A must read editorial at The New York Times regarding the new law on military tribunals. I do not always (and that’s putting it mildly) agree with the editorials at the NYT, but this truly is a magnificent one.
Once President Bush signed the new law on military tribunals, administration officials and Republican leaders in Congress wasted no time giving Americans a taste of the new order created by this unconstitutional act.
Within hours, Justice Department lawyers notified the federal courts that they no longer had the authority to hear pending lawsuits filed by attorneys on behalf of inmates of the penal camp at GuantÃ¡namo Bay. They cited passages in the bill that suspend the fundamental principle of habeas corpus, making Mr. Bush the first president since the Civil War to take that undemocratic step.
Not satisfied with having won the vote, Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House, quickly issued a statement accusing Democrats who opposed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 of putting â€œtheir liberal agenda ahead of the security of America.â€? He said the Democrats â€œwould gingerly pamper the terrorists who plan to destroy innocent Americansâ€™ livesâ€? and create â€œnew rights for terrorists.â€?
In the short run, voters should see through the fog created by the Republican campaign machine. It will be up to the courts to repair the harm this law has done to the Constitution.
New rights for terrorists? Am I missing something here? They had me thinking that the ones actually changing the law are those who supported this dreadful bill as opposed to those opposing it.
I already spend some attention to this law today, so I will not write more about it here; I just wanted to encourage you all to read this editorial.