American Kafkaesque… continues

That would be the sorry saga of “dirty bomb” suspect Jose Padilla. In a stinging 23-page opinion, a federal judge in South Carolina (one, might I add, appointed by this President Bush) ordered the Government to charge Padilla within 45 days, or release him. Apparently, Judge Henry Floyd in Spartanburg, SC, whose opinion lambasted the Administration for defying the rule of law, separation of powers, etc., etc., didn’t get the memos from Al Gonzales and Nino Scalia; the fool thinks that habeas corpus is still an effective writ against the divine musings of our king.
Not to worry. Padilla’s 2 1/2 years (and counting) of incarceration won’t be coming to an end soon: there are two more appeals. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond is the next stop; while widely regarded as “conservative”, there’s no law whatsoever justifying Padilla’s continued detention that any honest court could find.
No, just the momentum of it, and the hope that when Padilla is eventually released, that his wrongful detention suit falls on the next Administration (let Hillary or McCain worry about it!) will be the guiding factor here. Of course, the ultimate appeal will still go to the U.S. Supreme Court, who, in a pre-election gambit, made up improper venue as a superior public policy value to the Great Writ (and fundamental basis of constitutional limitation on absolute power since… 1215.)
That’s right: the joke is, the Supreme Court will likely take the case this time, again, but to affirm it, because doing so will buy Padilla another year in jail after the Fourth Circuit affirms Judge Floyd. Note, and not without extreme bitterness towards my former employer the U.S. Department of Justice, the statement by Deputy Attorney General James Comey: Padilla would likely exercise his right to remain silent in a federal court and hence would likely leave a free man. That’s right, boys and girls: Padilla is not being incarcerated in camera (and ex cathedra) by star chamber because the evidence shows he is too dangerous a man to be allowed a public trial in a courtroom. He is in jail as an enemy combatant because there ain’t any evidence to keep him there otherwise. And I’ve said many times: this is no Afghan schnook picked up on the battle field, but an American citizen picked up in the United States.
On a dark and stormy night (it’s not dark, actually; Brooklyn and most of the Northeast is under a blanket of snow… must… shovel… sidewalk…), it warms the heart a bit to know that somewhere, somehow, this nation may yet survive the Second Bush Administration, as its underlying institutions try to keep our Constitution in force. May.