The beginnings of an heroic decision


RF247546Jose Padilla, a half deranged, tortured individual taken to the brink of insanity by the sole super power left in the world, has managed to muster courage that an entire nation of mentally sound people could not come up with to begin the process of bringing Bush Administration officials to justice!

Mr. Padilla was held as an “enemy combatant” in solitary confinement for more than three years in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Padilla, who was convicted of supporting terrorism and other crimes, demands that Mr. Yoo be held accountable for actions that Mr. Padilla claims led to his being tortured.

During the time Mr. Padilla was held in the brig, according to his filings in the case, he “suffered gross physical and psychological abuse at the hands of federal officials as part off a systematic program of abusive interrogation intended to break down Mr. Padilla’s humanity and his will to live.”

In the 42-page ruling, Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco characterized the conflict as one that embodies the tension “between the requirements of war and the defense of the very freedoms that war seeks to protect.”

Let’s not overlook the courage of Judge White, a Bush appointee who some are lauding as delivering a pretty legally sound opinion to allow Padilla proceed with his action. Of course there are all sorts of other legal hurdles this decision has to face, appellate and possibly a Supreme Court review; the neocons will not allow the precedent of one of their own be tried, much less found guilty, for torture and no doubt the disposition of this case is a long way off, but at least it has started, and it took a man huddling in a cell somewhere to get the process started.  How brave and noble!

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waterboarding lady liberty

Disgraceful


larry_franklinLarry Franklin committed espionage against the US and has gone free!

A former Pentagon analyst who pleaded guilty to passing secret information to two former AIPAC staffers had his sentence drastically reduced.

Larry Franklin was sentenced to probation and 10 months of “community confinement,” or a halfway house, along with 100 hours of community service. In 2005 he had received a sentence of 12 1/2 years in prison but was free pending his cooperation with prosecutors in the case against the two formers AIPAC staffers, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.

Federal prosecutors dropped the charges last month against Rosen and Weissman for passing classified information, saying that restrictions the judge had placed on the case made the government unlikely to prevail.

In a Thursday afternoon hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., prosecutors asked Judge T.S. Ellis to reduce Franklin’s sentence to eight years, saying he played an important role in the case but was “not what you’d call an ideal cooperator.” Franklin attorney, Plato Cacheris, said Franklin had “paid his penalty and suffered greatly,” and should not have to serve any time in prison.

People sit in Gitmo Bay for years and years and are denied access to the judicial system and their only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time!  If America doesn’t right the mis-application of justice so that those who are guilty get justice, and those who are innocent are expeditiously given recourse to the legal system and released, then there will continue to be chaos on the national and international fronts which will see America becoming more deeply entrenched in its militancy and isolation.