« Poland 3; America 2NPR Rant »
06.17.2002

Jose Padilla

Where is José Padilla? And why is almost nobody making a ruckus about him?

My one brush with arbitrary power came when I exchanged strong words with a jackass INS agent with tatoos all up his arm. I had moved to Vermont, and so it turned out my three hour drive to get a citizenship interview in New Hampshire was fruitless - I had to start from square one. This seemed stupid and petty to me, considering the two states were in the same country, and for saying that I almost got my application stamped 'Refused'. I pissed off an INS agent and he told me to back down or get kicked out of the country I had spent the last 20 years in. WWJD? Turn the other cheek is damn straight.

I thought pissant power games like that would be behind me once I got my bona fides, but now we have the spectacle of Mr. Padilla being held incommunicado, an 'enemy combatant' in an undeclared war, and no one makes a peep about it. Citizen or not makes no difference, apparently - all you have to do is be labelled a terrorist. And a terrorist can be many, many things. If you hack a government computer, you are a terrorist, says the DOJ.

Where is everyone? Where is Henry Hyde, who was all about the rule of law when it came to denying Presidential blow jobs? Where is the damned ACLU?

I don't know this Padilla guy - he sounds like a dimwit and a thug - but I will feel a lot better once he's shown up in a court, and seen his lawyer, and been given a date for a fair trial. There's something about indefinite administrative detention that just seems kind of off to me.

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