16 Aug 2007

Reflections On Padilla

Looking back, there was a part of the trial I “missed” and thus couldn’t share with you or comment upon. It happened before the trial itself actually started. I think if I had been as aware of it then as I am now, I would have forecast a much gloomier conclusion.

The issue centered around the question if Padilla was psychologically able to help his attorneys in his defense, whether he was

15 Aug 2007

Hysteria on Trial

In Chicago, we don’t have many stars. Al Capone was a star criminal. Almost single handedly, with a baseball bat and machine gun, he created the nation’s first permanent criminal enterprise which almost eighty years later runs smoothly. Mayor Richard J. Daley (the older guy) was a star politician, creating, maintaining and even strengthening the nation’s smoothest running political machine, so powerful that it could hand John F.

10 Aug 2007

Patriotism Worth Its Name

Patriotism worth its name grants the highest priority to the nation, not the Chief Executive, and knows the difference between the two.

Louis Fisher and I have two interests in common: Jose Padilla and tennis.

Fisher happens to be one of the nation’s foremost authorities on arbitrary imprisonment and stretching presidential power and is a senior scholar in the Law Library at the Library of Congress and author of more than a dozen

08 Aug 2007

And The Days Dwindle Down To A Precious Few…

Sadly, it’s anti-climactic. The defense rested its case yesterday. The case against the three conspirators is basically at an end, save for rebuttal witnesses and closing arguments. The government has alleged and theorized about its vague and shadowy conspiracy charges involving terrorists somewhere on the planet and the defense has insisted proof being proven and contending no such documentation exists.

03 Aug 2007

Let ‘er Rip

Anthony Natale, Padilla’s attorney these past tumultuous five years, cooly informed US Federal Court Judge Marcia Cooke this week that he would not be calling no witnesses on his client’s behalf. None.

It was a not-very-subtle way of signaling that the paucity of the government’s case against Padilla isn’t even worthy of a rejoinder, that he wouldn’t even dignify the credibility of the charges against his client and their unconvincing witnesses by

01 Aug 2007

Fava Beans and Babies

Federal prosecutors have based all of their evidence against Jose Padilla on one document with his signature and his fingerprints. Message to each juror being, “We are from the Justice Department – would we lie to you?”

In the 10 weeks that this conspiracy trial has taken place, where Padilla, Hassoun and Kifah are charged with conspiracy to murder, kidnap or maim people outside the United States, there have been some

25 Jul 2007

Deeds Not Words

Basically these are the charges against Adham Amin Hassoun, Kifah Wael Jayyousi, and Jose Padilla:

that they conspired to commit acts of murder, kidnapping, and maiming outside the United States, that they committed one or more overt acts in the United States in furtherance of those acts, providing material support and resources, and concealing and disguising the nature of those actions to be used in preparation for a conspiracy to murder, kidnap

20 Jul 2007


There is something terribly wrong with the federal judicial system when a United States District Court Judge appointed by President George W. Bush can joke about a defense attorney’s request for directed verdict of not guilty in a case where the defendant before her might possibly spend the rest of his life in jail.

There also may be something terribly right with the federal judicial system when a United States

18 Jul 2007

Whose Conspiracy?

The government has concluded its case against Jose Padilla and yesterday, to no one’s surprise U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke refused a defense request for directed verdict of not guilty. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Frazier claimed “I think it is a very tightly knit conspiracy.”

Indeed there has been a tightly knit conspiracy but not the one Frazier is trying to portray.

The conspiracy – and one doesn’t need 300,000

13 Jul 2007

Looking on the Bright Side

Good evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea…..LETS GO TO PRESS! FLASH! BULLETIN! THIS JUST HANDED ME!

The prosecution has concluded its case against Jose Padilla, and two others charged with conspiracy to help support violent Islamic extremist groups worldwide. The total hard evidence against Jose Padilla consists of an alleged Al Qaeda training camp application form document Padilla allegedly signed in July 2000.