I was quite literally "out in the wilderness" when the Padilla verdict came down (Hassan bar-Sinister phoned me while I was on a practice "run" on the Pikes Peak Marathon course). I think what matters, aside from the travesty of justice angle (Mona of Unqualified Offerings gives us some grounds for reversal) is the fact that the true significance of the Padilla case, which regular readers know that I consider the most important case of our lifetimes, indeed, a case so important that I actually interviewed two of Mr. Padilla's attorneys (Donna Newman and Andrew Patel), will be deliberately obscured from the American people by a media that is not merely feckless and incompetent. I will, in the manner of the President, "dare to call it by its name": it is evil.
Well, let me get right to it, from our friends at Media Matters, we get this spot-on analysis of "reporting" from Charles Gibson of ABC News ("where more Americans get their news than from any other source")... while Gibson reports on Padilla's conviction of "aiding and abetting terrorism", he overlooks-- as in, entirely, by not mentioning-- Padilla's three plus year ordeal (including two forays to the United States Supreme Court) as the only American citizen picked up in the United States and held without charge, trial or counsel. In short... the significance of Padilla's case. Lots of men have been convicted of "aiding terrorism"... only Padilla was held incommunicado and tortured (even if not beaten up, isolation in a small cell and the other conditions Padilla was held in are torture, and it seems clear that the government drove Padilla insane while held in those conditions). No. Mention. At. All.
And that seems to be how "more Americans get their news"... i.e., as if it were dictated from Karl Rove. Which, it likely was. And that's just it. Millions of people tune in to "the news" to see their trusted spin-doctors, like Charles Gibson at ABC (or Bush family friend Bob Schieffer over at CBS, or whore-of-all-time Tim Russert at NBC... we won't even start with Fox, which, IMHO, is actually cleaner, because people expect it to be slanted with no pretention of objectivity, "fair and balanced wink wink"...)
And so, the most important legal story of our time-- a literal end-run around not just our entire Bill of Rights, but the Magna Carta... and our complicit commercial media won't even tell us what happened. Most Americans will simply nod their heads... 'we convicted us a terrorist or two", without realizing that the President can now lock up any one of us for any or no reason at all, and turn the Constitution into a complete dead letter... and most people don't even know, even if they cared to know.
Since I've been doing a lot of quoting, I'll just quote Marvin the Martian:" This makes me angry. Very angry indeed."