Thursday, July 13, 2006

Padilla gets access to classified evidence

Jose Padilla, the alleged "dirty bomber" who was held for three years as an "enemy combatant", has been given permission to personally view classified documents so he can plan a defense in his upcoming trial.

I was all set to write an interesting post about the tension between security and defendant rights in terrorism cases, until I read this:

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke's order issued July 5 allows Padilla to view 32 Defense Department documents that summarize statements Padilla made during his years in military custody. He also can examine 57 videotapes of interrogations he underwent during that same period.

That's right: the government classified summaries and videotapes of Padilla's statements and interrogations, and then used that classification to attempt to deny him access to those documents.

Uh, guys? He was there.

Am I missing something? Because this sure looks like an example of excessive government secrecy to me.

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