Feds Move to Block Jose Padilla Subpoenas

Jose Padilla's defense lawyers have subpoenaed Department of Defense officials and records pertaining to his treatment during his three years in the South Carolina brig.

Today, the feds moved to quash the subpoenas in an effort to prevent the defense from introducing evidence of his treatment and conditions of confinement at trial.

What the defense asked for:

Defense attorneys have issued subpoenas for at least four military officials, including a security officer and technical official at the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., where Padilla was jailed. They have also subpoenaed Maj. Gen. D.D. Thiessen, commander of U.S. Marine forces in Japan, about treatment of other enemy combatants, according to court documents.

The subpoenas also seek records of "special procedures and communications" related to Padilla, as well as medical records and visitation logs.

The prosecutors responded today:

Prosecutors said in a motion filed Thursday that the subpoenas are an improper "fishing expedition" because Padilla's allegations of mistreatment during his time in military custody have no bearing on the terrorism support case against him in Miami.

"These subpoenas seek information that has nothing to do with the offenses charged in the indictment, which predate Padilla's confinement and arise out of the defendants' support for groups committed to violent jihad," Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Killinger and other prosecutors said in their motion.

I think the defense is entitled to the material.

Padilla's attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke to dismiss the case against Padilla because of what they allege is "outrageous government conduct," including torture, during his years at the Navy brig. They allege Padilla was abused so severely it has hurt his ability to aid in his own defense, but Pentagon officials and prosecutors assert that Padilla was treated humanely.

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  • Display: Sort:
    if the prosecuters are right (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jen M on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:17:32 AM EST
    why are they trying to block the supoenas?

    What part don't you understand (none / 0) (#6)
    by scarshapedstar on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:38:53 PM EST
    Pentagon officials and prosecutors assert that Padilla was treated humanely.

    It's not like the Pentagon would ever lie.


    Of course not (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:50:30 PM EST
    Why lie... when you've got the president on a short leash and the AG in your pocket and you can just cover up?

    How much more is there to say about this (none / 0) (#1)
    by aw on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 11:11:36 PM EST
    We're running out of adjectives to describe these  bizarre proceedings.

    cowards (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:53:44 AM EST
    If they are so confident their treatment of Padilla was good and true and right, they should have no fear of holding it up to the world as a shining beacon and example of the US Justice system at work.

    Of course, these are the same band of crapheads who, per WaPo, and RawStory decided it was necessary to change the date of Pentagon Christmas parties from December 15, 2006.  

    The reason?

    ... offices supporting the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon planned to celebrate the holiday season next Friday, December 15th. But an order came down from the office of General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, to change the date of the party.

    According to Kamen, someone in Pace's office "had fretted that it might look as if all the hootin' and hollerin' that would be spilling out into the hallways was in celebration of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's departure that same day."

    The "celebration of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's departure" explanation has the ring of truth, no?

    They are out of their minds... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 10:18:49 AM EST
    Pentagon officials and prosecutors assert that Padilla was treated humanely.

    Humanely? Humanely? What do they do for fun? Burn kittens alive?

    I [...] read Hegarty's psychiatric affidavit and description of her meetings with Padilla, and read Grassian's overview of the effects of solitary confinement. I haven't yet read Padilla'a affidavit, and I think I'll wait awhile before I do. I'm strangely almost afraid to read it, and I wonder if that is some small whisper of some of the reasons some people can get into such deep denial about what has been done to Padilla - refusing to call it torture, inventing contorted reassoning(?) to justify it, etc, etc.

    Hegarty's affidavit alone is enough to turn my stomach. Short of killing Padilla, they have probably utterly destroyed him, or at the very least so damaged him that he can never again be a functioning human being in any normal interactions with other people.

    Reading it gives me such a sickening feeling of absolute disgust that I am at a loss for much further comment right now. After reading just that, I am not surprised that Padilla recoils when asked to read or watch accounts of his own interrogations, and that he still fully expects to die, I gather at the hands of his interrogators, in the brig.

    And I wasn't even there. I cannot imagine the effect on me of being a guard there and doing this to a man. Just the fact that I could not stop it makes me feel ashamed, and feel that in some ways it is my own responsibility. I am unsure why...

    I think any normal person, if they knew of a someone doing this to an animal, would be outraged and sickened, and probably call the police, even on their own family members...

    More important (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:16:04 AM EST
    The excuse for this heinous treatment of a US citizen is the same as that given for an entire orgy of despicable treatment of prisoners held in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and a gulag archipelago of secret military facilities around the world...
    The more important question now, however, is when will those who, like Ashcroft, used this case to shamelessly exploit our fears for political purposes face their own day of accountability in a court of law?
    -- Jose Padilla's Ordeal, Robert Scheer, The Nation, Dec 06/06

    Is this big? (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 05:19:53 PM EST
    How can the defense prove he was tortured without access to his captors and records?  

    If their motion is denied I'll be even more nervous about the state of the union.

    And if he's done what they say he's done...why didn't they try him the right way and cut him a deal to rat out his terrorist buddies like they do every other crime?  And if he refused just try him the right way.

    If he is what they say he is, I'd like him locked up...but we gotta let him go after this ridiculously unlawful treatment.  If our laws and ideals don't mean squat that is...

    I hope this judge comes through for freedom....I hope 30 years from now law students don't know Padilla cases as the precedents for tyranny.