News & Politics

Will Jose Padilla's Lawsuit Against Torture Memo Author John Yoo Move Forward?

Obama's DOJ lawyers are trying to get a judge to toss out a lawsuit by the so-called "enemy combatant," who was tortured under Bush.

At a hearing in a San Francisco federal court on Friday, lawyers for the Obama administration attempted to squash a lawsuit against former Bush lawyer and "torture memo" author John C. Yoo brought forth by Jose Padilla, the Chicago man famously designated an "illegal enemy combatant" by President Bush in 2002 for allegedly plotting a "dirty bomb" attack on U.S. soil.
Padilla spent three-and-a-half years imprisoned in a black hole at the behest of the Bush administration without being charged or tried. In October of 2006, lawyers for Padilla filed a motion to dismiss his case based on evidence that he had endured multiple forms of torture at the hands of his captors. Glenn Greenwald excerpted portions of their brief at the time, which described in vivid detail the conditions of Padilla's detention, in which included severe isolation, sensory deprivation, and forcible drugging:

For nearly two years -- from June 9, 2002 until March 2, 2004, when the Department of Defense permitted Mr. Padilla to have contact with his lawyers -- Mr. Padilla was in complete isolation. Even after he was permitted contact with counsel, his conditions of confinement remained essentially the same.
He was kept in a unit comprising sixteen individual cells, eight on the upper level and eight on the lower level, where Mr. Padilla's cell was located. No other cells in the unit were occupied. His cell was electronically monitored twenty-four hours a day, eliminating the need for a guard to patrol his unit. His only contact with another person was when a guard would deliver and retrieve trays of food and when the government desired to interrogate him.
Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and War on Iraq Special Coverage.
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