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Author Topic: Who decides who is an enemy combatant?
velcro
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I apologize, I am sure this is covered somewhere on another thread, but I am crazy-busy this week and don't have time to dig.

I am not trying to spin this, but I heard some disturbing things and I would like to find out the facts.

In the latest legislation (signed already?), can the President decide that any non-citizen is an enemy combatant and have them detained indefinitely with no habeas corpus? Do they need to be deported first?

I heard there is an appeal process, but only to make sure that the procedure was followed, not to review facts or justification for detainment.

Thanks for your help.

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Tom Curtis
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The Bill has passed both Houses of Congress. It is still waiting for the Presidents signature.

It can be found here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/c109bills.html

As Senate Bill 3925 (although it is called S.3930.ENR).

Essentially it means that anyone who is called an enemy combatant by a Combat Status Review Tribunal may nolonger have their detention, treatment or status reviewed by any court, and there status will be reviewed only by such administrative review procedures as the President impliments. Even if it is found out that a US citizen has tortured a Illegal Enemy Combatant, that person may not be prosecuted in a court, and nor may the person tortured seek injunctive relief from any court, according to this bill.

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0Megabyte
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Well, crap. Fascism just keeps getting closer and closer, doesn't it?

[ October 03, 2006, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: 0Megabyte ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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You know, Germany of the 19th century was in many ways enlightened compared to its europena brethren. It was a pioneer in viewing children as young spirits to be cherished and nurtured rather than young workers who should obey and serve.

There's a reason that Jews migrated to Germany.

But politics twisted a certain way...

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drewmie
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This makes me ill. Yet another example of the Bush administration's contempt for any kind of real accountability and due process. Pathetic. To what twisted version of American founding principles do these people subscribe?

[ October 04, 2006, 02:50 AM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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RickyB
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When we told y'all this years ago, you said we were exaggerating, and being partisan, and extreme, and blinded by hatred and envy and alla dat.

But I don't need to hear the actual mea culpas. I'll forego that little guilty pleasure. Just vote these un-American madmen out of office, in 1 month and again in 25. Not because the alternative is so hot, but because nauseatingly middlin' is better than evil and insane, and because balance need to be restored before these people get into their heads that if the win again, after all this, they really are a permanent ruling class.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Once again, and this time in adamant triplicate:

what Ricky B said.

Throw the bums out.

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Wayward Son
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Who decides who is an enemy combatant? Why, of course, the Decider does!

In fact, didn't he mention the other day that anyone who opposes his policies in Iraq are aiding terrorists? [Wink]

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kenmeer livermaile
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The Dems will get to take the reins just in time for the economy to tank, the war in Iraq become a total mess ("Sir! We're runnng out of corners to turn!"), various other foreign policy situations become ripe to the point of rottenness (like NK, like Iran)... but there's a bright side to it.

Bush will probably face impeachment hearings.

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Colin JM0397
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I seriously doubt the result would be much different with dems in office.

Do any of you seriously believe a Dem house and senate and Dem president would or will rescind this soon to be law?

Anyone wanna' wager on this?

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kenmeer livermaile
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No. I can only hope. If enough of us pressure the Dems from the gitgo to rescind these laws or else...

There's also the little matter of thier voting record. Most Dems voted against it. Makes sense they'll support a rescension. (Is that a word? 'rescension'? oughter be)

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RickyB
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I have a sinking feeling you're right, jm, but I will nontheless, as an act of faith, wager $100 that should the Dems take both chambers, the law does indeed get rescinded before the 2008 election.
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kenmeer livermaile
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I think it will. Or maybe they'll declare Bush an enemy combatant and have him interrogated to prove hs innocence.
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Colin JM0397
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Popular opinion is what will drive this one.

If they win but all those that have been vocal go back to their couches and CSI Miami and think "cool, dems in control, all is good", then nothing will happen.

As little control as "the people" have these days, when enough of us say jump, they still have to.

