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Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Bush Signs Diabolical Torture Bill - Hitler Would Be So Proud!
Bush Signs Torture Bill; Americans Lose Essential Freedom
George W. Bush got what he wanted, ostensibly as a tool in his unfocused "war on terror": By signing into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Bush has made it legal for the C.I.A. to continue operating torture facilities in undisclosed, foreign countries, and for the writ of habeas corpus to be suspended for individuals who are designated "enemy combatants" against the U.S. (Designated by whom? That question remains unanswered.) The law also "establishes military tribunals that would allow some use of evidence obtained by coercion [that is, torture], but would give defendants access to classified evidence being used to convict them." (Reuters)
The provisions of Bush's new torture law mean that Americans have lost the key, constitutional right on which Anglo-American criminal law (and criminal-law procedures in true democracies in general) is founded; that's the basic right of an individual to know why he or she is being apprehended and detained. Now, technically, as in Stalin's Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, Mao's China or Pol Pot's Cambodia, anyone labeled an "enemy combatant" - again, by whom; by Bush? - can be whisked away and never heard from again. That kind of authority, in the hands of corrupt or untruthful politicians, may or may not be an effective tool in some kind of "war on terror," but it certainly can be a useful tool when it comes to silencing their opponents.
"Officially, the Military Commissions Act protects detainees from blatant abuses during questioning, such as rape, torture and 'cruel and inhuman' treatment, but it does not require that any of them be granted legal counsel....Bush said that it was 'fair, lawful and necessary.'" (Times)
During the bill-signing ceremony yesterday, religious groups protested outside the White House. Demonstrators declared, "Bush is the terrorist" and "Torture is a crime."
Read more here.
(Note: There is a lot of disinformation and Bush propaganda / Doublespeak in the following article!
"Harsh Interrogation" is just doublespeak for TORTURE!
(In the George Orwell Tradition of
"War is Peace", "Freedom is Slavery", and "Ignorance is Strength")
Bush Signs Law Authorizing Harsh Interrogation
Oct 17, 2006 — By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush signed a law on Tuesday authorizing tough interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects and took an indirect, election-year swipe at Democrats who opposed the legislation.
Bush, trying to help Republicans maintain control of the U.S. Congress by emphasizing national security, called the Military Commissions Act of 2006 "one of the most important pieces of legislation in the war on terror."
Human rights groups charge that the measure would allow harsh techniques bordering on torture, such as sleep deprivation and induced hypothermia.
In a White House East Room ceremony, Bush praised members of Congress who approved the law over the opposition of the Democratic leadership in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Much of the new law, which critics say still does not protect detainees' rights and predict will face legal challenge, was negotiated in September after senior Republicans rebelled against Bush's plan.
The new law means Bush can continue a secret CIA program for interrogating terrorism suspects whom he believes have vital information that could thwart a plot against America.
Bush said the law will allow intelligence professionals to question suspects without fear of being sued by them later.
"This bill spells out specific recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes in the handling of detainees so that our men and women who question captured terrorists can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law," he said.
The White House has refused to describe what techniques will be allowed or banned.
Critics and legal experts have predicted the new law will draw vigorous court challenges and could be struck down for violating rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.
They cited provisions that strip foreign suspects of the right to challenge their detentions in U.S. courts and what they described as unfair rules for military trials.
Bush insisted the law complies with the spirit and letter of international agreements. "As I've said before, the United States does not torture. It's against our laws and it's against our values," he said.
The law also establishes military tribunals for terrorism suspects, most of whom are held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The law was prompted by a Supreme Court ruling in June that said Bush lacked legislative authority in setting up his first system of military commissions. Future legal battles will likely also end up in the high court.
Shortly after Bush signed the law, the Republican National Committee issued a press releasing headlined, "Democrats would let terrorists free" and listed the names of many House and Senate Democrats who opposed it.
The American Civil Liberties Union expressed outrage, calling the new law "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history."
"Nothing separates America more from our enemies than our commitment to fairness and the rule of law, but the bill signed today is an historic break because it turns Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. facilities into legal no-man's-lands," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.
Note that this article is also full of disinformation:
Bush Signs Law Authorizing Harsh Interrogation
BBC | October 17, 2006
President George W Bush has signed into law a bill that sets standards for the interrogation and prosecution of terror suspects held by the US.
This follows a Supreme Court ruling in June that military tribunals set up to prosecute detainees at Guantanamo Bay violated US and international law.
The new law protects defendants from blatant abuse but still restricts their right to challenge their detention.
A US spokesman said preparations would now begin to try Guantanamo suspects.
At a ceremony in Washington, Mr Bush said it was a rare occasion when a president signed a law that he knew would save American lives.
"It is one of the most important pieces of legislations in the war on terror," he said.
He said the Central Intelligence Agency's programme of questioning terror suspects had proved invaluable, and the new law would reinforce this.
The Military Commissions Act, he said, would allow the CIA "to continue to question terrorists and save lives", adding that "it complies with the spirit and letter of the US's international obligations".
The law also set out a system of special tribunals, which would give defendants a fair trial, Mr Bush said.
Speaking earlier, White House spokesman Tony Snow said the trials would not happen "overnight" because it was important "to make sure that the defence is going to be able to do its job properly and the prosecution the same".
He predicted it would take a month or two to "get things moving towards a trial phase" for some of those held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The legislation was passed by both houses of Congress in September after intense debate.
The bill forbids treatment of detainees that would constitute war crimes - such as torture, rape and biological experiments - but gives the president the authority to decide which other techniques interrogators can use.
The law does not require that detainees be granted legal representation. It also bars non-US citizens from filing habeas corpus petitions challenging their detentions in federal court.
Civil liberties groups say the law does still not guarantee detainees' rights, and legal challenges are to be expected.
The US defence department has laid charges against 10 detainees and is preparing to charge about 65 more.
There are about 450 detainees at Guantanamo, according to the Bush administration.
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(Note: This link will always show the most up to date news articles, no matter when clicked on):
posted by Vetzine