In june, the U.S. Supreme Court strongly limited the power of the Bush administration to conduct military tribunals for suspected terrorists, dealing a severe blow to Bush’s war for terror.
The Supreme Court ruled that trial by military tribunals would not be legal. According to The Independent, however, it might soon be. The Republican-controlled Senate is now set to follow the House of Representatives in approving new rules for the detention and trial of foreign terrorist suspects. Final passage of the Bill would set the stage for signature by Mr Bush today or tomorrow.
No rights for the defendants, amnesty for CIA torturers
Human rights groups say the final version of the bill allows the President too much discretion in deciding what interrogation methods are legitimate, and in providing immunity for CIA interrogators from prosecution for war crimes. Even though the bill does ban torture, rape and biological experiments on detainees, it gives Mr Bush wide authority to decide which other interrogation techniques are legal. Defendants’ rights l fall well short of those guaranteed by civilian and even most military courts. The defendants do not even have the right to challenge their detention in federal court, and the bill thus violates the 800-year-old principle of habeas corpus.
Infinite imprisonment, violation of habeas corpus and interrogation techniques bordering on torture is nothing new when it comes to American treatment of terrorist suspects. This kind of brutality has been going on in places like Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib for years. The American government threw away the last scraps of moral and justice in september 2001. What is new, is that they don’t even bother to pretend anymore. With this new bill, legalising brutality against suspects, the Bush administration throws away any grain of shame and conscience they might have been harbouring, proudly declaring America the land of free torturers and brave brutes.
The majority of American senators may just put up with this kind of raw, unmasked evil, but the majority of mankind won’t and shouldn’t. Making something legal doesn’t make it right!