Roxana Tiron of The Hill reports that Senate Dems plan to revise the Military Commissions Act in the next term.
Sen. Chris Dodd introduced a bill today that
… seeks to give habeas corpus protections to military detainees; bar information that was gained through coercion from being used in trials and empower military judges to exclude hearsay evidence they deem to be unreliable.
Doddâ€™s bill also narrows the definition of “unlawful enemy combatant” to individuals who directly participate in hostilities against the United States who are not lawful combatants. The legislation would also authorize the U.S. Court of Appeals for the armed forces to review decisions made by the military commissions.
In the next term Dodd will be the second ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy, the incoming Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, is also drafting changes to the Act that would reinstate habeas corpus. Incoming Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, say they plan to look into “extraordinary rendition.”
“Iâ€™m not comfortable with the system,” Levin said earlier this week. “I think that there’s been some significant abuses which have not made us more secure, but have made us less secure and have also perhaps cost us some real allies, as well as not producing particularly useful information. So I think the system needs a thorough review, and as the military would say, a thorough scrubbing.”
I’d like to point out that these guys are the Big Guns, so to speak. We don’t have a veto-proof majority, but thanks to the midterms we’re in better shape to put up a fight.
See also: “GTMO Report: Only 10 out of 440 Charged“; “Guantanamo prisoners routinely denied witnesses, evidence“; “Judge: Detainee Can’t Speak to Attorney“; “Presbyterians to witness against torture“; “The Road to Guantanamo.”