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Civil rights and war

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Is the Bush Administration going too far with its measures to investigate and try suspected terrorists? I think so. Maybe conservatives and liberals can agree on this issue.

1. <a href="http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011127/ts/attacks_investigation_14.html" target="_blank">Over 1,000 people were detained on immigration and other federal charges.</a> According to Ashcroft, over 550 still are in custody. Presumably most of these people are not terrorists - how long can they be detained? Should they really be arrested on immigration charges as part of a terrorist investigation?

2. The USA-PATRIOT Act: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001." Catchy, huh? <a href="http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/terrorism/hr3162.pdf" target="_blank">Here's a .pdf of the law itself.</a>
It includes increased electronic surveillance powers, including internet and wiretapping, and reduces privacy of medical, travel, credit, and other personal records. It gives the CIA more power over spying within the US. And there's lots of other good stuff in there. Should this really have been passed in just a couple of weeks, and right after Sept. 11th?

3. An executive order to use military tribunals for non-citizen suspects. These trials would use military judges and juries, and be completely secret. European countries may refuse extradition because of this.
<a href="http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/terrorism/bushtribunalord111301.html" target="_blank">Here's the full text of the order.</a> It is theoretically possible for a foreign exchange student here in the US to be arrested, tried in a military tribunal, and executed, all in a matter of days, and with no appeals. All the US gov't would have to do would be to release a name and the fact that the person was executed.

4. <a href="http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011126/us/attacks_interviews_2.html" target="_blank">They have requested that about 5,000 people who fit generic profiles of Middle Eastern young men be questioned.</a> Isn't this racial profiling on a systematic level? One Oregon police chief has even refused this, saying it would be inconsistent with state law.

5. The Justice Department can now listen in on conversations between lawyers and clients without having a warrant. This goes even beyond the USA-PATRIOT Act, which did not include any provision for listening in on lawyer-client communication. It was a rule decided by the Executive branch alone, without Congress. <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64096-2001Nov8.html" target="_blank">Here's the text of that order.</a> <a href="http://writ.news.findlaw.com/amar/20011116.html" target="_blank">And here's an editorial arguing that it's a bad idea.</a>

A couple of reports and editorials critical of these policies:
<a href="http://writ.news.findlaw.com/lazarus/20011127.html" target="_blank">From findlaw.</a>
<a href="http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nyt/20011125/ts/bush_s_new_rules_to_fight_terror_transform_the_leg al_landscape_1.html" target="_blank">From the NY Times.</a>
post #2 of 20
Nice topic and nice post.

1) You left out the answer to one of your questions: "..on immigration violations or other federal charges in the terrorism investigation, and some are believed to be members of Osama bin Laden's network."

If they are being held on terrorism charges or immigration charges then it is justifiable absolutely. How long they are held is specific to each case.

2) USA PATRIOT act is kind of scary but I'm not going to shit myself over it just yet. If there is something unconstitutional in it the first lawsuit will bring it down in the SCOTUS.

3) Also dangerous and it looks like Bush and Co. are having to jump through hoops to get this green-lighted. Many foreign countries don't like it, and rightfully so. There is little to no chance of the worst case scenario happening that you outline. We simply do not have the strict populace control that Communist nations and theocracies have that would allow seemingly-random executions. Political suicide for those involved at best.

4) Profiling, absolutely. If your port of entry was a "terrorist nation" then you'll be contacted apparently. Kudos for that Oregon police chief. I don't see a whole hell of a lot of harm in it.

5) See #2.
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post #3 of 20
groverat got 1 and 2 for me.


3) It's not an executive order but that's a minor point. Also he hasn't done anything yet. Just told the Sec Of Defense to get ready for that as an option. <a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/slipsky/?id=95001516" target="_blank">Read this at WSJ</a>. It's rather interesting.

