Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Padilla in the Mists

posted by The Sailor @ 6:31 PM Permalink

The U.S. government obtained a crucial piece of evidence for its terrorism conspiracy case against Jose Padilla from a mound of documents dropped off at a secret CIA location in Kandahar, Afghanistan, by a tribal leader's driver, a covert agent testified Tuesday.

The CIA operative — who identified himself under oath as Tom Langston — did not name the tribal leader, the truck driver, or the area where the material was seized. The driver, he said, told him it had come from an office used by Islamic militants who fled Kandahar during the U.S. invasion in December 2001.

The document in question is Padilla's alleged application to undergo Al Qaeda training, which prosecutors hope will link the 36-year-old former Chicago gang member and his two codefendants to the Islamic terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden.
just days after Taliban leaders abandoned Kandahar, the tribal leader's driver showed up — the bed of his Toyota pickup heaped with documents and supplies cleaned out of an office that had been "vacated by Arabs," the agent said.

Though he spoke neither Pashto nor Arabic, [CIA agent] Langston said, he recognized that a blue, loose-leaf binder full of Arabic forms was significant.
He later packed the material into 22 boxes and footlockers
The government's original accusations that Padilla had plotted with Al Qaeda to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb inside the U.S. were dropped in 2005.

Before that, Padilla had been held as an enemy combatant in a military brig for 3 1/2 years.
Padilla trial focuses on `terror form'
Testimony in the terror trial of Jose Padilla resumed on Thursday with federal prosecutors focusing their attention on an alleged al Qaeda form that connects the former Broward County man to the terrorist group.

The document, a five-page form written in Arabic, has emerged as a crucial piece of evidence in the federal government's terror conspiracy case against Padilla.
Seven fingerprints on a purported al-Qaeda training-camp application came back as matches to alleged terrorist operative Jose Padilla, a government expert testified yesterday.
Although the form was one of dozens found in a binder in late 2001, it was not analyzed for Padilla's fingerprints until August 2006, Morgan said. The fingerprints appear only on the front of the first page and back of the last page, possibly indicating that the form had been simply handed to Padilla at some point, defense lawyers say.
And the witless for the prosecution?
{Yaha] Goba has testified in two other federal terror-related trials, in Idaho and New York, and acknowledged Friday that he hopes to cut some time off his 10-year prison sentence through this cooperation.
without Goba, the government's "knees are going to be cut out from under us" in terms of proving their case.
Tape of Padilla interrogation is missing

"I don't know what happened to it," Pentagon attorney James Schmidli said during a recent court hearing.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke was incredulous that anything connected to such a high-profile defendant could be lost.

"Do you understand how it might be difficult for me to understand that a tape related to this particular individual just got mislaid?"
Let me get this straight: The Bush misgovernment claims it has a 5 page document of Padilla's application to al-Qaida. Yet the document does not have Padilla's name on it, and they've lost evidence.

The 'application' was only partially filled out ... in 2 different colors of ink. And the FBI says the document in question was delivered by an undisclosed Afghani at an undisclosed location to an undisclosed CIA agent, in the bed of a pickup truck ... along with 22 boxes and footlockers worth of other documents.

The undisclosed CIA officer testified that he immediately realized the significance of thatone folder, among that pickup truck bed full of documents ... even tho Agent Alan Smithee doesn't speak or write arabic or pashto.

And although the document was 'discovered' in 2001, the FBI didn't test it until August 2006 ... a year after the Bush administration tried to avoid a court showdown because they couldn't justify keeping an American citizen locked up without charges or trial.

Then Bush et al avoided this pesky habeus corpus battle by transferring Padilla's case from the military to civilian courts.

But only after Padilla was held for 3 1/2 years in solitary confinement in a military brig where he was tortured.

Padilla's fingerprints are only on the front and back pages, not internal ones, and it is impossible to determine when they were placed there.

Padilla's case was added to an already existing case, for reasons that remain unclear. And the original sensational charges against Padilla are not alleged in this case. Even the judge, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, said during a pretrial hearing the government's case was "very light on facts."

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At 10:45 AM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

This case will go down in history as one of the greatest boondoggles ever brought to a courtroom, and will hopefully send a massage to bush that ya just can't treat Americans this way.

I think an acquittal may very well be on the way for judges do not like cases that are "very light on facts" after holding Padilla for over five years.

bush should be impeached for this.


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