Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

FOX News Legal Analyst Peter Johnson Distorts The Padilla Case To Make Bush Look Better

Reported by Ellen - January 3, 2006

Peter Johnson, another FOX News analyst more interested in advocating than analyzing, was one of two guests on Hannity & Colmes last week (12/29/05) to discuss a federal appeals court's rebuke of the Bush Administration's efforts to move the Jose Padilla case from a military court to a civilian one. Johnson not only attacked highly respected conservative Judge J. Michael Luttig, a former Bush Administration favorite, as an activist judge for daring to question the Administration's unexplained about-face in its arguments, but Johnson also twisted the facts to make them more sympathetic to Bush.

At the beginning of the discussion, Johnson told Mike Gallagher, subbing for Sean Hannity, that Judge Luttig, who wrote the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, denied the Bush Administration's request to transfer Padilla, "in the most activist way that you can imagine - 'we're not gonna honor that, we think you have political motives, we're not gonna do it. We're gonna defy your authority as the executive. We're gonna defy your war power authority as the president. And we're not going to do it.'"

In his partisanship, Johnson didn't see any need to mention the fact that the Fourth Circuit was uneasy about a number of odd circumstances that the Bush Administration never explained such as why, after seeking and receiving permission to hold Padila, an American citizen, indefinitely as an enemy combatant in military custody, it suddenly changed its mind and wanted to transfer him to civilian authority under lesser charges.

Instead, Johnson tried to explain the Bush Administration's change of heart as a concession to the defendant. "Mr. Padilla said 'Release me or charge me.' And what the federal government has done is accomodate him with both." But an article on FOXNews.com titled "Padilla Wants to Stay in Custody Until High Court Considers Appeal" tells a different story. The article states:

Lawyers for Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held as an enemy combatant for 3 1/2 years, said Friday he wants to stay in military custody until the Supreme Court decides whether to hear his challenge to President Bush's power to detain Americans when the nation is at war.

...In their filing Friday, Padilla's lawyers wrote, "At the tail end of more than three years of nearly incommunicado military detention, Padilla is content to wait two more weeks in order to have his transfer approved through normal judicial processes."

Post a comment

Remember Me?

We welcome your opinions and viewpoints. Comments must remain civil, on-topic and must not violate any copyright or other laws. We reserve the right to delete any comments we deem inappropriate or non-constructive to the discussion for any reason, and to block any commenter for repeated violations.

Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.