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Thread: Repugs move to seal terror trial plan

  1. #1
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    Default Repugs move to seal terror trial plan

    WASHINGTON - The Senate, siding with President Bush shortly after he personally lobbied lawmakers at the Capitol, rejected a move Thursday by a leading Republican to allow terrorism suspects to challenge their imprisonment in court.

    The vote paved the way for final passage of Bush's plan to establish "military commissions" to prosecute terrorism suspects in legislation that also spells out violations of the Geneva Conventions, a treaty that sets international standards for the treatment of war prisoners.

    Republicans say the bill is necessary to ensure that terrorists can be brought to justice and that CIA personnel will not be charged with war crimes when interrogating these suspects.


    Barring any last-minute hiccups, the bill could reach the president's desk as early as Friday.

    Personal plea
    Bush had gone to Capitol Hill earlier Thursday, urging senators to follow the House lead and approve the plan. "The American people need to know we're working together to win the war on terror," he told reporters as he left.

    The Senate voted 48-51 against an amendment by Sen. Arlen Specter that would have allowed terror suspects to file "habeas corpus" petitions in court. Specter contends the ability to such pleas is considered a fundamental legal right and is necessary to uncover abuse.


    "This is a constitutional requirement and it is fundamental that Congress not legislate contradiction to a constitutional interpretation of the Supreme Court," said Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

    Three Republicans voted with Specter but others in the GOP caucus contended that providing terror suspects the right to unlimited appeals weighs down the federal court system.

    "It impedes the war effort, and it is irresponsible," said Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    Legislative abuse
    Democrats sided with Specter.

    "The habeas corpus language in this bill is as legally abusive of rights guaranteed in the Constitution as the actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and secret prisons that were physically abusive of detainees," said Sen. Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Armed Services panel.

    The House on Wednesday passed a nearly identical measure on a 253-168, following bitter partisan debate in which Republicans and Democrats traded barbs on which political party would better protect Americans. After the Senate passes its bill, the House will vote again Friday to approve the Senate measure and send it to the president to sign, according to House and Senate leadership aides.

    Three Democrats also were being given opportunities to offer amendments Thursday, but all were expected to be rejected along party lines. Democrats have said the legislation would give the president too much latitude when deciding whether aggressive interrogations cross the line and violate international standards of prisoner treatment.

    Detainee tribunals spelled out
    The legislation would establish a military court system to prosecute terror suspects, a response to the Supreme Court ruling in June that Congress' blessing was necessary. Under the bill, a terrorist being held at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba can be tried by "military commission" so long as he is afforded certain rights, such as the ability to confront evidence given to the jury and access to defense counsel.

    Those subject to the commission trials would be any person "who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents." Proponents say this definition would not apply to U.S. citizens but would allow the detention and prosecution of individuals financing terrorist networks.

    While the bill would spell out legal rights for the terror suspects to ensure a fair trial, it would eliminate other rights common in military and civilian courts. For example, the commission would be allowed to consider hearsay as evidence so long as a judge determines it is reliable. Hearsay is frequently allowed in international military tribunals, but is barred from being considered in civilian courts.

    Interrogation restrictions
    The court would bar the military commission from considering evidence obtained by interrogation techniques since December 2005 that involve "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" as defined by the 5th, 8th and 14th amendments. Coerced statements taken before the 2005 ban was put into effect would not be subjected to the same standard -- language Democrats charge creates a loophole for abuse.

    The measure also provides extensive definitions of war crimes such as torture, rape and biological experiments, but gives the president broad authority to decide which other techniques U.S. interrogators may use legally. The provisions are intended to protect CIA interrogators from being prosecuted for war crimes.

    For nearly two weeks the White House and rebellious Republican senators have fought publicly over whether Bush's plan would give a president too much authority. But they struck a compromise last Thursday.

    "This bill is everything we don't believe in," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15044215/

    Gee, I'd like to say I'm outraged but I'm actually numb. I think I'll go read Plot Against America and try to feel like this is all make believe.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    And the Dems went right along with it.

    There is no alternative now, unless you go third party.

    Till then, you're all fucked.

    Sucks to be you guys, yikes.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Still have that spare room ready?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No, but we have one long living room/sitting room/dining room that could be converted into a dormitory of sorts.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Excellent. To the mattresses it is! We'll live like the Corleones at war!
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    WASHINGTON - The Senate, siding with President Bush shortly after he personally lobbied lawmakers at the Capitol, rejected a move Thursday by a leading Republican to allow terrorism suspects to challenge their imprisonment in court.

    The vote paved the way for final passage of Bush's plan to establish "military commissions" to prosecute terrorism suspects in legislation that also spells out violations of the Geneva Conventions, a treaty that sets international standards for the treatment of war prisoners.

    Republicans say the bill is necessary to ensure that terrorists can be brought to justice and that CIA personnel will not be charged with war crimes when interrogating these suspects.


    Barring any last-minute hiccups, the bill could reach the president's desk as early as Friday.

