Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Padilla Trial

Firedoglake is sending a reporter to cover Jose Padilla's trial in Florida. The trial will be worth following as a battle between a fantasy derived from political rhetoric and the banal reality of thuggery.

I've spent a lot of time discussing torture on this blog (on Padilla here; here and here, and elsewhere throughout). The journal version of my volume on torture is now out and the book version will appear this summer....

Padilla is a bad man who is also, now, a product of torture, an objectification of torture. In other words, as I've argued about torture, he is whatever the torturers wish him to be. This is of the very essence of torturing for "information." Now, we will see this human product displayed in a courtroom where, even more so than in typical court cases, the entire case will be played out as a struggle between competing notions of reality where the tortured object becomes simply a fulcrum, an instrument, on which political reality turns.

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