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House passes detainees trial bill

Reuters | September 27 2006


Comments on the Military Commissions Act of 2006

More could be deemed enemy combatants under bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill backed by President George W. Bush setting rules for interrogating and trying foreign terrorism suspects, dismissing warnings from Democrats that courts will reje ct the plan.

The Senate was considering the measure that Republicans want to send to Bush before the U.S. Congress recesses this weekend to campaign for November elections. Bush was forced to negotiate a new proposal after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled his original plan was illegal.

The House voted largely along party lines for the bill, produced in negotiations between the White House and three dissident Republicans, that sets up military commissions to try terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Republicans, seeking to polish their terrorism-fighting credentials before the elections to determine control of Congress, depicted the rules as tough but fair.

"We provide basic fairness in our prosecutions but we also preserve the ability of our war fighters to operate effectively on the battlefield," said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, a California Republican.

But Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, said the bill sends a signal that "America's leaders are willing to abandon our values ... in favor of thuggish tactics they hope might make them safer for a little while."

Democrats said the Supreme Court would strike down the plan once more for curbing detainees' legal rights, including the right of the inmates being held without charges to challenge their detentions in court.

Comments on the Military Commissions Act of 2006

Infowars | September 27, 2006

So I heard much ballyhoo on the news about how congressmen were saying that the new MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT OF 2006 would protect US Citizens from being classified as enemy combatants.

Well, being the cynic that I am, I wanted to see for myself. It took me a while to find it, since they haven't exactly publicized the name of this bill, but I found it, downloaded it from the government printing office. You can retrieve it here: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&doc id=f:h6054ih.txt.pdf

If you look at page 3 (Section 948a [definitions]), you see the definition of Unlawful enemy combatant (kind of a misnomer, really. I mean, is there a LAWFUL enemy combatant?), then you will see that there is nothing in there that excludes US citizens from being deemed as such.

In fact, a cursory search of the document shows that references the word citizen in the context of the law is related to citizen counsel.

I have not fully read the law yet. I'll get to it later today. In any case, they have attempted to spin this again. I will look for the senate version later and see what the differances are.


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