Friday, September 09, 2005

Judges to Padilla: Indefinite Detention A-Okay!

Thumbs up, guys! Touchdown for Authoritarianism!

From Fox News, of all places:

Court: Padilla Can Be Held Without Charges
Friday, September 09, 2005

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court has sided with the Bush administration and ruled that "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla (search) can be detained without charges.

In July, a lawyer for Padilla, an American accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb," told a federal appeals court that the U.S. government should either charge his client with a crime or set him free.

But a Bush administration lawyer told the court that the president must have authority to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists who come to the United States intent on killing civilians.

Padilla, a former Chicago gang member and Muslim convert suspected of being an Al Qaeda (search) operative, was seized in 2002 after flying from Pakistan to Chicago on what authorities said was a scouting mission for a plot to set off a conventional bomb laced with radioactive material. Padilla also is suspected of planning to blow up apartment buildings in several cities by filling them with natural gas.

President Bush declared Padilla an "enemy combatant," a designation that allows the military to hold someone indefinitely without charges. Padilla is in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., and has been held for the past three years.

At issue before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (search) was whether Padilla — an American seized on U.S. soil — should have been designated an enemy combatant.

The 4th Circuit received the case after a South Carolina judge ruled that the government must charge Padilla with a crime or release him.

The same court two years ago upheld the president's right to detain another U.S. citizen designated as an enemy combatant, Yaser Esam Hamdi. However, Hamdi was released and flown to Saudi Arabia after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled he could challenge his detention in U.S. courts.

A key difference in the two cases is that Hamdi was captured while fighting alongside the Taliban on the battlefield in Afghanistan, while Padilla was taken into custody in the United States.

Posted by crimnos @ 3:08 PM