Image Image

  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Friday, 04 December, 2020

Uh-Oh, We Are in Deep Trouble

Date: 04 November, 2002

By: Chief

Imagehe first Ten Amendments to our Constitution are in place primarily to prevent citizens from being taken away and locked up — indefinitely and without charges — by our federal government. Those protections, those rights which we, as citizens, all enjoy, seemed to have worked just fine — until recently.

A guy by the name of Jose Padilla — an American citizen was arrested May 9th:

"[O]n a material witness warrant and then detained in a federal jail in New York before being declared a 'military combatant' and whisked away to a Charleston, South Carolina military brig in the middle of the night on June 9th" (quote from CNN).

He has not been seen by anybody since.

No charges have, as yet, been filed against Padilla. He is being held totally incommunicado. His attorney does not even have access to him. It is as though Padilla no longer exists.

The U.S. Justice (Just-Us) Department alleges that Padilla is (a) a member of al Qaeda and (b) he was on a scouting mission for al Qaeda to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb."

Additionally federal prosecutors wrote in their opposing papers that:

"The authority of the United States to seize and detain enemy combatants is well settled — and vital to our core military objectives."

Unlawful combatants are:

"[T]hose who, during time of war, pass surreptitiously from enemy territory into our own for the commission of hostile acts involving destruction of life or property," according to case law (quotes from CNN).

Plus this little gem:

"Padilla's status as an "enemy combatant" — which the government has cited as a constitutional reason to detain him — is not diminished by the fact that he is a U.S. citizen" (quote from CNN).

Furthermore per our lovely Just-Us Department:

"Lawyers have told staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee that the United States would hold Padilla indefinitely, and that the executive branch alone has the power to decide when a person qualifies as an enemy combatant" (quote from CNN (emphasis added)).

Additionally, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld stated that the:

"[P]rimary interest in Padilla right now is to figure out what he may know to help prevent a future attack rather than trying him in a court" (quote from CNN).

Donna Newman, Padilla's court-appointed defense attorney, called for Padilla's release in a document known as a petition for habeas corpus. In her petition Newman noted that Padilla has not been formally charged with any criminal activity. She noted, in her petition, that:

"There is insufficient evidence for the government to obtain an indictment" (quote from CNN).

Newman also wrote that:

"Among the rights which the government has violated are: his right to due process, his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, his right to counsel and his right to a grand jury" (quote from CNN).

Whoa Nelly. We are not talking about a parking ticket here. What we are talking about is the Constitution. If the executive branch of government has the sole power to decide, using whatever measurement is convenient at the moment, when the Bill of Rights applies and when it does not — We the People are in truly deep, deep shit.

Furthermore and what is even more chilling, is that our federal government says it has the sole power to deny Constitutional protections to any American citizen whenever it — the executive — wants to.

If the government can succeed in this particular battle then (a) the Constitution of the United States is no more, it is dead and buried and (b) We the People are doomed. Fucking period.

Padilla, while not what 'we' would consider a stellar citizen has committed no crime. His background is tainted with several arrests and years ago he became a Muslim. He has further spent the past few years living in the middle east. To be sure, he may have met, spoken with or even possibly become friends with people who are actually terrorists. That, however, like it or not, is not a crime. Until now.

What about this "time of war" crap that the federales are pushing? Show me the Congressional declaration of war. Come on show it to me. You can't. Nobody can. Why? Because there is no declaration of war. None whatsoever.

Enemy combatant? I have searched through my copy of the Constitution and nowhere can I find those two words. Nowhere. In addition nowhere in my search could I find any governmental power which explicitly or implicitly provides Constitutional power to the the executive branch of government to deny to any U.S. citizens rights and protections guaranteed under the Constitution. In other words our federal government is more full of shit than a Christmas goose.

Have you noticed that our elected representatives in Congress are remaining extraordinarily silent on this most important Constitutional issue since the war between the states? The abdication of their Constitutional responsibilities and utter cowardice is striking. Indeed, it is beyond the pale. Just where the hell are they anyway? Why enjoying a barbecue and making speeches extolling our freedoms. I do not believe that Padilla is enjoying a cracking Independence Day right about now. What a bunch of two-faced scum sucking pieces of human excrement.

Our courts, in this particular and most important case, are not much better. At least should the district court rule against Padilla, and I suspect that it probably will, there is the appellate court and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court. If Padilla's case goes that far and the courts rule in favor of the government, well, then We the People are well and truly fucked. With non-skid no less.

If the government believes it has the evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, that Padilla has indeed committed a crime or crimes, then God Damn it, bring forth the charges — in open court and let the chips fall where they may. Otherwise, cut Padilla lose and do it now.

Our Constitution and We the People deserve no less.

Unless and until Jose Padilla is either charged or released from custody, none of us is safe. Indeed, no citizen of the U.S. is safe. Why? Simple, our federales have determined that the Bill of Rights can be turned on or turned off at the whim of one man — the president. Our federal government has installed a monarchy.

Don't piss off the King or you just might end up like Padilla.

[Update:] Per Wikipedia:

"On August 16, 2007, after a day and a half of deliberations, the jury found Padilla guilty on all counts. He was scheduled to be sentenced on December 5, 2007, but his sentencing was postponed to January due to the death of a family member of the judge scheduled to sentence him. He was sentenced on January 22, 2008, to 17 years and 4 months in federal prison."

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

(Return to the top)