Saturday, September 30, 2006

Military Commissions Act, HR 6054

I had a reader ask me to discuss the controversial HR 6054, specifically the portion of it that denies Habeas Corpus rights to US citizens who are declared an "Enemy Combatant" by our current Government.

I am not a lawyer and I did not take the time to read the entire document.

That being said, Habeas Corpus is an important right that should include ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS. Habeas Corpus is the right for someone held by the government to have access to the court system of this country.

Habeas Corpus has been denied to those US Citizens who have been declared an "Enemy Combatant" by President Bush. This is WRONG.

The most famous case is Jose Padilla. Jose Padilla is a United States citizen who was arrested on May 9th, 2002 in Chicago. He was accused of being involved with a plot to explode a "dirty bomb" in Chicago and several other crimes.

He was declared an "Enemy Combatant" by President Bush and transferred to military custody. He was not allowed to talk to a lawyer until early 2004. He was not charged with a crime until November 22nd, 2005. The crimes he was charged with are much more minor then those he was accused of in 2002... He was kept in solitary confinement and not even charged with a crime for 2 and a half years. This is OUTRAGEOUS, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and WRONG.

In December of 2005 he was transferred into the civilian court system.

I think that the government cannot prove any of the original charges they arrested him for, so they are charging him with different and less significant crimes in an attempt to make themselves look better.

President Bush did an end run on the Constitution by declaring Jose Padilla an "Enemy Combatant." That must stop.

Unfortunately for us, Congress and the Senate just made this perfectly legal. This was done mostly along party lines; however a few (very few) Reps and Dems (More Dems crossed over then Reps) crossed over. The Republicans voted to expand the powers of the government and to further erode both The Constitution and our civil liberties and The Democrats voted on the right side of this issue...

The telling paragraph of this bill for me is:

§ 948a.
Definitions 2
In this chapter: 3(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT.—(A) The term ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ means—"(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."

Here is what that paragraph means to me, a military tribunal has the power to declare ANYONE THEY WANT an "enemy combatant."

I know there are a lot of Americans who think to themselves, it can never happen to me.

I imagine there were several million Jews who thought the exact same thing in Europe in 1940. They found out they were wrong. I love my country; but, I do not have blind trust in my government.

What makes me most angry about this is the pretenses the Republicans are using and the large number of Americans that believe them:

1. I commonly hear from idiots like Sean Hannity that "Islamic terrorists are as large of a threat to this country as the threats we faced in World War Two."

This is one of the dumbest and silfallacieslacies that I have ever heard. Over 62 million people were killed in World War Two. Over 418,000 Americans were killed in this war. The Axis was a strong threat to our nation and we mobilized and helped defeat them. Only a complete idiot could compare terrorism to World War Two. Sean Hannity does it every day.

2. I commonly hear "Bushbots" talk about Bush being a war time President and how we must support him.

This is the fault of both Democrats and Republicans. I still find it habelieveeleive that our Congress and Senate gave Bush a blank check whateverhaever he wanted in "The War on Terror." It is absurd. The Democrats MUST share the blame, they voted for it almost unanimously.

I have ranted long enough...

Mike Sylvester

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know the reason why Bush suspended habeas corpus right? He doesnt understand Latin.

Since he believes Americans should speak English only, he figures stuff written in other languages isnt very important.

Andrew Kaduk said...

LOL @ Anonymous.

I hadn't even considered that.

Tim Zank said...

Now Mike, before you run out and start slappin' Nancy Pelosi bumperstickers everywhere, take a deep breath, step back and just consider a few things....this is all new...we're literally shootin' from the hip...you also may find the WWII analogy preposterous, but todays weapons and technology make killing 418,000 Americans a relatively simple thing to do. All you need is one guy with a dirty bomb in Downtown Chicago, or an Islamic leader with a nuke, or a North Korean despot with missiles...

This is going to last a very long time, long beyond our lives through many more presidents, and many more stupid senators and congressman.

There is going to be a lot "trial and error" pardon the pun..

Robert Enders said...

This is how it should be:
1. If he is wearing a uniform, he becomes a POW, even if he does not represent a government recognized by the US. The Confederacy was not recognized by the US, but the Union treated rebel prisoners in accordinance with the Geneva Conventions. If the Union had not done so, there would not have been any surrender at Appomatox and that war would have continued until one side annihilated the other.
2) If he is not wearing a uniform, but he is found in a combat zone bearing arms against our forces, shoot him.
3) If he is arrested within the United States, give him a trial. If he is convicted, send him on down to Terre Haute, stick a needle in him, and grant his death wish.

Tim Zank said...

Robert, I like your idea!

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Tim Zank:

Come on partner...

Nothing is different today then what was going in in 1995. Or 1990. Or 1980. Or 1970. Or 1960...

There have always been terrorists and there always have been people who want to kill a few Americans.

You know I am not going to slap any Nancy Pelosi bumper stickers anywhere...

If you are concerned about weapons of mass destruction I suggest you convince our government to go into the ex Soviet Union... They have PLENTY...

You cannot be protected from everything...

Mike

Jeff Pruitt said...

Right on the money Mike.

We need first and foremost to protect us from our own government. Removing bedrock constitutional protections that have applied (up until now) to all American citizens is outrageous.

This president has contantly tried to expand executive branch powers at the expense of civil liberty. Unfortunately, some Democrats have supported this.

The only way to stop this president at this point is to vote for Democrats in the upcoming election. Congress MUST stop rubberstamping for the president. Democrats will do that - or let's say they will be more likely to do so...

Robert Enders said...

Hey Jeff, who are you supporting in the Senate race?

Anonymous said...

I would take that not speaking latin thing a step further - bush cant speak period. He tries to attempt english, but what is really heard is a confused combination little English words and horribly mutated larger words. I honestly think he doesnt know what he's saying half the time.

Wow, what an idiot.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Robert,

While I am extremely disappointed that the Democrats didn't field a candidate, I still am undecided on that race...

John Good said...

Well done, Mike!

Tim Zank said...

Hey Anonymous, it must REALLY suck to know that W's grades were better at Harvard than John Kerry's.

Setting your intellectual prowess aside, you may not like him or his style, but you don't get elected to the Presidency....TWICE.....by being an idiot.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Tim Zank:

What do you mean you cannot get elected President twice being an idiot?

You are 100% wrong on this one.

All you have to do is be a better politicians then your opponents; it has nothing to do with brains and you know it.

If IQ were used; the smartest President we have had recently was Jimmy Carter...

Mike Sylvester