As you likely know, the trial of Chicago gang member and alleged terrorist Jose Padilla is going on now.
On Tuesday, his jailers were forced to testify about the conditions of Padilla’s secretive three-year-eight-month confinement in a naval brig as part of a hearing on whether or not Padilla is fit to stand trial; it is significant testimony because it’s the first time any of Padilla’s captors have been forced to speak publicly.
– Padilla sometimes slept on a steel bunk without a mattress.
– The windows in Padilla’s 80-square-foot cell were blackened so no natural light was able to enter the cell.
– Padilla was given no timepiece, leading to an almost complete inability to tell time.
– The electric light in Padilla’s cell could only be activated by jailers and was frequently unavailable for unspecified reasons.
Padilla has alleged he was tortured while in military captivity. That has yet to be proven true or false. In fact, the hearing was limited in scope, and didn’t cover most aspects of Padilla’s detention, for example, how he was fed, how he was interrogated, etc.
In the hearing on Padilla’s competency to stand trial, government doctors and defense doctors differed on their evaluations of the Padilla’s mental health. Read the opinions in this New York Times story.
Mother Jones covered Padilla’s indictment after more than three years of detainment here, wondered if Padilla is anything more than the government’s perfect fall guy here, and discussed the plight of Padilla’s lawyer here.