Thursday, November 24, 2005

Jose Padilla

NYT reported The Bush administration decided to charge Jose Padilla with less serious crimes because it was unwilling to allow testimony from two senior members of Al Qaeda who had been subjected to harsh questioning, current and former government officials said Wednesday.

I suspect it was really more a matter of not wanting to expose top secret information, including sources and methods, in open court, than the fact that senior members of Al Qaeda had been subjected to "harsh questioning". Were they placed in a burning building and given the choice of burning to death, or leaping out of the building, to die when they hit the concrete below? That was the choice given to the innocent workers in the Twin Towers on 9/11.
The two senior members were the main sources linking Mr. Padilla to a plot to bomb targets in the United States, the officials said. The Qaeda members were Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, believed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and Abu Zubaydah, a top recruiter, who gave their accounts to American questioners in 2002 and 2003. The two continue to be held in secret prisons by the Central Intelligence Agency, whose internal reviews have raised questions about their treatment and credibility, the officials said. One review, completed in spring 2004 by the C.I.A. inspector general, found that Mr. Mohammed had been subjected to excessive use of a technique involving near drowning in the first months after his capture
After seeing the picture of him, I suspect they were just giving him a very needed bath.
, American intelligence officials said. Another review, completed in April 2003 by American intelligence agencies shortly after Mr. Mohammed's capture, assessed the quality of his information from initial questioning as "Precious Truths, Surrounded by a Bodyguard of Lies."
I hope they gave him a few more baths to determine the difference.
Accusations about plots to set off a "dirty bomb" and use natural gas lines to bomb American apartment buildings had featured prominently in past administration statements about Mr. Padilla, an American who had been held in military custody for more than three years after his arrest in May 2002. But they were not mentioned in his criminal indictment on lesser charges of support to terrorism that were made public on Tuesday. The decision not to charge him criminally in connection with the more far-ranging bomb plots was prompted by the conclusion that Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Zubaydah could almost certainly not be used as witnesses, because that could expose classified information and could open up charges from defense lawyers that their earlier statements were a result of torture,
To heck with whether some bleeding heart lawyer could claim they were tortured; we did not want to expose classified information, and allow them to tell the world everything they told their interrogaters.
officials said.

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