Jose Padilla, convicted criminal, is an American citizen. Prior to his conviction, he was entitled to the exact same rights as any other American citizen. Until, that is, the "decider" decided to declare him an enemy combatant, based on intelligence gained through torture. Padilla was denied his rights as an American citizen, and received treatment at the hands of the American government that is despicable, and probably resulted in him losing his mind.
For all of those members of the Newsvine Wingnut Brigade who like to prance around in their pajamas crowing about how "no Americans have anything to worry about," and how "you're only going to be tortured if you're a terrorist," here's an example for you. An example in which some unremarkable two-bit thug (could be your cousin, or your neighbor, or your sister-in-law's kid) got somebody suspicious and got into a situation which would have been completely f*cking impossible before the "commander guy" started usurping powers for himself that no President has ever had. The subsequent destruction of Jose Padilla, no matter how much of a punk gangster he may have been, rests on the shoulders of the people who support these unamerican and unjust corruptions of the American justice system.
From the article:
Padilla, we were told in 2002, was the key operative in an al-Qaeda plot to detonate a radiological bomb. The "evidence" against him was provided by two identified terrorists – Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah – who implicated him after being tortured. A third "witness," Ethiopian refugee Binyam Mohammed, likewise named Padilla after being tortured extensively by CIA-aligned thugs in Morocco. Among the methods used to break Mohammed was the expert use of razor blades to make tiny but exquisitely painful incisions all over his body – including his genitals.
After the bloody-handed simian who defiles the Oval Office designated Padilla an "unlawful enemy combatant," the Bush Regime consigned this American citizen to a Naval brig in South Carolina and systematically worked to destroy his will through psychological torture. A "Declaration" filed by a political hack named Michael Mobbs was presented as the functional equivalent of a grand jury indictment, and a separate "declaration" by Defense Intelligence Agency head Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby was offered to explain why Padilla could not be permitted due process of any kind, including conventional legal representation.
"Any interruption of the intelligence gathering process, especially from an external source [such as legal counsel], risks mission failure," insisted Jacoby. The key to extracting intelligence from Padilla, he continued, was "creating an atmosphere of dependency and trust between the subject and interrogator.... Anything that threatens the perceived dependency and trust between the subject and interrogator directly threatens the value of interrogation as an intelligence-gathering tool."