Jose Padilla, a half deranged, tortured individual taken to the brink of insanity by the sole super power left in the world, has managed to muster courage that an entire nation of mentally sound people could not come up with to begin the process of bringing Bush Administration officials to justice!
Mr. Padilla was held as an “enemy combatant” in solitary confinement for more than three years in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Padilla, who was convicted of supporting terrorism and other crimes, demands that Mr. Yoo be held accountable for actions that Mr. Padilla claims led to his being tortured.
During the time Mr. Padilla was held in the brig, according to his filings in the case, he “suffered gross physical and psychological abuse at the hands of federal officials as part off a systematic program of abusive interrogation intended to break down Mr. Padilla’s humanity and his will to live.”
In the 42-page ruling, Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco characterized the conflict as one that embodies the tension “between the requirements of war and the defense of the very freedoms that war seeks to protect.”
Let’s not overlook the courage of Judge White, a Bush appointee who some are lauding as delivering a pretty legally sound opinion to allow Padilla proceed with his action. Of course there are all sorts of other legal hurdles this decision has to face, appellate and possibly a Supreme Court review; the neocons will not allow the precedent of one of their own be tried, much less found guilty, for torture and no doubt the disposition of this case is a long way off, but at least it has started, and it took a man huddling in a cell somewhere to get the process started. How brave and noble!