Sunday, August 19, 2007

Padilla Convicted, Bill of Rights Overturned
Gust Perspective/Ralph Lopez

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads:
"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
The conviction of Jose Padilla means the administration has now enshrined the authority to pick you up off the street at any time, put you in a military prison, do anything they want to you, including torture, for 3 1/2 years, then release you if they feel like it to a civilian court, psychologically helpless to assist in your own defense, as long as the charge is "suspected of terrorism." According to AP Padilla did not look surprised. Why should he? His lawyer said he did not trust anyone and fully expected this would be another part of the long charade in which interrogators posed as lawyers, he was told he would never be released, and in general messed with his mind in ways that made him emerge not the same man.
This could now happen to you, to me, anybody. This is way bigger than the Iraq War. It is for the freedoms for which the Iraq War is supposedly being fought. George Bush has overturned the U.S. Constitution.
The only remedy now is impeachment on grounds that Bush violated his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, the Law of the Land, legislation in Congress stating that previous precedents for the "enemy combatant" designation cannot apply to American citizens in a war that has no end, and the immediate release of Jose Padilla for grievous violation of his constitutional rights. If he "assisted" in terrorism, and he probably did not, as we can see from the government's incredibly weak case, so be it. Killers are released all the time because police did not read them their Miranda rights. The blame is on the government for blowing the case. It has been held in law that dismissal of a case is the only remedy which would instill proper respect by the authorities for the Law of the Land.
If the Padilla case stands, and GWB leaves office without being impeached, it will be as if the American Revolution had never been fought, as if the thousands of men who died at Normandy died for nothing. All officers of the U.S. government are hereby reminded of their duty to the oath they took to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, and are ordered by We the People to effect the immediate arrest of the traitor George W. Bush.
From May 8th, the date Jose Padilla was arrested.
Ralph Lopez is a former state Rep. and state Senate candidate from Cambridge, Mass. and the author of "American Dream." He also writes his own blog,

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