"If the Law Does Not Protect Jose Padilla . . . It Protects No One"

In February, a federal district court in South Carolina dismissed our lawsuit on behalf of American citizen Jose Padilla against Donald Rumsfeld and other current and former officials, saying the former Secretary of Defense was entitled to "qualified immunity" for his role in the arbitrary detention and torture of Padilla. Today we appealed that dismissal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

As you might recall, Padilla was arrested in March 2002, held without charge for four years in a South Carolina military brig and without access to a lawyer for two years, and was tortured to the point that brig authorities described his behavior (or lack thereof) as "like a piece of furniture." The Bush administration first claimed that Padilla was plotting with al-Qaeda to detonate a radiological “dirty bomb” in a U.S. city, but no evidence of such a plot has ever been presented. A maze of several legal proceedings, including one trip to the Supreme Court and back again to lower courts, landed Padilla where he is today.

In a statement today, Ben Wizner, litigation director of our National Security Project, said: "If the law does not protect Jose Padilla — an American citizen arrested on American soil and tortured in an American prison — it protects no one."

Learn more about torture and detention: Sign up for breaking news alerts

Add a comment (69)
Read the Terms of Use

Me

Anonymous needs to realize the US was not founded by god nor does god have a place or ever been recognized as having a place in our federal government of the great United States of America. See the Treaty of Tripoli as an example.

Anonymous

I'm glad there's people like you fighting for what few rights ya'll have left. I'm not a U.S. citizen, but I see the authoritarian abuse you go through every day and it's stories like this that make me glad I'm not there.

Which is unfortunate, because government aside, I really would like to visit there. But as a middle-class brown guy, I'm sure it wouldn't be worth it.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck!

Anonymous

THE ACLU NEEDS TO LEAVE GOD IN THE U.S.A AND THROW OBAMA AND THE REST OF THE THIEVES IN D.C OUT

This guy/chick needs an enema.

Anonymous

Are you suffering from some sort of mental deficiency #1??

Anonymous

Keep up the good work guys, we need the ACLU now more than ever.

Anonymous

God is a fictional character that does not exist. Can we please get some intelligent comments in here?

Concerned Citizen

How does the ACLU's position on the separation of church & state and any bias it may show in favor of the current administration detract from the point Mr. Wizner was making?

Anonymous

@First comment:
Can't tell if trolling, or just very stupid.

Anon

FUCK YOUR GOD!

Anonymous

If there is God, the ACLU is doing His work.

Pages

Sign Up for Breaking News