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Ear to the Ground

Padilla Video Exposes Detainment Practices

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Posted on Dec 4, 2006

Jose Padilla is escorted from his cell at a military lockup in Charleston, S.C.

Recently released video footage of Jose Padilla for the first time reveals life as an “enemy combatant” in U.S. custody.  The footage shows Padilla, manacled and deprived of vision and hearing, en route to a dental appointment.  Padilla was denied access to a lawyer for 21 months, testing the extent of the Bush administration’s executive power.

New York Times:

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.

The videotape of that trip to the dentist, which was recently released to Mr. Padilla’s lawyers and viewed by the New York Times, offers the first concrete glimpse inside the secretive military incarceration of an American citizen whose detention without charges became a test case of President Bush’s powers in the fight against terror. Still frames from the videotape were posted in Mr. Padilla’s electronic court file late Friday.

To Mr. Padilla’s lawyers, the pictures capture the dehumanization of their client during his military detention from mid-2002 until earlier this year, when the government changed his status from enemy combatant to criminal defendant and transferred him to the federal detention center in Miami. He now awaits trial scheduled for late January.

Together with other documents filed late Friday, the images represent the latest and most aggressive sally by defense lawyers who declared this fall that charges against Mr. Padilla should be dismissed for “outrageous government conduct,” saying that he was mistreated and tortured during his years 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.”


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By SadButTrue, December 4, 2006 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sickening. This is the textbook definition of cruel and inhuman treatment. Is this America?

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By RS Janes, December 4, 2006 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did you read this? The government simply has no case; at this point it seems they are holding him solely to avoid massive lawsuits for unlawful imprisonment.

No ‘Dirty Bomb’ Questions During Padilla Interrogation?

FBI FD-302 From Day Of Padilla’s Arrest Inconsistent With Later
Urgency About Imminent Plot By ‘Enemy Combatant’

By J.M. Berger

An official record of the first FBI interrogation of Jose Padilla following his 2002 arrest contains no reference to al Qaeda or a “dirty bomb” plot Padilla was allegedly spearheading.

Padilla was detained on May 8, 2002, at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, where he had been arrested upon entering the country.

The subsequent FBI interrogation is memorialized in an FD-302 record introduced as an exhibit during Padilla’s ongoing trial in Florida. FD-302 is the FBI’s routine form for recording the details of an interview by agents.

During three hours of interrogation, Padilla was asked about his personal history, family details and travel, but the record reflects no question or answer directly dealing with his alleged ties to al Qaeda.

Nevertheless, at the end of the session the alleged al Qaeda operative was detained on a material witness warrant related to a “conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.”

Read the rest at:

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By vet240, December 4, 2006 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it disgusting that men like Foley, Ney and Delay, after commiting acts of crimes against the United States, while serving in positions of trust don’t get the same treatment as this person who has yet to have his day in court. The American ZJudicial system is supposed to be a beacon to the rest of the world on how to treat persons charged but not yet tried for alleged crimes. Why don’t they just transport the wretch in a sound-proof coffin thereby depriving him of mobility while their at it. The use of restraining chains is standard treatment of all who are charged with werious crimes, but no light or sound? Are we going to continue to allow this?

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By stevebenjamins, December 4, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s have the funds to pay for his lawsuit come from the war profiteers coffers.

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