Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bush Signs Military Commissions Act of 2006 Into Law

This morning, President Bush, signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law. With the possible exception of the Dred Scott decision, or Plessy v. Ferguson, few moments in United States history resonate as so pugnacious and egregious an affront to the declaration that, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The new law pertains to the treatment of foreign nationals, suspected by our government as terrorists. I recognize that there are many of my fellow citizens who support this measure and who feel that our security is worth a "small" suppression of liberties. The question, of course, is what have we traded?

At what point have we traded so much for security, that we cease to be the nation that our founders intended?

For those who would so readily cast aside our founding principles, I suggest that you take a look at what your fear has wrought:

• The President under this law has the power to determine whether interrogation methods violate international treaties such as the Geneva Conventions. It should be noted that in the past, the President approved techniques that the Supreme Court later ruled violated such laws.

• The law does not require that detainees be granted legal counsel.

• Detainees will have no legal rights to challenge their detentions in Federal Court.

• Hearsay evidence, which is neither legal in civilian OR military courts, is permissible IF the judge believes that it is from a reliable source.

• An outcome of these trials can be death.

So let me recap: Under this law, a person can be detained without charge, interrogated by methods that by most standards are considered to be torture, not allowed to challenge their detention, tried without legal counsel, judged on evidence not permissible in any other US court, sentenced to death, and finally executed.

Is this the United States that you want? And if someone you loved was subjected to this system of justice, would it be acceptable to you?

On Election Day, note how your Senator and Representative voted on this bill. Vote accordingly.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, now, let's consider whether it would be OK to impose all those penalties -- ALL of them -- on Republicans and their allies abroad (if any could be found). Since their actions might be construed as inciting terrorism and endangering our welfare, I could potentially approve of protective measures. Funny how they never think it might happen to them.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Yes, that same point was made by Keith Olbermann. It would be awful if the next President just made Dubya disappear after his/her inauguration.

10:05 PM  

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