The NY Times has a lengthy story about the treatment Jose Padilla while in captivity as an enemy combatant:
Now lawyers for Mr. Padilla, 36, suggest that he is unfit to stand trial. They argue that he has been so damaged by his interrogations and prolonged isolation that he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and is unable to assist in his own defense. His interrogations, they say, included hooding, stress positions, assaults, threats of imminent execution and the administration of “truth serums.”
A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Todd Vician, said Sunday that the military disputes Mr. Padilla’s accusations of mistreatment. And, in court papers, prosecutors deny “in the strongest terms” the accusations of torture and say that “Padilla’s conditions of confinement were humane and designed to ensure his safety and security.”***
Dr. Angela Hegarty, director of forensic psychiatry at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, N.Y., who examined Mr. Padilla for a total of 22 hours in June and September, said in an affidavit filed Friday that he “lacks the capacity to assist in his own defense.”
“It is my opinion that as the result of his experiences during his detention and interrogation, Mr. Padilla does not appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him, is unable to render assistance to counsel, and has impairments in reasoning as the result of a mental illness, i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated by the neuropsychiatric effects of prolonged isolation,” Dr. Hegarty said in an affidavit for the defense.
Mr. Padilla’s status was abruptly changed to criminal defendant from enemy combatant last fall. At the time, the Supreme Court was weighing whether to take up the legality of his military detention — and thus the issue of the president’s authority to seize an American citizen on American soil and hold him indefinitely without charges — when the Bush administration pre-empted its decision by filing criminal charges against Mr. Padilla.
This provides the win/win/win/win scenario for the nihilists are Red State:
That is a picture the New York Times does not want you to see. They want you to forget the destruction that befell America on September 11, 2001. They want you to forget the horror. They want you to forget the tragedy. No major media outlet in the United States will show these pictures. “Too traumatizing” is how these pictures are described. “Too traumatizing” is apparently a euphemism for “they make American’s remember what they’re fighting for.”
But, they do want you to feel sorry for Jose Padilla. They want you to see the pictures of poor Jose. They want you to remember the “abuse” and “torture” he has suffered at the hands of the Regime of Bush.
They want to play down the fact that Mr. Padilla plotted to blow up a radiological dirty bomb inside the United States — instead, Mr. Padilla is merely accused by “Le Regime Bush” of “plotting a dirty bomb attack.” But make no mistake, they aren’t trying to underplay how evil Mr. Padilla’s detainers have been.
They get to attempt to scare us all with pictures of 9/11, smear the press, attack anyone who questions or questioned the government treatment of enemy combatants (while ignoring the fact that the government itself abruptly switched his status only because they realized their bullshit made-up status was untenable), and they get to ignore the fact that Padilla can no longer defend himself- and let;s face it- they don’t care if he can. In the authoritarian mindset, someone is guilty when the authorities declare he is.
I carry no water for Jose Padilla- if he is guilty of what he has been accused, there will be no tears spillt here if he is forever incarcerated or executed. However, how anyone can look at the government behavior in this and say “Nothing here- just hysterical terrorist enablers and the liberal media” is simply beyond me.
I guess maybe it is easier for those who believe in nothing but amassing power in the hands of the Republican party and excusing the conduct and excesses of this administration.