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Old 10-01-2006, 05:35 PM   #1
Neil Mick
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Dead RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quick: do you know what Habeas Corpus is?

If you don't: you have our media to thank, for your ignorance. Congress just passed a bill that guts Habeas Corpus, for noncitizens.

So, what's Habeas Corpus? It means to "present the body." It's the foundation of our laws, as far back as the Magna Carta. It gives you the right to demand a trial, when accused of something. This new bill takes that right away, for non-US citizens.

Worse, the bill allows the use of several forms of torture...oh, whoops! excuse me: I mean "coercion" ...to be used as evidence at the trial.

Numb to Torture

Quote:
So here is the bitter joke: (Lynndie) England, the public emblem of torture, was convicted for nothing so awful as what the president and his flank have chosen to protect. Her crime was to smile, to pose, to jeer at naked, powerless men, and to fail to stop their humiliations or to report them afterward. She did not shackle men in stress positions, strip them of their clothes, deny them sleep, force them to stand for hours or days, douse them with icy water, deprive them of heat or food or subject them to incessant noise or screaming.
(all legal, in this new bill).

So, Bush could point to anyone in the world...even a person legally living in the US...call them an "enemy combatant;" toss them in jail; use torture to extract a confession; have secret trials where the accused cannot see their accusers...all in secret, and its all good with the US Congress.

Incredible.

An Uncivilized People

Quote:
There are laws that represent an Enlightened Age and, conversely, there are laws that represent a Dark Age. Today, our Congress has abolished, in Molly Ivins' words, "a safeguard against illegal imprisonment that has endured as a cornerstone of legal justice since the Magna Carta," and replaced it with barbaric laws. With a single vote, they've done away with a humane, civil right: the right to know what charges detainees' have been accused of and the detainees' right to challenge those accusations in a court of law. The traditional saying is every person has a right to a trial, a right to confront his/her accuser and to challenge the accusations. It is a profound safeguard to protect the innocent.

These humane laws that characterize a civilized nation have been usurped by a medieval oligarch: According to the new archaic law, George W. Bush determines the final fate of detainees, many of whom were innocent Afghani farmers, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. That fate is cruel and unusual. No presumption of innocence. The punishment is either life in prison or death.
What's really amazing is the mainstream media's ho-hum approach to this debacle. I saw a story about it buried on page A-6 in the Sentinel: a measley 2-column piece that didn't do justice to the issue, on Friday.

Sure, the NYT put out an editorial damning the bill in strong language: but it was too little, too late.

Quote:
These are some of the bill's biggest flaws:

Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of "illegal enemy combatant" in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.

The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret there's no requirement that this list be published.

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable already a contradiction in terms and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture
The editorial came out on 9/28, and this bill has been in committee for months. Why was the NYT asleep at the wheel, for all this time?

Let's face it: torture doesn't work. Assuming it achieves a short term goal, you're still, at the end of the day, a torturer, using the same tools of terror on the tortured, as terrorists use upon civilians. Worse, you might well be torturing innocents:

Democracy the Big Loser

Quote:
As both military attorneys and civilian pro bono attorneys for those imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have declared-the vast majority of the nearly 700 "detainees" were innocent from the get-go, victims of bounty hunters in Afghanistan and neighboring countries who "sold" them for cash to intermediaries who turned them over to the U.S. military for transfer to Cuba. All these "catches" made George W. Bush look like he was really rounding up all those evil terrorists - like cab drivers, British tourists of Pakistani descent and so forth.

Timed for the November elections, Bush moves on Congress, complete with his minions there issuing McCarthyite press releases accusing opposing Democrats, in the words of House Speaker, Dennis Hastert (R - Ill.), of voting "in favor of MORE rights for terrorists." (His emphasis)
So, why is BushCo so hot about legalizing an ineffective and amoral policy-tool? It has little to do with "helping him win the war on terror," and more to do with legalizing what he's already done. When the world hears the full details of what has been done to the detainee's: a lot of BushCo-types will be liable for prosecution of war-crimes. They are very nervous of that happening, with good reason. Again, it's lucky for W that he doesn't like to travel, much: after 2008, he won't have many safe places to go, where he won't be a wanted criminal.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court will likely quash this travesty (I hope), but that will take years, while BushCo gets to torture with impunity.

