News Flash: Jose Padilla Found Guilty On All Counts

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His attorneys were not allowed to mention the original “dirty bomb” allegations, nor the fact that he was held without an attorney for 3 1/2 years. AP story here.

More to come. Meanwhile read my previous blog post here. And our full archival coverage of the Padilla case here.

Update: Condemnation of the government’s handling of the Padilla case is near universal today. From the normally conservative Washington Post editorial pages:

The months of trial in South Florida were remarkable for being relatively unremarkable…. What was extraordinary, and reprehensible, was how long Mr. Padilla had to wait for the kind of due process most Americans take for granted.

Mr. Padilla was detained in 2002 in Chicago on suspicion that he was trying to assemble a “dirty bomb.” He was first designated a “material witness” and later an “enemy combatant” and held in federal detention cells or military brigs for years by a government intent on keeping him out of a federal court system where he would be endowed with rights — including access to a lawyer. In this alternative universe, government interrogators, with no checks from any other authority, used sensory and sleep deprivation, solitary confinement and other forms of abuse to squeeze information from the prisoner. Mr. Padilla was, in short, “disappeared” into a system with methods we object to in the strongest terms when they are used in police states around the world.

From the New York Times:

On the way to this verdict, the government repeatedly trampled on the Constitution, and its prosecution of Mr. Padilla was so cynical and inept that the crime he was convicted of — conspiracy to commit terrorism overseas — bears no relation to the ambitious plot to wreak mass destruction inside the United States, which the Justice Department first loudly proclaimed. Even with the guilty verdict, this conviction remains a shining example of how not to prosecute terrorism cases.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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