Friday, September 29, 2006

habeas gone

* atrios:
"The writ of habeas corpus is one of those basic foundations of modern Democracy. Without it, words like liberty and freedom have no meaning.

These are bad people running our government. Very bad."
fuck everyone

3 comments:

rimone said...

luke: fuck everyone.

first time i laughed all morning. i totally agree.

lukery said...

what a day. am glad i could send you some cheer.
*laughs mirthlessly*

«—U®Anu§—» said...

Well, Congress passed this legislation, and it's on its way to Bush's desk.

House Resolution 6166

There are two versions of the senate bill: this one and that one. To distract you, the GOP sacrificed one of their own, Rep. Mark Foley, with his teen sex scandal.

USA Today gave this synopsis:

War crimes:

• The bill outlines specific war crimes. These include torture, cruel or inhuman treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, rape and biological experiments. The law provides extensive definitions of each crime.

• The bill does not include a provision President Bush wanted interpreting U.S. obligations under the Geneva Conventions, the 1949 treaty that sets international standards on prisoner treatment. Also, the president would not be allowed to authorize any interrogation technique that amounted to a war crime.

But he can "interpret the meaning and application" of Geneva Convention standards applied to less severe interrogation procedures. Such a provision is intended to allow him to authorize methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts.

Court system:

• Establishes a legal system to prosecute "unlawful enemy combatants." An unlawful enemy combatant is defined as a person "who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents."

• The court would not be used to prosecute U.S. citizens or individuals who fight in foreign forces on behalf of a sovereign state. The phrase "purposefully and materially" is intended to clarify that a person must knowingly support terror networks to be deemed an unlawful enemy combatant.

• The individual must be selected by the government to be prosecuted under the court system, known as a "military commission." The commission can determine the punishment, including death.

Evidence rules:

• The agreement requires that a defendant be allowed to examine and respond to any evidence given to a jury. If classified information is needed for prosecution, an unclassified summary can be provided.

• When the government wants to protect classified information and an unclassified substitute is not available, the government could opt to drop the charges. Under the laws of war, the president would not be required to release the combatant.

• Defendants could be convicted on hearsay evidence so long as a judge finds it to be reliable.

• Coerced testimony would be allowed in narrow circumstances, generally if the statement was acquired before a 2005 ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and a judge finds it to be reliable. Bans coerced statements taken after the 2005 ban took effect if it violates constitutional definitions of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Habeas corpus:

• Bars defendants from protesting their detention or treatment in civilian courts.


So, you can see what protections the legislation offers at one point it strips in at another point. Oh yeah, Congress also approved 700 miles of fence along the southern border. What a bunch of assholes.