Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: Padilla:
Jose Padilla is a U.S. citizen. He was detained without formal charges for almost four years and turned into a mental patient. The original charges against him appear nowhere in his current criminal prosecution. They were fabrications or delusions or fantasies. Money quote:
The strong public accusations made during his military detention — about the dirty bomb, Al Qaeda connections and supposed plans to set off natural gas explosions in apartment buildings — appear nowhere in the indictment against him. The indictment does not allege any specific violent plot against America. Mr. Padilla is portrayed in the indictment as the recruit of a 'North American terror support cell' that sent money, goods and recruits abroad to assist 'global jihad' in general, with a special interest in Bosnia and Chechnya. Mr. Padilla, the indictment asserts, traveled overseas 'to participate in violent jihad' and filled out an application for a mujahedin training camp in Afghanistan.
Michael Caruso, a public defender for Mr. Padilla, pleaded 'absolutely not guilty' for him to charges of conspiracy and of providing material support to terrorists.
Neither you nor I know what Padilla was up to, and it will now be up to a court to decide. But the effect of the brutal incarceration of Padilla may now make it impossible to convict him on any grounds. Like al-Qahtani, the torture and abuse to which he has been subject seem to have broken his mind:
"During questioning, he often exhibits facial tics, unusual eye movements and contortions of his body," Mr. Patel said. "The contortions are particularly poignant since he is usually manacled and bound by a belly chain when he has meetings with counsel."
Padilla, by all accounts, was a completely non-violent and docile prisoner every day of his incarceration. And yet they put him in body-manacles for four years, complete isolation and darkness, and even fitted him with night-goggles for a dental operation. They dehumanized him into a piece of furniture. The level of pure sadism and paranoia in his treatment is worthy of a military dictatorship, not a democracy.