Friday, October 06, 2006

What Constitutes an Enemy Combatant?

Anyone who opposes Bush's policy. Who does this guy think he is, Abraham Lincoln?

CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman said: "This ominously broad definition of enemy combatants would mean that almost anyone who actively opposes the President or the government could be locked up indefinitely. This bill makes a mockery of the rule of law."

The current version of the Military Commissions redefines an "unlawful enemy combatant" (UEC) so broadly that it could include anyone who organizes a march against the war in Iraq.

The definition makes no reference to citizenship and therefore could be read to include any number of individuals, including:
  • CCR attorneys and other habeas counsel, Federal Public Defenders and military defense counsel for detainees at Guantánamo Bay
  • Any person who has given $5 to a charity working with orphans in Afghanistan that turns out to be associated in some fashion with someone who may be a member of the Taliban
Because there is no geographic limitation in the bill's language, it would allow the President to detain any non-citizen without their ever having the chance to challenge their detention in court

Examples of people who could be detained indefinitely with no access to a court include:
  • A foreign tourist wearing an anti-Bush t-shirt at the Statue of Liberty
  • A protester at an immigration rally who has lived in the U.S. since she was six months old and is a lawful, permanent resident


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