If this AP report on Bush’s new anti-terror legislation is correct then everyone should sit down and write their congresscritters immediately advocating it never makes it into law:
According to the draft, the military would be allowed to detain all “enemy combatants” until hostilities cease. The bill defines enemy combatants as anyone “engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners who has committed an act that violates the law of war and this statute.”
Legal experts said Friday that such language is dangerously broad and could authorize the military to detain indefinitely U.S. citizens who had only tenuous ties to terror networks like al Qaeda.
“That’s the big question … the definition of who can be detained,” said Martin Lederman, a law professor at Georgetown University who posted a copy of the bill to a Web blog.
Scott L. Silliman, a retired Air Force Judge Advocate, said the broad definition of enemy combatants is alarming because a U.S. citizen loosely suspected of terror ties would lose access to a civilian court — and all the rights that come with it. Administration officials have said they want to establish a secret court to try enemy combatants that factor in realities of the battlefield and would protect classified information.
It sounds like if you’re even suspected of terrorist connections you could be arrested, shipped off to a detainee camp, denied access to lawyers and courts, and held indefinitely with no legal recourse. When the hell did America start heading down the path of the former Soviet Union?
Found via DailyKos who also provide us with a list of the Senators on the Armed Services Committee which I’ll replicate in the extended section.
John Warner, Chairman (Virginia): (202) 224-2023
John McCain (Arizona): (202) 224-2235
James Inhofe (Oklahoma): (202) 224-4721
Pat Roberts (Kansas): (202) 224-4774
Jeff Sessions (Alabama): (202) 224-4124
Susan Collins (Maine): (202) 224-2523
John Ensign (Nevada): (202) 224-6244
James Talent (Missouri): (202) 224-6154
Saxby Chambliss (Georgia): (202) 224-3521
Lindsey Graham (South Carolina): (202) 224-5972
Elizabeth Dole (North Carolina): (202) 224-6342
John Cornyn (Texas): (202) 224-2934
John Thune (South Dakota): (202) 224-2321
Carl Levin, Ranking Minority Member (Michigan): (202) 224-6221
Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts): (202) 224-4543
Robert Byrd (West Virginia): (202) 224-3954
Joe Lieberman (Connecticut): (202) 224-4041
Jack Reed (Rhode Island): (202) 224-4642
Daniel Akaka (Hawaii): (202) 224-6361
Bill Nelson (Florida): (202) 224-5274
Ben Nelson (Nebraska): (202) 224-6551
Mark Dayton (Minnesota): (202) 224-3244
Evan Bayh (Indiana): (202) 224-5623
Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York): (202) 224-4451