Among the many dirty deeds done (dirt cheap, no less) by our federal government this current century was the passing of the Military Commissions Act (PL 109-366) in 2006. Restricting habeas corpus rights, the law permits the administration to forgo some of our most cherished rights in persecuting—I mean prosecuting those who the administration chooses to regard as “unlawful enemy combatants.”
Many have rightly criticized the act as incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and our proclaimed protection of human rights. Others note with suspicion that the act reduces the accountability of government employees (ie, intelligence and military employees) in their conduct towards those presumed unlawful enemy combatants, and extends the discretion of the executive branch far more than has proved wise with any administration, the current one least of all.
A remedy may fortunately be on the horizon. Ron Paul has proposed HR 3835.
This legislation seeks to restore the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers to prevent abuse of Americans by their government. This proposed legislation would repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and re-establish the traditional practice that military commissions may be used to try war crimes in places of active hostility where a rapid trial is necessary to preserve evidence or prevent chaos…the legislation would prohibit the use of secret evidence to designate an individual or organization with a United States presence to be a foreign terrorist or foreign terrorist organization (“Statement Introducing the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007,” Ron Paul, 10/15/2007).
A very worthy goal. We need legislation like this to restore our credibility on the world stage, and to re-establish some ethical standards in our defense policies.
Strange that for all the Democratic criticism of the administration’s foreign and defense policies, it is a Republican who is the sole sponsor of this bill. A sad statement on the supposedly opposing party.
As the bill is being sponsored by a dedicated Republican, surely Rob Bishop, Chris Cannon, and even the largely conservative Jim Matheson would be willing to support HR 3835.
Whoever your Representative, let them know that you want them to stand with Paul in passing this bill.