So AFAIC, democracy is dead, in the US. Goodbye freedom: hello secret trials.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:03 PM   #2
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

You do what you have to to keep the people who want to kill you from doing so.
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:51 PM   #3
Neil Mick
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
You do what you have to to keep the people who want to kill you from doing so.
And to hell with the innocents, right?

How very convenient a philosophy, for you.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:05 PM   #4
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
And to hell with the innocents, right?
No I grieve for the innocents that the terrorists have killed.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:44 PM   #5
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
No I grieve for the innocents that the terrorists have killed.
It wasn't but a couple hundred years ago that Americans were terrorists...You do remember the revolution don't you.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:52 PM   #6
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
It wasn't but a couple hundred years ago that Americans were terrorists...You do remember the revolution don't you.
Not personally, I'm not that old.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:57 PM   #7
Neil Mick
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
No I grieve for the innocents that the terrorists have killed.
Great. Grieve for the innocents, that the terrorists have killed.

Ignore the innocents that we continue to allow to die (now, what kind of strange morality-system is that??)

No oversight, no question, not even any knowledge, that it is going on, of the process of how people are accused of being terrorists. We just let people disapper, merely because our oh-so-factually-correct President (*cough*) deems some Asian-lookin' fellas to be "enemy combatants."

But that's all OK with you, I guess...because you're off in a corner, "grieving" for the other victims.

In the meantime, I'm sure that this "brave" new piece of legislation will help our credibility in the ever-present "war on terror," right? Not to mention, it's GOTTA make a vital section of society that really is important in "the war on terror"...the Arabs and Arab-American's, living in the US...feel safer, right? Oh, yes, it HAS to them feel all patriotic and safe now!

Come on! Any non-US citizen out there feel safer now? Speak up! Chime in, you folks in the back!
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:01 PM   #8
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

One man's terroist is another man's freedom fighter. Unless the fighter is not trying to establish freedom for his people just out to elimanate everybody that does not agree with him, then he is a terrorist not a freedom fighter and does not desreve protection under our laws and consitution.

Last edited by dps : 10-01-2006 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:05 PM   #9
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Great. Grieve for the innocents, that the terrorists have killed.

Ignore the innocents that we continue to allow to die (now, what kind of strange morality-system is that??)
Do you grieve for the innocents the terrorists have killed and allowed killed by their actions?
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:16 PM   #10
Neil Mick
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
One man's terroist is another man's freedom fighter.
One man's apple is another man's orange.

You seem to keep ignoring a salient point. Let me spell it out for you.

1. This law changes a basic, fundamental principle of governance, one of the bases for which the Constitution was written.
2. Worse, it places nearly unlimited power in the hands of one man, with regards to anyone he deems an "enemy combatant." Where I come from, we call that a "dictatorship." Where I live, we call that a "democracy." The two are often mutually exclusive.
3. A leader who makes mistakes with no oversight will be unmotivated to correct those mistakes. So, a President with the power to make prisoners disappear will hardly be eager to announce his mistakes to the world, if he later discovers it. So, we could well turn into the USSR, with its system of gulags, in time (3 years? We seemed to have a thriving torture-system in Romania, and Poland, before the curtain went up on that one).
4. This bill is more about the President trying to cover himself for the blood already on his hands, rather than "aiding in the war on terror."

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
Do you grieve for the innocents the terrorists have killed and allowed killed by their actions?
Do you have any evidence that torture and the present system of uberviolence brings us any closer to ending the actions, of these terrorists? Because if you don't: your question is irrelevant.

