If H.R. 6166 passes, America will be fundamentally changed.
If H.R. 6166 passes, America will be fundamentally changed.
Wed Sep 27, 2006 17:34

If H.R. 6166 passes, America will be fundamentally changed.
H.R. 6166, the Military Commissions Act.



September 27, 2006

The U.S. House will vote today on H.R. 6166, the Military Commissions Act. If H.R. 6166 passes, America will be fundamentally changed. And the terrorists will have, once again, won. Therefore, we urge a "no" vote.

H.R. 6166 would establish a completely new court system, known as military commissions, with new procedures. These new commissions are being created to prosecute "unlawful enemy combatants." This all sounds fine and dandy. But who is an unlawful enemy combatant? Ah, there's the rub.

According to Brett Murphy of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Jurist publication, "White House and Republican congressional negotiators decided over the weekend to move forward with a definitional change in proposed legislation on military commissions that would broaden the meaning of 'unlawful enemy combatant' and allow the detention and trial by commission of a larger spectrum of suspects, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. While the language of the previous version agreed to by GOP leaders last Thursday defined 'unlawful enemy combatant' as 'an individual engaged in hostilities against the United States,' the new definition also includes those 'who [have] purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.' It is unclear whether the new definition will apply to US citizens, but there is no express prohibition against such designation."

So, one person, the president of the United States, whoever he or she might be, will have the power to designate an American citizen an "enemy combatant"; an enemy of the State. That person will then be tried not by the proper constitutionally created separate branch of government the Founders gave us, the judicial branch, but by the president's own military tribunal...with no congressional oversight, no right of appeal, no constitutional rights whatsoever for the accused.

H.R. 6166 ushers in a most fundamental change in American justice. And when H.R. 6166 comes to the floor for a vote today, no amendments (changes to the bill) will be allowed. That's right, the "People's House" can like it or lump it.

If we allow H.R. 6166 to pass, we will have agreed to the principle of complete executive power -- power that Saddam Hussein had.

We urge a "no" vote on H.R. 6166. The U.S. Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121.

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee

Legislative Action Center

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U.S.: Congress Should Reject Detainee Bill
26 Sep 2006 23:11:55 GMT
Source: Human Rights Watch

(Washington, D.C., September 26, 2006) � The U.S. Congress should vote down the draft military commissions and detainee treatment bill, Human Rights Watch said today. In denying the fundamental right of habeas corpus to detainees held abroad, defining "unlawful enemy combatants" in a dangerously broad manner, and limiting protections against detainee mistreatment, the bill would undermine the rule of law and America's ability to protect its own citizens from unjust treatment at the hands of other governments. In its immediate practical impact, the most damaging of the bill's provisions is clearly its "court-stripping" provision, which would bar detainees in U.S. custody anywhere around the world from challenging the legality of their detention or their treatment via habeas corpus actions, even if they have been subjected to torture. Innocent people could be locked up forever, without ever having the facts of their case reviewed by an independent court.
Source: Human Rights Watch


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