Lemme ask this. If some GI in Afghanistan were to come upon the smoking gun evidence of all the terrorist cells across the world while mucking in some ****ing cave would it be admissible as evidence in a court of law? I don't know. He didn't have a warrant. What about the "chain of evidence"? You can bet his snakes oops I mean lawyers would argue that it isn't. He just might win.

What if the CIA or the NSA had a tap on a foreign cell phone and the call was to the US? Can we use that? Or did we need a warrant. And what kind of warrant could you have gotten for that? I think none.

4 ) They are "profiling" people who fit the profile of the terrorist. The order is not "round up people with brown skin". It's look into these people in this country from these countries that known terrorist come from. Make sure the people here on a visa and are doing what they say they are doing.

After all the terrorist didn't put "terrorist" down for "occupation". They put "student".

5 you got half right. They say that the people listening in will not be the lawyers trying the case and that no info will be passed to them. I think they also said that people would be informed when they were listening in.

Saudi Arabia sent a bunch of lawyers to this country for their citizens. What if these lawyers are being used to pass information back and forth to terrorist. You dont think Osama has lawyers? Shouldn't we know that?
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>3) It's not an executive order but that's a minor point. Also he hasn't done anything yet. Just told the Sec Of Defense to get ready for that as an option.</strong><hr></blockquote>Actually, I think the military tribunal order can be called an executive order. At least that's what I've heard others call it, and that's what Arlen Specter calls it in his column in the NY Times on Wednesday.

Anyway, what Bush did was claim the authority to use the tribunals. And use them pretty broadly. You're right about people like bin Laden and his lieutenants captured while we are engaged in war in Afghanistan. Those should be military trials, because they are caught during war in the place where the war is occurring.

And the order does specifically say that it applies to members of al Qaida. But then it says the tribunals could also be used on someone who:
[quote]has engaged in, aided or abetted, or conspired to commit, acts of international terrorism, or acts in preparation therefor, that have caused, threaten to cause, or have as their aim to cause, injury to or adverse effects on the United States, its citizens, national security, foreign policy, or economy;<hr></blockquote>I'm sorry, but that's pretty damn broad. If it's only intended to be used on al Qaida members caught during the course of the war in Afghanistan, then why include aiders, abettors, and conspirators of acts that threaten to cause adverse effects on US foreign policy? Could it include some Canadian dimwit protesting against the WTO in Seattle? Then why word it so broadly? What about a Palestinian in the US who is a member of some pro-PLO organization?

Furthermore, the President has the full authority to determine who fits into these categories, as long as you're not a US citizen. He just has to say that he has determined it to be so, and then submit it in writing. There is no appeal. That's pretty powerful.
[quote]4 ) They are "profiling" people who fit the profile of the terrorist. The order is not "round up people with brown skin".<hr></blockquote>No, it's not that broad. But that's the essence of it - question people who are males in their 20s from Arab or Muslim countries in the Middle East. The problem is that when you start questioning, you can find out suspicious things even about totally innocent people. That's the whole basis of the 4th Amendment - that you should have good suspicions before you even start looking.

And remember, they've already decided to indefinitely hold lots of people on suspicions - so how many of those that are questioned in this next round will be held, too?

Imagine that you were from Pakistan and studying in the US, and you were required to come in for questioning. Then let's say you had an obscure link to a terrorist through no fault of your own. How many years could they keep you in prison? Could you have a completely open and honest conversation with your lawyer? Could they try you in one of these tribunals? Could they execute you because 4 out of 6 military personnel thought so?

You can say I'm just being a fear monger, but think about some of the things that conservatives don't like about government today. How did they get started? Probably some of them during the emergency of the great depression.

Of course we're not going to see increased government power during easy times. It's during war and times of stress when it's going to happen. But will the power decrease again after the emergency is over?
post #5 of 20
It's the Bush Administration's fault we are in a depression!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that Gore lost!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that OS X was late!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that MS got off scot free!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that &lt;put anything you want here&gt;

The "Bush Administration" isn't the only one that agrees to this. It's not the only one that wants this.

