Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Jose Padilla has been allowed to see his lawyer!

BLITZER: Some of these questions are now before the U.S. Supreme Court, as you well know, Donna Newman. What is your suspicion why this information is being made public today?

NEWMAN: I don't speculate on government's motives. I leave that to the press to do. But one only has to look at the history in this case to understand that whenever the government has felt pressure, that what they are doing in their strategy in terrorism, they come forth to help themselves.

For example, they would not let me see Mr. Padilla or my co-counsel ... see Mr. Padilla. And then when they had to file their Supreme Court brief, all of a sudden they said, for some strange reason national security is not a problem and you can see him.

So every step of the way, the history of this case demonstrates when the government has been pushed against the wall they come forth with something. This, however, while they say it is very damning, it sounds so much like an opening statement that it's really surprising that Mr. Comey has said it in this way.


But we all know that admissions, in fact, lately we have found from prisoners, it has been all over the news, that their admissions have been under coercion. I'm not saying that's here. I don't know. And that's the problem in this case. The counsel has been kept in the dark, the counsel has not been told of the facts, the counsel has not been allowed to really have full access to the client, and that the system is being tried to be turned up on his head.

(Fat chance on the press speculating on the government's motives.)

The Justice Department, under pressure to explain its indefinite detention of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant


Then there was the new release of a lot of "secret information" suddenly declassified we have all grown accustomed to.

The Supreme Court is deciding whether the war on terrorism gives the government power to seize Americans such as Padilla and hold them without charges for as long as it takes to ensure they are not a danger to United States. Comey denied the timing of the disclosure was an attempt to influence the court.


Comey said release of the information had no connection to criticism from some members of Congress and some administration officials that Attorney General John Ashcroft overstated the al-Qaida threat.


"We have decided to release this information to help people understand why we are doing what we are doing in the war on terror and to help people understand the nature of the threat we face," he said.

Yes, yes, you areunder threat of losing your multi-tiered legal system, the one that says the laws don't apply to those at the top because they are so good, they don't apply to "bad people" (the definition of bad people sure is slippery these days, don't ya think?) because they are so bad. We must keep the pressure on to restore the rule of law-the original ones, not the new improved, more creative kind- on our elected and selected officials.

Joe Drymala gives the government's case this smack down

Since you deprived him of his civil liberties in the first place, you've got to keep depriving him of his civil liberties because all the good info you got from him would be inadmissible because you got it by violating the Bill of Rights?

Back to the CNN interview

If Mr. Padilla is as dangerous as they say, why not simply have a trial and then the -- with a verdict and certainly the sentence which can be quite severe, such as life, and that's what he would be facing, if he were tried and he was convicted, he would not be a danger.

BLITZER: All right.

NEWMAN: So our system works. And they have to have confidence in it. I have confidence in it. I have seen it work. I believe in it. And I think -- people have told me that that makes me more patriotic. I believe that that makes us all patriotic because we believe that in the end justice will be done when the system is used properly, not when it has been evaded and avoided.

emphasis mine



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