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.
I hate to defend this law, but this statement about hearsay is way wrong. There are third party statements that are defined as ‘non-hearsay’, and all sorts of exceptions to the hearsay rule where a judge can rule that a statement, although hearsay, is reliable to be admitted as evidence.
Interestingly enough, if a military judge/tribunal is given some discretion, you could get a common-law of evidenciary decisions as whatever appeals court that handles appeals from the tribunals is left to sort out what exactly how much discretion the tribunal should have.
Yay! More work for lawyers, more power to Judges!
the easiest way to figure out what a bill signed by bush intends to do is to listen to what he says as he signs it and assume the exact opposite.
such as “We will answer brutal murder with patient justice,” while signing a bill that allows convictions based on hearsay evidence beaten out of detainees. if that’s ‘patient justice’, i’d hate to see ‘impatient injustice’.
Does this mean that we can “disappear” Ann Coulter now?
Freedom is Slavery, Justice is Torture.
Dubya is the last person in the world who should be talking about justice for those who “kill the innocent.”
Largely correct, there are many third party statements that are non-hearsay, and some that are admissable hearsay (plus a “catch-all exception” for hearsay the judge is convinced is really, really true. Which I guess means tortured confessions…)
At a policy level, I don’t, in principle, have a problem with a seperate judicial system for war/terror cases. However, I don’t consider the Spanish Inquisition to be a judicial system worthy of the name…
So for this worthless piece of shit, the Save the Torture/Shred the Constitution legislation is a tribute to the memory of the victims of 9/11?
This retarded, self-centered fucker doesn’t have even a shred of a clue. He pisses daily on the Americans who died in the towers, the planes, and the Pentagon. They were Americans. Unlike this gutless coward who is not fit to be in the same room with an American flag.
Osama in one of his rambling, long-winded speeches ridiculed our way of life. Said our personal freedoms were proof of our being infidels. That only blind obedience to Allah and Sharia law was freedom. Said in order to fight him we would abandon our precious freedoms which were an affront to Allah. Said his God was far more powerful, and God willing, he would be proven right during his lifetime.
Guess he didn’t know just how fast this spine-free president and his Coalition of Retarded Enablers would prove him correct. They’ve managed what Osama never could have.
For the mavericky Republicans like McCain and Graham who sold out their country, how long before Gonzales writes a Bush fatwa eliminating any supposed protections the admin negotiated in “good faith”? My guess is it will come just after midterms.
Look at the bright side of this law: the next time I’m craving a good Cuban cigar and Travelocity wants to sodomize me with some $1500 fare to Havana, I can just email the President telling him what a cockface he is, and I’ll be in Cuba in no time. Free of charge. Literally.
The generals of Argentina should have been so lucky as to have this kind of law. Never would the Founding Fathers of the United States have entrusted to so much power to one individual.
So that’s why Osama is still roaming free: Bush is just being patient.
The Ghost of Santa Claus
We should waterboard PJ O’Rourke, too. Simulated drownings and billy clubs hewn from stout English oak are all the surly Fenians will ever understand.
Mind you, most Micks are still appallingly leftist. We must never forget the lessons of Tammany Hall.
Ho, ho, ho, bitches!
I look forward to President Clinton whisking John Yoo away as an “Illegal Enemy Combatant”.
I think I’m newly motivated to run for President someday, just to get this power. And believe me, I won’t be stopping with Yoo. Or you either.
Is ok to use torture during the impeachment now?
Is there anything in there that makes it possible to torture ex-presidents?
President Bush gets impeached and VP Cheney gets a fatal heart (you wish) attack, no wonder Hastert refuses to step down as Speaker of the House….
Y’know, you could just fly to Montreal, or Toronto, or Vancouver, where we’re all communists and Cuban cigars are not contraband. We’ll even accept your US dollars at par. For now, at least.
BTW, one possible silver lining here is that the fears that President Hillary Clinton (or any other Democrat) will be just as likely to whisk “suspected terrorists” off to Gitmo or some other hellhole without process will probably not pan out – since it is most likely that as soon as there is a Democrat in the Oval Office (can’t BE too soon!), Republican stalwarts will suddenly discover a newfound reverence for the Separation of Powers, Congressional oversight, and limitations on Presidential power. Sort of like how their zeal for Special Prosecutors and government-by-investigation, so prevalent in the (Bill) Clinton era suddenly waned after they found that out the public viewed their slavering witchhunts as a huge waste of time, money and effort. The big differnce, though is that the Gingrich-Congress scandal-crusade against Bill Clinton merely embarrased the Republican Party: GW Bush’s disgraceful torture bills have disgustingly tarnished the rep of the whole country. Ain’t progress grand?
America 2.0. Get used to it.
Soon it will be time to refresh the Tree of Liberty.
Well the little dictator should be proud of himself now. I weep for my country. What more can be said?
It may take awhile, but what will you do when someone you know disappears — becomes an unperson? I don’t know either.
How could the German people have gone along with what Hitler wanted? After all, Germany was a democracy, a republic. I think we have an answer now. It can happen here.
Unreliability isn’t the only problem with hearsay. There’s also the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution.
If the evidence in question is hearsay, the bolded part is impossible. Not that there aren’t plenty of exceptions to this amendment as it is, but then I’m not a lawyer, so…