Friday, September 09, 2005

Court: Dirty bomb suspect can be detained indefinitely

This is where the libertarian in me gets pretty angry!

I posted on this issue quite some time ago, so let me recap: Jose Padilla (derisively referred to by me and others as Osama bin Lopez) is an American citizen being detained by the feds under suspicion of wanting to build and deploy a "dirty bomb" in America. The Bush administration has argued that he can be detained indefinitely, without access to attorneys or the courts, and without being charged.

I vehemently disagree.

Padilla is an American citizen, thus he is afforded rights guaranteed in the Constitution (as well as rights guaranteed by prior Supreme Court rulings, whether I agree with them or not). Thus, he must be charged or released, and he gets access to a lawyer. Period. If the government can detain this American citizen and argue that he doesn't have rights because _______ (fill in the blank), then what's to prevent the government from doing the same thing to ANY American citizen?

For the record, I think he's guilty as hell. Great...then prosecute him, present the evidence, convict him, and sentence him to death for treason. Apparently, the government's evidence is so non-compelling, though, that it has to hold him until it "finds" enough evidence to charge and try him with. What the hell?

A federal appeals court Friday sided with the Bush administration and reversed a judge's order that the government either charge or free “dirty bomb” suspect Jose Padilla.

The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the president has the authority to detain a U.S. citizen closely associated with al-Qaida.

“The exceedingly important question before us is whether the President of the United States possesses the authority to detain militarily a citizen of this country who is closely associated with al Qaeda, an entity with which the United States is at war,” Judge Michael Luttig wrote. “We conclude that the President does possess such authority.”

A federal judge in South Carolina had ruled in March that the government cannot hold Padilla indefinitely as an “enemy combatant,” a designation President Bush gave him in 2002. The government views Padilla as a militant who planned attacks on the United States.
He's not a foreign-born terrorist like those vermin in Gitmo, nor is he an American who renounced his citizenship by joining the Taliban on the fields of Afghanistan like John Walker Lindh. He is an American freakin' citizen!

My heart doesn't bleed for Padilla. My guess is that he's a terrorist scumbag. But don't we imprison and convict people based on proof and not hunches? No, my heart bleeds for America, when we can ignore the rights of our citizens because we THINK they may have had evil intentions!

Sorry...but this just pisses me off.