Jose Padilla Writes Home

American citizen Jose Padilla has been held as an "enemy combatant" in a military brig in South Carolina since June, 2002--almost two years. In that time, he has been allowed to write his mother once:

"In the name of God the merciful the mercy giver," Mr. Padilla wrote, "I have been allowed to write you a card and just letting you know I'm doing fine and in good health. Do not believe what is being said about me in the news it is untrue and I pray that we can have a reunion. Love your son Pucho." Pucho was Mr. Padilla's childhood nickname.

That card was the sum and substance of Mr. Padilla's communication with the outside world for about 21 months.

In a ten page (internet length) article, the New York Times examines Padilla's life (Brooklyn born, Chicago raised) and his case, and for the first time, is able to interview his family, friends, ex-wife and second wife:

Mr. Padilla's detention confounds traditional notions of the way justice works in America. His case, which goes before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, is shrouded in secrecy. No charges have been filed against him. And the government has offered just a hint of any evidence it has, asking the courts to defer to its judgment that, as Mr. Bush proclaimed, "this guy Padilla's a bad guy."

In Plantation, Fla., Mr. Padilla's mother, a condo owner, churchgoer and sales consultant for a human resources company, is as baffled as she is distressed. "Why are they doing this to an American?" she asked. "If we go to all these other countries to promote democracy — hello? — why can't we practice it at home? I'm like, `Give me proof.' If my son did something, charge him. Give him his day in court."

This is a must read article for anyone interested in the Government's unprecedented treatment of so-called "enemy combatants" and detainees.

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