Friday, November 25, 2005

Jose Padilla Case Reveals Failures of Bush Policies

CLICK TO READ: Shift on Suspect Is Linked to Role of Qaeda Figures - New York Times

The extent of the failures of this administration's perverted justice and interrogation policies are emerging daily.
Sadly, they have not only undermined our system of justice and the Geneva Accords, but they have failed to do what the government said they needed them to do: enable them to better fight the war on terror by producing better intelligence and more successful prosecutions of accused terrorists. In fact, their policies have produced the opposite results.

New information emerges on the government's abandonment of it's earlier--and more serious--charges against Jose Padilla.
It seems that in order to prove those charges, the government would have to allow testimony from two senior members of Al Qaeda, "Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, believed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and Abu Zubaydah, a top recruiter, who gave their accounts to American questioners in 2002 and 2003."

The problem. It seems that they were subjected to rather "harsh questioning, current and former government officials said Wednesday." The two are being held in secret prisons by the CIA, "whose internal reviews have raised questions about their treatment and credibility, the officials said."

"One review, completed in spring 2004 by the C.I.A. inspector general, found that Mr. Mohammed had been subjected to excessive use of a technique involving near drowning in the first months after his capture, American intelligence officials said."

"The decision not to charge [Padilla] criminally in connection with the [original] more far-ranging bomb plots was prompted by the conclusion" that should Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Zubaydah be called as witnesses, "that could expose classified information and could open up charges from defense lawyers that their earlier statements were a result of torture, officials said."

"Without that testimony, officials said, it would be nearly impossible for the United States to prove the charges. Moreover, part of the bombing accusations hinged on incriminating statements that officials say Mr. Padilla made after he was in military custody - and had been denied access to a lawyer.

'There's no way you could use what he said in military custody against him,' a former senior government official said.

The officials spoke a day after Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales repeatedly refused to address questions a news conference about why the government had not brought criminal charges related to the most serious accusations. The officials, from several agencies, sought to emphasize that the government was not backing off its initial assertions about the seriousness of Mr. Padilla's actions.

The officials were granted anonymity, saying to be identified by name would subject them to reprisals for addressing questions that Mr. Gonzales had declined to answer...."

See also earlier post: The Unknown Candidate: Jose Padilla's Dirty Secret

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