Bushco still doesn’t have the totalitarian power it wants, but they have the solution.
U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.
A 32-page draft measure is intended to authorize the Pentagon’s tribunal system, established shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to detain and prosecute detainees captured in the war on terror. The tribunal system was thrown out last month by the Supreme Court.
According to the draft, the military would be allowed to detain all “enemy combatants” until hostilities cease. The bill defines enemy combatants as anyone “engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners who has committed an act that violates the law of war and this statute.”
Legal experts said Friday that such language is dangerously broad and could authorize the military to detain indefinitely U.S. citizens who had only tenuous ties to terror networks like al Qaeda.
“That’s the big question … the definition of who can be detained,” said Martin Lederman, a law professor at Georgetown University who posted a copy of the bill to a Web blog.
The administration’s proposal, as considered at one point during discussions, would toss out several legal rights common in civilian and military courts, including barring hearsay evidence, guaranteeing “speedy trials” and granting a defendant access to evidence. The proposal also would allow defendants to be barred from their own trial and likely allow the submission of coerced testimony.
The landmark court decision countered long-held assertions by the Bush administration that the president did not need permission from Congress to prosecute “enemy combatants” captured in the war on terror [hence the use of the term “indefinitely” in the first paragraph] and that al Qaeda members were not subject to Geneva Convention protections because of their unconventional status.
“In a time of ongoing armed conflict, it is neither practicable nor appropriate for enemy combatants like al Qaeda terrorists to be tried like American citizens in federal courts or courts-martial,” the proposal states.
The draft proposal contends that an existing law — passed by the Senate last year after exhaustive negotiations between the White House and Sen. John McCain [snip], R-Ariz. — that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment should “fully satisfy” the nation’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions [which Dim Son negated via signing statement — ed]. [emphasis mine]
Now come with me to the future under Bushco if this legislation is passed.
You receive the following letter under the Jewish-American Relief Fund for Lebanon Refugees letterhead:
Dear Concerned Citizen;
We are the Jewish-American Relief Fund for Lebanon Refugees. We are upset by the horrible conditions found among the Lebanese people displaced by the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces). Our homeland is causing hundreds of thousands of Lebanese civilians to flee their homes in fear.
We don’t want to take up much of your time. All we ask is that you donate what you can to help us help those suffering. They have nothing now, so anything you can spare will be happily accepted. We are sure you will be as generous as you can.
Our organization is a duly licensed charity and all donations are tax deductable.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Seymour A. Dershowitz
Jewish-American Relief Fund for Lebanon Refugees
PO Box 3032
Atlanta, GA 30329
You think to yourself, hey that’s nice of them. I suppose I can kick in a couple bucks. And these people really do need help. So you contribute.
Unfortunately the Jewish-American Relief Fund for Lebanon Refugees is a front organization for Hizballa and you just contributed arms money to a terrorist group. But you say, it’s Jewish-Americans seeking relief money. Welcome to “enemy combatant” land, sucker.
That’s why you all should be screaming and hollering (same thing?) at your congress critters and tell them to stop Bushco and their brown shirts. If this goes on, you’ll shortly see political opponents identified as “enemy combatants” and indefinitely incarcerated. Mark my words. It’s a damn slippery slope.