Monday, December 04, 2006

The government put you in a box until you go crazy and doesn't have to explain why

Jose Padilla's lawyers are now alleging that he is unfit to stand trial because his confinement has driven him insane. Also the NY Times has obtained a video of a dental visit Padilla received while in confinement.
“Today is May 21,” a naval official declared to a camera videotaping the event. “Right now we’re ready to do a root canal treatment on Jose Padilla, our enemy combatant.”

Several guards in camouflage and riot gear approached cell No. 103. They unlocked a rectangular panel at the bottom of the door and Mr. Padilla’s bare feet slid through, eerily disembodied. As one guard held down a foot with his black boot, the others shackled Mr. Padilla’s legs. Next, his hands emerged through another hole to be manacled.

Wordlessly, the guards, pushing into the cell, chained Mr. Padilla’s cuffed hands to a metal belt. Briefly, his expressionless eyes met the camera before he lowered his head submissively in expectation of what came next: noise-blocking headphones over his ears and blacked-out goggles over his eyes. Then the guards, whose faces were hidden behind plastic visors, marched their masked, clanking prisoner down the hall to his root canal.
Please remember that although the government has accused Padilla in public first of being involved with 9-11 and then with plotting to use a dirty bomb, it has pressed none of those charges in court. Originally, of course, the government didn't want to have to charge Padilla with anything, or even explain what they were doing. Once the supreme court announced that it would rule on the legality of his confinement, he was quickly transferred to the civilian prison system, and charged only with sending money and other material support abroad to Muslim groups in Chechnya and Bosnia.

Padilla is not the only person to receive this treatment while on US soil. Less well publicized is the case of Ali al-Marrihas been declared an enemy combatant and held for four and a half years in a South Carolina prison. The conditions of al-Marri's imprisonment closely match Padilla's: the focus is on extreme isolation with periodic threats, including the threat that he would be raped, or that his wife would be raped in front of him.

Doesn't it make you proud to be an American? Oh yeah, and via Niel at Unfogged, ABC news caught army recruiters on tape telling potential enlistees that the war is over:
"Nobody is going over to Iraq anymore?" one student asks a recruiter.

"No, we're bringing people back," he replies.

Another good one:
Yet ABC News found one recruiter who even claimed if you didn't like the Army, you could just quit.

"It's called a 'Failure to Adapt' discharge," the recruiter said. "It's an entry-level discharge so it won't affect anything on your record. It'll just be like it never happened."

"We're not at war. War ended a long time ago," another recruiter says.

1 comment:

jo(e) said...

It's sickening.