Wednesday, August 02, 2006

This is indistinguishable from totalitarianism

Washington Post: White House Proposal Would Expand Authority of Military Courts

"A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal."
Let's stop right there. This means anyone and everyone is a posible terrorist. You. Me.

"Not directly involved." You give money to the Red Cross. The Red Cross helps someone. Later BushCo. thinks that person is a terrorist. You are now a terrorist. See how easy it is?

Ok. Proceed.

"Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors."

Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

In other words, remember the Bill of Rights? Well, forget it.

We may torture someone you will never know into accusing you of something you will never know about, find you guilty without you being there, and lock you away forever, if we don't execute you first.
'Basically, this is trying to overrule the Hamdan case,' said Neal K. Katyal, a Georgetown University law professor who was Hamdan's lead attorney.

The plan calls for commissions of five military officers appointed by the defense secretary to try defendants for any of 25 listed crimes. It gives the secretary the unilateral right to 'specify other violations of the laws of war that may be tried by military commission.' The secretary would be empowered to prescribe detailed procedures for carrying out the trials, including 'modes of proof' and the use of hearsay evidence."
Did you get that? Rumsfeld himself will have the power to say that what you did is a crime. He will be able to say that you are a criminal. And all on his sayso, you can be locked away. Forever.

Please, let's hope this doesn't pass. But why wouldn't it? The toothless Congress gives Bush whatever he wants.

The real outrage is that any administration would dare ask for such a thing.

Welcome to the new world.


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