Saturday, October 28, 2006

Military Commissions Act of 2006

"[T]he bill I sign today will ensure that we can continue using this vital tool [CIA interrogations of terrorists] to protect the American people for years to come. The Military Commissions Act will also allow us to prosecute captured terrorists for war crimes through a full and fair trial."---President Bush

On October 17, 2006, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

At a press conference, the President said:

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the war on terror. This bill will allow the Central Intelligence Agency to continue its program for questioning key terrorist leaders and operatives like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man believed to be the mastermind of the September the 11th, 2001 attacks on our country. This program has been one of the most successful intelligence efforts in American history. It has helped prevent attacks on our country. And the bill I sign today will ensure that we can continue using this vital tool to protect the American people for years to come. The Military Commissions Act will also allow us to prosecute captured terrorists for war crimes through a full and fair trial....

With the bill I'm about to sign, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people will face justice....

The bill I'm about to sign also provides a way to deliver justice to the terrorists we have captured. In the months after 9/11, I authorized a system of military commissions to try foreign terrorists accused of war crimes. These commissions were similar to those used for trying enemy combatants in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and World War II. Yet the legality of the system I established was challenged in the court, and the Supreme Court ruled that the military commissions needed to be explicitly authorized by the United States Congress.

And so I asked Congress for that authority, and they have provided it. With the Military Commission Act, the legislative and executive branches have agreed on a system that meets our national security needs. These military commissions will provide a fair trial, in which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney, and can hear all the evidence against them. These military commissions are lawful, they are fair, and they are necessary.

When I sign this bill into law, we will use these commissions to bring justice to the men believed to have planned the attacks of September the 11th, 2001.
[Full Text]

Links to information or opinions about this law can be found at the University of Pittsburg Law School
, and at Wikipedia.

A PDF link to the law can be found here.

An official White House fact sheet on the law is here.

Here is an earlier post about this law.

I will add more links as I read about this new law.

The ACLU is against this law, so I am for it. I think that the ACLU is for violent communists and terrorists. I think that the ACLU is against my liberties.

The ACLU is also against new data mining technologies that could help protect my liberties from terrorists. I think that the ACLU wants America to lose this War on Terrorism. I even wonder if the ACLU gets funding from terrorists. Maybe that is why they are always on the side of communists and terrorists who want to take away my liberties.

Some people claim that this law may be used against Americans who might be labelled unlawful enemy combatants and denied their rights.

The University of Pittsburg Law School has collected articles assailing this law as an attack on our human rights.

I guess the law that Congress has passed and that President Bush has signed doesn't worry me. Maybe some Americans are unlawful enemy combatants and will be affected by this law; we will see.

Attorney General Gonzales says that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 does not apply to Americans. See here and here:

The Military Commissions Act does not apply to American citizens. The military commissions established under the Act may try only alien unlawful enemy combatants, and the new law does not restrict the rights of United States citizens to file writs of habeas corpus in federal court. Every detainee who is detained at Guantanamo Bay has had, or will have, a hearing before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, which is a fair military tribunal designed to determine whether an individual is properly detained as an enemy combatant. If the tribunal determines that he may be detained, then the individual may appeal that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. We provide even greater rights to individuals who go to trial before our military commissions. That trial would be presided over by an independent military judge. The accused will have the right to counsel; he will be presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; he may see and respond to all the evidence introduced; and he may introduce evidence and witnesses on own his behalf. If convicted, he may appeal the commission's decision. This extensive array of procedures and protections are designed to ensure, and will ensure, that we do not detain or prosecute by military commission anyone other than captured terrorists and other alien enemy combatants. [Full text here and here]

I read that the FBI may be looking at the possibility that some Americans aided the 9-11 terrorists.

David Shuster, an MSNBC correspondant, wrote (9-7-06):

Prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, all 19 of the terrorists had been living in the U.S. for several months, some for more than a year. They obtained visas, signed apartment leases, shopped, prayed at mosques, rented cars and bought airline tickets.

Could they have done so — especially those who did not speak English — without help from American citizens? It is one of the top unanswered questions lingering about the 9/11 attacks...

"It seems to me that there was some other support mechanism there,” said Roger Cressey, who was director of transnational threats for President Bush's National Security Council. “Now, did that support mechanism know what these individuals were going to do? We don't know. But I think there was something here in the United States they relied upon."

.....[T]he 9/11 commission says there is "no evidence" the hijackers received help from anybody in the U.S. who knew about the plot. But it's a question that has long bothered investigators.

Now that the Congress has voted on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and President Bush has signed it, maybe we will find out more about the people who helped support, plan, and execute the 9-11 terrorist attack. Perhaps some American traitors helped the 9-11 masterminds.

I suspect that the politicians who did not sign this new law out of honest concern for our liberties may come to regret their lack of support when more information comes out.

But I think some politicians like Cynthia McKinney are not really in favor of Americans having civil liberties. McKinney gets some of her money from Arab organizations that want America to lose the War on Terrorism. As far as I am concerned, people like McKinney have gone over to the enemy.


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