Today the jury came back with a guilty verdict against Jose Padilla, an American citizen who converted to the Muslim religion and was arrested in 2001 on accusations of plotting to bring a "dirty bomb" into the US. The government held onto Mr. Padilla for years without charging him or allowing his case to be brought to a courtroom for review. He is without a doubt one of the grossest examples of federal power abuse in judicial history.
The government agreed to bring Mr. Padilla and two others to court only when the case of his improper jailing was about to reach the Supreme Court. Instead of being charged with the dirty bomb theory, and after a three-month trial and only a day and a half of deliberations, the 36-year-old Padilla and his foreign-born co-defendants were convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people and two counts of providing material support to terrorists.
The fact that Padilla was convicted on some very weak evidence is proof of how far the government is going to scare people into believing anything they see or hear about accused terrorists. The fact that Padilla was held for several years in a military prison without access to a lawyer, questioned to the point of being tortured and then not charged with what he was arrested for in the first place is an outrage. It should matter to every American that this fellow American citizen had his Constitutional rights violated by the Bush Administration. If it can happen to him, it can happen to you.