Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Making Of A Tyrant

We've been constantly bombarded with innuendo that Obama is a Marxist, a Socialist, or a dictator who wants to establish a Gestapo-like force to take over the country. Lines and arrows are drawn showing how everyone Obama was associated with and everything he does is leading towards his goal of seizing absolute power.

Guess who wants to give the president some absolute power?

The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 is a bill introduced by Senators McCain, Lieberman, Inhofe, Brown, Wicker, Chambliss, Lemieux and Vitter. It is currently being reviewed by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

This particularly egregious piece of legislation would grant the president the power to lock a person away in military custody indefinitely and quite possibly in secret as well. It's not very long or complex and I invite you to read the entire text for yourself.

First they reference a category of person called an unprivileged enemy belligerent. individual is captured or otherwise comes into the custody or under the effective control of the United States who is suspected of engaging in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners through an act of terrorism, or by other means in violation of the laws of war, or of purposely and materially supporting such hostilities, and who may be an unprivileged enemy belligerent, the individual shall be placed in military custody for purposes of initial interrogation and determination of status in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Here's the definition.

(9) UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENT- The term ‘unprivileged enemy belligerent’ means an individual (other than a privileged belligerent) who--
(A) has engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners;
(B) has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
(C) was a part of al Qaeda at the time of capture.

Note that (B) references a catch-all known as "material support". There is a case before the Supreme Court in which the plaintiffs hope to get a better and more reasonable definition of that term because, as you can see from the linked story, the administration's definition is extreme.

They also create a sub-category of high-value detainees who will be interrogated by a special group.

(1) INTERROGATIONS TO BE CONDUCTED BY HIGH-VALUE DETAINEE INTERROGATION GROUP- A high-value detainee interrogation group established under this section shall conduct the interrogations of each high-value detainee.

High value or not, they will not receive a Miranda warning advising them of their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, against self-incrimination, consult with or have an attorney present, and have an attorney appointed free of charge if they can't afford one.

(3) INAPPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN STATEMENT AND RIGHTS- A individual who is suspected of being an unprivileged enemy belligerent shall not, during interrogation under this subsection, be provided the statement required by Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 436 (1966)) or otherwise be informed of any rights that the individual may or may not have to counsel or to remain silent consistent with Miranda v. Arizona.

A lot of people reading this may think this sounds reasonable so far, especially if they are envisioning the evil, leering Al Qaeda terrorist bent on the destruction of America. So they may be comfortable with said terrorist being imprisoned by the military, interrogated by a special team, and not being advised of what is commonly referred to the Miranda warning. But they're not done yet.


An individual, including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2) in a manner which satisfies Article 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and any authorization for the use of military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities.
(emphasis mine)

And there you have it. If any person, including an American citizen, is a suspected unprivileged enemy belligerent, they will not be advised of their rights and they will be interrogated as we see fit. Any person, including an American citizen, designated as an unprivileged enemy belligerent can be imprisoned without charges or trial indefinitely.

Eight conservative senators are willing to grant such power and authority to the president.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

AAaaaaaaack! that's just all I can say