Thursday, August 16, 2007

Padilla verdict


So a Miami jury has convicted Jose Padilla of something or other. Judging by what was reported of the trial, the "evidence" they were provided was so flimsy that I can only conclude he is guilty of being both brown-Puerto Rican and Muslim.

The jury was never told that Padilla was tortured for 3 and half years.

Padilla is an experiment -- on him, to observe the effects of different forms of torture -- on us, to see if we'll put up with the corruption of our polity. It seems to have been quite successful.

Have we really become such a cowardly nation that we shit our pants in the face of paper-thin threats? And are willing to torture people to try to calm our fears? Apparently all too often.

I agree with Lew Koch writing before the verdict at Firedoglake:

Regardless of the verdict, ... the name Padilla will now go down around the world, next to those of Sacco and Vansetti and Koramatsu and Gideon and Miranda as people who put our United States Constitution to the test.

For the moment, the people of the United States are flunking the test. I don't mean just the jury. I mean all of us -- including especially Congressional Democrats -- who claim to represent our better possibilities.

3 comments:

Nell said...

I blame the jury least of anyone for this shameful travesty. The judge's behavior and decisions all through the process, the evidence and testimony excluded, in combination with the almost non-existent defense of Padilla's lawyers, made a conviction almost inevitable.

If this is not overturned on appeal, then it's over. Padilla was not tortured for information but for demonstration purposes. He would never have been brought to court at all if not for court rulings (actual and potential) against the regime.

Nell said...

Also, everyone should read Marty Lederman's post featuring the trial declaration of the head of the DIA, Lowell Jacoby, which asserts that access to counsel would interfere with the interrogation of terror suspects.

Vice Admiral Jacoby says that as if it's a bad thing...

johnieb said...

Padilla is an experiment -- on him, to observe the effects of different forms of torture -- on us, to see if we'll put up with the corruption of our polity

Is that a question? We always have.

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