But lets get together as a forum and blame everything on it anyhow.

[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: Sinewave ]</p>
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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Sinewave:
<strong>The "Bush Administration" isn't the only one that agrees to this. It's not the only one that wants this.

But lets get together as a forum and blame everything on it anyhow.</strong><hr></blockquote>No, not everything. Just this stuff.

Four of the five things I put in the first post were solely executive branch actions. The fifth, the Patriot Act, was a joint effort between Congress and the President.

Or is this about evading responsibility?
post #7 of 20
[quote]Originally posted by Sinewave:
<strong>It's the Bush Administration's fault we are in a depression!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that Gore lost!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that OS X was late!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that MS got off scot free!
It's the Bush Administration's fault that &lt;put anything you want here&gt;

The "Bush Administration" isn't the only one that agrees to this. It's not the only one that wants this.

But lets get together as a forum and blame everything on it anyhow.

[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: Sinewave ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

First, we are in a recession, not a depression. I think it's funny how people don't seem to remember that the economy was starting to go bad about the time Clinton was getting ready to leave office. Clinton was the most lucky president ever. He was in office at the time of the internet boom. This is what saved the economy and it is then what killed it. People are quick to blame Dubya but it really has nothing to do with the President.

Oh, I get it, you're joking nevermind.

But, it IS their fault that Microsoft is getting off so easy.
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post #8 of 20
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Actually, I think the military tribunal order can be called an executive order. At least that's what I've heard others call it, and that's what Arlen Specter calls it in his column in the NY Times on Wednesday.</strong><hr></blockquote>


The order is one that Bush issued as Commander and Chief. Not as the Chief Executive. Not an important difference though.

[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Anyway, what Bush did was claim the authority to use the tribunals. And use them pretty broadly. You're right about people like bin Laden and his lieutenants captured while we are engaged in war in Afghanistan. Those should be military trials, because they are caught during war in the place where the war is occurring.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Bush didn't claim authority to do this. The authority was always there. Has been from the start and has been used through the history of the US. Bush isn't making it us as he goes along in some mad grab for power as many would have us think.

I learned last night on a talking head show (Special Report with Brit Hume; but we all know he's a bias conservative right?) that there is due process. Someone can ask for a change a venue which I assume would be heard by a federal judge. So at the very least there's some system in there for over site by another branch of the government.
post #9 of 20
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>No, it's not that broad. But that's the essence of it - question people who are males in their 20s from Arab or Muslim countries in the Middle East. The problem is that when you start questioning, you can find out suspicious things even about totally innocent people. That's the whole basis of the 4th Amendment - that you should have good suspicions before you even start looking.</strong><hr></blockquote>

There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the police from asking questions. It's 100% Constitutional for the police to ask someone here on via, "Where have you been working? Have you ever been contacted by foreign terrorist organizations here or abroad. Do you know anyone that has. How can we contact you in the future."


[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>And remember, they've already decided to indefinitely hold lots of people on suspicions - so how many of those that are questioned in this next round will be held, too?</strong><hr></blockquote>

We don't have all the details but they are not hold people just on suspicion. I would imagine that most violated their via. Over stayed mostly. Many may be held as material witnesses. Due process is still in play though. No Judge will hold someone just because of suspicion. Let's not get hysterical.

[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Imagine that you were from Pakistan and studying in the US, and you were required to come in for questioning. Then let's say you had an obscure link to a terrorist through no fault of your own. How many years could they keep you in prison? </strong><hr></blockquote>

Now you're just being dumb.

[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Could you have a completely open and honest conversation with your lawyer? Could they try you in one of these tribunals? Could they execute you because 4 out of 6 military personnel thought so?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not.


