Padilla Convicted of Terrorism Support

Jose Padilla was convicted of federal terrorism support charges Thursday after being held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant in a case that came to symbolize the Bush administration’s zeal to stop homegrown terror.

Published in: on August 16, 2007 at 3:23 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. from the August 13, 2007 edition –
    US terror interrogation went too far, experts say
    Reports find that Jose Padilla’s solitary confinement led to mental problems.
    By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor


    Jose Padilla had no history of mental illness when President Bush ordered him detained in 2002 as a suspected Al Qaeda operative. But he does now. The Muslim convert was subjected to prison conditions and interrogation techniques that took him past the breaking point, mental health experts say.

    Two psychiatrists and a psychologist who conducted detailed personal examinations of Mr. Padilla on behalf of his defense lawyers say his extended detention and interrogation at the US Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., left him with severe mental disabilities. All three say he may never recover.

    from the August 14, 2007 edition –
    US Gov’t broke Padilla through intense isolation, say experts
    Despite warnings, officials used 43 months of severe isolation to force Jose Padilla to tell all he knew about Al Qaeda.
    By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

    When suspected Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla was whisked from the criminal justice system to military custody in June 2002, it was done for a key purpose – to break his will to remain silent. As a US citizen, Mr. Padilla enjoyed a right against forced self-incrimination. But this constitutional guarantee vanished the instant President Bush declared him an enemy combatant.

    from the August 15, 2007 edition –
    Beyond Padilla terror case, huge legal issues
    His detention and interrogation in the US raises basic constitutional questions.
    By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

    Jose Padilla is known worldwide as the man who plotted with Al Qaeda to detonate a radiological “dirty bomb” in a major US city. He allegedly presented his plan to top Al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubaydah and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But according to US intelligence reports, both men doubted Mr. Padilla could pull off the attack.
    Thursday, August 16th, 2007
    EXCLUSIVE: An Inside Look at How U.S. Interrogators Destroyed the Mind of Jose Padilla

    In a Democracy Now! national broadcast exclusive, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Angela Hegarty speaks for the first time about her experience interviewing Jose Padilla for 22 hours to determine the state of his mental health. Padilla is the U.S. citizen who was classified by President Bush as an enemy combatant and held in extreme isolation at a naval brig in South Carolina for over three-and-a-half years.


    The lost Padilla verdict
    What should’ve gone on trial were the administration’s tactics in detaining the one-time “dirty bomber” suspect. By Stephen I. Vladeck

    If there has been one common theme in the Bush administration’s handling of the myriad legal challenges to its conduct of the “war on terrorism,” it has been the government’s tendency to change the playing field just when defeat seemed imminent. No case has better encapsulated this trend than that of onetime alleged “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, who was convicted by a Miami federal jury Thursday on all three of the lesser terrorism charges against him.

    Those verdicts are being called a vindication for the White House, but the real triumph came when the government succeeded in avoiding a decision on bigger, more crucial issues. That is the important Padilla precedent.

  3. WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 — Broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include — without court approval — certain types of physical searches of American citizens and the collection of their business records, Democratic Congressional officials and other experts said. Administration officials acknowledged that they had heard such concerns from Democrats in Congress recently, and that there was a continuing debate over the meaning of the legislative language. But they said the Democrats were simply raising theoretical questions based on a harsh interpretation of the legislation. They also emphasized that there would be strict rules in place to minimize the extent to which Americans would be caught up in the surveillance.

    The dispute illustrates how lawmakers, in a frenetic, end-of-session scramble, passed legislation they may not have fully understood and may have given the administration more surveillance powers than it sought. It also offers a case study in how changing a few words in a complex piece of legislation has the potential to fundamentally alter the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a landmark national security law. Two weeks after the legislation was signed into law, there is still heated debate over how much power Congress gave to the president.

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