Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Travesty of our Justice System

Jose Padilla (the much-hyped dirty bomber) was found guilty of supporting terrorist organizations. The fact that he was held incommunicado, without access to legal counsel, and without human interaction was not allowed to be mentioned in his trial. Regardless of whether he's guilty or not, the way our administration has treated him is abominable. Declaring him an enemy combatant and locking him away in a military prison with no access to legal representation and no means for him to challenge is imprisonment is unconscionable. The Fourth Circuit upheld his imprisonment without writ of habeas corpus and just before the Supreme Court was to rule, presumably against the administration, he's released to civil authorities and charged in Federal Court with aiding terrorists. Since the case is moot, the Supreme Court doesn't make a ruling which it also a travesty since the administration can do this again since the Fourth Circuit's ruling is the current law. The system has been gamed mightily and we are the losers. We've since learned that Padilla was the victim of sleep and sensory deprivation which made a huge psychological impact on him and he's essentially unfit to do anything. But since what was done to him doesn't fit the current administration's definition of torture--physical injury that leads to organ failure or death--it can claim he wasn't tortured. And since it only happened to one US citizen who is certainly a terrorist who planned to explode a dirty bomb, the evil we have committed in order to fight Evil is acceptable.

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