Just grotesque....

The Padilla hearings are underway. Yesterday, some of the jailers were forced to testify about the conditions. in the brig.

But the real outrage of the day was the absurd testimony of the supposedly independent shrink:

"But the Bureau of Prisons psychologist, Dr. Buigas, disagreed with the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. He said Dr. Zapfs testing was invalidated by the fact that Mr. Padilla was handcuffed during the tests, a condition imposed on Dr. Zapf by prison officials."

So the prison officials for Padilla to remain cuffed, and as a result the defense analysis is flawed. Truly Kafkaesque.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a great song by Steve Earle, on his latest cd, with the line "it just gets tougher every day, to sit around and watch it while it slips away" that's appropriate.

Remember too, that while Ashcroft described this guy as a "dirty" bomber, he was indicted as part of an ongoing conspiracy case in Miami. As the NYT put it on 12-4-06:

"Mr. Padilla’s status was abruptly changed to criminal defendant from enemy combatant last fall. At the time, the Supreme Court was weighing whether to take up the legality of his military detention — and thus the issue of the president’s authority to seize an American citizen on American soil and hold him indefinitely without charges — when the Bush administration pre-empted its decision by filing criminal charges against Mr. Padilla... Mr. Padilla was added as a defendant in a terrorism conspiracy case already under way in Miami. The strong public accusations made during his military detention — about the dirty bomb, Al Qaeda connections and supposed plans to set off natural gas explosions in apartment buildings — appear nowhere in the indictment against him. The indictment does not allege any specific violent plot against America."

The article also quotes Dr. Angela Hegarty, director of forensic psychiatry at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, N.Y., who examined Padilla in June and September, and who, in an affidavit filed by the defense on Friday, said that Padilla:

"lacks the capacity to assist in his own defense... It is my opinion that as the result of his experiences during his detention and interrogation, Mr. Padilla does not appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him, is unable to render assistance to counsel, and has impairments in reasoning as the result of a mental illness, i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated by the neuropsychiatric effects of prolonged isolation."

While this information and the government expert's latest opinion is indeed grotesque and Kafkaesque, what's even more troubling is that I had to come here and check out your blog to read about it.

While you and I might recognize the signifigance of this case, most people are tuned into the networks' 24 hour Anna Nicole coverage and oblivious to the way Jose Padilla's case could affect their own lives.

As Judge Cuthbert Hand eloquently stated: "The rights of the best men are secure only as the vilest and most abhorrent are protected."

If we measure our own rights by those afforded to Jose (he was transported to a root canal with dark goggles) we're in trouble.