The Padilla Doctrine

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 11 Jun 2004 12:00:00 GMT - Conservative Pres - cartoon commentary on Ronald Reagan's record. The truth is in the subtitles.

# Al Berger - Ray Charles 1930-2004 - Ray Charles passed yesterday. I didn't listen to his music much, but I remember seeing him on the TV. [culpepperlog]

# Claire Wolfe - I Keep Opening a Copy of the Torture Memo - but she doesn't read it, because she doesn't want to know for sure that the Busheviks have sunk to the level of the savage beasts they claim to be fighting. [claire]

It would be poetic justice if the people who advocated these twisted, lawyerly forms of suffering were subjected to the kind of pain they say isn't really torture. "Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Harvard grad. I know that broomstick we just shoved up there hurt a bit. But that memo you wrote said it wasn't torture. So here we go again ..."

Still hope it never happens like that. Please, let's just let this country come back to its senses -- especially it's sense of decency.

I know it's denial. But as long as I don't actually read the memo I can tell myself every one of the news reports is wrong and that no American administration ever has, or ever would, use twisted logic and polilte legal language to justify becoming exactly like the worst enemies of human life and human freedom.

# Jacob G. Hornberger at The Price of Liberty - The Padilla Doctrine Doesn't Infringe on Freedom--It Destroys It - why the notion of "enemy combatant" is incompatible with American liberty. And why, until this doctrine is abolished, the only rational conversation with a fed would go something like... Fed: "Hi." Patriot: "Bang!" [price]

They're missing the point. When the executive branch of our government implemented the Padilla doctrine, it crossed its own Rubicon in terms of freedom in America. Under the Padilla doctrine, executive branch officials, including the military authorities, have the power to arrest any citizen and punish him, even execute him, without indicting him, giving him a trial, according him due process of law, or letting him retain an attorney to battle on his behalf. All the government has to do is secure a paper from the president labeling an American citizen as an "enemy combatant" in the "war on terrorism" and the military authorities are then free to inflict any punishment on any citizen whatsoever, and without any external restraints whatsoever.

The Padilla doctrine means that the citizen whom the president labels an "enemy combatant" is not entitled to any judicial protection whatsoever before he is executed. Moreover, once he is receives such a label, U.S. officials can refuse to accord him the protections of the Geneva Convention. Yes, the Pentagon might accord the American with a quick military tribunal before he is executed, just as it provided the World War II Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita a quick military tribunal after they took him into custody, but the tribunal will be nothing more than a sham to provide legal cover for an execution, just as it was in the Yamashita case.

The Padilla doctrine applies to every American, including newspaper editors, protesters, and people who vote the wrong way. Once the president triggers the process by formally labeling a person an "enemy combatant," the unrestrained power of the U.S. military to take that person into custody and execute him is unleashed.

# William S. Lind - The Canon and the Four Generations - describes the four generations of warfare. Fourth generation warfare is why government warriors have met so much failure in defeating non-government defenders. [smith2004 lew]

# Karen Kwiatkowski at - The Neocons' One-Trick Pony - a retired USAF lieutenant colonel reports on the death throes of the Busheviks. [lew]

It turns out we are not freeing Iraq, and it appears we never intended to. Iraqis are freeing themselves, in a slow, evolving and increasingly confident exercise of national liberation, and self-determination. It is ugly and dangerous and it kills them as it kills us. Neoconservatives hate Ben Franklin, with his silliness about Republics. But Iraqis have taken Franklin's words to heart. They know if they sacrifice a little liberty for a little security, they will have neither.

This reality doesn't concern loyal neoconservatives. Only other people's children are dying and being maimed, and other people don't have value in the neocon calculator. But when special prosecutors come knocking, and FBI agents approach burdened with technical gear and detailed statements from witnesses, neoconservatives begin to get nervous. Who will sell them out? Who will cop a plea? Who will defect first, second and deluge? When the President and the Vice President contract private criminal attorneys, we wonder if the neocon pony has a new trick we haven't yet seen.

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