But, I grieve for everyone, who dies violently. That's not the point.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:31 PM   #11
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

[quote=Neil Mick]1. This law changes a basic, fundamental principle of governance, one of the bases for which the Constitution was written.[quote]

" The writ of habeas corpus serves as an important check on the manner in which state courts pay respect to federal constitutional rights. " http://www.lectlaw.com/def/h001.htm

Show me where terrorist have constitutional rights.
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Old 10-02-2006, 12:50 AM   #12
Neil Mick
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
1. This law changes a basic, fundamental principle of governance, one of the bases for which the Constitution was written.
Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
" The writ of habeas corpus serves as an important check on the manner in which state courts pay respect to federal constitutional rights. " http://www.lectlaw.com/def/h001.htm

Show me where terrorist have constitutional rights.
Show me how you can conclusively prove that these people whose rights you wish to deny, are terrorists.

You can't: and so you duck the central issue.

(BTW, it's a REALLY good idea to read all of your source: not cherry-pick what you like to read. From your own source:

Quote:
A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody.

In Brown v. Vasquez, 952 F.2d 1164, 1166 (9th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 112 S.Ct. 1778 (1992), the court observed that the Supreme Court has "recognized the fact that`[t]he writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action.'
Here, let's repeat that, in case you missed it: "The fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action.")

I'm guessing that a mistaken identity qualifies as "arbitary and lawless" state action.

I'm also guessing that you have no answer to my other point, above--that if a future President discovers, under this bill, that he is the warden of thousands of innocent people who have "disappeared:" that he will likely be less than willing to set them free, and admit his mistake.

So, you really cannot clearly say, who is the terrorist, or who is the non-citizen victim (nor, it appears: do you seem to care). But, up to this point: non-citizens DID have rights...even under US law. I believe that the US is a signatory of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Quote:
Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
which, according to the Constitution: must be adhered to, as if it were US law.

But, this concerns you little, I know. Better to have a secret system of gulags where non-persons...ahh, I mean, non-citizens...um...sorry: "terrorists"...are locked up and forgotten, all so some weak President can claim that he's tough on the "war on terror."

Would that make you feel safer, knowing that a lot of Arab's (with no way to test their innocence) are jailed, and tortured?

Last edited by Neil Mick : 10-02-2006 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:05 AM   #13
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Quick: do you know what Habeas Corpus is?
Yes, its about
Constitutional rights.

http://www.usconstitution.net/glossary.html

"This document contains words, phrases, and concepts used in the United States Constitution. Links to this document can be found on the U.S. Constitution Page. Note that some words are defined only as they apply to the Constitution itself. You may also wish to see the Popular Names Page, the Notes Page, and the Advanced Topics Page."

"Habeas Corpus
habeas corpus n. Law A writ issued to bring a party before a court to prevent unlawful restraint. [<Med. Lat., you should have the body] Source: AHD

The basic premise behind habeas corpus is that you cannot be held against your will without just cause. To put it another way, you cannot be jailed if there are no charges against you. If you are being held, and you demand it, the courts must issue a writ or habeas corpus, which forces those holding you to answer as to why. If there is no good or compelling reason, the court must set you free. It is important to note that of all the civil liberties we take for granted today as a part of the Bill of Rights, the importance of habeas corpus is illustrated by the fact that it was the sole liberty thought important enough to be included in the original text of the Constitution."
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:51 AM   #14
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, "The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."


http://www.uscourts.gov/outreach/top..._casestudy.htm
The Role of Federal Courts in Balancing Liberties and Safety

Case Study

Johnson v. Eisentrager
339 U.S. 763 (1950)

Issue
Are foreign nationals entitled to habeas corpus relief in the federal courts if they have never lived in the United States?

Ruling (6-3)
No. In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court stated that the convicted German nationals were not entitled to habeas relief in the federal courts.
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:06 AM   #15
dps
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20020123.html

"Are al Qaeda Fighters Prisoners of War?

