2007/08/18

Faint Praise of the Padilla Trial Obscures the Truth

In yesterday's Washington Post, Jenny Martinez, a Standford University law professor and lawyer for Jose Padilla (though not in his criminal trial), tries to detect the silver lining in the ruling. Setting aside that Padilla was convicted on flimsy evidence, by what appears to have been a biased jury, of a far different crime than the one that precipitated his detention and torture, Dr. Martinez spins the trial as a triumph over the Bu$hCo's attempt to dismantle our judicial system:
The trial showed that our federal courts are perfectly capable of dealing with terrorism cases... The Bush administration has claimed since Sept. 11 that the federal courts cannot be trusted with terrorism matters. It has argued that we should scrap our centuries-old constitutional protections and replace our system of checks and balances with one awarding the executive complete discretion to lock up whomever he wants, for however long he deems appropriate. The Founders rejected that kind of arbitrary and oppressive power. And the federal court in Florida has shown how weak the administration's case for abandoning the Constitution really is.
But the stark reality remains. Regardless what this trial showed, the Bush Administration does have the power to lock up Americans indefinitely and without recourse. That power was affirmed by the Supreme Court, and consider how much it worse it would have been for Padilla had he been arrested in late 2006 rather than 2002. In 2006, with its recently granted authority to co-opt the assets of anyone who opposes its so-called "wartime" policies, the administration could have decimated the Padilla family's finances long before the man ever came to trial. The net of punishment could have snared every member of his immediate family, perhaps even his friends and associates.

We now live in a nation of punishment without charges--conviction without trial--which is very convenient for the administration, as it saves them the embarrassment of bungling the prosecution of terrorism cases, and Dr. Martinez' sunny assessment does nothing to obscure that truth.

10 Comments:

Not to mention the fact that it's so much easier for them now that they can spy on us all via satellite at will. . .
"We now live in a nation of punishment without charges--conviction without trial..."
I had to reread, I thought I missed the bit about Australia.
At this point in the game, after all the bullshit, deception and fearmongering perpetrated by this bunch, it's comical that anyone thinks they've found a silver lining.

I'm telling you, only Bush eating a baby on live television will get the non-30-percenters 100% against these clowns at all times. Unless it's the baby of a terrorist. "He wants to put Gerber on your family, David!"
Not to mention the fact that it's so much easier for them now that they can spy on us all via satellite at will. . .

John... Good point. Though I'm inclined to view the whole satellite thing as a big waste of money. If the Feds want to spy on me picking my nose as I walk down the street, they could just as easily use Google Street View. ;-)

Cartledge... Sorry forgot to put it in. :-)
I'm telling you, only Bush eating a baby on live television will get the non-30-percenters 100% against these clowns at all times. Unless it's the baby of a terrorist.

Randall... Funny you should mention the, 'eating thing'... ;-)
Hey, if the cat's owner is a liberal...I'm just sayin'. :)
I saw this as well. Seems to me that when we actually have to let go all the gents in Gitmo because we have been violating their rights, the W, Rove and Co will have to hang their heads low for not following a perfectly good legal system that works in trade for the insane system they have operated under - where they think they are above the law.
We are trying now to let go of the "gents in Gitmo." We just haven't found a country willing to take them in or a country that will not mistreat them. So says our concerned President.
Windspike... Oddly, perhaps tragically, I don't think that
Dubya, Rove, and Co. will give it a second thought. These men have no understanding of anything beyond how power can be turned to their advantage.

Let's Talk... How about Leavenwoth, KS? Oh wait...that's not a country.
Excellent points all. We live in a police state. Big Brother has arrived. We are no better than any other fascist regime.

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