PM on August 16, 2007


Huplescat, you forgot Seas of David, who are either devout, militant, extremely organized and very violent Muslims who accidentally named themselves after a historic Jewish hero, or crazy homeless people who wandered around in bathrobes muttering to themselves.
posted by swell at 7:18 PM on August 16, 2007


“but in short "America is screwed"”

Well, that’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be. The whole ‘house divided’ thing. I don’t think it’s the dichotomy in politics that did this.
I think it’s the money and the stakes, that did this.
That’s why it’s so tragic. It doesn’t have to be this way. But people keep buying into this artificial division - truly, artifice. And paying with the wages of fear. From one end or another.

The hell of it is, it’s exactly the thin end of the wedge beguiling going on. It’s ONE guy.
Well, how about two?
And a third?
And so on.
Today it’s Padilla, tomorrow it’s me, next day it’s you.

The work is dispelling the illusion that playing along keeps one safe.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:33 PM on August 16, 2007


Also, Padilla did use the TOP SECRET AL-QAIDA CODE WORD. Nobody outside al-Qaida knows the TOP SECRET AL-QAIDA CODE WORD.
posted by swell at 7:42 PM on August 16, 2007


The system we have works very well

whenever i hear or see this statement, i'm reminded of my favorite quote from one of james lee burke's david robicheaux novels.

A lawyer says something similar to one of his clients -- who's been falsely imprisoned, abused by police, etc -- after he's finally freed. The man looks at the lawyer incredulously and replies: "You right, motherfucker. And it works for somebody else."
posted by lord_wolf at 8:22 PM on August 16, 2007


Nobody outside al-Qaida knows the TOP SECRET AL-QAIDA CODE WORD.

Zucchini?

Hold on, someone's at the door...
posted by ryoshu at 8:29 PM on August 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


America is broken.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:33 PM on August 16, 2007


I can't decide which group of people are more of an obscenity:

Those who think he got what he deserved (or, indeed, didn't get enough of what he deserved), or those who care about how he was treated but did nothing. (I'm in the latter camp, btw.)

It's a tough call.

The people who did this to him are, in some gruesome ways, understandable--their behaviour is filtered through a very warped sense of what! Must! Be! Done!

Actually, wait. I know who the worst people here are: the ones who cheer how he was treated, but are too cowardly to have ever done it themselves. So, large chunks of the upper echelons of the US gov't, in other words.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:38 PM on August 16, 2007


If the jury actually believed that Al Qaeda or COBRA or SPECTRE have employment apps that must be signed in triplicate and then forwarded to HR...

Actually, I'm pretty sure that COBRA, at least, does have an application.
posted by dseaton at 9:05 PM on August 16, 2007


let's not forget that people are also being killed in interrogation. these two got it by blunt force trauma.
posted by andywolf at 9:12 PM on August 16, 2007


torture documents released under foia. most recent released in jan. 07.
posted by andywolf at 9:19 PM on August 16, 2007


In other Law & Terror news: Americans may need passports to board domestic flights or to picnic in a national park next year if they live in one of the states defying the federal Real ID Act.
posted by homunculus at 9:35 PM on August 16, 2007


zouhair Geos: is that sarcasm? if not and if you're American, you seem stupid to think that the person that gets convicted is automaticly guilty.

No.
posted by porpoise at 9:59 PM on August 16, 2007


Please consider joining the ACLU.
posted by dorkwad at 10:44 PM on August 16, 2007


if you have not yet.
posted by dorkwad at 10:49 PM on August 16, 2007


Is Bush Administration Redefining New Spy Law?
posted by homunculus at 11:02 PM on August 16, 2007


Please consider joining the ACLU.

Oh, please. The time for playing nice and "working within the system" is long over. Please consider stocking up on ammo.
posted by oncogenesis at 12:26 AM on August 17, 2007


John Donne on torture -- April 17, 1625.
posted by EarBucket at 4:16 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the American Bar Association condemns President Bush's authorization of torture, 545-1.
posted by EarBucket at 4:26 AM on August 17, 2007


I really don't understand. How could Padilla have any kind of trial, after what was done to him? I thought his case would have to be thrown out the moment it saw the light of a court room, simply due to the gross violations of his rights.

