You Could Be the Next Detainee

If you have forgotten that the Miltary Commissions Act allows the detention and torture of any person suspected of being a terrorist, you had best read this carefully and give thought to how you behave.

The Torment of Jose Padilla
By Jeralyn
Posted on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:33:00 AM EST

Lawyers for alleged “dirty bomber” and Bush-declared enemy combatant Jose Padilla have filed a new salvo in his Miami federal court terror case with new details of the torment and physical deprivation to which he was subjected during his three years in the South Carolina military brig.

Here’s how he got taken to the dentist for a root canal:

Several guards in camouflage and riot gear approached cell No. 103. They unlocked a rectangular panel at the bottom of the door and Mr. Padilla’s bare feet slid through, eerily disembodied. As one guard held down a foot with his black boot, the others shackled Mr. Padilla’s legs. Next, his hands emerged through another hole to be manacled.

Wordlessly, the guards, pushing into the cell, chained Mr. Padilla’s cuffed hands to a metal belt. Briefly, his expressionless eyes met the camera before he lowered his head submissively in expectation of what came next: noise-blocking headphones over his ears and blacked-out goggles over his eyes. Then the guards, whose faces were hidden behind plastic visors, marched their masked, clanking prisoner down the hall to his root canal.

The point:

To Mr. Padilla’s lawyers, the pictures capture the dehumanization of their client during his military detention from mid-2002 until earlier this year, when the government changed his status from enemy combatant to criminal defendant and transferred him to the federal detention center in Miami. He now awaits trial scheduled for late January.

Together with other documents filed late Friday, the images represent the latest and most aggressive sally by defense lawyers who declared this fall that charges against Mr. Padilla should be dismissed for “outrageous government conduct,” saying that he was mistreated and tortured during his years as an enemy combatant.

His lawyers argue, and a psychiatrist who evaluated Padilla agrees, he is not competent to stand trial.

Read all of it here.

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