So you all know about the recent Defense Authorization Bill and how it allows the detention without charges or trial of even US citizens for an indefinite period of time right?
Well, I took a moment and wrote my displeasure at this concept to my US Senator. With the ‘personal’ correspondence that I received in reply, I got an admission that US Senator John Cornyn feels that the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights do not apply to some people.
Here’s the text of the e-mail in full.
Dear Mr. McCarthy:Thank you for contacting me regarding the military detention and prosecution of terrorists. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter.I do not believe terrorists should be brought to the United States and be granted the same rights and privileges as American criminal defendants. Terrorists should be kept at Guantanamo Bay and prosecuted through the military commissions established by Congress under terms circumscribed by the United States Supreme Court. Trying to hold civilian trials in the United States for terrorists does nothing more than place Americans at risk, while providing terrorists with a platform from which to spew their hate-filled ideology and recruit like-minded fanatics around the world to join them in jihad. We must not forget that we are a nation at war against ruthless killers who wear no uniforms and use civilians as human shields. Treating these war crimes as ordinary criminal acts and trying these killers in a civilian court under the U.S. Constitution is simply reverting to a dangerous, pre-9/11 mentality.As you may know, Congress passed the Military Commissions Acts of 2006 and 2009, making a powerful statement that U.S. civilian courts are not the appropriate venue to bring terrorists to justice. The military commissions were specifically designed to prevent damaging disclosures and to protect classified information, as well as sensitive sources and methods. We know that these military commissions have a long history in our Republic—dating back from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, to World War II. They are the most appropriate forum for terrorists to be tried for their crimes.Therefore, I supported amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012 NDAA; S. 1867) regarding terrorist detention practices. Section 1031 of the FY 2012 NDAA would reaffirm the President’s military detention authority under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (P.L. 107—40). Additionally, Section 1032 would require military custody for a certain subset of unprivileged enemy belligerents, members of al-Qaeda and affiliated entities, pending their disposition under the law of war. By its terms, Section 1032 does not apply to U.S. citizens. These provisions were included in the FY 2012 NDAA that was unanimously reported out of the Senate Armed Services Committee.I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.Sincerely,JOHN CORNYNUnited States Senator517 Hart Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510Tel: (202) 224-2934Fax: (202) 228-2856
I would agree that a terrorist should be prosecuted in the country that captured him… not brought to the US. but…
A terrorist captured on US soil is NOT to be given the same rights to a fair and speedy trial as US citizens would be. Got it.
Whoops, except that this ALSO applies to US citizens. Here’s a senator expressly saying that it applies in the US of A.
In other words, a terrorist caught within the borders of the US also does not have the right to a fair and speedy trial and can be held indefinitely without charges or trial by jury.
This is NOT how the United States should be treating people; citizens, non-citizens or anyone else. These are not the principles that the United States stands for. These are NOT the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed in the US Constitution.
I’d like to remind Senator Cornyn that his own party can be accused of taking US citizens hostage for the promotion of a specific ideal or political agenda (the definition of terrorist).
I also loathe this statement from him: “As you may know, Congress passed the Military Commissions Acts of 2006 and 2009, making a powerful statement that U.S. civilian courts are not the appropriate venue to bring terrorists to justice. The military commissions were specifically designed to prevent damaging disclosures and to protect classified information, as well as sensitive sources and methods.”
When trials are conducted in secret, then there can be no justice in the society.
I would encourage everyone to read, very closely, the history of the police states of the past and compare them to the present US. Then don’t come bitching to me when, all of sudden, these rules start applying to all of us, not just terrorists.