Bush's Scant Padilla Evidence

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Rumsfeld vs. Padilla is now a reality in a Miami federal courtroom.as most readers know.

I anticipated this trial for years and the jury selection phase has started. First there was Zaccarias Mousaoui; the lone Black man and so-called 5th-plane hijacker and considered to be one who could have prevented the 9/11 attacks and didn’t.

This time around a Hispanic American is being tried for plotting to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb� and blow up some projects—high rise apartments.

The US shockingly enough has no hard evidence as to these charges, all that is known about Padilla is that he was born in New York, raised in Chicago, joined a gang called the Maniac Latin Disciples and changed his sirname several times to Rivera, Hernandez, and Ortiz among others.

Padilla spent time in a juvenile detention center, moved to Florida with his family later on and converted to Islam. “Terrorist traits� for certain, he’s the expert I guess.

In 1998 Padilla traveled to Egypt to continue his studies in Islam. Reportedly he adopted a non-violent way of life. Upon returning from Zurich in May of ’02 he was arrested at O’Hare airport. In the grand jury investigation of 9/11 one month later in a dazzling piece of mind-reader ability, President George Bush “the decider� proclaimed Padilla an “enemy combatant.�

Nothing is really known as to whether he engaged anyone in combat outside of reform school and probably a couple of essays in Cook County, but on 8/9/02 Bush ordered then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to detain Padilla. He was taken to a military brig in South Carolina without any notification to his family or attorneys.
The most Padilla may be guilty of is simple association—he is being connected to Adham Amin Hassoun who is believed to have worked for a terrorist fund-raising organization. Authorities feel has ties to al Qaeda. What seems certain is the abuse he suffered while in lock down, his lawyers say

Padilla was victimized by ongoing physical and psychological abuse that has affected him mentally. The Bush Administration want it both ways, they say he was not abused and is fit for trial and then they say details about his detention should be kept out of the trial. The 9 jurors were selected out of 17 prospects. Trial could actually begin in early May, this time prosecutors won’t be focusing on connecting Padilla to a dirty bomb. Conspiracy  to further violent Jihad will be the focus for now.
Padilla’s court battles are marred by a level of determination to detain that is only equaled by incompetence and is too lengthy to list in this column. But then again what more could you ask of the Bush Administration? That this determination is based on an obsession to link Black and Brown American boys to 9/11 should surprise no one.

Black Star contributor Stevenson is a columnist for the Buffalo Criterion, Contact him at pointblankdta@yahoo.com


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