We can now save American lives through torture:
“It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill that he knows will save American lives,” Bush said. “I have that privilege this morning.”
Bush signed the bill in the White House East Room, at a table with a sign positioned on the front that said “Protecting America.” He said he signed it in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
“We will answer brutal murder with patient justice,” Bush said. “Those who kill the innocent will be held to account.”***
The American Civil Liberties Union said the new law is “one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history.”
“The president can now, with the approval of Congress, indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.
“Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act,” he said.***
The bill also eliminates some rights common in military and civilian courts. For example, the commission would be allowed to consider hearsay evidence so long as a judge determined it was reliable. Hearsay is barred from civilian courts.
The legislation also says the president can “interpret the meaning and application” of international standards for prisoner treatment, a provision intended to allow him to authorize aggressive interrogation methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts. White House press secretary Tony Snow said Bush would probably eventually issue an executive order that would describe his interpretation, but those documents are not usually made public and Snow did not reveal when it might be issued.
Congrats, GOP. Future President Hillary Clinton appreciates the new powers and authority, and especially appreicate the murky vagueness that allows this President and future Presidents to basically do whatever the hell they want with no obligation to tell us what they are doing. I likethe new standards of evidence, too- if you can get someone to say what you want, well, then, just like magic it is true!
No worries- this President is a ‘decider.’ Nothing bad will probably come of this legislation.