Investigators broke Padilla with intense isolation


By Warren Richey
The Christian Science Monitor
 
MIAMI, Fla. When suspected Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla was whisked from the criminal justice system to military custody in June 2002, it was done for a key purpose - to break his will to remain silent.

As a US citizen, Mr. Padilla enjoyed a right against forced self-incrimination. But this constitutional guarantee vanished the instant President Bush declared him an enemy combatant.

For a month, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been questioning Padilla in New York City under the rules of the criminal justice system. They wanted to know about his alleged involvement in a plot to detonate a radiological "dirty bomb" in the US. Padilla had nothing to say. Now, military interrogators were about to turn up the heat.

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