Can we stop covering the Anna Nicole Smith trial and poor Britney's struggles with addiction? Our government has tortured Jose Padilla to sheer madness on U.S. soil. The trial started yesterday and I heard NOTHING on the news last night on any of the TV stations.
Torture is immoral, cruel, permanently destructive to a person's mental capacity and most of all, completely ineffective.
I can't think of one reason why the government would try to torture this man. Besides being completely unconstitutional, and the fact that he's a US citizen held for 3 years without trial. He was subjected to severe sensory deprivation and bombardment, physically harmed and completely destroyed mentally to the point where he now has the mental capacity of a child.
Now remember, he didn't actually DO anything to harm anyone. He's only accused of "plotting" to do something or "having an acquaintance" who may have been doing something, and that case is tentative at best since much of it is either circumstancial and now based on "information" they received from him under torture which by definition makes it unreliable.
This is a US citizen like any of us that the government stripped of citizenship without even the ability to see a judge or an attorney. They tried to desaparecido (a term I use to refer to "The Disappeared", people governments in South America picked up never to be seen again) him. Make him disappear.
Listen, I have no idea if Jose Padilla was "plotting" with so-called terrorists or not. The entire point of our justice system is that if someone accuses you of something, you have a right to be treated with respect and dignity, and within a short period of time, you have a right to know what those charges are defend yourself of the charges.
Does our government have the right to do that to US, US citizens?? This government believes so and only because the courts overruled do we even know as much as we do. Now the government is on trial for torture in a US court.
By my count, the government has broken at the very least the 5th, 6th and 8th amendments (Bill of Rights-see below) to the Constitution and an argument could be made for the 7th also.
So this is my question...
If Padilla, a US citizen arrested at an airport in Chicago on US soil and held without access to counsel or the court system until the government was forced by the appeals courts to charge and try him, is indeed found to have been cruelly and unusually punished ie tortured at the order of the Bush Administration to the point of severe mental instability at a Navy base in South Carolina, does THAT rise to high crimes and misdemeanors as did the Clinton affair?
Will anyone pay for the contempt this administration has for our laws, our rights, our way of life?
Not if the completely absent media has their way. Except for a story by The Nation magazine and a story in the Chicago Trib yesterday and one other by the BBC, I can't find anyone else covering this trial!!
This is the trial of the century taking place in Miami, and the full blown media is obsessed to the point of obsurdity with covering the trial in Ft. Lauderdale over who gets to bury a dead woman's body, one of the myriad of lovers or her mother.
What a shame on us to not fight to protect our ownselves...
What a shame on the media to miss the fact that US government torture of a US citizen on US soil is on trial in a courtroom just a half hour away from the circus they are covering as "news"...
Sometimes it feels like I'm the only person paying attention...
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.
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.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.