Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bush tribunal proposal revisited

If the Associated Press is right, when I wrote about this before I (and the NYT) missed the biggest point:

U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill. ...

According to the draft, the military would be allowed to detain all "enemy combatants" until hostilities cease. The bill defines enemy combatants as anyone "engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners who has committed an act that violates the law of war and this statute."

Legal experts said Friday that such language is dangerously broad and could authorize the military to detain indefinitely U.S. citizens who had only tenuous ties to terror networks like al Qaeda.

That would make this proposal an attempt to reinstate the "enemy combatant" designation Bush invented several years ago -- the one used to incarcerate Jose Padilla without charge, trial or lawyer until it appeared the courts would throw that particular tactic out.

Proposing it as a law is a step up from simply asserting it as presidential fiat. But it's still an unjustified and even breathtaking suspension of basic civil liberties. And the fact that the administration is still pushing it shows that they've learned absolutely nothing from the past five years.

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Blogger JP said...

Here's why it seems they haven't learned: They haven't.

8/01/2006 7:19 AM  

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