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Old September 30th, 2006, 02:21 AM  
cmpcmp
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Join Date: July 14, 2006
Age: 26
Default Re: The bill that just passed

Pull you head out of the smokey back room, and breath some fresh air away form the bush bashing propaganda websites.... ok now that we have our sanity back, lets see what this bill really says.
(this is a summary)
Earlier, the Senate narrowly rejected an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), that would have allowed suspected terrorists to challenge their detention in federal court. Senators voted 51 to 48 against the amendment, which called for deleting from the bill a provision that rules out habeas corpus petitions for foreigners held in the war on terrorism. The writ of habeas corpus, which is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, allows people to challenge in court the legality of their detention, essentially meaning that they cannot be held indefinitely without charge or trial.

The issue was one of the most contentious in the bill, which authorizes the president "to establish military commissions for the trial of alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses. . . ." Under the rules in the bill, statements obtained from a detainee by torture would not be admissible as evidence, but information extracted using harsh interrogation methods that violate a ban on "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" would be allowed if they were obtained before the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 went into effect on Dec. 30 and if a judge found them to be reliable and in the interests of justice.

The proposed legislation would also set the parameters for interrogating terrorism suspects. It bars the president from authorizing any interrogation techniques that amount to war crimes, which it says include torture, murder, mutilation or maiming, rape, sexual abuse, serious bodily injury, hostage-taking, biological experiments and cruel or inhuman treatment. However, the president could "interpret the meaning and application" of Geneva Convention standards regarding less severe interrogation methods, the Associated Press reported.

Under a compromise reached last week with three recalcitrant Republican senators, the bill omits a provision sought by Bush that interpreted U.S. obligations under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Critics said that provision amounted to redefining a key part of the conventions and would put captured U.S. troops at risk if an enemy decided to do the same.


This by NPR

Legal Protections for Citizens vs. Non-Citizens

So far the courts have been vague on the topic of defining Americans as enemy combatants. The only explicit ruling the Supreme Court offered was in the case of Yasser Hamdi. The justices said an American detained on the battlefield in Afghanistan could be declared an enemy combatant, as long as he had an opportunity to challenge his detention.

The high court hasn't ruled yet on whether Americans picked up in the United States can be enemy combatants, and if so, under what standard. The new legislation spells that out. Fordham University law professor Catherine Powell says the court is more likely to defer to Congress than to a rule that comes straight from the White House.

"Going back to the Civil War, the Supreme Court has often felt more comfortable with actions that have the support of both the executive and legislative branch than those that just have the support of the executive branch," Powell says.

Americans held as enemy combatants have certain legal rights. They can challenge their detention, and if they're charged with war crimes, they get more rights at their trials than non-citizens.

By contrast, the legislation puts non-citizen enemy combatants in a very different situation. If they aren't charged with a war crime, they may never be brought to court at all.

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Ok as i understand it.....
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Various tourture techniqes are legalized
sort of but not really.
Under the rules in the bill, statements obtained from a detainee by torture would not be admissible as evidence, but information extracted using harsh interrogation methods that violate a ban on "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" would be allowed if they were obtained before the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 went into effect on Dec. 30 and if a judge found them to be reliable and in the interests of justice.
thats a lot different than legalizing 'torture'.

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Enemy combatants no longer have the right to a fair trial and can be held infinatly in prisons.
An enemy compatant wouldn't get an 'amercain trial', instead a military tribunal trial (which have been used on the past like civil war and such) which is still a trial.
-Im not sure about the indefinite prison though, cuz if they aren't charged w/ anything then wouldn't they have to let them go? If they never get a trial thats messed up.

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If you are suspected of being a terrorist or partaking in terrorist activitys such as funding them you can be taken and held without a trail.
What you said about the second part is wrong, americans get more rights than aliens even if the american is deemed an enemy combatant.
Americans held as enemy combatants have certain legal rights. They can challenge their detention, and if they're charged with war crimes, they get more rights at their trials than non-citizens.


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I think it also for pardoning bush of war crimes. (abu garib etc)
Im not 100% possitive but im pretty sure that, that only related to the use of 'harsh interrogation' (not torture) up form 9/11.
PS. Bush wasn't specificly involved in Abu Graib, how can the leader be held accountable for the actions of all the soldiers individualy?

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violations of the constitution.
Non us citizens don't have our constitutional rights, so if it is an Alien enemy combatant then how can we break their constitutional rights? plus if an american is deemed an enamy combatant, then they still get the stuff like habeus corpus and such (constitutional rights).
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Or maybe I am blowing this way out of proportion.
I think so, and i sure hope so. If this was what many left wing sites made it out to be, there would be riots in the streets all over america, and i would take part in them.
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