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ACLU:Stop Congress From Defying the Supreme Court

August 3, 2006

I got a letter from the ACLU which dovetails nicely with the post below, apparently the threat to the chance of U.S. charges against the current administration are in danger. There’s a link towards the end where you can sign a petition, please go and sign the petition. This is important. They must pay.

In response to its loss in the Supreme Court’s recent Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision, which denied President Bush any authority to create military commissions to try Guantanamo detainees, the White House is now floating a proposal that would ratify its illegal military commissions and deny detainees basic due process protections that are guaranteed under U.S. law.

The draft White House bill states that the Geneva Conventions “are not a source of judicially enforceable individual rights.” The goal is to take away the ability of American military and civilian courts to hear the claim by any person that the federal government violated even the most basic protections of the Geneva Conventions. Since the Geneva Conventions were ratified by the Senate and are now enforced by federal law, the draft White House bill would undermine the system of checks and balances for enforcement of the Geneva Conventions protections. If Congress says the courts can no longer enforce the Geneva Conventions protections, then there’s nothing to stop the Bush administration from violating the law.

Congress has never authorized federal prosecutors to use evidence obtained by torture or abuse in any criminal trial. Under this proposal, even evidence obtained through torture and abuse in countries such as Syria or Saudi Arabia could be used to convict a person in an American trial. That violates everything America stands for!

The Bush administration also wants to exclude defendants from their own trials and to use secret evidence when it believes that’s “necessary.” But we know how this administration works and its penchant for secrecy. The ACLU has reviewed more than 100,000 pages of torture documents — typically heavily redacted — that the government produced in response to our FOIA request. We’re convinced this way of conducting trials would likely result in convictions of detainees who have seen little, if any, of the evidence against them. All of the top military Judge Advocates General agree that no one should be convicted based on evidence that he or she can’t see.

The use of hearsay evidence also weakens the prohibition against torture and abuse. After all, who’s to say how the evidence was obtained? You can’t cross-examine witnesses who aren’t present and whose identities are secret.
American Civil Liberties Union:

Take Action! Congress must not allow the White House to subvert the Supreme Court and abandon the rule of law.

P.S. LOL My wonderful Congressional Representative, requires further validation that this isn’t a computer, assaulting her precious email. To quote the web page:

Your Representative asks that you answer the question below to ensure that the message is not coming from an automated program. This helps your Representative respond to you as quickly as possible.
What is three minus one?

The worst part? I’m not sure if she wants an ID answer or a reality based answer. Oh my, oh my!!!
Is there a time limit, cause I still haven’t hit submit…. tick tock, tick tock….
2
Submit
Whew! It took 2. Although a letter was not sent to my buddy Liddy… I wonder if she wanted 4…. hehe…
P.P.S. I received a copy of Liddy’s letter so it must have been sent, though it didn’t show up as sent on the
ACLU page. Just Sue and Richard.

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