First, what does it take to qualify as a prisoner of war? Article IV of the Geneva Convention states that members of irregular militias like al Qaeda qualify for prisoner-of-war status if their military organization satisfies four criteria.
[[Prisoners or unlawful combatants?]]

The criteria are: "(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; [and] (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."

Al Qaeda does not satisfy these conditions. Perhaps Osama bin Laden could be considered "a person responsible for his subordinates," although the cell structure of al Qaeda belies the notion of a chain of command. But in any event, al Qaeda members openly flout the remaining three conditions.

Al Qaeda members deliberately attempt to blend into the civilian population - violating the requirement of having a "fixed distinctive sign" and "carrying arms openly." Moreover, they target civilians, which violates the "laws and customs of war."

Thus, al Qaeda members need not be treated as prisoners of war."


Applies to all terrorist.
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:17 AM   #16
deepsoup
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

I always seem to find myself posting links to the BBC in response to Neil's threads.

Here's a radio programme that is rather interesting, in the context of this discussion:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/pip/np79a/

There's a link on that page to a streaming audio version which will be available at least for the next few days. Here's some more about it:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/5381322.stm
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:58 AM   #17
Steve Mullen
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

I think its a very fine balance that needs to be struck between giving too much freedom to would be/may be terrorists and to holding people who are just in the wrong skin at the wrong time. Its a kind of catch-22 situation for all of the main governments involved in the Iraq conflict at the moment, if they do too much they are condemed as being war-crimianls and taking everyones liberty and making the country a dictatorship etc, but if they do too little and something (9/11 and 7/7) happens we all ask where the protection was and why the government didn't do more to save us.

Incidently, while I was wirting this i was listening to bob dylan's the times they are a changin' and the track One too many mornings came on. I think one of the lines in it fits these kind of discussions perfectly

"You're right from your side, and I'm right from mine, we're both just one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind"

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:56 AM   #18
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Frankly, this scares the poop out of me. I just have a fundemental mistrust of the bozo's that are currently running OUR government.

This could have a significant impact on the way America deals with illegal immigration as well. Will illegal aliens no longer have access to our court system?

I just think we are giving up far too many freedoms in the name of "keeping us safe." I also don't feel any safer after losing many of our freedoms.

But what do I know. John Doe citizen that I am. There are far more competent people in charge of this operation than me.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:09 AM   #19
Hogan
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
It wasn't but a couple hundred years ago that Americans were terrorists...You do remember the revolution don't you.

Wow - Americans in the Revolutionary War kidnapped, beheaded, tortured, "donkey" bombed (unless you are going to tell me there wer cars back then, too!) & used suicide bombers deliberately targeting British civilians during the war?? Man, I learn something new everyday....
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:22 AM   #20
Mike Grant
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

There are two problems here; defining the meaning of 'terrorist' and 'torture'.

Personally, I don't have a problem with a moderate degree of physical and/or mental coercion in order to obtain information which may prevent a potential 'terrorist' attack and save lives (see Alan Dershowitz's discussion of the 'ticking time bomb' terrorist). The problem is that, in general, the greater the coercion the more likely it is that the victim will just tell you what he thinks you want to hear. We tried this in Northern Ireland, including internment without trial, with mixed results and ultimately we lost the war.

Talking of Northern Ireland, what were you guys in the states doing when we were getting bombed by Irish terrorists (sorry, 'freedom fighters') and you were letting them run free over there raising money and purchasing weapons and explosives? I guess it feels a little different when your own electorate is on the recieving end. Anyway, thanks a bunch Teddy Kennedy.

(Mind you, credit where credit's due. Not every bloke with a skin full could get a car door open under water...)

