Military Commissions Act of 2006
Basic human rights secured to us by the Bill of Rights are no longer considered necessary by your government. While the Patriot act completely shreds the Bill of Rights, HR 6166 goes even further. HR 6166 grants the President unlimited, unchecked Dictatorial power. It gives the President and the Secretary of Defense power to accuse, detain, convict and punish whomever they personally declare "the enemy".
No more public trials. No more writ of Habeas Corpus. Military tribunals (as small as one man) are to be appointed by the President and/or Secretary of Defense, and granted the power to decide the fate of the accused. This literally allows cases of one man judge, jury and executioner.
What is "Habeas Corpus"? The following is quoted from WIKIPEDIA.com ...
In common law countries, habeas corpus, Latin for "you [should] have the body", is the name of a legal instrument or writ by means of which detainees can seek release from unlawful imprisonment. A writ of habeas corpus is a court order addressed to a prison official (or other custodian) ordering that a detainee be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody. The writ of habeas corpus in common law countries is an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action. -SOURCE
Bill H.R.6166 removes our right of Habeas Corpus!
I don't think there's any significance to the number "6" in the bill's number; but if ever there was a 666 law from Hell, this is it! Then again, when I see things LIKE THIS, I can't help but wonder. You can READ FOR YOURSELF the legislation that destroys the Constitution of the United States at the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS (search under "H.R. 6166").
Last week's passage of H.R.6166, the "Military Commissions Act of 2006," was stunning--Torture is now officially legal, it provides amnesty for any "US personnel" who have tortured people in the past, allows for anyone--yes, American citizens--to be deemed enemy combatants, and reversed habeas corpus for anyone, setting up an entirely new system of "military commissions" which will be utilized by the president at will, the decisions of which can not be reviewed by any court. While a few legislators spoke out against this during the 10 hours of debate, notably Leahy and Feingold, we ask: Where was the loud and clear, absolute outrage? If ever there was an occasion warranting the filibuster, was this not that moment? --Ed.
September 29, 2006
“A Total Rollback Of Everything This Country Has Stood For” —Sen. Patrick Leahy Blasts Congressional Approval of Detainee Bill.
The Senate has agreed to give President Bush extraordinary power to
detain and try prisoners in the so-called war on terror. The
legislation strips detainees of the right to challenge their own
detention and gives the President the power to detain them
indefinitely. The bill also immunizes U.S. officials from
prosecution for torturing detainees who the military and the CIA
captured before the end of last year. We get reaction from Senator
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Michael Ratner of the Center for
Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript]
On Capitol Hill, the Senate has agreed to give President Bush extraordinary power to detain and try prisoners in the so-called war on terror. The editors of the New York Times described the law as tyrannical. They said its passage marks a low point in American democracy and that it is our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The legislation strips detainees of the right to file habeas corpus petitions to challenge their own detention or treatment. It gives the president the power to indefinitely detain anyone it deems to have provided material support to anti-U.S. hostilities. Secret and coerced evidence could be used to try detainees held in U.S. military prisons. The bill also immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for torturing detainees who the military and the CIA captured before the end of last year.
The Senate passed the measure sixty five to thirty four. Twelve Democrats joined the Republican majority. The House passed virtually the same legislation on Wednesday. Legal groups, including the Center for Constitutional Rights, are already preparing to challenge the constitutionality of the law in court.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)--Ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. See Senator Leahy’s statement on the detainee bill here.
Michael Ratner--President of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Listen Live: http://www.rense.com
What: HR 6166 - Military Commissions Act of 2006 - "We are all now at risk"
Read Full Text of HR6166 (PDF)
GUEST: Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd,
A Yale Law 1967 graduate, has taught Constitutional Law (Civil Liberties) at the University of Texas, and is a former cooperating attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union. He is presently International Director of the Institute for Cooperation in Space (ICIS) and the author of EXOPOLITICS.
Host: JEFF RENSE, www.rense.com
URL of this article:
1. Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo analyzes last week's legislation, including its frightening breadth of application and potential, with historical depth, thoroughly linked for perspective and further study. --Ed.
October 2, 2006
Are You an
by Justin Raimondo
There has been a great deal of discussion about the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [.pdf] http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:s3930enr.txt.pdf ],
recently passed by both houses of Congress, and most of it has to do with the provisions allowing torture of alien detainees, that is, of non-citizens apprehended in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, and their treatment at the hands of their American captors. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Warner, all Republicans, grandstanded for weeks over the torture provisions, then capitulated. Another "Republican maverick," Arlen Specter, zeroed in on the real issue, however, when he said the bill would set us back 800 years by repealing the habeas corpus protections against arbitrary arrest and jailings – and then went ahead and voted for it, anyway.
Liberal opposition mainly centered around the morality – or, rather, immorality – of torture, but the debate largely ignored the ticking time-bomb at the heart of this legislation, scheduled to go off, perhaps, in tandem with some future crisis, e.g., another terrorist attack on American soil: the redefinition of the "unlawful combatant" concept that lays the foundations for this administration's reconstruction of the gulag. Here is the new, broadened definition, as enunciated in the legislation recently passed by the House:
"The term 'unlawful enemy combatant' means – (i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or associated forces); or (ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense."
It doesn't say "alien" or "terrorist," although it specifically includes members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. It says "person" – any person, including American citizens. As Bruce Ackerman, professor of law at Yale and author of Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism, puts it:
"Buried in the complex Senate compromise on detainee treatment is a real shocker, reaching far beyond the legal struggles about foreign terrorist suspects in the Guantanamo Bay fortress. The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights."
Congress has now granted the president the powers of a dictator. The rest of the story of our slide into absolutism is merely a matter of filling in the details.
Our rulers will naturally continue to pretend that we live in a normal democratic country, that the Constitution still means something, and that nothing essential has really changed – but, of course, everything has changed, as the post-9/11 War Party has relentlessly argued, and we had better get used to it. Because if you very vocally and aggressively refuse to get used to it, they can and perhaps one day will come for you. As an Arab friend of mine puts it when describing the routine operations of Middle Eastern police states, "You will never see the light."