Wednesday, January 23, 2008

'Little more than a thought crime'

Andy Worthington:

The news that U.S. citizen José Padilla has received a prison sentence of 17 years and four months should provoke outrage in the United States, although it is unlikely that there will be much more than a whimper of dissent.

....Seventeen years and four months seems to me to be an extraordinarily long sentence for little more than a thought crime, but when the issue of Padilla's three and a half years of suppressed torture is raised, it's difficult not to conclude that justice has been horribly twisted, that the president and his advisers have just gotten away with torturing an American citizen with impunity, and that no American citizen can be sure that what happened to Padilla will not happen to him or her. Today, it was a Muslim; tomorrow, unless the government's powers are restricted, it could be any number of categories of "enemy combatants" who have not yet been identified.