Last edited by Mike Grant : 10-02-2006 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:22 AM   #21
James Davis
 
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
Its a kind of catch-22 situation for all of the main governments involved in the Iraq conflict at the moment, if they do too much they are condemed as being war-crimianls and taking everyones liberty and making the country a dictatorship etc, but if they do too little and something (9/11 and 7/7) happens we all ask where the protection was and why the government didn't do more to save us.
Another catch-22 situation is this:

After everything we've seen with Clinton and Bush, anybody who wants to be president must be crazy.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 10-02-2006, 11:24 AM   #22
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
John Hogan wrote:
Wow - Americans in the Revolutionary War kidnapped, beheaded, tortured, "donkey" bombed (unless you are going to tell me there wer cars back then, too!) & used suicide bombers deliberately targeting British civilians during the war?? Man, I learn something new everyday....
Kidnapped?
Yes
Beheaded?
Not sure, but the method of death is really unimportant. Beheading is just another way of killing someone. It's just more common in some countries than others. Is hanging someone by the neck until dead an act of terrorism?
Tortured?
Yes
Donkey bombed?
LOL. That's kind of funny.
Suicide bombers?
I'm sure many Americans did similar things, we just call them war hero's. One does what one thinks is necessary in a given situation. They become suicide bombers because it's highly effective, no matter how reprehensible you think it is. IED's and suicide bombers are one of the most difficult things for our troops to defend against. It's driving our war fighters and the Department of Defense nuts trying to figure out how to defend against them. We have largely been unsuccessful in doing so.
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Old 10-02-2006, 12:56 PM   #23
Hogan
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote:
... One does what one thinks is necessary in a given situation. They become suicide bombers because it's highly effective....
So, when did you stop believing in right & wrong, and good & bad?

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Old 10-02-2006, 01:13 PM   #24
Neil Mick
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20020123.html

"Are al Qaeda Fighters Prisoners of War?

Thus, al Qaeda members need not be treated as prisoners of war."

Applies to all terrorist.
Excellent: you've managed to make use of your search-engine.

Sadly, context seems to be lacking, in those searches.

Justice Still Too Far Away

Quote:
The US Supreme Court ruled earlier this year in the Hamdan case that the military commission process was unlawful and violated the Geneva Convention and the US Military Code of Justice. The case involved a Yemeni national charged with offences that the US Government sought to have tried before a military commission.

Legal experts around the world were vocal in pointing out the serious deficiencies in the military commissions. However, any independent advice questioning the legality of the commissions was consistently dismissed by the US and Australian Governments. It was not until the Hamdan decision that the Australian Government was forced to explain that its unflinching support for the military commissions had been based on the "wrong" advice. To date, the Government has not released any details or copies of the advice it relied upon.

In response to the Supreme Court's damning ruling in Hamdan, the US Government has established new military commissions that continue to fall below accepted notions of justice. Guantanamo Bay detainees can be prosecuted using hearsay evidence. Evidence can be withheld from an accused on national security grounds.

Witnesses are not required to be cross-examined. Methods of obtaining evidence from detainees over lengthy periods of detention are also questionable.
And so, unfortunately: you continue to dance around my central question:

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Show me how you can conclusively prove that these people whose rights you wish to deny, are terrorists.

You can't: and so you duck the central issue.

Would that make you feel safer, knowing that a lot of Arab's (with no way to test their innocence) are jailed, and tortured?
Tree...here; forest...here:

Quote:
This law grants the executive branch (specifically Bush) the extraordinary right to label anyone anywhere in the world an "unlawful enemy combatant" and gives him the legal right to arrest and incarcerate them indefinitely in military prisons.

Persons liable will include anyone who even innocently contributes financially to a charitable organization thought to be associated with any nation or group the US believes supports terrorist or hostile actions against the US.

On September 27 and 28, 2006, freedom and justice effectively died in the US ... and no one will be secure anywhere in the world as long as this act is the law of the land. One day it will be repealed ... if the republic survives long enough to do it which now is very much in doubt.

