Obama Embraces Military Commissions Injustice - by Stephen Lendman
The 2006 Military Commissions Act authorized torture and sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate, and prosecute alleged suspects and collaborators (including US citizens), hold them (without evidence) indefinitely in military prisons, and deny them habeas and other constitutional protections.
Section 1031 of the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act contained the 2009 Military Commissions Act (MCA), listing changes that include discarding the phrase "unlawful enemy combatant" for "unprivileged enemy belligerent." Language changed but not intent or lawlessness. Obama embraces the same Bush agenda, including keeping Guantanamo open after promising to close it, and allowing torture there and abroad.
MCA grants sweeping police state powers, including that "no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause for action whatsoever....relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission (including) challenges to the lawfulness of (its) procedures...."
MCA scraped habeas protection (dating back to the Magna Carta in 1215) for domestic and foreign state enemies, citizens and non-citizens alike, and says "Any person is punishable... who....aids, abets, counsels, commands, or procures," and in so doing helps a foreign enemy, provide "material support" to alleged terrorist groups, engages in spying, or commits other offenses previously handled in civil courts. No evidence is needed. Those charged are guilty by accusation.
Other key provisions include:
-- legalizing torture against anyone, letting the president decide what procedures can be used on his own authority;
-- denying detainees international law protection, letting the executive interpret or ignore it;
-- letting the president convene "military commissions" at his discretion to try anyone he designates an "unprivileged enemy belligerent," detaining them indefinitely in secret;
--denying speedy trials or any at all;
-- letting torture coerced confessions be used as evidence in trial proceedings, despite US and international law prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment at all times, under all conditions, with no allowed exceptions; also, the US Supreme Court's February 1936 Brown v. Mississippi ruling stated:
"The rack and torture chamber may not substitute for the witness stand," and an earlier November 1926 Fisher v. State decision called coerced confessions "the chief iniquity, the crowning infamy (and) the curse of all countries" using them.
-- letting hearsay and secret evidence be used; and
-- denying due process, destroying human dignity, mocking the rule of law, and establishing the principle of kangaroo court justice for anyone the executive targets with or without evidence.
In other words, the rule of law is null and void. Whatever the president says goes. No one any longer is safe. America is a police state, making everyone potentially vulnerable.
Stepped Up Military Commission Prosecutions Planned