Friday, January 13, 2006

NYT: "Padilla Pleads Not Guilty; Bail Is Denied" (Terry Aguayo)

Jose Padilla, who was transferred from military to civilian custody last week, was ordered held without bail by a federal judge Thursday after pleading not guilty to criminal charges that he provided money and support to terrorism forces overseas.
"He pleads absolutely not guilty to the charges contained in the indictment," Michael Caruso, Mr. Padilla's lawyer, said before Magistrate Judge Barry Garber.

[. . .]
Mr. Caruso said holding Mr. Padilla in pretrial detention would be "especially brutal" inasmuch as he was held in military custody without charges for over three years as an enemy combatant.

The above is from Terry Aguayo's "Padilla Pleads Not Guilty; Bail Is Denied" in this morning's New York Times. So Padilla's finally transferred to the civilian justice system (or to a justice system period) and he's still imprisoned? Bully Boy's America.

Attempting to drive out the fog imposed by Bully Boy is Larry's highlight. Or, as he calls it, "Take that Colin Powell!" From Elizabeth Holtzman's "The Impeachment of George W. Bush" (The Nation):

A President can commit no more serious crime against our democracy than lying to Congress and the American people to get them to support a military action or war. It is not just that it is cowardly and abhorrent to trick others into giving their lives for a nonexistent threat, or even that making false statements might in some circumstances be a crime. It is that the decision to go to war is the gravest decision a nation can make, and in a democracy the people and their elected representatives, when there is no imminent attack on the United States to repel, have the right to make it. Given that the consequences can be death for hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of people--as well as the diversion of vast sums of money to the war effort--the fraud cannot be tolerated. That both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were guilty of misleading the nation into military action and neither was impeached for it makes it more, not less, important to hold Bush accountable.
Once it was clear that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq, President Bush tried to blame "bad intelligence" for the decision to go to war, apparently to show that the WMD claim was not a deliberate deception. But bad intelligence had little or nothing to do with the main arguments used to win popular support for the invasion of Iraq.
First, there was no serious intelligence--good or bad--to support the Administration's suggestion that Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were in cahoots. Nonetheless, the Administration repeatedly tried to claim the connection to show that the invasion was a justified response to 9/11 (like the declaration of war against Japan for Pearl Harbor). The claim was a sheer fabrication.
Second, there was no reliable intelligence to support the Administration's claim that Saddam was about to acquire nuclear weapons capability. The specter of the "mushroom cloud," which frightened many Americans into believing that the invasion of Iraq was necessary for our self-defense, was made up out of whole cloth. As for the biological and chemical weapons, even if, as reported, the CIA director told the President that these existed in Iraq, the Administration still had plenty of information suggesting the contrary.

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