by Stephen Lendman (The Intel Hub)
Congress is now considering legislative language to mandate indefinite military detentions of US citizens suspected of present or past associations with alleged terrorist groups, with or without evidence to prove it. More on that below.
The 2006 Military Commissions Act authorized torture and sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate, and prosecute alleged suspects and collaborators (including US citizens), hold them (without evidence) indefinitely in military prisons, and deny them habeas and other constitutional protections.
Section 1031 of the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act contained the 2009 Military Commissions Act (MCA). The phrase “unprivileged enemy belligerent” replaced “unlawful enemy combatant.”
Language changed but not intent or lawlessness. Obama embraces the same Bush agenda, including keeping Guantanamo open after promising to close it, allowing torture there and abroad, and treating US citizens as lawlessly as foreign nationals.
MCA grants sweeping police state powers, including that “no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause for action whatsoever….relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission (including) challenges to the lawfulness of (its) procedures….”
MCA scraped habeas protection (dating back to the 1215 Magna Carta) for domestic and foreign state enemies, citizens and non-citizens alike.
It says “Any person is punishable… who….aids, abets, counsels, commands, or procures,” and in so doing helps a foreign enemy, provide “material support” to alleged terrorist groups, engages in spying, or commits other offenses previously handled in civil courts. No evidence is needed. Those charged are guilty by accusation.
Other key provisions include:
- legalizing torture against anyone, letting the president decide what procedures can be used on his own authority;
- denying detainees international law protection;
- letting the executive interpret or ignore international and US law;
- letting the president convene “military commissions” at his discretion to try anyone he designates an “unprivileged enemy belligerent,” detaining them indefinitely in secret;
- denying speedy trials or none at all;
- letting torture coerced confessions be used as evidence in trial proceedings, despite US and international law prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment at all times, under all conditions, with no allowed exceptions;
- letting hearsay and secret evidence be used; and
- denying due process and judicial fairness overall.
On May 21, 2009, Obama addressed national security and civil liberties issues, including Guantanamo detainees, military commissions, and torture.