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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #82)

Thu Jul 11, 2013, 06:16 PM

84. Patriot Act, expanded byMilitary Commissions Act,National Defense Authorization Act & SCOTUS

decisions pretty much leave habeas corpus in tatters. And I don't think trial before a military tribunal equates with public trial - you know, like with rules of evidence approved by Congress or a state legislature, or a jury of your peers.

US Constitution, Article I, Section 9: “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.”

The Patriot Act, which became effective on the 26th October 2001, already authorised indefinite detention without indictment for foreigners suspected of having links to terrorist organisations.
In order to finally bring these prisoners to justice, special tribunals and military commissions were created by Presidential decree, the Military Order of 13th November 2001 [1]. This executive act enables the trial, by these military tribunals, of foreigners suspected of being in contact with Al Qaeda, or having “committed, prepared or helped to devise acts of international terrorism against the USA”.
In these exceptional courts, defendants do not have the right to choose their own lawyer – instead (HEADS UP, HERE, FOLKS: NO RIGHT TO COUNSEL), the defense lawyer will be a military person designated by the President, who also designates the military judges and determines the degree of “physical coercion” HEADS UP AGAIN, FOLKS - AUTHORIZES TORTURE) that can be applied to the prisoner. The lawyer also has no access to evidentiary elements of the case which may be classified as “secret”.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-suspension-of-habeas-corpus-in-america/5311701



Back in 2006, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act, which abolished habeas corpus rights for noncitizens, among other things. This part of the law was overturned in 2008 by the Supreme Court in Boumedine vs. Bush as unconstitutional. Today, it looks like the Supreme Court gave up on that line of reasoning. Marcy Wheeler reports:

SCOTUS Kills Habeas Corpus
Posted on June 11, 2012 by emptywheel

SCOTUS has just declined to take all seven of the pending Gitmo habeas corpus petitions, including Latif and Uthman. This effectively kills habeas corpus.

Consider what SCOTUS just blessed:
Holding a person indefinitely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time–including a school, a road, and a guest house–where suspect people are.
Holding a person indefinitely based on an admittedly error-ridden report the government wrote up itself.
Holding a person indefinitely based on pattern analysis.
Completely upending the role of District Court judges in the fact-finding process.


- See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/06/11/scotus-kills-habeas-corpus/#sthash.4Ikh6w2Z.dpuf


We also have the end of Habeas Corpus for US citizens.

The National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama on the 31st December 2011 authorises the indefinite detention, without trial or indictment, of any US citizens designated as enemies by the executive. The individuals concerned are not only those who have been captured on the field of battle, but also those who have never left the United States or participated in any military action. The law concerns any person designated by the administration as “a member of Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and who takes part in hostile action against the United States”, but also anyone who “substantially supports these organisations”. This formula enables an extensive and flexible use of the law. For example, it would enable the government to lash out at any civil defence organisations who seek to protect the constitutional rights of US citizens who have been designated by the executive as enemies of the USA.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-suspension-of-habeas-corpus-in-america/5311701

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