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Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"The Padilla Omen"

  rec 9-24-05 


1) 4:03 Short Essay MP3

2) 4:22 Long Essay MP3

THE PADILLA OMEN
==================
[Col. Writ. 9/24/05] Copyright '05 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   The recent appeals court decision in the case of Jose Padilla, which okays the right of the government to imprison an American citizen, indefinitely, without ever formally charging or trying that person, is a judicial omen that should mark the death knell of the Constitution.

   Jose Padilla, who has been in U.S. custody for over three years, was initially held on charges that he plotted with al-Qaeda to detonate a so-called "dirty bomb" (one wonders, is there ever a 'clean' one?).

   Padilla's arrest came at a time when the U.S. Justice Dept., which had dropped the ball on 9-11, was busting people, especially those of Arab descent, on any conceivable charge, many of which have fallen apart in the years since 9-11.

   Some national newspapers protested the *Padilla* ruling, calling it an affront to the Constitution, and a threat to the nation's citizens.  Surprisingly, many of these same papers reported, months ago, that the Bush Administration lost in the *Hamdi* and *Rasul* cases, and their most recent tone suggests surprise at the *Padilla* decision.

      Yet, the *Padilla* and *Hamdi* cases are closer than they appear, and the Administration actually lost far less than the newspaper reports suggested.

   In the *Hamdi* decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that citizenship was no bar to the type of imprisonment that Padilla suffers.  In their words:

   "There is no bar to this Nation's holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant.  In [*Exparte] Quirin*,  [a case involving Nazi saboteurs--maj], one of the detainees, Haupt, alleged that he was a naturalized United States citizen... We held that '[c]itizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy governments, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts, are enemy belligerents within the meaning of ... the law of war.' ... While Haupt was tried for violations of the law of war, nothing in *Quirin* suggests that his citizenship would have precluded his mere detention for the duration of the relevant hostilities." [2004 WL 1431951 *8]

   The *Hamdi*/*Rasul* cases blithely suggest that 'detention isn't punishment', but a 'temporary war measure' -- a kind of 'protective custody.'

   The last time the Court came to such a conclusion wasn't *Quirin*, but the infamous *Korematsu* case, where Japanese-Americans, men, women and children were sent to concentration camps across the country, essentially because they were Japanese.

   There were no trials.  No hearings.  No due process.

   There was Executive Order #9066.  Period.

   In the words of Gen. John L. DeWitt, "The Japanese race is an enemy race, and while many second and third generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become 'Americanized', *The racial strains are undiluted*."

   Guilty of Japaneseness, thousands were put in camps.

   How many Americans are now guilty of being Muslims?

   How many Muslim and Arab-Americans have have had their 'rights' denied since 9-11?

   In the blizzard of news around Katrina and Rita, many of us haven't heard of Padilla's fate.

   Knowing what we now know about the lies that led to a war that has meant death for tens of thousands of people, can you blindly trust the government?  Can any court that claims to defend the Constitution allow an American citizen to be consigned to a U.S. dungeon, simply on the president's say-so?

   If the *Padilla* case is any example, the answer is  yes.

   The implications of this should send shivers down your spine.

   This Government, which has brought Chaos into being since its 'election', now decides who it can detain, and why.  Essentially forever.

   This is a judicially-approved recipe for Madness.

Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Sources: Meeropol, Rachel, ed., *America's Disappeared: Secret Imprisonment, Detainees, and the "War on Terror" (N.Y. : Seven Stories/Open Media Books, 2005); Irons, Peter, *A People's History of the Supreme Court* (N.Y.: Viking, 1999), p. 350.]

  

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
==============================================>

  [Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

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========================================

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==============================================>

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa