Thursday, March 29, 2007

Junkyard Dogs

Behind the ostensible government
sits enthroned an invisible government

owing no allegiance and acknowledging

no responsibility to the people
--Theodore Roosevelt

Criticism in a time of war is essential
to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government
--Sen. Robert Taft, (R) Ohio

And it's bad, bad Leroy Brown

The baddest man in the whole damn town,

Badder than old King Kong

And meaner than a junkyard dog

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Jim Croce

For the purpose of this article, let's assume that Jose Padilla is the worst terrorist that ever targeted Americans, and is the spawn of the devil. In other words, he is a really bad guy, and we shouldn't like him, not even one jot. O.k., so now I stand convinced.

Yet there remains an area of disjunction between Mr. Padilla's evilness and his treatment in U.S. custody.

Mr. Padilla was arrested in May, 2002. Yes, Mabel, he was arrested. This is an uncontested legal term, entailing certain actions to follow. Nobody contests the fact or date of arrest. So there is no fog here.

But somehow, in violation of or ignorance of the law, he was transferred to a military brig. To the best of my knowledge, there is no basis in law in 2002 for a federal law enforcement agency to relinquish an arrested individual to the military. What federal code authorized this action?

Federal law enforcement can transfer AWOL and deserters to Department of Defense custody, but Padilla is a passport-carrying U.S. citizen, and his case should be granted dismissal due to denial of a speedy trial. The clock for determining hastiness of trial should start when you are arrested, not when you are released from non-habeus corpus illegal detention.

Yet a federal judge refused to dismiss charges last week, saying that Mr. Padilla's 3 1/2 years isolated in a Navy brig "did not count because he had not been charged" (Judge Reatains Terror Counts for Padilla, NYT, 3/24/07.)

The judge claimed that criminal charges only arose in 2005, when Padilla was added to an indictment here involving terrorism support. "Only then did the clock start for the Sixth Amendment right to a 'speedy and public trial,' Judge [Marcia] Cooke said."

It seems that the function of the court has been perverted to protect the administration, and not the Constitution. Justice and legality no longer seem to be the sole purpose of the federal court system; permitting the agenda of this administration to prevail at any cost, does.

If this denial of rights can be imposed upon Padilla, it can be done to the rest of the boys and girls in the neighborhood, or barrio. In fact, Mr. Rogers himself is also in danger. Cardigans--even mohair ones--don't let you off this hook.



Blogger Watch 'n Wait said...

Good post and excellent analysis. Thanks!

Thursday, March 29, 2007 at 5:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Thank you.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 at 9:58:00 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home