Unfortunately, the titular substance falls incessantly…

Remember Jose Padilla, the man who was paraded out by Ashcroft’s Justice Department in 2002, accused of plotting to detonate a piece of science fiction? Well, he’s back in the news, albeit in a sort of low-key, not-fit-for-front-page, corporate media kinda way.

According to this Washington Post article, the Bush administration moved Padilla out of its constitutionally nonviable detainee limbo in 2004 due to all the legal challenges it had faced and failed. At that point, the Bushies dropped the original science fiction charges, and trumped up a whole list of less sexy accusations. Now, it appears, even those little velcro-covered legal figments are having trouble finding purchase on the Mackintosh of reality. It appears that even the barest threads of ‘evidence’ being held against Padilla are likely based on his ‘confessions,’ which may themselves be works of fiction or products of torture.

According to the legal expert consulted for the article, the Bushies don’t have much chance of winning their case in front of a jury. I think that the legal expert is underestimating the ingrained, reactionary cowardice of the general public (especially those among us who tend to sit on ‘terrorism’-related juries), but his point is salient nonetheless. If they’ve got no case, and they’ve had no case all along, why are the Bushies still holding Padilla? More to the point of this post’s heading, why aren’t we all storming the Bastille to get Padilla out?

I believe the answers are self-evident, and they represent another tiny nail in our republic’s coffin.

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