Of course, when I say things like I did earlier, I have to kick myself for the negative thinking... Of course nothing changes when I sit here saying "nothing's gonna change"... [Exploding]

[ October 04, 2006, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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javelin
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Good slogan for the Concord Party!

quote:
Of course nothing changes when I sit here saying "nothing's gonna change".

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Colin JM0397
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I get 10% of all donations! Better yet, I call dibs on the Sec of Treasury for the first CP president - I'll print all the money I want!

<pinkey in mounth> mu-ha-ha-hahahah!

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kenmeer livermaile
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Well, I'm even gonna change my vote against Senator Maria Cantwell (pissed at her for supporting invading Iraq) since she was wise enough to vote against this bill.

But I'll write and tell her first.

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IrishTD
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Does anyone have details on how the Combat Status Review Tribunals are to work (including the makeup of the individuals serving on the tribunal? I'm skimming the bill and I don't see much in the way of detail on these tribunals...
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RickyB
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Which should tell you something right there. But the point is, the prez and the SecDef can personally declare someone an enemy combatant - and that's it.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"But the point is, the prez and the SecDef can personally declare someone an enemy combatant - and that's it."

Remember the two camps on torture definition?

One camp said keep it a bit vague but heavily worded.

The other camp said define it precisely.

Both agreed that a precise definition would allow interrogation just one gnat's hair shy of the limit.

The latter camp is that of the BUsh administration. The new detention law redefines torture in such a way that allows them to step their toes right to the edge, and is based on the rationale that they need to know where to stop, with the implication being that they will go as far as the law allows ("We NEED these tools," Bush said.)

This suggests that any fine print that allows the prez to declare a citizen an enemy combatant will be pressed right to the edge -- and THEN some -- whereupon Bush will cry for 'definition'.

I feel better just thinking about it, don't you?

Hey, any of yez who were calling for definition et cetera have anything to say on this?

If not: vee haff fvayz to mekk you tock!

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Liberal
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Can Bush veto Congress repealing a law?
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kenmeer livermaile
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If so, only once. I suspect he can, repealing a law is also legislation.
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Jesse
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The law assumes the Executive power to pardon.

Has this ever happened before?

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Tom Curtis
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I've finally tracked down a copy of the "Detainees Treatment
Act of 2005", so I can now make a more informed comment. First, the crucial sections of the acts are:

From the Military Commissions Act of 2006:

quote:
Sec. 948a. Definitions

`In this chapter:

`(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT- (A) The term `unlawful enemy combatant' means--

`(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or

`(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 , has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

...

`(3) ALIEN- The term `alien' means a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

quote:
Sec. 950u. Solicitation

`Any person subject to this chapter who solicits or advises another or others to commit one or more substantive offenses triable by military commission under this chapter shall, if the offense solicited or advised is attempted or committed, be punished with the punishment provided for the commission of the offense, but, if the offense solicited or advised is not committed or attempted, he shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.

quote:
SEC. 5. TREATY OBLIGATIONS NOT ESTABLISHING GROUNDS FOR CERTAIN CLAIMS.

(a) In General- No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas corpus or other civil action or proceeding to which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States is a party as a source of rights in any court of the United States or its States or territories.

(b) Geneva Conventions Defined- In this section, the term `Geneva Conventions' means--

(1) the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, done at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3114);

(2) the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea, done at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3217);

(3) the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, done at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3316); and

(4) the Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, done at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3516).

quote:
SEC. 6. IMPLEMENTATION OF TREATY OBLIGATIONS.

(a) Implementation of Treaty Obligations-

(1) IN GENERAL- The acts enumerated in subsection (d) of section 2441 of title 18, United States Code, as added by subsection (b) of this section, and in subsection (c) of this section, constitute violations of common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibited by United States law.

