Thursday, August 15, 2002

Remember how John Ashcroft announced on June 10 in a satellite link from Moscow the detention of Jose Padilla, the alleged al-Qaeda terrorist accused of attempting to set off a 'dirty bomb' in the United States? Remember the extensive media coverage of the dangers of a 'dirty bomb'? Remember the fears and panic that Americans suddenly had of slow lingering painful deaths from radiation sickness? Remember how Padilla was being held as an 'enemy combatant' without trial or possibility of trial, and without even being charged with anything, in seeming contravention of the pre-Dubya laws of the United States, including the Constitution? Remember the somewhat muted protests about this, especially when it was realized that he was an American citizen? Remember how odd it seemed that Padilla was detained on May 8, but Ashcroft went through the drama of his satellite feed on June 10? Remember how some traitors had the temerity to suggest that the timing of the announcement just might have something to do with the fact that June 10 was the date of the embarrassing testimony of FBI agent Coleen Rowley concerning how the FBI and Justice Department in Washington went out of their way to prevent local FBI agents from investigating Moussaoui in the days before September 11? Well, you can now forget the whole thing, as we now learn that Jose Padilla is a 'small fish', with no ties to al-Qaeda, and "two law enforcement officials close to the case say there is no evidence that a plot was under way". Despite this:

"There are no plans to bring Padilla before a military tribunal and U.S. officials have argued he can be held until the government declares an end to the war on terrorism. Newman, Padilla's attorney says that unlike other wars, the war against terrorism is an open-ended conflict and the government could hold him indefinitely."

One administration official even said:

“If this guy thinks he might be there for 20 years with no recourse, he might just say, ‘OK, let’s talk’.”

So they made the whole 'dirty bomb' thing up, now admit that they did, held a man for months on the basis of their lies, and liked the scam so much they'll just keep detaining him even after admitting to the scam. Somehow they manage all this on the basis of the never-ending war on terror. This is the kind of confidence you develop when you are allowed to run roughshod over the Constitution and no one dares say anything about it. With one little battle in the phony war on terror, the junta has:

  1. used the dramatic arrest of a patsy with the addition of a little fear of radiation to hide the embarrassing testimony of Coleen Rowley; and

  2. set a precedent for the rest of U. S. history for indefinite detention without trial of anyone, including American citizens arrested in the United States, who the junta doesn't like or has a propaganda use for.

If that weren't bad enough, John Ashcroft was so thrilled with the success of the detention of Padilla that he has decided to set up whole camps of U. S. citizens he deems to be 'enemy combatants'. This is really, really starting to look exactly like Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany. But don't worry about the U. S. Constitution. With all that Ashcroft is producing these days he's going to need a lot of toilet paper.