[img_assist|nid=1590|title=American Fascism|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]Find a friendly forum in Miami and secure a jury with lamebrains willing to believe the government's ever-changing story on Padilla (the latest was conspiracy, the catch-all charge used when the government is forced away from specific criminal charges), and you get a guilty-by-association verdict that purportedly justifies trashing the Constitution and politically benefits Bush in the short-term, while driving this man insane after torturing him for some three years.

No mention or material evidence presented during trial of a plot to launch a dirty bomb, the rationale by which Bush declared that this American was an enemy combatant with no rights under the Constitution or Geneva Convention.

Just the "conspiracy" charges, and all the prosecution had to do is convince a jury in Miami that because he is a converted Muslim who visited Afghanistan, and touched a pamphlet, he is per force part of a conspiracy. It's ludicrous, though I thought even this jury would wake up.

Different verdicts would likely have come in NY, LA, SF, Chi, or Madison, or anywhere in New England.

This will end up ultimately in the SC (maybe Scalia will vote to overturn), but by then Bush will be out.

As Salon's Glenn Greenwald writes:

To this day, many people, including myself, cite the Padilla case as the ultimate wake-up call to the true character, the genuine soul, of the Bush administration. Imprisoning a U.S. citizen, on U.S. soil, with no charges of any kind, and then keeping him for years completely incommunicado, is just one of those lines which many people believed would never be crossed in America. Even major corporate newspapers (though typically equvocating) denounce what was done to this man and our Consitution. See this morning's New York Times: The administration’s insistence that it had the right to hold Mr. Padilla indefinitely — simply on the president’s word — was its first outrageous act in the case, but hardly its last. Mr. Padilla was kept in a small isolation cell, and when he left that cell he was blindfolded and his ears were covered. He was denied access to a lawyer even when he was being questioned.
The administration also insisted that the courts had no right to second-guess its actions. It was only after the Supreme Court appeared poised last year to use Mr. Padilla’s case to decide whether indefinite detention of an American citizen violates the Constitution, that the White House suddenly decided to give him a civilian trial. It was obvious that the administration was trying to game the legal system and insulate itself from Supreme Court review. J. Michael Luttig, a federal appeals court judge who heard Mr. Padilla’s case, warned about the consequences “for the government’s credibility before the courts in litigation.”
The administration is already claiming victory, but the result in Mr. Padilla’s case is in many ways a mess. He will likely never be brought to trial on the dirty-bomb plot, a much publicized charge that cries out for resolution. (In another move worthy of Alice in Wonderland, the government is holding another prisoner in Guantánamo, Binyam Mohamed, because he was accused of conspiring with Mr. Padilla in the dirty-bomb plot for which Mr. Padilla was never charged.) There is also the danger that Mr. Padilla’s conviction will be reversed on appeal because of his alleged mistreatment before trial. In hailing the verdict yesterday, a White House spokesman thanked the jury for “upholding a core American principle of impartial justice for all.” It is a remarkable statement, since the administration did everything it could to keep Mr. Padilla away from a jury and deny him impartial justice. ###