Whatever happened to…

Today, we’ll take a look at the fate of two of the poster boys of perfidy, the icons of Islamist terror, the sum of all our fears, Unlawful Combatants Yaser Hamdi (a Saudi national born in Louisiana, making him also a U.S. national, picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan) and Jose Padilla (an American national- a Chicago gang-banger who adopted a Moslem name, picked up on a flight back from Pakistan and alleged to be involved in a “dirty bomb” plot.)
Since the Government was ordered by the Supreme Court to afford Hamdi access to our legal system, it decided that this would involve, you know, having like an actual case against him. Hence, a quick deal is being worked out under which Hamdi would renounce his U.S. citizenship, be shipped to Saudi Arabia, and agree not to sue the government for his unlawful detention. I’m sure the sum total of the valuable intelligence learned during three years of interrogation from Hamdi can be easily summed up on the back of a cocktail napkin.
Unlike the Supreme Court, Hamdi’s case never bothered me all that much. Hamdi’s citizenship was quite literally an accident of birth. He considered himself a foreign national, and took up arms against our country.
While the government certainly abused the crap out of the rights Hamdi did have, his situation was not exactly one that keeps me up at night.
Compare and contrast Jose Padilla. Padilla was a born and raised U.S. citizen, picked up in the United States itself, charged rhetorically with a serious crime, but not afforded an actual charge, trial, counsel, or as we learned from the Supreme Court, when the Prez decides to go all Shiite himself against ex-Chicago gang-bangers, not subject to habeas corpus either (effectively, as the Court will manufacture procedural defenses for the Government). Here is the court docket of the new and improved habeas corpus case Padilla’s counsel have filed in South Carolina. The docket entries all look rather antiseptic and routine for what is really a Kafkaesque situation. I have said, and firmly believe, that the Supreme Court’s Padilla v. Rumsfeld decision means we are, quite ltierally, a dictatorship, and only the whim of the executive keeps any of us out of jail without any due process of law whatsoever.
Well, for Hamdi, it looks like the unlawful detention may be over before the end of this month. His confinement, and his release, will, of course, be quietly ignored as an election issue. And Mr. Padilla’s detention (not to mention thousands in our gulags world wide) will go on, again, ignored in our so-called free and democratic system. Chalk up another two for American respect for the so-called rule of law.