"But what is clear is that the accusations against Padilla have been suspect from the very beginning, not least because the "evidence" supporting the accusations seems to have been procured via torture. And the obvious difficulties which the administration is encountering in proving his guilt demonstrates the reason we don't allow the government to imprison U.S. citizens based solely on the say-so of the President.
All of this powerfully underscores the most glaring deceit in the arguments made by Bush followers with regard to virtually everything concerning terrorism. The fact that the Bush administration suspects someone of being a "terrorist" or accuses them of being one doesn't mean that they actually are guilty. Thus, opposition to the use of torture is not about "treatment given to terrorists," and advocating due process for detainees before they are killed is not about "giving rights to terrorists," and opposition to warrantless eavesdropping is not about "blocking surveillance of terrorists," and demanding that U.S. citizens not be imprisoned without due process is not about "fighting terrorism with litigation." People are not "terrorists" and cannot be treated as such -- particularly not U.S. citizens -- just because the Bush administration thinks they might be or claims that they are."
* (via cannon) paulthompson (of 911 timeline fame) had the following to say about the latest from the NORAD tapes:
As the author of the 9/11 Timeline, I find this article very interesting as it probably contains new tidbits of truth, but it obviously is still mostly filled with spin to protect the guilty.
The author very carefully selects some facts and ignores others in an attempt to preserve the 9/11 Commission's account as much as possible. But even forgetting the conflicting facts not mentioned in the article, the article itself is self-contradictory. For instance, it says:But by the time NEADS gets the report of a bomb on United 93, everyone on board is already dead. Following the passengers' counterattack, the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m., 4 minutes before Cleveland Center notified NEADS, and a full 35 minutes after a Cleveland Center controller, a veteran named John Werth, first suspected something was wrong with the flight. At 9:28, Werth actually heard the guttural sounds of the cockpit struggle over the radio as the hijackers attacked the pilots.---
Werth's suspicions about United 93 were passed quickly up the F.A.A.'s chain of command, so how is it that no one from the agency alerted NEADS for more than half an hour?
A former senior executive at the F.A.A., speaking to me on the condition that I not identify him by name, tried to explain. "Our whole procedures prior to 9/11 were that you turned everything over to the F.B.I.," he said, reiterating that hijackers had never actually flown airplanes; it was expected that they'd land and make demands. "There were absolutely no shootdown protocols at all. The F.A.A. had nothing to do with whether they were going to shoot anybody down. We had no protocols or rules of engagement."
Yet earlier in the article it mentions how Boston flight control directly and immediately contacted NEADS without going through the FAA chain of command. In fact, it's not mentioned here, but Boston even directly called up military bases. So why couldn't Cleveland flight control do the same?! It also says earlier in the article that it was standard procedure to send up fighters at the first reasonable sign of trouble and investigate (in fact, there's a series of steps the fighter is supposed to take, for instance getting close enough to see into the cockpit of the hijacked plane to see if it's hijacked). But the quote from the FAA official above confuses the issue of sending up a fighter to investigate vs. permission to shoot down the hijacked plane. Just because you may not have permission to shoot down the plane yet is no reason to keep fighters on the ground! In fact, that's a violation of very clear protocols.
NORAD lied and lied, with something like five different accounts of what happened that day already, yet now we're supposed to believe they suddenly come clean with the release of these tapes? This is just one more level of spin to further confuse and hide the truth. There are so many other lies and half-truths in this article that I can't even begin to list them.
But there are some interesting tidbits of probable truth. For instance, the revelation that there was a war game of a hijacked plane scheduled an hour later - an important fact the 9/11 Commission never bothered to mention. Mike Ruppert and others have speculated that there were injects of false radar data that day as part of the wargame, and sure enough, we find out that as late as 9:04, one of the flight controllers says: "I think this is a damn input, to be honest." At the very least, this shows a lot of confusion relating to the war game, another thing denied by the 9/11 Commission and all official accounts.