(2) PROHIBITION ON GRAVE BREACHES- The provisions of section 2441 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this section, fully satisfy the obligation under Article 129 of the Third Geneva Convention for the United States to provide effective penal sanctions for grave breaches which are encompassed in common Article 3 in the context of an armed conflict not of an international character. No foreign or international source of law shall supply a basis for a rule of decision in the courts of the United States in interpreting the prohibitions enumerated in subsection (d) of such section 2441.

(3) INTERPRETATION BY THE PRESIDENT-

(A) As provided by the Constitution and by this section, the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards and administrative regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

(B) The President shall issue interpretations described by subparagraph (A) by Executive Order published in the Federal Register.

(C) Any Executive Order published under this paragraph shall be authoritative (except as to grave breaches of common Article 3) as a matter of United States law, in the same manner as other administrative regulations.

(D) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the constitutional functions and responsibilities of Congress and the judicial branch of the United States.

...
(c) Additional Prohibition on Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment-

(1) IN GENERAL- No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

(2) CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment' means cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984.

(3) COMPLIANCE- The President shall take action to ensure compliance with this subsection, including through the establishment of administrative rules and procedures.

quote:
SEC. 7. HABEAS CORPUS MATTERS.

(a) In General- Section 2241 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by striking both the subsection (e) added by section 1005(e)(1) of Public Law 109-148 (119 Stat. 2742) and the subsection (e) added by added by section 1405(e)(1) of Public Law 109-163 (119 Stat. 3477) and inserting the following new subsection (e):

`(e)(1) No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.

`(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (10 U.S.C. 801 note), no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of confinement of an alien who is or was detained by the United States and has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.'.

(b) Effective Date- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply to all cases, without exception, pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act which relate to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of detention of an alien detained by the United States since September 11, 2001.

Paragraphs 2 and 3 of section 1005 e of the Detainee's treatment act read:

quote:
(2) REVIEW OF DECISIONS OF COMBATANT STATUS REVIEW TRIBUNALS OF PROPRIETY OF DETENTION-

(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine the validity of any final decision of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal that an alien is properly detained as an enemy combatant.

(B) LIMITATION ON CLAIMS- The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit under this paragraph shall be limited to claims brought by or on behalf of an alien--

(i) who is, at the time a request for review by such court is filed, detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and

(ii) for whom a Combatant Status Review Tribunal has been conducted, pursuant to applicable procedures specified by the Secretary of Defense.

(C) SCOPE OF REVIEW- The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on any claims with respect to an alien under this paragraph shall be limited to the consideration of--

(i) whether the status determination of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal with regard to such alien was consistent with the standards and procedures specified by the Secretary of Defense for Combatant Status Review Tribunals (including the requirement that the conclusion of the Tribunal be supported by a preponderance of the evidence and allowing a rebuttable presumption in favor of the Government's evidence); and

(ii) to the extent the Constitution and laws of the United States are applicable, whether the use of such standards and procedures to make the determination is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(D) TERMINATION ON RELEASE FROM CUSTODY- The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit with respect to the claims of an alien under this paragraph shall cease upon the release of such alien from the custody of the Department of Defense.

(3) REVIEW OF FINAL DECISIONS OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS-

(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D), the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine the validity of any final decision rendered pursuant to Military Commission Order No. 1, dated August 31, 2005 (or any successor military order).

(B) GRANT OF REVIEW- Review under this paragraph--

(i) with respect to a capital case or a case in which the alien was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 10 years or more, shall be as of right; or

(ii) with respect to any other case, shall be at the discretion of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

(C) LIMITATION ON APPEALS- The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit under this paragraph shall be limited to an appeal brought by or on behalf of an alien--

(i) who was, at the time of the proceedings pursuant to the military order referred to in subparagraph (A), detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and

(ii) for whom a final decision has been rendered pursuant to such military order.

