Monday, August 13, 2007

Jose Padilla Under Threat Of Return To The Brig

Truthout has an article from the Christian Science Monitor which details the diminished mental capacity of Jose Padilla.

The particulars of what Padilla endured remain sketchy because he steadfastly refuses to talk about the treatment he endured while being held as an enemy combatant. There are two parts of this article which piqued my interest in particular. First, I think the following portion of the article demonstrates why Padilla will not talk to anyone about what he went through while in the brig:
Padilla's treatment in the brig is classified as a state secret.

Ironically, no one knows this better than Padilla himself. When Hegarty, the psychiatrist, asked him about his interrogation in the brig, Padilla responded: "I can't talk about what happened to me because it is classified."
No wonder Padilla refuses to discuss his treatment with the people who are charged by the courts with finding out if he was tortured. He has been told in no uncertain terms that what happened to him is classified. Implicit in being told that is if he does talk about his treatment, Padilla is liable to be prosecuted for leaking state secrets. The article makes clear that Padilla is positively terrified of being returned to the brig. "[I]f one were to offer him a long prison term or return to the brig, he would take prison, in a heartbeat." "He said he will go back there. He will die there. He is fearful of his time in the brig." In effect the administration of George Bush has silenced Padilla by threatening to further torture him if he tells anyone about the torture he has already endured. This is America?

The next part of the article which grabbed my attention is this startling account given by Padilla's mother about one time when she tried to get him to open up:
Padilla's mother became increasingly anxious. Finally she confronted her son: "Did they torture you?" she asked.

"He turned towards her, his face grimacing, his eyes blinking, and in panic and rage he demanded: 'Don't you ever, ever, ask that question again,'" the Grassian report says.
That scene is as much proof of the torture as if Padilla were to give a blow by blow account of how he was driven mad. If he were not tortured he simply could have said that he was not tortured. Of course, if Padilla had not been tortured then he most likely would not be exibiting the signs which cause his mother such concern when she visits him. On the other hand, if Padilla were tortured, and dreaded yet more torture if he were to talk about his treatment... then you have a scene where he flies into a rage and panic when his mother pushes the issue.

Jose Padilla is the living example of tyranny come to America. He is an American citizen who was dissapeared after being arrested on American soil, and tortured. There is no greater offense which can be brought on a citizen than for that person to be abruptly stripped of all human rights and then tortured to insanity. Even death would be preferrable from my point of view, melodramatic as that may seem.

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