Saturday, May 1, 2010

Are You an Enemy Belligerent?

Scenario:

You, Average American, are walking out of the hardware store, where you've just bought a fire extinguisher for your home. On the way to your car, you have to pass a police car, with the officer sitting in it.

You trip, lose your hold on the fire extinguisher, and it falls through his open window and lands in his lap. He jumps out of the car, arrests you, calls his superiors and tells them you're a terrorist with a bomb. You are whisked off into military detention. You don't have Miranda rights. No phone call. No lawyer. They can keep you as long as they want to.

You're now an "enemy belligerent." I hope you said good-bye to your family because they might not see you again for years, and no one has to even tell them where you are.

That's what a bill now in Congress allows, and that's what so dangerous about it.

A Proposed Bill You Should Read More Closely

McCain and Lieberman's "Enemy Belligerent" Act Could Set U.S. on Path to Military Dictatorship | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

The Most Important Sentence In McCain/Lieberman's Nightmare Detention Bill: "An individual, including a citizen of the United States ... may be detained without criminal charges and without trial"

Full text (pdf)

Here are the actual House and Senate bills from The Library of Congress:

H.R.4892 : To provide for the interrogation and detention of enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States, to establish certain limitations on the prosecution of such belligerents for such acts, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep McKeon, Howard P. "Buck" [CA-25] (introduced 3/19/2010) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: House Intelligence (Permanent Select); House Armed Services; House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 3/19/2010 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select), and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

S.3081 : A bill to provide for the interrogation and detention of enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States, to establish certain limitations on the prosecution of such belligerents for such acts, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen McCain, John [AZ] (introduced 3/4/2010) Cosponsors (9)
Committees: Senate Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 3/4/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.


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