(D) SCOPE OF REVIEW- The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on an appeal of a final decision with respect to an alien under this paragraph shall be limited to the consideration of--

(i) whether the final decision was consistent with the standards and procedures specified in the military order referred to in subparagraph (A); and

(ii) to the extent the Constitution and laws of the United States are applicable, whether the use of such standards and procedures to reach the final decision is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(4) RESPONDENT- The Secretary of Defense shall be the named respondent in any appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit under this subsection.

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/gazette/2005/12/detainee-treatment-act-of-2005-white.php

I'll reserve actual comment to a subsequent post.

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Jesse
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(2) CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment' means cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984.


Wow. They sure cleared that up.

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Tom Curtis
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Yeah, Jesse. That was one of the issues I was going to comment on.

In the previous thread on this bill, a number of people were defending the bill on the grounds that it clarrified what was, and what was not torture; and that this was necessary so that interrogators could operate without fear of over stepping the mark and being prosecuted.

It is now evident that the bill provides no clarrifacation as to what is torture, or cruel and unusual punishment at all. Instead it protects interrogators from prosecution by the simple expedient of saying they cannot be prosecuted even if they overstep the mark. Infact, even if they torture a detainee to death, "... no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of ... treatment ... of confinement of an alien who is or was detained by the United States and has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination." In other words, even homicide by torture is protected from criminal prosecution.

Now, my question is for those who thought the bill was necessary so interrogators would know were the nogo line was, do you still consider the bill justified?

Is it acceptable to protect the US and its agents from prosecution by simply declaring they cannot be prosecuted?

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Tom Curtis
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I should add on this point, the only difference on this point between the Detainee Treatment Act and this one is that the DTA legislated that acting in good faith was a defence for interrogators, whereas this bill legislates that interrogators need have no defence because they cannot be prosecuted before a court.
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Tom Curtis
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The next issue I would like to comment on is the title of this thread, Who decides who is an enemy combatant?

According to this bill, the decision is made by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, or such other tribunal established for the purpose by the President or Secretary of Defence. Currently this means a a Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

CSRT's were established by an administrative order by Paul Wolfowitz. The consist of three neutral commissioned officers of the USAF with security clearance sufficient to enable them to hear all classified information related to the case. At least one of them will be Judge Advocate.

The Tribunal can consider evidence from all sources including hearsay and evidence obtained by torture. It is not required to hear evidence the detainee would like it to hear, although it is required to hear the detainee if the detainee pleads their own case.

The Detainee is represented by a Personal Representative, a member of the USAF with sufficient security clearance who need not have legal training, is not required to actually advocate for the detainee, and is not required to preserve the confidentiallity of discussions with the detainee.

The Detainee can appear at the tribunal while non-classified evidence is being heard; but they may not hear classified evidence against them, and nor are the required to be informed of the basis of their detention.

The Detainee has a "right" to speak on their own behalf, but that "right" is subject to their signing a legal document which waived certain of their rights (according to wikipaedia). They are not entitled to legal advice on the significance of the document they are asked to sign.

Decisions of the CSRT are subject to appeal to the US Court of Appeal, DC. Detainees who have not had a determination by the CSRT cannot appeal their detention before any court of law. Those who have can only have an appeal regarding procedure, not regarding the facts or determination. IOW, if the appeal court finds for the detainee, the detainee can still be detained, and simply face another CSRT.

As the procedures of CSRT are so stacked against the detainees, I think the effect of this right of appeal is negligible.

I am again interested to see if anyone on this site considers this an acceptable procedure? Or if it is a procedure sufficiently safeguarded against administrative abuse?

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul2004/d20040707review.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combatant_Status_Review_Tribunal

[ October 04, 2006, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: Tom Curtis ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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The crickets are brisk tonight, yes?
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IrishTD
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Thanks Tom C. I'll have to look over that stuff and give it some thought.

From a quick glance though, this implies that there is at least some checking and balancing on folks being declared as enemy combatants.

