We’re in federal court in Charleston to argue that a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other government officials for their role in the unlawful detention and torture of a U.S. citizen go forward. The defendants filed a motion in 2008 to have it thrown out. The ACLU has recently joined the lawsuit on Padilla’s behalf.
Jose Padilla was seized from a U.S. jail in 2002, declared an “enemy combatant” and secretly transported to a military brig in South Carolina. He was imprisoned for nearly four years, during which he was subjected to extreme abuse and unable to communicate with his lawyers or family for two years. Lawyers for Padilla filed a lawsuit in February 2007 in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina against Rumsfeld and others for their role in Padilla’s unlawful detention and abuse.
We can’t sweep these abuses under the rug. Accountability for torture is a legal, political, and moral imperative.