Why We Vote

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.

Dodd’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.”

“I’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.”

8 thoughts on “Why We Vote

  1. Your right, we are not veto proof to be sure, however bush better be REAL careful using that veto pen.The American people have spoken and bush is on thin ice.This country won’t stand for an obstructionist president….

  2. Now we all need to stand together in support of these initial actions, as the mudslinging and “coward”-baiting begins. No More Torture!!!

  3. It’s especially important to drive home the fact that information gained through torture is unreliable. Bad information results in poor decision making, which is what got us where we are now.

    Getting and using more reliable information makes us tougher on terror.

  4. Perhaps you are correct Maha. The article I tried to link threw me on tilt, but something is better than nothing- for right now.
    WE need big time change in order to bring peace to the M.E. as well as stem the tide of religious fanacitism in both the Islamic world and right here with our End times cultists.

  5. Yeah, they are the worst of the worse..Just like the Nazi’s who described their victims as sub-humans and vermin, Bush and his minions have deprived their victims of their humanity. But ultimately the crime belongs to us if we don’t speak out against it.
    I guess I should feel blessed because Bush is committing these outrages in my name and for my benefit, just like Hitler rid the German people of the menace of Jewry.

    I hear they released 3 more sheppard/taxi drivers yesterday..after 4 years of incarceration and abuse they decided that maybe they weren’t enemy combatants after all.

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