Since his arrest last summer, José Padilla — an American citizen and adult convert to Islam — has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the White House has labeled him an “enemy combatant” and confined him in a naval jail. Padilla — whom authorities claim was in the early stages of evaluating the prospects for a “dirty bomb” attack — has no access to his lawyer and no right to a courtroom. In a recent Court of Appeals hearing, John Ashcroft’s aides argued not only that Padilla is an “enemy combatant,” but that status puts him effectively beyond any judicial protection: Only the president, they said, can remove “enemy combatant” status.

The War on Due Process
With Patriot Act power, Bush and Ashcroft try to conquer the legal system
by Bruce Shapiro

LAWeekly July 2003


Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba