S.3930: Military Commissions Act of 2006.
This bill effectively gives the president of the United States power to detain any prisoner at will without trial, provided he can identify the prisoner as an enemy combatant.
At the heart of this legislation is the right of “habeas corpus” (latin:you should have the body]).
“Habeus Corpus” is defined here,
This right is enshrined in the Constitution, in section 9 “Limits on Congress”
“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.”
And the act in question as it relates to Habeas Corpus can be found here
or from the official site here, though you'll need to dig a little.
Now to the reason I find this legislation irresponsible and reprobate for any lover of freedom in this country, regardless of party affiliation.
It is clear that the constitution allows for the suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus under certain specific circumstances where “public Safety” is under immediate threat.
In cases of rebellion or invasion, (those cited in the constitution), a clear and present threat, which has an arguably determinate period, appears to be the criterion of choice for the suspension of Habeas Corpus. A rebellion is either successful or it is not, an invasion is either successful or it is not. Either way, the imminent threat to public safety passes and the republic progresses to one form of normalcy or another.
President Bush’s “war on terror” has no determinate period, the threat to public safety will ebb and flow according to the whim of the terrorist as fuelled by the arrogance of the administration. Be that as it may, there is not an imminent threat of invasion. The public safety is no more at risk today than it has been any day since that fateful, disastrous day of September 11, 2001.
If an argument is to be made for heightened risk, it is due directly to the launching of an illegal, ill-fated war that has put our young men and women in harm’s way while providing a breeding ground for terrorists, a focal point for their ire, and a proving ground for their weapons and tactics.
Furthermore, this “war” has no end. If we pulled out of Iraq tomorrow, it would make not one jot of difference to this Presidents “war on terror”. Terrorism has been around for as long as civilization has, to declare war on it is to declare war on a fact of civilized life. (That fact being that there will always be uncivilized folk, some of whom will use murderous tactics of terror to meet their ignoble ends).
The US congress has just given the President of the United States despotic, privileges that allow him to pick and choose whom he calls an enemy combatant, and to detain these people without trial, indefinitely. Yep, that’s right, until the “war on terror” is won.
The president no longer has to produce “the body” to the judiciary. “Enemy Combatants” can go missing, forever, without recourse.
This President has proven himself incapable of disciplined governance, intolerant of dissent, a promoter of loyalty above ability, a promoter of privilege above justice, and woefully inadequate as a commander-in-chief. To give this man the right to pick and choose whom he will detain without trial, indefinitely, is the most egregious travesty ever visited on the American people. I say travesty, because the whitehouse today is a grotesque manifestation of a once-great institution, and then there are the American people who are blissfully un-aware of what this administration is doing, and care even less about it.
While Senator Stabenow’s vote, not even combined with the votes of ALL of the democrats and the republican lovers of freedom would have been enough to stop this egregious affliction on the people of the United States, I am dumbfounded as to why she voted in favor of it.
I believe she has just lost a large chunk of her support base in this state with that action.
If this reprobate act of congress is not enough to get the Democrats stirred up to win a victory, there is no hope for the democratic process in this country.
And lets not forget proposal 2 at the state level.
The yawns from the populace at large are chilling, eerie in fact. Its almost as though the American people have finally ceased to give a damn, in which case, we get the government we deserve.
What will it take, swastikas, goosestep, and a bad moustache?