Bush Scandals List

131. Jose Padilla (an American enemy combatant)

Jose Padilla. This is not about a bad and deluded man, but rather that an American citizen held in the United States could be held for 3 1/2 years (May 8, 2002-January 3, 2006) outside the purview of American courts and tortured. He was transferred to the regular US legal system only because his case challenging Bush’s power to declare him an illegal enemy combatant was wending its way to the Supreme Court. The transfer successfully pre-empted this when the Court declined April 3, 2006 to hear the case. The lack of a Supreme Court determination and passage of the Military Commissions Act mean that any American can still be declared an illegal enemy combatant and held indefinitely without charge, and if the MCA is to be believed (and unlike the Padilla case) without any right to habeas corpus.

On May 14, 2007, Padilla who was initially accused of being a terrorist mastermind behind a plot to detonate a dirty bomb inside the US was put on trial for being a minor member of a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim outside the US. Among the many dubious and disturbing aspects of this case: the length and nature of detention, his mental fitness to stand trial, the change in jurisdiction from military to civilian, and the major reduction in the scope of the charges and Padilla’s role in them, the government claims it "lost" evidence, specifically a DVD of Padilla’s last interrogation as an enemy combatant from March 2, 2004. On August 16, 2007, he and his codefendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi were found guilty on all counts. Despite virtually no concrete evidence against them, on August 16, 2007, he and his codefendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi were found guilty on all counts. On January 22, 2008, Padilla was sentenced to 17 years 4 months, Hassoun to 15 years and 8 months, and Jayyoussi to 12 years 8 months.

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