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Legal Rights? What Legal Rights? 2

Today is a dark day in the world. Once again, President Bush has single handedly changed history and set the world down a grim path. He has signed S. 3930, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law, giving the United States power that goes against the Geneva conventions, defies the US Constitution, and in my mind is completely immoral and wrong.

I will quote Anthony D. Romero, the American Civil Liberties Union‘s Executive Director:

“With his signature, President Bush enacts a law that is both unconstitutional and un-American. This president will be remembered as the one who undercut the hallmark of habeas in the name of the war on terror. Nothing separates America more from our enemies than our commitment to fairness and the rule of law, but the bill signed today is an historic break because it turns Guantánamo Bay and other U.S. facilities into legal no-man’s-lands.

“The president can now – with the approval of Congress – indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act.”

The implications of this bill are enormous. The military has much greater power, and it almost encourages prisoner abuse. It has already been proven that in many cases that bad intel has led to false charges. The list will only get longer with more “terrorist” roundups and resentment toward the US will continue to grow.

The one that really amuses me is that the bill exempts US officials from being tried for war crimes. Is Bush implicitly trying to tell us that in order to protect America, he may need to commit war crimes? I think Bush thinks he’s God!

View the ACLU’s letter opposing Bill

  • http://www.georgepechtol.com/ george

    js:
    you are so right to be concerned about this. from a jurisprudential point of view, this is all f**ked up. the great strength of the western legal code is due process, and the circumventing of it by executive authority sets us (the western world) 300 years back. it’s a tragedy of immeasurable proportion that will remain until some other executive order can rescind it.
    thank you for reminding us that there is a bigger world out there than we think about in our own little circle of influence.
    - g

  • Anonymous

    Read a history of the Ancient Rome’s decline and you will see a few parallels. Particularily, the over-reaching “military” powers that over-stretched their ability to manage their international “projects”. Some goodies found here:

    http://www.globalpolicy.org/empire/history/2003/0912scourge.htm

    http://www.americanempireproject.com/
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml