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:
In this chapter: 3(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT.Ã—(A) The term Ã‘unlawful enemy combatantÃ’ meansÃ—"(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...