Jose Padilla Case Stalled by Jurors Who Doubt Official Story on 9/11

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Jose Padilla’s trial is ongoing and it turns out jury selection has run into a speed bump. The problem? Too many potential jurors who are so disillusioned by the government and so distrustful of the news media that they doubt the official story on 9/11.

For real. It’s this nation’s dirty secret that a huge number of people think 9/11 was an inside job. According to mid-2006 poll, “Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them “because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.””

No one in government on in the news media takes these people seriously, which probably just entrenches their estrangement from the mainstream further. But the government has to deal with them in the Padilla case, big time:

Many potential jurors in the Jose Padilla terrorism-support case say they aren’t sure who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because they don’t trust reporters or the federal government….

To be sure, most jurors without a Sept. 11 opinion are aware that the attacks have been blamed on terrorists of some sort. But many seem unwilling to blame al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden — the conclusion reached by the national Sept. 11 Commission and the Bush administration and widely reported by news media.

One female juror agreed that was a “general public consensus” but still held out skepticism.

“I don’t have an opinion. I don’t tend to trust the news media,” she said.

Many jurors seem to be unwilling to state the al-Qaida connection as fact because they don’t have firsthand knowledge. An older male juror said he answered “al-Qaida and bin Laden” on his questionnaire because “that was what the news said.”

As is the case with these trials, the lawyers are trying to find people who have no interest in the news and no knowledge of Padilla. Which means jurors who haven’t read Mother Jonesextensive coverage of his case.

Spotted on Wonkette.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest