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The Padilla Follies, Part Deux

Gabe Rottman,
Legislative Counsel,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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May 22, 2007

This is a must read. Apparently, the prosecution in the Padilla trial has been hamstrung by Judge Cooke’s decision not to allow it to introduce certain evidence on the al Farooq training camp, which Padilla is alleged to have visited.What’s amazing, and truly illustrative of the presumably unintended consequences of the Gitmo policy, is that prosecutors are unable to call al Qaeda operatives being held at Guantanamo, who could possibly aid in the case against Padilla, because bringing them here might trigger habeas rights.From the Christian Science Monitor story:

It also highlights the severe constraints faced by federal prosecutors who have attempted to cobble together a criminal case against Padilla without jeopardizing sensitive intelligence sources and methods. There is no shortage of Al Qaeda officials in US custody at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, with direct knowledge of the purpose of the Al Farooq training camp. But even if they agreed to testify, to transport them into the United States would empower them with certain legal protections and would open a door to permit an investigation of the harsh interrogation tactics allegedly used against them overseas.