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September 17, 2006

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Kimball Corson

I too see no difference between foreign soil rights and domestic rights if the US is itself prosecuting in its own tribunals, especially if the Government gets to decide where you are to be held and tried. Problem is Article III courts (federal courts) have jurisdiction at the pleasure of Congress. (Article II Sec 1: The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.) However, I agree with you that the Court should retain jurisdiction, notwithstanding, where Congress acts to blatently violate the Constitution. (Article II Sec 2: The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution . . .). But this would be a fight, for sure. Would Congress retaliate by eleiminating the federal district and appellate courts, as is its right? There are already a few nuts in Congres who think this should be done. One bad aspect of terrorism is that our governmental institutions are being pressed to their limits. It would be nice not to have to face these quesions.

Kimball Corson

All reference in what I just wrote should be to Article III.

Bob

Who's gonna hold Bush and his administration accountable if the world court or the UN find that they broke Geneva Convention rules? Nobody, cuzz we'er the biggest bully in the sandbox. The UN and the world court is a pawn of the USA; they're a joke.

Kimball Corson

Bush can be and is a run away freight train and wholly unaccountable because of his political support. Imagine, he took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Clinton goes thru an impeachment process because he lacked enough political support and fibbed about a blow job, but Bush will walk away without a hitch. Amazing how strained and broken the system is.

Bob

It's been broken since Lincoln trashed it.

LAK

Hey Bob, let's not trash Lincoln in the land of, mmmkay? Lincoln did what he had to do, Bush did what he wanted to do.

Bob

Lincoln did what he wanted to do. It had nothing to do with what he had to do. He created that mess by taxing southern farmers exports in order to force them to sell their tobacco and cotton to the northern industries at lower prices than they could get from England. So, don't tell me that Lincoln had to do it. He owed his northern industrialist constituents for financing his election.

Kimball Corson

Habeus corpus has been bushwacked in the desert. But Lincoln, on the other hand, had a real mess on his hands: the North was truly jealous of the South and simply would not let matters be.

Kimball Corson

Habeas, that is.

Bob

As I said before, Lincoln created the mess by allowing those tax bills to be passed. Then he used slavery as the rallying cry to drum up citizen support and an army to force the southern states to comply.

LAK

Imagine that. Taxing exports for te benefit of domestic commerce. The horror. If only slavery still existed costs would be so much lower too and the economy that much healthier. Damn you Lincoln! Damn you!

Kimball Corson

Why it sounds just like an export tarrif. And Southerns would still be sippin' mint julips on big verandas at sunset instead of shovelin' muck or building roads, like those up north.

Bob

You both miss the point.

Kimball Corson

No, we got it but just moved on to make jest. Too, once those fancy Southerners got their comeuppance and things settled down, the right of habeas corpus returned in good time, but cotton production dropped and costs rose so England and the North had to pay higher prices, not the lower ones Northerners were supposedly after. Jealously, I say, pure jealously was what the war was really about.

Bob

Sarcasm is hard to write well, and hard to detect. You may have been making a jest, but I'm not sure about LAK. Let him answer as well.

Frederick Hamilton

You guys might just want to look at the last post of "Not a Suicide Pact Round Two" to see the response of Senators Warner, McCain and Graham and then you might understand the habeus aspect of MCA. Doubt it will change your minds, but it is good to read what the bill really says about habeus.

Frederick Hamilton

Reported today about Gitmo detainees and the rights of enemy combatants per the MCA.

"every detainee held by the military goes before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal--an Article 5 hearing in the Geneva Convention's parlance--and under the Military Commissions Act the decisions of these tribunals are subject to judicial review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Currently, that means every detainee held; Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and the other 13 new arrivals at Guantanamo Bay will receive Article 5 hearings in the next few months."

Bob

But we still get to torture them first...I mean to say, humanely extract useless information from them as per the new interrogation laws, which, of course, does not condone, nor allow, inhumane torture. Only humane torture is allowed, I mean, information extraction techniques that are approved, you know, the ones that don't leave marks...like submersion. It's not physical torture, it's only mental torture, so, it really isn't even torture.

bruce macmillan

As a foreign (LLM)student from South Africa I would like to comment on some of the above postings.
UN Bill of Rights came in 1948, near the end of the the Nuremburg Trails, so was not then a factor, and posts relating are not relevant.
SA moved from an Aparteid Parliamentary system, where the ruling government party made the law, to now, a Constitutional State where the Constitution is the Supreme Law. It included a Bill of (Human) Rights that "trumps" any situation where law is "difficult". ie Human rights supercede other rights.
A Democracy is the will of the majority with protection of minorities , especially individuals. Protection against detention without trial. Right to a speedy trail. Right to a fair trail. Right NOT to be tortured. In fact most of our Constitution was based on the US Constitution, but I think we are able to see past the paranoic fear gripping America.
As far as the posting on extradiction. This is by treaties between countries. We in SA review extradition to US on all requests except where person will be tried for death penalty as the Death penalty, since abolished in SA. If the extradition application is changed to life imprisonment then application is considered.
In criminal prosecutions, onus is always on the state to prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Under the Laws of evidence, heresay evidence must be critically viewed especially from members of Military Intelligence, CIA and other "unbiases" parties. This posting may sound ironic from someone in Africa where torture, abuse of human rights, detention without trail, is almost expected. It would take less than 72 hrs of waterboarding, electric shock , sleep deprivation to get confessions from Mother Thesesa confessing to being MattaHari, or the Pope to being Charlie Manson. And then for a "special military tribunal" to use this evidence in a secret trial where accused is not allowed representation. Huh. Home of the Brave and Land of the Free.

Erasmussimo

Indeed. American is increasingly being put to shame by third world countries. At the same time that we had our electoral debacle in Florida in 2000, some small sub-Saharan nation (whose name I forget) had an intensely competitive election that was executed with remarkable fairness. Ballot boxes were made of plexiglas so that everybody could see that they were empty at the outset. In one case where there was a dispute, the police had the election workers move their tables outside so that everybody could watch as the ballots were counted. It was a model of pure democracy, an example to inspire -- and a gross indictment of the flaws in the American system.

And now they're starting to show us up on human rights and constitutional protections. I wonder when Americans will begin to feel shame for the shoddy subversion of their Constitution.

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