PEEK

A 'dirty-bomber's' Catch-22

Joshua Holland: Jose Padilla says: 'I am not insane'; fit to stand trial.
Reuters, via the Boston Globe …
Jose Padilla rocked back and forth during the meetings with a psychologist, his chained hands sweating and facial muscles twitching, and insisted repeatedly in a voice devoid of emotion that he was not crazy.
He is a bit paranoid and believes the government is persecuting him, "but this does not appear to be delusional," wrote one of doctors who examined the alleged al Qaeda operative in a Miami prison cell at his lawyers' request.
If he's insane, he can't be tried. He believes the government's "persecuting" him, which of course, by any reasonable standard, it is. So I guess that awareness proves he's sane enough to stand trial.

Yossarian: Is Orr crazy?

Doc: Of course he is. He has to be, if he keeps flying after all those close calls.

Yossarian: Then why not ground him?

Doc: He has to ask me.

Yossarian: That's all he's gotta do?

Doc: Yes.

Yossarian: And then you can ground him?

Doc: No. Then I cannot ground him. There's a catch.

Yossarian: A catch?

Doc: Sure, Catch- Anyone who wants to get out of combat isn't really crazy, so I can't ground him.

Yossarian: Let me see if I got this straight. In order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy and I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy any more and I have to keep flying.

Doc: You've got it! That's Catch- .

Yossarian: That's some catch, that Catch- .

Doc: It's the best there is!
Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer.
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