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Author Topic: Is America Already a Police State?  (Read 1241 times)
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WhiskeyGirl
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« on: March 19, 2009, 08:48:08 PM »

I can't tell if this is serious or satire.  Help!

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Where to start? There’s the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006, which grants the president the power to “identify American citizens as ‘unlawful enemy combatants’ and detain them indefinitely without charge,” as Heather Wokusch reports. “The vague criteria for being labeled an enemy combatant (taking part in ‘hostilities against the United States’) don’t help either,” writes Wokusch. Senator Patrick Leahy called the legislation “flagrantly unconstitutional.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports that “the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gives the president absolute power to decide who is an enemy of our country and to imprison people indefinitely without charging them with a crime.” According to the ACLU’s MCA fact sheet:

http://www.gnn.tv/articles/3964/Is_America_Already_a_Police_State

Lots of scary stuff at that site.
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LouiseVargas
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 04:29:48 AM »

YES!!!!!
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oldiebutgoodie
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 06:02:38 PM »


President George W. Bush signs into law S. 3930, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, during a ceremony on October 17, 2006
in the East Room of the White House.

The United States Military Commissions Act of 2006, also known as HR-6166, was an Act of Congress signed by President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006. Drafted in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Act's stated purpose was "To authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes."

Following the filing of Al Odah v. United States, section 7 of the MCA was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on June 12, 2008.

Some points of interest:

"No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights."  And, of course, that would mean no American soldier captured by an enemy could invoke the protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions.

Sec. 948c. Persons subject to military commissions
"Any alien unlawful enemy combatant is subject to trial by military commission under this chapter."


The main criticism against this law seemed to be the real possibility that United States citizens could be classified as "unlawful enemy combatants" and thus have their habeus corpus and other rights suspended. Supporters of the law denied that this was possible but critics of this law pointed out the murky word usage in the bill that might have made such a thing possible. For more on this controversy, see this Wikipedia page on the MCA (and there are thousands of other sources on the web that also reprint the wording of this law).

Other language of this law redefined "war crimes"  to exempt higher-up officials who would be held ultimately responsible for acts of torture carried out by U.S. troops. This law also guaranteed free counsel to American officials in the event of civil or criminal prosecution.

American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said, "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."

Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, called the Military Commissions Act of 2006 "a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president. In fact, Madison said that he created a system essentially to be run by devils, where they could not do harm, because we didn’t rely on their good motivations. Now we must."

In April 2007, the Supreme Court declined to hear two cases challenging the MCA: Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States On June 29, 2007, the court reversed that decision, releasing an order that expressed their intent to hear the challenge. The two cases have been consolidated into one.[47] Oral arguments were heard on December 5, 2007. The decision, striking down the Military Commissions Act, was handed down on June 12, 2008.

LOTS MORE INFO HERE
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