Padilla sues US officials over confinement
Despite his conviction on terror conspiracy charges, his lawyers say he suffered 'psychological abuse' during military detention.
By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Convicted Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla is seeking to hold former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and 59 other US officials responsible for what his lawyers say were abusive and unconstitutional tactics used against Mr. Padilla while he was held in military custody as an enemy combatant from 2002 to 2006.
Lawyers working on Padilla's behalf filed the civil lawsuit earlier this year in federal court in South Carolina. It was publicly disclosed by the lawyers this week.
"Mr. Padilla suffered gross physical and psychological abuse at the hands of federal officials as part of a scheme of abusive interrogation intended to break down Mr. Padilla's humanity and his will to live," the 30-page complaint says.
"The grave violations suffered by Padilla were not isolated occurrences by rogue lower-level officials," the suit says. Besides Mr. Rumsfeld, it names Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lowell Jacoby, among others, who "personally ordered and/or approved Mr. Padilla's detention and interrogation program."
Interesting take. Not satisfied with losing their case, Padilla and his lawyers may be setting the scenario for their appeal by suing for 'grave violations' under detention.
Most observers probably believe such infringements occurred.