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MattP
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quote:
From a quick glance though, this implies that there is at least some checking and balancing on folks being declared as enemy combatants.
This legislation specifically forbids the traditional "checks and balances" that we're all familiar with. The question is not whether there are ANY safeguards, rather is it "a procedure sufficiently safeguarded against administrative abuse?"
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IrishTD
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quote:
"a procedure sufficiently safeguarded against administrative abuse?"
From what I can tell, that's the point of the CSRTs. Certainly, the propriety and effectiveness of these can be up for debate (and might be a good place for legislation).
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RickyB
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Irish, no there isn't. There's no one to review once the prez or SecDef signs an order.
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MattP
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Even a CSRT may not be provided, given the language "or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense" The president can establish a "tribunal" of his choosing to make these determinations.
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Tom Curtis
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There are two issues about the legislation.

One is that it simply grants immunity from prosecution for the treatment of detainees to the US and its agents, no matter what the treatment, and no matter whether it was conducted in good faith or not. There is no review on this point.

The other is the CSRTs. In my opinion, the CSRTs are flawed because, amongst other things:

The detainee's representative is not required to advocate for his release, or have legal training, or even be independant from the unit that captured him or holds him.

Although it is claimed that the detainee has a right to defend themselves, they need not be notified of what they are accused of, are unable to confront witnesses against them, and can be denied that right (apparently) on the basis of mere administrative considerations.

The evidence against the detaineed can be classified, and the CSRT cannot dispute that classification. That means evidence can be classified for the sole purpose of preventing the detainee hearing it, or from it being heard in open sessions.

Given these flaws, and others, there are enough procedural holes for an unscrupulous officer to drive a truck through. An innocent man can be stitched up in a CSRT without any need to violate the procedural requirements. That could certainly happen to a man on whom suspicion has fallen due to faulty intelligence.

Because the only review of CSRTs by a court is a review of administrative compliance, that means the court review provides no protection to innocent men detained by mistake. Even if the court finds against the government in such a case, the government can simply retain the man, and put him through a new CSRT.

In order for an innocent man to determined to be an enemy combatant, we need only consider a small series of events:

Somebody who owes him a large sum of money decides to "turn him in" to the US for reward, and testifies that he was a Taliban fighter;

Under torture, he confesses to crimes he did not commit;

Other people being held also "testify" that he has commited those crimes;

This "evidence", the original hearsay, and the evidence obtained under torture is presented to the CSRT, who determines on that basis that the man is an Illegal Enemy Combatant.

From that point he has no further rights. Even his appeal regarding the CSRT will fail because there were no procedural errors by the CSRT, and the CSRT is allowed to accept hearsay evidence, and evidence obtained by torture.

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velcro
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Here is a hypothetical situation.
My permanent-resident Swedish-citizen neighbor down the street is declared an enemy combatant. Three officers including a JA decide he did something classified to support terrorists, so he is in prison with no appeal. All this is on US soil.

Is this scenario possible if the law passes? I'm not asking if it is likely, just possible.

Before this law, was it possible for him to be in jail indefinitely with no appeal and without access to the evidence against him?

The point of this thread is this: Most of us agree that terrorists should be in jail for a long time, and do not deserve all the rights that citizens have. But until they are *proven* terrorists, we are going on the word of some government official that they are terrorists.

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Tom Curtis
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quote:
Here is a hypothetical situation.
My permanent-resident Swedish-citizen neighbor down the street is declared an enemy combatant. Three officers including a JA decide he did something classified to support terrorists, so he is in prison with no appeal. All this is on US soil.

Is this scenario possible if the law passes? I'm not asking if it is likely, just possible.

