The Jose Padilla Fan Club

Jules Crittenden did the dirty work, so you don’t have to: he toured the fever swamp of liberal web sites to record their reactions to yesterday’s conviction of Jose Padilla. As you would expect, those that haven’t fallen silent are regretful.
Jules also notes this paragraph from an A.P. report:

U.S. officials said Padilla, while incarcerated in a military brig in South Carolina, admitted exploring the dirty bomb plot. But that evidence could not be used at trial because he was not read his rights and did not immediately have access to an attorney.

When you capture someone like Padilla and hold him as an enemy combatant, you’re not going to hire him a lawyer and read him his rights. Imagine the idea of regiments of lawyers on a battlefield, rushing in to read soldiers (in this case, terrorists) their “rights” when they are taken prisoner. When the government decided to turn Padilla over to the criminal justice system for prosecution, they had to identify offenses for which such prosecution was viable.
This illustrates the difference between war-fighting, the administration’s primary approach to terrorism, and criminal prosecution, the Democrats’ predominant if not exclusive method. In a war-fighting model, you’re trying to get information about terrorist plots before they mature, so you can prevent them from taking place. In a criminal prosecution model, you’re trying to punish terrorists for acts they’ve already committed. In Padilla’s case, the government was able to achieve both ends. But the administration’s priority was correct: first, do what it takes to learn the facts, so that if there are plots that may be carried out imminently, they can be foiled.
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