Padilla trial finally starting
Those of you who have been here for two years or longer know how I feel about the José Padilla situation: I think the government sucks for what they've been doing to him. He's an American citizen, and thus entitled to Constitutional rights that have been deprived of him from the beginning. My prior thoughts are here.
Anywho, his trial is now getting underway. From MyWay News:
The trial of suspected al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla opened Monday with federal prosecutors arguing the U.S. citizen and two co-defendants provided money, recruits and military equipment to Islamic extremists involved in violence worldwide for nearly a decade.
"The defendants were members of a secret organization, a terrorism support cell, based right here in South Florida," Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Frazier told jurors in his opening statement. "The defendants took concrete steps to support and promote this violence."
Padilla, a former Chicago gang member and Muslim convert, has been in federal custody since his May 2002 arrest at O'Hare International Airport. He was initially accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States and held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant at a Navy brig, but those allegations are not part of the Miami indictment.
He was added to the Miami case in late 2005 amid a legal battle over the president's wartime detention powers involving U.S. citizens. His lawyers had fought for years to get him before a federal judge.
I think he's a scumsucking terrorist camelhumper who will be found guilty, but as as American citizen, he's still entitled to a speedy trial. This administration has argued against that, and I find their position reprehensible.