Monday, November 28, 2005

The wages of our sins

Kathy Kattenberg @ Liberty Street points out that the government's Padilla case, rather than being aided by our torture regime, has in fact been eviscerated by it.
First, after spending so much time rewriting and reinterpreting the meaning of domestic law and international agreements to permit the U.S. to torture detainees in the war on terror, it turns out the Bush administration doesn't trust the credibility of information obtained under torture enough to use it in court. They know it's not reliable. They know torture is morally wrong, evil, barbaric, and uncivilized. And they know that the American court system would not stand for a prosecution based on "evidence" gained through torture.

Second, IF Padilla did have ties to Al Qaeda; IF the Justice Department's case against him had merit; then the Bush administration has destroyed that case by using torture to obtain evidence.

Put another way, the Bush administration has seriously damaged this country's ability to bring suspected terrorists to justice, and thus has gravely compromised U.S. national security.

So there you have it, folks. The president who used the Bill of Rights for toilet paper; and who has made the name of the United States synonymous with contempt for human rights -- all for the supposed purpose of protecting Americans' safety -- has killed the U.S. government's ability to successfully prosecute alleged terrorists.

All of which also answers the question: why is the government so insistent on holding so many suspects without trials? Because they know they can't prove a goddamned thing, even against the few who might actually be guilty of something important.


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