Feature

Defending Padilla

The week's news at a glance.

Miami

Jose Padilla, an American Muslim held incommunicado for 21 months as an “enemy combatant,” was tortured, threatened with execution, and administered “truth serums” by his military jailers, his lawyers told a Miami court last week. The lawyers submitted a videotape that depicts a sullen and barefoot Padilla having his wrists and ankles manacled, and his eyes and ears covered before being led down a hallway by guards. The lawyers say Padilla was a docile, cooperative prisoner throughout his detention, and that his “dehumanization” by the military was both deliberate and unnecessary. They contend he is now so psychologically shattered that he is unfit to stand trail on terrorism conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say that Padilla’s experiences in military custody are not relevant to charges he now faces in a civilian court. The Pentagon denies Padilla was abused.

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