American citizen Jose Padilla has been found guilty of aiding Al Qaeda.

This is what we know. Jose Padilla was arrested and detained by the US government for several years, without being allowed to see an attorney, and without formal charges. The US government vis-à-vis Donald Rumsfeld publicly accused Padilla of being an ‘enemy combatant,’ while being held without an attorney and with no formal charges, and accused Padilla of planning a dirty-bomb attack against the USA.

Ultimately, no charges were ever filed regarding a dirty bomb attack, and Jose Padilla, who was held for several years and questioned extensively without an attorney being present, and with no formal charges, was brought to trial based upon evidence gathered during the period Padilla was detained and questioned without an attorney being present. This evidence was then considered sufficient to bring alternate charges against Padilla and a formal trial in Florida.

Here is a CNN interview with Padilla’s lawyer:

CNN: What happens in the brig? What goes on in South Carolina when Jose Padilla goes down there? You mention a black hole. Is it that?

NEWMAN: Well, I think it's pretty analogous to that. I mean I don't know specifically because they won't tell us anything...

CNN: Well is it questioning? Is it interrogation? What is it?

NEWMAN: Well that's what they say. They say interrogation. It could be coercive interrogation. It could be duress. It could be torture. I don't know.

CNN: Why is it, Donna, that you have not seen your client? Court-appointed attorney you are, in more than a year.

NEWMAN: Because they won't let me. The court has said, Yes, she can go down there. But the government doesn't like that. So right away, now we're in the court of appeals. And now we have to wait for the 2nd Circuit to rule.

CNN: In the ten seconds we have left here, then, depending on what happens at a court ruling, what do you say to those that say, You know what, Donna, sorry, it's a question of national security.

NEWMAN: We have laws that protect national security. And national security does not trump the Bill of Rights, it does not trump the Constitution. It never has.

As Americans we should all feel safer.