Be afraid, be very afraid.

Today, in the Washington Post:

A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such “commissions” to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court’s jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.

Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

Mr. Hutson, formerly of the U.S. Navy, summed it up well:

Some independent experts say the new procedures diverge inappropriately from existing criminal procedures and provide no more protections than the ones struck down by the Supreme Court as inadequate. John D. Hutson, the Navy’s top uniformed lawyer from 1997 to 2000, said the rules would evidently allow the government to tell a prisoner: “We know you’re guilty. We can’t tell you why, but there’s a guy, we can’t tell you who, who told us something. We can’t tell you what, but you’re guilty.” [emphasis added]

Pointed out by BobHarris.com.

8 thoughts on “Be afraid, be very afraid.

  1. Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

    Well, throw in a roll back on torture (oh, looks like we’ve already done that….) and that sounds a lot like some other low points in history, such as the Spanish Inquisition, and pretty much any authoritarian regime in history. 

    Well, I for one am gonna get my barcode tattoo early in hopes that they don’t take me away in the night cause I’ve said some bad things about “Them”.  At least it should make me easier to process.

  2. Can we all now finally admit that the “Grand Experiment” is now over and is an utter failure?

    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom

    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    —T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men” (1925)

  3. This is really frightening. Bush and company should be impeached and tried for treason for even proposing this. I can’t even imagine how not even the most hardcore Bush supporters aren’t up in arms about this. You better be careful what you say on your blog if this is allowed to happen, all it will take is for some official to not like what you said and suddenly you’re a terrorist…Game over.
    I will be so happy when Adolph Bush, Heinrich Cheney, and Rudolph Rumsfeld are gone, that is, if Bush isn’t proclaimed president for life or until the “War on terror” is over.

  4. Oh my… (let me try and take-on the rant-style so popular in these kind of topics)

    The rabid-radicals’ hysterical chants have been activated!  Take cover from their hyper-spittle rhetoric!

    First:
    Someone was kind enough to post a hyperlinked example of such, well, wacked ideological American cultural…
    http://www.apfn.org/apfn/camps.htm
    Why is it that the crazier the idea, then editing of said site becomes commensurately worse and worse?  Could it have something to do with their (in)ability to organize coherent ideas into communicable form?  Most certainly.

    Second:
    Don’t be afraid, just vote (unlike most Americans).  And, better, get involved (definitely unlike most Americans).

    Third:
    What will the overweight slothful American nation do when it can no longer support an information-age-industry and must revert back to an agracultural economy just to feed itself ?  Nada, they’ll just eat more (charging it, of course to the credit_cards).  Return to the forests while there is still time!  And hide your sharp kitchen knives in the ground—before the black helicoptes arrive.

    Americans have slowly created their own future.
    Embrace your efforts (or lack there of).

    And, no, silly, there are no “concentration camps” of the unwilling in America, just Cuba, Poland, and Romania, oh and Afghanistan.

    rob@egoz.org

  5. diverge inappropriately

    Isn’t it great when opponents express their outrage so strongly.

    “M’lud, I didn’t steal, the money just diverged inappropriately into my pocket”

  6. You know what? I have seen this movie before…

    In the 1920’s, it was the Red scare.

    In the 1950’s, it was McCarthyism…

    And you know what? Bush is trying the same crap as above, but on a different decade. U will be glad when the people of Crawford , Texas reclaim their village idiot.

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