US citizens are not exempted from this law with one important exception ... for now at least. Because of the June, 2004 Supreme Court Hamdi v. Rumsfeld decision, citizens of this country legally still retain their legal right to file a writ of habeas corpus if arrested and detained. This means they must be charged with a crime, be tried and allowed the right to appeal any conviction in a US court of law. But even this remaining right now hangs by a weak thread. It, too, may be abolished in the name of national security in a time of war if or when another major "terrorist" attack occurs on US soil.

Should that happen, which some experts believe is a certainty, democracy will likely give way to martial law and the suspension of the constitution, and echoes of Benjamin Franklin's words at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 will be heard.
At that time, he reportedly said in answer to whether the nation now had a republic or a monarchy: "A republic, if you can keep it." We hardly need wonder what he'd say today.

Provisions in the Military Commissions Act

Some of the key elements of the Military Commissions Act are as follows:

-- It annuls the right of habeas corpus for all non-US citizens and applies it retroactively to all current detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere. Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution specifically says: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." (note to David: Al Qaeda operating outside the US, does not = "rebellion," or "insurrection," sorry). This provision is now constitutionally null and void for all non-US citizens and nearly so for those of us who are.

-- It empowers the president with authority to decide what constitutes torture, effectively legalizing this act of barbarism henceforth against any detainee anywhere.

-- It grants US officials, including CIA operatives, retroactive immunity from prosecution for having authorized the use of torture or directly committed acts of it.

-- It prohibits detainees from the right to invoke the protections of the Geneva Conventions or the use of them in any US court. These conventions are binding international laws and thus the supreme law of the land. It no longer matters here.

-- It gives the chief executive authority to interpret and apply the Geneva Conventions according to his sole judgment.

-- It grants the president the right to convene military commissions to try "unlawful enemy combatants" and gives the chief executive broad latitude to decide on his sole authority whomever he wishes to so-designate and for whatever reason.

-- It allows civilians to be tried by military commissions and not in a civilian court of law and limits the rights of detainees to be represented by the counsel of their choosing.

-- It allows no guarantee trials will be conducted within a reasonable time.

-- In violation of binding international law, it permits torture-extracted evidence to be used against the accused in a trial.

-- It allows the use of classified evidence to be used but not to make it available to be challenged by defendants.

-- It permits hearsay evidence and coerced testimony to be used.

-- It allows military commissions to impose death sentences.

-- It allows indefinite and secret detentions.
In your one-note search to debate the limits of Habeas, you ignore the implications of the rest of the bill. Military commissions, torture, the Pres designating anyone he wants to be "enemy combatants..."

But I guess it's all good for you, so long as we "get dem terrerests," right?
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:37 PM   #25
Guilty Spark
 
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Re: RIP Habeas Corpus, Hello Torture

Hey Neil, how are things?

quote]Let's face it: torture doesn't work. Assuming it achieves a short term goal, you're still, at the end of the day, a torturer, using the same tools of terror on the tortured, as terrorists use upon civilians. Worse, you might well be torturing innocents:[/quote]

Question, whats your deffinition of tourture?
For the most part I agree, tourture is bad karma, but defining tourture is tricky isnt it?
Is making someone go for 12 hours without food or water tourture? (kids do it in africa all the time)
What about 3 days?
Is punching someone in the stomach and roughing them up a bit, tourture?
What if it's punching said "bad guy" who was caught planting a bomb on the side of the road . What if roughing that guy up a little (or hell even hurting him) means that you FIND the supplier of his bombs and you just saved 8 kids and 6 adults who would have been caught in a future road side bomb.

I agree, at the end of the day you're still using tourture to get what you want. Could it be a matter of when a line is drawn? Roughing someone up for information which leads to saving X number of soldiers and Y number of civilians compared to when "they" threaten the locals looking to the US for work. "If you work for the americans we'll kill you and your family" and follow through on their threat.

Every day I'm more and more impressed with the americans I'm around. They don't get a quarter of the credit they deserve for helping the people they help.

If you're hungry, keep moving.
If you're tired, keep moving.
If you value you're life, keep moving.

You don't own what you can't defend
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