The Pentagon has released its long awaited manual on implementing the Military Commissions Act, which will permit evidence against those detained in the war on terror obtained by hearsay (i.e. the confronting evidence comes from a witness not in court and available to be cross-examined), and more troubling still, evidence (i.e. confessions or finger-pointing) obtained under
torture coercive circumstances.
Does this comply with our treaty obligations to ostensibly try those captured in a military conflict in the same manner as we would try our own people? Um... no. Nor, of course, does permitting evidence obtained while a detainee was being waterboarded , or, perhaps, while a detainee's private parts were sliced with razor blades , or perhaps, a detainee was just kept isolated from other human contact for years...
We'll forget the fact that Gitmo has now been open for five years, and other than 10 detainees who have been mostly charged with so-called crimes against the laws of the war that probably don't fall into that category, the other 98 or 99% have been charged with nothing, and the government continues to argue, may be held in that state, forever... or at least until it is no longer convenient to hold them.
Leading members of Congress, including the feckless scoundrel Arlen Specter, who permitted this miserable departure from every value this country ever held dear and set jurisprudence back nearly 800 years (his own characterization of a law that he himself voted for) have pledged to ameliorate the worst parts of this codification of the permissibility of torture. Let's hope they do it soon.
Indeed, an outright repeal of the Military Commissions Act, Detainee Treatment Act, and de-funding of detention at Gitmo altogether are all in order. If Congress passes them, I dare the President to veto them, if he wants. We all remember how popular Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush were with their veto-mania, do we not?
want to overturn the military commissions act?
join the project!
Posted by david at January 19, 2007 12:55 AM