With the provisio that somebody can appeal on his behalf to ensure the correct procedure was followed, yes it is possible under this bill.

quote:
Before this law, was it possible for him to be in jail indefinitely with no appeal and without access to the evidence against him?
Before this bill, the President claimed that he could do this, but the Supreme Court determined that he could not.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Posted on another thread but most pertinent in this thread's curreny sequence:

An interesting juxtaposition [italics mine]:

1

"WASHINGTON - Thousands of people have been mistakenly linked to names on terror watch lists when they crossed the border, boarded commercial airliners or were stopped for traffic violations, a government report said Friday.

More than 30,000 airline passengers have asked just one agency — the Transportation Security Administration — to have their names cleared from the lists, according to the
Government Accountability Office report.

Hundreds of millions of people each year are screened against the lists by Customs and Border Protection, the State Department and state and local law enforcement agencies. The lists include names of people suspected of terrorism or of possibly having links to terrorist activity.

"Misidentifications can lead to delays, intensive questioning and searches, missed flights or denied entry at the border," the report said. "Whether appropriate relief is being afforded these individuals is still an open question."

When questions arose about tens of thousands of names between December 2003 and January 2006, the names were sent back to the agencies that put them on the lists, the GAO said. Half of those were found to be misidentified, the report found.

In December 2003, disparate agencies with counterterrorism responsibilities consolidated dozens of watch lists of known or suspected terrorists into the new Terrorist Screening Center run by the
FBI.

People are considered "misidentified" if they are matched to the database and then, upon further examination, are found not to match. They are usually misidentified because they have the same name as someone in the database.

People are considered "mistakenly listed" if they were put on the list in error or if they should no longer be included on the list because of subsequent events, the report said.

Problems developed with terrorist watch lists after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Maher Arar, a Canadian software engineer, was detained at New York's Kennedy Airport in 2002 because Canadian officials had asked that he be placed on a watch list. The U.S. transferred him without court approval to
Syria where he was tortured and imprisoned for a year. A Canadian inquiry found that Arar should not have been on the list because he didn't do anything wrong."

2

"US terror agencies get easier access to airline data
From David Charter in Luxembourg
Anti-terror agencies in the US will gain easier access to the personal data of European airline passengers under a streamlined information-sharing deal hammered out by Washington and the EU.

The agreement covering 34 separate pieces of information from each passenger on trans-Atlantic flights was forged after the European Court of Justice ruled that a data-sharing deal from 2004 was invalid.

This left the EU urgently needing to change the legal basis of the two-year-old agreement to comply with European law or leave airlines to reach bilateral deals, with the possibility that if talks failed the US could refuse some the right of entry.

The US took advantage of the talks to cut red tape they said was hampering agencies such as the FBI, Secret Service, the Treasury and the INS (Immigration and Naturalisation Service), as well as third countries conducting anti-terror inquiries.

Under the new system, designed in line with the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission to improve the sharing of information, the US Department of Homeland Security will act as a gatekeeper for the other agencies and third countries.

They will still not have direct electronic access but, in exchange for data protection guarantees, the deal scales back the previous duty on the DHS to make extensive checks on the reasons for releasing information.

A senior EU official said: "We trust the Americans will implement their undertakings in good faith. It is a law-abiding nation. We do not start from the view that they are likely to act in bad faith."

(articles from today's evening yahoo headlines)

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kenmeer livermaile
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"With the provisio that somebody can appeal on his behalf to ensure the correct procedure was followed, yes it is possible under this bill."

The ACLU, grown somewhat unpopular for extending itself foolishly in a jihad to split hairs regarding separation of church and state, finds itself suddenly invaluable to essential civil rights of a most fundamental nature.

Unfortunately, it also finds itself in the unenviable position of being perceived of defending terrorists in order to defend those essential civil rights of a most fundamental nature.

However, one win on behalf of a highly sympathetic victim of these new laws will provide a tellable story that will sweep the media, the people, the polls, and thereby Congress thence the White House.

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RickyB
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Tom, what do you mean "somebody can appeal on his behalf"?

First of all, where does it say that? Second, which somebody? Appeal to whom? how would anyone know it even happened to appeal?

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