4th Circuit Court Denies Government Motion to Shift Former Chicagoan Jose Padilla from Military to Civilian Court; Says Padilla

I may be a former gang member but as an American citizen I still have rights.

With nary a peep from the Trib or Sun-Times, we go to the NYT for the blow-by-blow:

Court Refuses U.S. Bid to Shift Terror Suspect

“WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 – A federal appeals court delivered a sharp rebuke to the Bush administration Wednesday, refusing to allow the transfer of Jose Padilla from military custody to civilian law enforcement authorities to face terrorism charges.

In denying the administration’s request, the three-judge panel unanimously issued a strongly worded opinion that said the Justice Department’s effort to transfer Mr. Padilla gave the appearance that the government was trying to manipulate the court system to prevent the Supreme Court from reviewing the case. The judges warned that the administration’s behavior in the Padilla case could jeopardize its credibility before the courts in other terrorism cases.”

This case has several remarkable aspects:

16 Comments so far

  1. steven (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 10:23 am

    Looks like they’re watching every move Bush’s government makes. Very encouraging.

  2. Elizabeth (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

    The Bush administration wishes to spread the values of the American people to others around the world. That’s what they keep on telling me.

    Holding suspects without trial for over three years? Torturing people being held in our custody? Spying on citizens without warrants or (actual, legitimate) legal authority or even some oversight? These do not sound like the actions of a truly free democratic republic; these do not even sound like the actions of a truly free democratic republic engaged in a vicious war.

    These aren’t my values. So I’d like to know – who’s values are they spreading? ( I mean, seriously. Ben? Can you defend this? Anyone?)

    Oh, damn. Now I’ve gone and started a fight.

  3. Danny Doom (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

    remember, we are at war, so anything goes. it’s in our best interests. or some other bullshit…

    i would love to hear an argument defending this behavior, but i can’t provide it. no fight here.

  4. Ben (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 2:15 pm

    First off, I think you meant to say holding A SUSPECT without trial for over three years

  5. Elizabeth (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 2:55 pm

    Actually, no, Ben, I did mean multiple suspects. Of course we are talking about Padilla, but there are many suspects that have been held at Guantanamo for years with no trial in sight.

    If these people that were being spyed on were so clearly terrorists, or so clearly connected to terrorists, then why didn’t Bush bother going through any modicum of legal procedure and acquire a warrant in order to tap their phones? I mean, if they were as clearly connected as you imply, he should have had no trouble.

    I don’t think you support GWB on every issue. If I remember correctly, you’re not even one of his “chosen people” (by which I mean a rich evangelical christian). But I’ve seen you take his back on issues that, quite frankly, boggle the mind. Boggle my mind, at least.

    Fine, fine, no fight. I’ll unlace my gloves.

  6. Ben (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

    I believe that the suspects in Guantanamo were found on the battlefield. Prisoners of war (sort of, since they don

  7. Danny Doom (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 7:20 pm

    Padilla was arrested at O’Hare airport and i don’t believe he has ever been at Guantanamo. who knows whether he is guilty of anything or not, but i bet he and a lot of other detainees would like to find out one way or another.

    the point is that there a lot of people being held without being charged and could be held indefinitely (the war on terror never ends). that’s a long time to find out whether someone is guilty or innocent.

    a prime case is the man from Michigan, Ibrahim Parlak, whose case should concern every freeedom-loving American:

    i wish there were someone else besides Ben (is there only one conservative-minded person who reads this site?) who could make some sort of argument for this. “I don’t know everything about this case, but…” does not count.

  8. Ben (unregistered) on December 22nd, 2005 @ 9:43 pm

    Admitting that I don’t know everything about this case doesn’t count for what?

    Are you claiming that you know every angle of this case or do your comments “not count” too?

  9. nikkos (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 10:40 am

    I would just like to point out (to no one in particular) that when considering the “high crimes and misdeamenors” that are deemed impeachable offenses, the President is not allowed three strikes. This is not baseball. ONE crime is sufficient for impeachment; a mutlitude all but insures it.

    Given the accelerating scandals and disclosures of wanton wrongdoing, I seriously doubt that Bush will serve out his term.

    Will he go out Nixon-style, flashing a “V” for victory and a fake-ass smile as he boards Marine One on the South Lawn and retreats to Crawford for, well, let us hope, forever? Doubtful.

    Being the child he is, Bush will most likely simply barricade himself in his room and refuse to come out.

    Time will tell.

  10. Danny Doom (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 10:57 am

    no, but i know enough about this case to make the argument for why i think it’s another example of bad policy, or more clearly, unjust.

    what i would like is for someone to explain why holding people indefinitely without being charged is akin to American justice. i believe our standards should be higher, which is also why the torture of prisoners is such an embarrassment; how does Rumsfeld keep his job?

    if Padilla is guilty of something he should be charged. i truly don’t know, how many have been charged with a terrorist-related crime since 9/11? anyone?

    it would seem that the war on terror, as it stands under the Bush administration, is grounds for doing whatever is necessary, constitution be damned. and i think that is wrong.

  11. Ben (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 10:58 am


    Would you like to make a wager on Bush serving out his term?

  12. nikkos (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 11:06 am

    No thanks Ben; I think a wager would be in rather poor taste.

  13. Ben (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 11:13 am

    Poor taste?
    That’s fine if you don’t want to – no biggie, I just figured since you were so confident about it. Maybe you’re not so confident after all.
    Oh well.

  14. Gabe (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 11:20 am

    I wanna get in on that bet. Nikko, you have two takers here.

    For those following along like Liz and Danny, you’re forgetting that there’s a big difference between being a U.S. citizen and an enemy combatant. It has already been decided that we are allowed to hold enemy combatants indefinitely. The reason I point this out is because you seem to take for granted your rights as an American citizen. If you are a US citizen, then yes, you have a right to due process. If you are not, then you’re SOL. If you want to look at it from the angle that if we’re going to export democracy then we should uphold the morals we hold so dear and be an example, then yes I agree with you. Also, I don’t believe that the war on terror should give the current administration the right to do carte blanche. As for Padilla, I don’t agree with the fact that he’s been held as long as he has without a trial.

  15. nikkos (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 11:34 am

    No thanks Gabe- electing Bush twice was a gamble enough.

    Gabe, you say: “For those following along like Liz and Danny, you’re forgetting that there’s a big difference between being a U.S. citizen and an enemy combatant.”

    I think another aspect of this is whom we designate an “enemy combatant” and why. In the case of Padilla, he was not apprehended on the field of battle. He was arrested at O’Hare.

    I know that you have already registered your disagreement with the government’s handling of his case, Gabe, but I thought I should at least point that out.

    The problem is that the Bush administration can designate anyone they wish to be an “enemy combatant.” You don’t have to captured on the field of battle with an AK in your hands to be deemed as such- as Padilla’s case illustrates.

    As you point out, however, the consequences of this designation are serious- you are essentially stripped of your rights as an American citizen.

  16. Dave! (unregistered) on December 25th, 2005 @ 2:39 am

    “Prisoners of war (sort of, since they don

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