    Personal plea
    Bush had gone to Capitol Hill earlier Thursday, urging senators to follow the House lead and approve the plan. "The American people need to know we're working together to win the war on terror," he told reporters as he left.

    The Senate voted 48-51 against an amendment by Sen. Arlen Specter that would have allowed terror suspects to file "habeas corpus" petitions in court. Specter contends the ability to such pleas is considered a fundamental legal right and is necessary to uncover abuse.the fact that it was this close does show there is alot of opposition to this and that we are not all sheep just blindly following Bush


    "This is a constitutional requirement and it is fundamental that Congress not legislate contradiction to a constitutional interpretation of the Supreme Court," said Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

    Three Republicans voted with Specter but others in the GOP caucus contended that providing terror suspects the right to unlimited appeals weighs down the federal court system.

    "It impedes the war effort, and it is irresponsible," said Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    Legislative abuse
    Democrats sided with Specter.

    "The habeas corpus language in this bill is as legally abusive of rights guaranteed in the Constitution as the actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and secret prisons that were physically abusive of detainees," said Sen. Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Armed Services panel.

    The House on Wednesday passed a nearly identical measure on a 253-168, following bitter partisan debate in which Republicans and Democrats traded barbs on which political party would better protect Americans. After the Senate passes its bill, the House will vote again Friday to approve the Senate measure and send it to the president to sign, according to House and Senate leadership aides.

    Three Democrats also were being given opportunities to offer amendments Thursday, but all were expected to be rejected along party lines. Democrats have said the legislation would give the president too much latitude when deciding whether aggressive interrogations cross the line and violate international standards of prisoner treatment.

    Detainee tribunals spelled out
    The legislation would establish a military court system to prosecute terror suspects, a response to the Supreme Court ruling in June that Congress' blessing was necessary. Under the bill, a terrorist being held at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba can be tried by "military commission" so long as he is afforded certain rights, such as the ability to confront evidence given to the jury and access to defense counsel.

    Those subject to the commission trials would be any person "who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents." Proponents say this definition would not apply to U.S. citizens so does it or does it not apply to US citizens? this seems to say it does not-meaning that we(american citizens) have not lost our right to habeas corpus? but would allow the detention and prosecution of individuals financing terrorist networks.

    While the bill would spell out legal rights for the terror suspects to ensure a fair trial, it would eliminate other rights common in military and civilian courts. For example, the commission would be allowed to consider hearsay as evidence so long as a judge determines it is reliable. Hearsay is frequently allowed in international military tribunals, but is barred from being considered in civilian courts.

    Interrogation restrictions
    The court would bar the military commission from considering evidence obtained by interrogation techniques since December 2005 that involve "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" as defined by the 5th, 8th and 14th amendments. Coerced statements taken before the 2005 ban was put into effect would not be subjected to the same standard -- language Democrats charge creates a loophole for abuse.

    The measure also provides extensive definitions of war crimes such as torture, rape and biological experiments, but gives the president broad authority to decide which other techniques U.S. interrogators may use legally. The provisions are intended to protect CIA interrogators from being prosecuted for war crimes.

    For nearly two weeks the White House and rebellious Republican senators have fought publicly over whether Bush's plan would give a president too much authority. But they struck a compromise last Thursday.

    "This bill is everything we don't believe in," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.

    "This bill is everything we don't believe in," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio-See there are sane people even in OHIO..and I think that this sentiment is what will eventuall prevail in this nation.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Now I'm just confused.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    It applies to US citizens suspected of being in league with 'terrorism', that's the catch. Then habeas corpus is denied because the person is stripped of citizenship and labelled an "enemy combatant" which holds them outside any law.

    See? Smoke and mirrors.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Of course. And if anyone read half of what I rant about on this board, I'd probably be grouped in with Osama and his gang of merry crazies. I say we set up yet another match: Osama and other various muslim crazies vs. Bush and his Crusading christian crazies. Venue: Ohio, of course.
    Who wants to ref?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    It applies to US citizens suspected of being in league with 'terrorism', that's the catch. Then habeas corpus is denied because the person is stripped of citizenship and labelled an "enemy combatant" which holds them outside any law.

    See? Smoke and mirrors.
    this is the interesting part..where is the source that shows this? It is not apparent in the article and I want to see this in some legitimate print form. I want to see where it says that someone 'suspected of being in league' with 'terrorism' is stripped of citizenship and labeled 'enemy combatant"? where can I find this? I was under the impression it would not be applied to US citizens and was not aware of this 'catch' so I just want verification that there is indeed this 'catch'. I disagree with the whole thing btw and would be even more disgusted with this 'catch' being applicable because that would be the way they would try and slip this under the noses of the population! fuckers!

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    Actually, I just read an article on boston.com

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/wa...detainee_bill/

    WASHINGTON -- A last-minute change to a bill currently before Congress on the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay could have sweeping implications inside the United States: It would strip green-card holders and other legal residents of the right to challenge their detention in court if they are accused of being ``enemy combatants."

