I keep referring to this case because I see it is a prime example of the threat Bush, Ashcroft and the Patriot Act pose to our civil liberties. The reason is that he is a US citizen who was detained on US soil. Both Discourse.net and Atrios have excellent comments regarding an MSNBC report that contains the following paragraph:
[A]dministration 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.
So, we’ve detained this guy for two years, much of it in solitary confinement, with little or no access to legal counsel and no opportunity to go to court or some other independent body to challenge the grounds for his detention. So why does this matter to anyone other than Padilla? As Atrios says, “If they can do it to Padilla, they can do it to you.”
As a related aside, the lede to a recent Reuters article headlined “Americans Would Trade Rights for Security,” summarizes the sad state of affairs in the US today: “In today’s America, prisoners are held incommunicado for years, newspapers can’t photograph soldiers’ coffins returned from Iraq and the government can secretly track the books citizens read and the movies they watch.” (Via War Blogging).