Tuesday, September 19, 2006

False Choice

Don't be lulled into believing that the McCain-Graham bill is actually a "better" solution than what the President is asking for. It suspends habeas corpus. The foundation of our “free” society.

Let’s be very clear. The McCain Graham Warner Bill will suspend habeas corpus for these detainees. It will allow the US to hold these prisoners indefinately without compelling them to be put on trial. It will bar these prisoners from any legal recourse for actions against their treatment including torture.

This bill should be titled the John McCain Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Torture Program, because, while maintaining the current interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, it bars victims of torture from any recourse.

When McCain says he can accomplish the same thing as the Bush approach without reinterpreting the Geneva Conventions, he is talking about revoking habeas corpus.

The American people are being presented a false choice. Both the Bush and McCain bills will not end torture by the US. They will BOTH effectively legalize it.

The question that this country has to ask is: “Are these times so dire that we need to throw away the cornerstone of US liberty and justice? Are we in such danger and do we trust this President so much, that we are willing to topple more than seven hundred years of hard won human rights and hand these protections over to him?”

Nine former federal judges sent a letter to Congress detailing their opposition to the legislation

For two hundred years, the federal judiciary has maintained Chief Justice Marshall’s solemn admonition that ours is a government of laws, and not men. The proposed legislation imperils this proud history by abandoning the Great Writ to the siren call of military necessity. We urge you to remove the provision stripping habeas jurisdiction from the proposed Military Commissions Act of 2006 and to reject any legislation that deprives the federal courts of habeas jurisdiction over pending Guantanamo detainee cases.

H/T to Susie

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