News Release



Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Cole said today: “The conviction shows that the government did not need to assert the extraordinary power to detain Padilla without charges for several years. But at the same time, because of how they treated Padilla in detention and others in CIA black sites, the government was never able to bring him to trial on the much more serious charges of plotting a ‘dirty bomb’ and blowing up apartments in the United States. In essence, the administration gambled that it could get Padilla on something, even if it couldn’t hold him responsible for what they say he was planning to do. In this instance, they prevailed. But do we really want the government gambling with our national security?”

Cole is author of several books on civil liberties including Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism and Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terrorism, which will be released next month.

More Information

A writer for the Village Voice with a focus on civil liberties and author of the book The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance Hentoff said today: “John Ashcroft was in Moscow when he announced on American TV that the U.S. government had found an important terrorist who was going to detonate a ‘dirty bomb.’ He was speaking of Jose Padilla — a U.S. citizen who had just been arrested at Chicago O’Hare Airport. This announcement of Padilla’s guilt was a characteristic version of the Bush administration’s interpretation of the basic American principle that everyone apprehended is innocent until proved guilty. Padilla’s conviction is a further indelible disgrace on what has happened to ‘American Justice’ under this administration.” Hentoff’s next book will be: Is this America?

For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy at (202) 347-0020.