    An earlier draft of the bill sparked criticism because it removed the rights of Guantanamo Bay detainees to challenge their detentions in federal court. But changes made over the weekend during negotiations between the White House and key Republicans in Congress go even further, making it legal for noncitizens inside the United States to be detained indefinitely, without access to the court system, until the ``war on terror" is over.

    It is unclear who initiated the changes. The bill, which also sets up a new system of military trials for terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, passed the House yesterday and is expected to be voted on in the Senate today, before Congress breaks for midterm elections.

    Human rights advocates yesterday lobbied against the bill.

    ``This would purport to allow the president, after some incident, to round up scores of people -- people who are lawfully here -- and hold them in military prisons with no access to the legal system, whatsoever, indefinitely," said Joe Onek , senior policy analyst at the Open Society Policy Center, a Washington-based advocacy organization

    Other last-minute additions to the bill include provisions that would broaden the definition of enemy combatant to include anyone who gives material support to enemies of the United States and its allies, and would prevent detainees who have been released from US custody from suing the US government for torture or mistreatment.

    But the part of the bill that worries advocates for immigrants most is the one stating that ``no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination."

    ``Habeas corpus" is the legal mechanism that gives people the right to ask federal courts to review their imprisonment.

    In the original bill, the section banning ``habeas corpus" petitions applied only to detainees being held ``outside the United States," referring to the roughly 450 prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. But in recent days, the phrase ``outside the United States" was removed.

    The White House did not respond to questions asking why the restriction was extended to people in the United States.

    But at a press conference after the changes were made, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley praised the bill as ``a legislative framework that allows us to capture, detain, and prosecute and bring to justice terrorists."

    Human-rights activists believe the bill would do far more, including give the president greatly expanded powers to hold people indefinitely.

    ``What if they had this after Sept. 11 [2001] when they picked up all kinds of folks on immigration charges and material-witness charges and tried them in secret immigration proceedings?" said Jumana Musa, a lawyer with Amnesty International. ``Those people were deported. Now [if the bill passes], they could be detained indefinitely as enemy combatants."

    Eugene R. Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, added that: ``What it means is that certain categories of people are going to be second-raters in our legal system."

    ``You can't sneeze at the fact that citizenship has got to mean something," Fidell said. ``But if I were a green-card holder, thinking about the other pressures that are being brought to bear on green-card holders, it could make me pretty nervous."

    Wartime decisions to hold people perceived as threats have often proved problematic. During World War II, the government held over 100,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans in internment camps. (When they challenged their internment, the Supreme Court twice ruled against them. Decades later, however, the government acknowledged that the internment was unjustified and apologized.)

    Jennifer Daskill , US advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, predicted that the Supreme Court would strike down the provisions in the current bill that would take away access to courts for legal US residents arrested in the United States. Still, she said, it could take years before the court rules on the issue, during which time many people could be imprisoned.

    The provision would have an immediate impact on Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri , so far the only known ``enemy combatant" held inside the United States.

    Marri, a Qatari student arrested in 2001, has been held in a US military brig without charges for four years.

    Like hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Marri has challenged his detention in federal court; passage of the new law would throw out his case.

    Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter , a Pennsylvania Republican, and Senator Patrick Leahy , a Vermont Democrat, have filed an amendment to the Senate bill under which detainees -- both inside Guantanamo Bay and in the United States -- would retain their access to the courts.

    But it was unclear last night whether the amendment has enough support to pass. So far, moderate Republicans have not joined Specter and leading Democrats in supporting the amendment.

    Senator Susan Collins , a Maine Republican who is considered a moderate, said she would not support Specter's amendment.

    ``Detainees from Guantanamo have clogged our courts with more than 420 lawsuits challenging everything from their access to the Internet to the quality of their recreation facilities," her office said in a statement that called the lawsuits ``an abuse of our court system."

    Collins did not comment on the bill's restriction of rights for non-citizens in the United States.
    It would seem green card holders and other resident non-citizens could really get screwed here. Fucking hell. I hate this kind of shit.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    Actually, I just read an article on boston.com

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/wa...detainee_bill/



    It would seem green card holders and other resident non-citizens could really get screwed here. Fucking hell. I hate this kind of shit.
    So as bad as it is... I gather it would affect green card holders and resident non-citizens...-not the vast majority of people here who are citizens of the US correct? Which would mean US citizens would still have the right of habeas corpus..right???

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I still bet they do exactly the same to natural US citizens. They already have actually, a number of them are still rotting away in GITMO under some national security provision. This just makes it law.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    But officially this does not include United States citizens..right? 'betting' on something happening is not the same as it having already happened. So I take it that this only officially applies to Non-US citizens, meaning that the right to habeas corpus is still there for United States citizens. So we(US citizens) are not 'devoid of human rights' huh?

  15. #15
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No, it's already happened with US citizens in GITMO. Thus, you are devoid of rights.

    Besides that, officially and according to the US supreme court, GITMO was rulled illegal and ordered to close.

    Amazingly, it's still there.

    Think you have a better chance?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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