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Monday, March 07, 2005

As they have done to Jose Padilla, they can do to you

Mike Whitney explains the significance of the Padilla case:
The case of Jose Padilla appeared in the media again this week, when a lower court ruled (as it has twice before) that the administration must either charge Padilla or release him from prison. The Bush team has no intention of doing either. Padilla is the "test case" to establish that the President can jail a US citizen indefinitely without charging him with a crime. This "precedent" is central to the administration's plans for unlimited power. Tyranny is built on the foundation of arbitrary imprisonment; a principle that Bush and his colleagues fully understand.
What makes the case so extraordinary is that its meaning is completely straightforward. The court is not being asked to quibble over inconsequential aspects of the law. They are being asked, point blank, whether or not American citizens have ANY rights at all. It's just that simple.

Padilla has been deprived of ALL of his rights, not merely a few. So, we must ask ourselves: Are US citizens entitled to any (definite) legal protections or are these protections simply granted at the President's discretion? And, if our personal freedom is dependent on the subjective whims of the President, then why talk about "inalienable" rights?

Why, indeed?

There's nothing haphazard in the way that the Padilla case has developed. In fact, there are various organizations that operate openly within the country that are determined to change the fundamental principles of American justice. With Padilla these groups have won a major victory and struck a mortal blow at the very heart of our system. As long as Padilla sits in prison, deprived of all his constitutional rights, there are no guarantees of personal liberty in America.
The Padilla case alone should be sufficient grounds for impeaching the whole damn lot of Bushies. They took oaths to uphold the Constitution, and chose instead to destroy it.