[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Of course we're not going to see increased government power during easy times. It's during war and times of stress when it's going to happen. But will the power decrease again after the emergency is over?</strong><hr></blockquote>


Well we got the DMCA during peace time. That's worse than what Bush as done.
post #10 of 20
A military tribunal can only be enacted by executive order in a time of war. However, "war" is a legal state of affairs, and requires an act of Congress. It also can only be declared against another sovereign nation. None of these things are the case.

What we are in is a state of panic, not "war," and civil rights are being stampeded into irrelevance.

The problem is that the Supreme court can only rule on "torts and actions," not simply strike a law down without a suit brought by a plaintiff. (A tort is a harm done.) HOWEVER, if the trials are conducted in secret, without possibility of appeal, and with no judicial oversight, there is no opportunity of the Supreme Court ever having the chance of interceding in the name of our civil and, lest we forget, inalienable rights.

The US of A is not a place, it is an idea, and if that idea is sacrificed, this will essentially no longer be the US. The idea is that the natural state of humanity is freedom, and the government is enacted for the sole purpose of guaranteeing that freedom. Sure, that freedom must be protected, but if in protecting it, one starts to destroy it, the nature of the protection should be halted, re-examined and reconfigured so as to actually guarantee, rather than impinge upon or destroy our freedom.

Mandricard
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[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: Mandricard ]</p>
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post #11 of 20
I'm much more concerned with the things like racial/ethnic profiling than I am with things like wire tapping. That is, one is a step from guilt-by-association while the other is simply process. What gets the ball rolling is most serious.
post #12 of 20
[quote]Originally posted by Mandricard:
<strong>A military tribunal can only be enacted by executive order in a time of war. However, "war" is a legal state of affairs, and requires an act of Congress. It also can only be declared against another sovereign nation. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Wow are you wrong. Where do you get your information. I think we can forget about the rest of your post because you got off to such a bad start.
post #13 of 20
Some of you may want to check out a <a href="http://pub34.ezboard.com/faldoushuxleyfrm1.showMessage?topicID=77.topic" target="_blank">thread</a> I was reading tonight on trading liberty for security. Interesting subject matter. Aldous Huxley forums. I think more and more citizens are comfortable in swapping, in small steps, their liberties in order to feel safer.
post #14 of 20
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
Wow are you wrong. <hr></blockquote>

Show me where, exactly, I am wrong. Only the Congress is given the power to declare war and enact treaties in the Constitution. Read it. They have not passed a formal "Declaration of War." They have allocated funds for an "ongoing action," which is not the same thing. The "War Powers Act" authorizes the president to conduct action in defense of the country for a period of sixty days. After that he must seek approval from Congress. Congress in this case has allocated funds for this action, and has allowed it to be "ongoing" but has not passed a declaration of war, which is a specific Act, which then allows certain other things to follow, such as these military tribunals.

Second, there is no precedent for these kinds of proceedings unless there has actually been a state of war declared (Cf. Roosevelt.)

Objections without substantiation are not objections at all.

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post #15 of 20
[quote]<strong>A military tribunal can only be enacted by executive order in a time of war. However, "war" is a legal state of affairs, and requires an act of Congress. It also can only be declared against another sovereign nation.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Tradition != law.
There is nothing that ties military tribunals to war, that's just the convention.

And at this point, "war" is semantic like Vietnam. Also, congress did authorize Prez. Bush to do what he needed to do to take care of business.

[quote]<strong>What we are in is a state of panic, not "war," and civil rights are being stampeded into irrelevance.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Irrelevance? That's funny.
We're living in a police state now, eh? Marshal law?

[quote]<strong>HOWEVER, if the trials are conducted in secret, without possibility of appeal, and with no judicial oversight, there is no opportunity of the Supreme Court ever having the chance of interceding in the name of our civil and, lest we forget, inalienable rights.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Inalienable rights apply to citizens, sparky, military tribunals don't deal with citizens. "Our" interests aren't disturbed by military courts.

