GermanStar - 12/22/2005 10:34 PM
Botnst - 12/22/2005 8:25 PM
The Executive didn't file charges originally because it contended that as an enemy combatant, Padilla wasn't protected by civil liberties afforded citizens.
Yes, that was their bogus contention. Of course, it now appears that the real reason they didn't file charges is that they had no charges to file, for which they were sternly vilified by a federal appeals court today. The administration presented a host of contentions of similar merit regarding the invasion of Iraq as I recall. Are you starting to see a pattern yet?
It is bogus now because it has been thoroughly adjudicated. That is the reasonable, legal way to solve arguments within the legal framework.
The problem with evidence is the one which Gorelick argued required a strong separation between intelligence and criminal investigation. I agree with her. I favor a high, dense wall separating them.
Intelligence is intent on getting and using information to advance the interests of the USA and to protect the interests of the USA. This includes stopping terrorism.
Criminal investigation is to gather evidence to punish a crime that has been committed.
In the first case, any evidence, however gathered, is useful. The assumption of the relevent agencies is that folks are guilty until proven innocent. They don't give a damned about the rights of the accused, they are interested in stopping evil aliens from perpetrating horrors on their fellow citizens. Making an error in misjudging evidence could mean the deaths of innocent people, perhaps thousands or millions of them.
In the second case, only evidence that has been legally acquired is useful for prosecution. People have all manner of rights and are innocent until proven guilty. Failure to convict a perp usually results in negligible harm to innocent citizens.
So the Exec detains Padilla as an enemy combatant on intelligence evidence. That's great if Padilla is a non-citizen. But good lawyering convinces the courts that Padilla's rights of citizenship trumps the statutory obligations of the Executive.
The Executive is now caught in a dilemma of tehir own creation. They have intelligence information that will not pass the criminal law sniff test. They are convicned that the intel is quality and indicates that padilla is a bad actor but they worry that releasing their information concerning Padilla will result in releasing information that will tell the enemy something about our means, methods and content.
The Exec is trying to determine whether Padilla is worth that risk.