Erik Fortman

Free Padilla

Jose Padilla is an American citizen taken into custody on American soil. Padilla has been incarcerated for almost two years (CATO Institute, 'Jose Padilla: No Charges and No Trial, Just Jail' 23 August 2003). He is being held without charges, indictment, trial, lawyer, liberty, or humanity. He has a Constitutional right to each and every one of these things. Fox News informs us that he was planning to use a dirty bomb in America. If so, then execute him. However, we will never know if he is an enemy until he is given a trial, attorney, etc. He is not an enemy combatant, and no proof has been put forward. As of now, he is a non-entity, and guilty because of the words of a government who lied about 9-11, Iraq, the Patriot Act, and many other issues.

As Americans, I do not see how we can rightfully let this continue. We, as Americans, must fight for Jose Padilla's freedom - or at least for a trial by a jury of peers. Any American who does not do so forsakes his own right to be defended when his or her liberty is infringed upon. What's that saying: they came for this group, but it wasn't mine. They came for that group, but it wasn't mine. When they came for my group, no one was left to help. That is what will happen if Jose is not either tried or freed IMMEDIATELY!

Circumstances suggest that Jose Padilla is either a political prisoner, or a prototype. If his words or actions threaten the American Government, then Padilla is being held as a political prisoner. Unfortunately, this may not be the situation. When Padilla's case went to the Supreme Court, it went boxed up with other internment questions, including questions as to the rights of inmates at Guantanamo. The Supreme Court ruled that foreigners, caught on the battlefields of foreign lands, do have a right to a tribunal. Padilla's case was not answered, thereby sentencing an American citizen caught on American soil to one-cell limbo. This gives Americans less rights than our enemies!

I can no longer in good faith accept the federal government's promise that Jose Padilla is a criminal, a terrorist. He is a fellow countrymen, regardless of his race, religion, or political party. If he is tried and found guilty of planning to attack the U.S., then I will, in good conscience, perform the execution myself. One bullet in the head for traitors. Clean, no pain, humanitarian. If, on the other hand, Padilla is not charged with a crime, I reserve the right to release him from his jail. If the government wants to illegally hold him anyway - then Americans should break him out. This would not be a crime, as Padilla's internment for the last two years IS the crime.

Many people want to place their faith in government. To them, I say that history refutes your belief that government is benign. To those who do not support Padilla's trial, you have revoked your own right to a fair trial. If we allow this to happen to Padilla, then we are telling the government that indefinite, baseless internments are par for the course in America. After the next terrorist act on our shores, do we think that Padilla will not have his first cellmates, held under charges issued forth through Fox News?

Webs of Power
by Erik Fortman


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