Just in, an appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling and ruled that the Government can continue to hold U.S. citizen Jose Padilla, accused of planning a 'dirty bomb' attack, with no charges being filed against him.
Padilla's lawyer, Andrew Patel, responded by saying, "It's a matter of how paranoid you are... What it could mean is that the president conceivably could sign a piece of paper when he has hearsay information that somebody has done something he doesn't like and send them to jail — without a hearing (or) a trial."
Keep in mind that the evidence against Padilla has never been made public, and at this point one has to wonder if they even have very much of it. We have certainly seen how the Bush administration has been willing to detain people in Iraq on flimsy or no evidence, so I wonder if the real reason they won't charge Mr. Padilla is that in fact there isn't much evidence.
That pretty much hits the nail on the head. This case now will go to the Supreme Court, and if they agree that Padilla can be held indefinitely, then it creates the way for a system of Gulags in the United States, in which shoddy or no evidence other than a baseless accusation can be used to put someone away for as long as, well, the Government wants them to be put away. And keep in mind that no matter what your political leanings are, you are a fool if you believe that no one will ever be elected President who might be tempted to abuse these powers.