Mrs. Creek was sitting beside me at the morning table and happened to flip open The Nation and read about the torture of Jose Padilla, not in Abhu Graib or Guantanamo, but in...Charleston, South Carolina. She was outraged and read me passages stating things like, "sensory deprivation was chosen as a method because it causes personality disintegration." His lawyers have complained that he cannot help with his defense because "He isn't there anymore." They destroyed his mind by torturing him.
Jose Padilla may or may not be a terrorist. He did hang around with some folks who have unsavory reputations, but then so have most of us. One of my childhood friends was the biggest juvenile delinquent in Laurens County, Georgia. He died recently after a career in law enforcement. I don't claim that Padilla is an innocent person, only that we have no idea whether he is or not. He has been held as an enemy combatant, for years without a lawyer or even contact with the outside world. He has been tortured into extreme mental illness. He is not charged with committing any illegal act. The government was foreced to bring charges against him by the Supreme Court. It brought three charges against him and has essentially dropped all but one. If found guilty, which may be unlikely at this point, his punishment will be viewed as an escape from Hell. He has probably endured the most horrible and most dastardly treatment ever, of a prisoner held in a United States prison. He is an American citizen.
The real lesson for us in the Padilla case is that it could happen to you and me. It could happen to our children. It could happen to anyone in America who challenges our government. and the reason it could happen is that the bush Administration has ignored its obligation to obey the law. The horrible treatment of Jose Padilla is bad but the destruction of the "Rule of Law" in America is far worse.
Mrs. Creek said she was upset that no one seems to know about all this. "Why isn't this on the news?" she said.
I said that it is the same reason that Republicans being funded by the same people that are funding Al Queda isn't in the news.
It is the same reason that no one knows that Bush is funding Al Queda in Iraq.
It is because it is more important to find out who fathered Anna Nicole Smith's baby, than to be informed about evidence of Vice Presidential treason popping up in the Scooter Libby trial.
Corporate media can serve America vitamins or crack. The choice seems to have been made.