Thursday, February 22, 2007

Torturing Jose: US Describes itself

By many accounts Jose Padilla is not someone I would go out of my way to choose for a dinner companion. But precisely becasue in some ways he doesn't necessarily cut the most admirable of figures, the pathos and empathy we can give him simply by reading a bare bones account of the symptoms of the treatment he has suffered, may help us to reflect on the people under whose administration Americans and citizens of the world are now living.

From Laura Rozen's, 2.17.07


Officials of a Navy brig where suspected al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla was held have been ordered to testify at a hearing next week to determine whether his treatment there has left him unfit to stand trial.

It will be the first time Defense Department officials with direct knowledge will speak publicly about Padilla's 3 1/2 years of confinement _ which defense experts say has caused him irreparable mental harm and made it impossible for his lawyers to adequately prepare for trial.

Federal prosecutors fought to keep the officials out of Thursday's competency hearing, arguing that the sole issue to be decided is Padilla's mental state now. ...

But in her ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke sided with defense lawyers, who argued that a Bureau of Prisons mental expert had interviewed the brig officials for his own report which concluded that Padilla is competent. That report has not yet been publicly released. ...

Prosecutors fear that defense lawyers will use the officials' testimony as an excuse to pursue their claims that Padilla, a 36-year-old U.S. citizen originally arrested in May 2002, was tortured during interrogation at the brig. ...

[Padilla] told a psychologist that at the brig that he sometimes begged his guards not to put him in "the cage," but he would not say what went on there. The conditions of his incarceration have rendered him unable to assist in his own defense, his attorneys said.

"When approached by his attorneys, he begs them, 'Please, please, please' not to have to discuss his case," according to psychiatrist Angela Hegarty, who interviewed him for 22 hours. ...

Noami Klein has just written an article on the same subject for the Guardian.
Search "The US psychological torture system is finally on trial"

1 comment:

Comrade O'Brien said...

Hello Comrade,
Please visit to learn about our creative protest of the Military Commissions Act, the law that allows Padilla to be tortured. Or watch our video at: