11.12.06

Bush's War-Crimes Cover-up

village voice > news > Nat Hentoff by Nat Hentoff:

The Pentagon will submit for congressional approval a $125 million plan to build a compound at Guantanamo to house, among others, terrorism suspects to be tried there, in the first American war-crimes trials since World War II. Many of the prisoners already at Guantanamo have been locked up there since 2002.

In view of the greatly expanded definition of 'enemy combatants' in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which George W. Bush signed in October, the Pentagon would be well advised to greatly increase the number of cells in the new compound. Under the new law, the president can designate as 'an enemy combatant' any noncitizen picked up anywhere in the world, even permanent legal alien residents here.

These newly imprisoned 'enemy combatants' will include not only those engaged in direct hostilities against the United States, but also loosely defined 'supporters' of the enemy.

Passionately arguing against this legislation on the Senate floor, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont claimed, 'This provision would perpetuate the indefinite detention of hundreds of individuals . . . without any recourse to justice whatever. . . . This is un-American!'

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