Thursday, June 10, 2004

I Suppose Inhofe Is Completely OK with this Outrage The snickering stupidity of the Ashcroft-run Justice Department would be laughable were it not the most offensive in this country since Mitchell Palmer (the original "McCarthy"). Two weeks ago, they trotted out a bunch of evidence that will likely never be admitted in a court because it is a bunch of gossip (it doesn't even justify calling it hearsay) about Jose Padilla. It was one of the most offensive displays of the Ashcroft era, and that is truly saying something, considering that includes public performances of "Let the Eagle Soar". As Newsweek reports:
...administration officials now concede that the principal claim they have been making about Padilla ever since his detention—that he was dispatched to the United States for the specific purpose of setting off a radiological “dirty bomb”—has turned out to be wrong and most likely can never be used against him in court.
Need it be restated that they were pushing this story less than two weeks ago? There is more in the Newsweek story:
A newly declassified Pentagon report on Padilla—released by Deputy Attorney General James Comey—was in part intended to influence public thinking about his case and establish more clearly that Padilla was a dangerous Al Qaeda operative who intended to inflict harm on innocent civilians. But some little-noticed passages in the report also raise new questions about the accuracy of previous administration statements about Padilla—questions that could subtly undermine one of the administration’s main positions before the court: that in times of war, it should be trusted when it locks up American citizens without trial in order to protect the public. The alleged dirty-bomb plot—with its stark imagery of radioactive terror—was central to the entire rationale the Bush administration used from the outset when it took the extraordinary step of declaring Padilla an “enemy combatant” who could be detained indefinitely in a military brig without access to a lawyer.
What a goddamned embarrassment. The Newsweek story also asserts that within the Justice Department they are sure that the Abu Ghraib and other embarassments are going to cause the Supreme Court to come down against the Bush Administration on that case, and two other "War on 'Terra'" cases. I'm more optimistic on this than Atrios but I do share a good chunk of his cynicism. After all this same bunch placed the Chimp in the White House where the latter lives about 60% of the year.
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