The America we’ve become

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I don’t have anything else to add to this:

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, has been detained for four years without formal charges, much of it in solitary confinement. He is now a broken human being:

Saying that there was ’sufficient cause” to conduct a competency hearing, the government, in papers filed yesterday, urged the judge to do so.

The government itself cited the affidavit of a psychiatrist for the defense, Dr. Angela Hegarty, who said that Mr. Padilla did not understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him and that he suffered “impairment in reasoning” as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder “complicated by the effects of prolonged isolation.”

Mr. Padilla’s lawyers said he opposed this request that his competency be evaluated. Dr. Hegarty, one of two mental health professionals who examined him, said Mr. Padilla was “fearful of being thought of as crazy.” She described him as “hypervigilant,” his eyes darting about, his face twitching into grimaces, his “startle response” on constant high alert.

The original accusations against him — “about the dirty bomb, Al Qaeda connections and supposed plans to set off natural gas explosions in apartment buildings — appear nowhere in the indictment against him.”

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