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Infinite Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:28 PM
Original message
Germany 1933 parallel
The following has been well discussed, I know, but I received it in an email and it was well-detailed so I thought it was good to share it. Please send the following in an email to everyone you know:

Wheres the outrage?

On March 23, 1933, the German Parliament (the Reichstag) passed the Enabling Act.

"The Nazis devised the Enabling act to gain complete political power without the need of the support of a majority in the Reichstag and without the need to bargain with their coalition partners. The Act essentially allowed the chancellor and his cabinet to enact legislation without the Reichstag, including changes to the constitution."

On October 17, 2006, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, a bill handed to him by a pandering Congress no less fawning and obsequious than the German Parliament of 1933.

Among other things, this legislation enables the President to do the following:

Strip the US courts of jurisdiction to hear or consider habeas corpus appeals challenging the lawfulness or conditions of detention of any person held in US custody as an "enemy combatant". Judicial review of cases would be severely limited. The law would apply retroactively, and thus could result in more than 200 pending appeals filed on behalf of Guantnamo detainees being thrown out of court.
o Prohibit any person from invoking the Geneva Conventions or their protocols as a source of rights in any action in any US court.
o Permit the executive to convene military commissions to try "alien unlawful enemy combatants", as determined by the executive under a dangerously broad definition, in trials that would provide foreign nationals so labeled with a lower standard of justice than US citizens accused of the same crimes. This would violate the prohibition on the discriminatory application of fair trial rights.
o Permit civilians captured far from any battlefield to be tried by military commission rather than civilian courts, contradicting international standards and case law.
o Establish military commissions whose impartiality, independence and competence would be in doubt, due to the overarching role that the executive, primarily the Secretary of Defense, would play in their procedures and in the appointments of military judges and military officers to sit on the commissions.
o Permit, in violation of international law, the use of evidence extracted under cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or as a result of "outrages upon personal dignity, particularly humiliating or degrading treatment", as defined under international law.
o Permit the use of classified evidence against a defendant, without the defendant necessarily being able effectively to challenge the "sources, methods or activities" by which the government acquired the evidence. This is of particular concern in light of the high level of secrecy and resort to national security arguments employed by the administration in the "war on terror", which have been widely criticized, including by the UN Committee Against Torture and the Human Rights Committee.
o Give the military commissions the power to hand down death sentences, in contravention of international standards which only permit capital punishment after trials affording "all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial". The clemency authority would be the President.
o Limit the right of charged detainees to be represented by counsel of their choosing.
o Fail to provide any guarantee that trials will be conducted within a reasonable time.
o Permit the executive to determine who is an "enemy combatant" under any "competent tribunal" established by the executive, and endorse the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT), the wholly inadequate administrative procedure that has been employed in Guantnamo to review individual detentions.
o Narrow the scope of the War Crimes Act by not expressly criminalizing acts that constitute "outrages upon personal dignity, particularly humiliating and degrading treatment" banned under Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions.
o Prohibit the US courts from using "foreign or international law" to inform their decisions in relation to the War Crimes Act. The President has the authority to "interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions".
o Endorse the administrations "war paradigm" under which the USA has selectively applied the laws of war and rejected international human rights law. The legislation would backdate the "war on terror" to before the 11 September 2001 in order to be able to try individuals in front of military commissions for "war crimes" committed before that date.

A short discussion of the law with constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley can be found here: /

Wheres the outrage, folks?

Vote November 7th
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. This bill and his signing of the bill is in itself a crime...
they know it, we know it and the world knows it...

If the world decides to prosecute the * cabal for War Crimes....then so be it....
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. "Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich"
("Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Reich"):

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