How can there be any reasonable discussion of a trial, when the trial should never have happened? How can a judge allow such a trial, so long after any offense may have happened?

Who is who? What is what? How can anyone tell? Nothing is as it seems, everything is other than as it should. Where's the positive results expected by the Democratic take-over of Congress? How can one believe anything one doesn't experience directly oneself?

The supposed good guys vote the way the obvious bad guys want them to vote. Why is that, exactly? How can we know exactly why? Blackmail? Coercion? Bribes? Maybe the good guys really aren't good?

Red White and Blue! Rah rah! What does it mean anymore? Seriously, it has all become empty rhetoric. The substance has been discarded, all that's left is the slogans.

Not a nation of laws. "Liberty and justice for all" holds no exceptions. What kind of republic is it when leaders are not subjects to the law? There is no republic. There is no justice for all. There is nothing but a flag, and a bunch of people who once comprised a great nation, but who can't even manage to hold a fair election.
posted by Goofyy at 7:43 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, Padilla did use the TOP SECRET AL-QAIDA CODE WORD.S

"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine®"
posted by ericb at 8:30 AM on August 17, 2007


Re:ACLU
I get a lot of double takes at my POS truck, Amnesty It’l, ACLU across from the military and NRA stickers.

From the Donne link:
“If the Judge knew that he were innocent, he should suffer nothing. If he knew he were guilty, he should not suffer torture. But because the Judge is ignorant and knows nothing, therefore the prisoner must be racked and tortured and mangled.”

It’s exactly that ambiguity that is at work and seeks legitimacy in the U.S. today

“The time for playing nice and "working within the system" is long over. Please consider stocking up on ammo.”

Well, you can do both. Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Too often hawks attempting to look bad-ass forget the whole point of preparing for war - because you DO want peace.

But it can be overwhelming at times. Spent the night with some homeless folks (a Marine I know) who lost their friend in a train accident (guy got run over and killed) and these people are trying to survive on $150 a month (Illinois state food subsidy), eating McDonald’s and other crap food, having a few drinks just to ease the pain of being outdoors and isolated all the time and you turn around and stuff like this Padilla thing just jumps on you.

I feel like Oskar Schindler sometimes looking at my firearms thinking how many people they could feed if I sold them. And I think how much more time and effort we could all spend on helping people who need it if it weren’t for others who seem hell bent on oppression.

All this seems like somebody towing your car over a parking violation while you’re trying to put out a house fire.

So it is indeed tempting to spit on one’s hands hoist the black flag and start slitting throats.
But we can’t succumb to dispair or nihilism and we can never lose sight of the goal, even when and most especially when, the time comes when you have no choice but to create bloody mayhem.
That’s why resistance is such a science. Who do you shoot over the Real ID thing? Better to start chains of communication with like minded individuals and organize - quietly. Plenty of time for the loud stuff, which certainly does require preparation.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:19 PM on August 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well, you can do both. Si vis pacem, para bellum.

I now offically spend too much time here. I read this line and without scrolling down, I immediately knew that it was a Smedleyman comment.

I'm recognizing people's voices, it's freaking me out.

posted by quin at 2:40 PM on August 17, 2007


Secret Spy Court To Consider ACLU Request For Bush Spying Orders
posted by homunculus at 2:54 PM on August 17, 2007


Thoughts on Jose Padilla Verdict
posted by homunculus at 3:28 PM on August 17, 2007


Baltimore Sun Editorial : The Padilla crime -- ... Yesterday a federal jury in Miami found Mr. Padilla guilty. That's hardly a vindication of the administration. For one thing, no acts of violence or terror were linked to the man who was once said by President Bush to pose a "continuing, present and grave danger" to national security.
... Yet because of someone like this, the Bush administration was willing to junk the Constitution and redefine the legal system as it saw fit. That's the real crime....

posted by amberglow at 6:13 PM on August 17, 2007


Concern Over Wider Spying Under New Law
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM on August 18, 2007


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