Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Never-ending Shame

The Bush Administration has been chock full of shameful moments -- there's been "Mission Accomplished;" "Heckuva job, Brownie" and its aftermath; a botched war that has taken more than 3,000 American lives; and the failure to make Americans significantly safer despite great financial and constitutional cost, to name but a few. But nothing better illustrates just how far off the moral rails the President and his main henchmen, the Prince of Darkness and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, have taken this country than the case of Jose Padilla. Dahlia Lithwick does a good job showing why here.

Senior officials of our government have used and misused their full powers to destroy this man. It doesn't matter whether he has done what the government now says he has done, not that anyone should believe what the Justice Department says about Padilla given how much of what they said previously has been stashed in their ever-expanding "Never Mind" file. What matters is that Padilla is an American citizen arrested in America, yet for years he was denied the most basic constitutional rights and subjected to abusive and degrading treatment on a daily basis, including nearly three years in solitary confinement and a variety of other tactics that are not inflicted on even the most depraved criminals among us, criminals who, I hasten to add, have actually had trials and been convicted of something.

The government's zeal to convict Padilla of something, anything, has led to the tawdry spectacle of this week's hearing to determine if Padilla is competent to stand trial. A judge ruled late today that he is. And so this shameful exercise in personal and constitutional destruction moves forward.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about shame. Every day, it seems, they add to the shame that is this Administration.
So, if you don't like what the U.S. Attorney you appointed is up to, just fire him or her. (You get to make room for another crony that you owe a favor to, plus you seem "all powerful" to the sleazebags who complained that their adversaries weren't getting indicted often or fast enough.) Then, after you fire the U.S. Attorney (largely for being the very smart, principled person that you told everyone s/he was when you made the appointment), to cover your tracks, you tell the world "they were no damn good anyway."
You know, these U.S. Attorneys might stand for a lot of things I don't agree with - I can only presume that's how they got appointed by Bush-Cheney-Gonzalez in the first case - but that doesn't (necessarily) make them fools.
The fools are the guys that expected these high powered legal types to take this outrageous treatment without complaint and who presumed these lawyers would so blithely turn their back on the law and the legal system.
The numerous scandals that have plagued this President go directly to the issues of honesty in government and protection of the public interest.
This is not a party issue. And the clearest demonstration of that should be all those U.S. Attorneys standing in front of the Judiciary Committee with their right hands raised.

8:12 PM  

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