Kafkaesque case of Jose Padilla continues

The past five years of Jose Padilla’s life have epitomized a living hell. To say that his life has been ruined is an understatement.

The Bush administration has leapt from one absurd accusation to the next completely undisturbed by the glaring inconsistencies of their case. The prosecution’s objective is the same now as it was 5 years ago when the Chicago gang-banger was first arrested at O’ Hare Airport as an alleged “dirty bomber”, that is, keep Padilla behind bars for the rest of his life.

As with the detainment of David Hicks, the government has no case to present, but for some absurd reason, refuses to allow this man to go free. Perhaps because he has become to mentally ill that unlike Hicks, he cannot even manage to negotiate a plea bargain.

One has to ask themselves, what kind of sick mind and sick system does this to someone?

Padilla has been in solitary confinement for the last 5 years. During that time he was drugged, humiliated, and tortured—all of the practices which have become commonplace under Bush. For the first 4 years he was deprived of habeas corpus and legal counsel. During that period, he was never charged with a crime. He was simply declared an “enemy combatant” and stripped of his rights. His arrest has been used to establish the precedent that Bush can arbitrarily imprison American citizens without filing charges. It is the very definition of tyranny.

The government has no case against Padilla and they know it. He’s merely a lab-rat in their experiment to expand presidential powers. The Washington Post even admitted this in an article earlier this week, “Few Specifics Evident as Padilla Trial Nears” 4-23-07. Padilla had no nuclear material, no plan to attack apartment buildings, and no part in any terrorist conspiracy. It’s all baloney. In 5 years, the government hasn’t produced a shred of evidence that Padilla is guilty of anything.

Padilla has become the sacrificial lamb for the Bush Administration propaganda machine. To let him go would mean to admit they have made a mistake, and given the attention this man has received, they can ill afford such an admission.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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