Oops. We were getting all misty eyed about Warner, Graham and McCain defending Constitutional rights against the Bush juggernaut. We spoke too soon. The compromise Senate bill establishing military tribunals for Guantanamo terror suspects allows for trials on U.S. soil that offend the essence of what our founding fathers established.
From the Washington Post: “A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said in an interview that Bush essentially got what he asked for in a different formulation that allows both sides to maintain their concerns were addressed. ‘We kind of take the scenic route, but we get there,’ the official said.”Evidence from torture still is allowed, because defense attorneys won’t be able to ask if the testimony was coerced. And the amendment doesn’t ban hearsay evidence, and it does ban habeas corpus: a prisoner may be convicted based on evidence he’s not allowed to see. The Senate bill also bans U.S. court from hearing Guantanamo cases or any cases where someone, including a U.S. citizen, is deemed an “enemy combatant.” Read it and weep at the Center For Constitutional Rights website.
We’re lurching, not inching, towards repression. But it won’t affect you if you do what the good Germans did: keep your mouth shut.