[quote]<strong>Sure, that freedom must be protected, but if in protecting it, one starts to destroy it, the nature of the protection should be halted, re-examined and reconfigured so as to actually guarantee, rather than impinge upon or destroy our freedom.</strong><hr></blockquote>

How is our freedom infringed?
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post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>quote:
-----------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mandricard:
A military tribunal can only be enacted by executive order in a time of war. However, "war" is a legal state of affairs, and requires an act of Congress. It also can only be declared against another sovereign nation.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Wow are you wrong. Where do you get your information. I think we can forget about the rest of your post because you got off to such a bad start.</strong><hr></blockquote>I don't think Mandricard is saying anything wrong here.

The reason war declaration is important is because there is a Supreme Court case from 1942 <a href="http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=317&invol=1" target="_blank">Ex Parte Quirin</a>) that ruled military tribunals were OK in WWII because Congress had officially declared war.

We are currently in some state of war less than an all-out declaration by Congress. So it's possible that could be an issue if it went to the Supreme Court. And that's really Leahy's argument - that he should have gone to Congress first. I think Congress would probably pass some more limited version of what Bush did.

<a href="http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20010928.html" target="_blank">Here's a good article</a> by John Dean on the subject, written before Bush signed the order. Even he says Congress should do it.

In a later piece, after the order, <a href="http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20011123.html" target="_blank">Dean says</a> Congress Declared war "enough." But anyway, it is a sticking point.

[ 11-30-2001: Message edited by: BRussell ]</p>
post #17 of 20
[quote]Originally posted by Mandricard:
<strong>

Show me where, exactly, I am wrong. Only the Congress is given the power to declare war and enact treaties in the Constitution. Read it. They have not passed a formal "Declaration of War." They have allocated funds for an "ongoing action," which is not the same thing. The "War Powers Act" authorizes the president to conduct action in defense of the country for a period of sixty days. After that he must seek approval from Congress. Congress in this case has allocated funds for this action, and has allowed it to be "ongoing" but has not passed a declaration of war, which is a specific Act, which then allows certain other things to follow, such as these military tribunals.

Second, there is no precedent for these kinds of proceedings unless there has actually been a state of war declared (Cf. Roosevelt.)

Objections without substantiation are not objections at all.

Mandricard
AppleOutsider</strong><hr></blockquote>


At the very least you are wrong when you state that war can only be declared on any other country. That's wrong. Also it is easy to see that we have declared war on bin Laden's group and are fighting a war with them now. You see that's all the bombs dropping and what not. To try to try to reduce it to some legalistic term like "provided funding for .." is dumb. After all Congress did say, in a nut shell, "go get 'em". How much more war like does it have to get?

I think your still clinging to the idea that 9-11 was some sort of criminal act. To say that we are in a state of panic and not war is stupid. Some people may be panicked but I dont think our leaders are and I dont think Gen. Franks is either.

Maybe we should just let the lawyers run the war?
post #18 of 20
I am not saying that we should let "lawyers run the country." I am saying that our government has 3 equally powerful branches for many, many, important reasons. The most important of which is to limit the power of the others, and to check them when they get overly zealous.

9-11 was a horrific act. There is no question about that. However, if we sink to the level of dispensing with personal freedoms in the wake of such an assault, there is a real constitutional crisis. I am not saying we are there yet, but if someone does not put the brakes on this runaway train, we will be. Racial Profiling. Limiting Congress' access to facts (that one has been stopped, at least a little). Limiting Judicial review of possible capital sentences passed on people (legal aliens) who are entitled to all the rights of American citizens. Proposed packet sniffers on the internet scanning through all one's mail. These are not the conditions of a free society.

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[ 11-30-2001: Message edited by: Mandricard ]</p>
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post #19 of 20
It's semantic crap. The only people that will be concerned are Bush haters. It's short-sighted and counter-productive bickering.

[quote]<strong>I am saying that our government has 3 equally powerful branches for many, many, important reasons. The most important of which is to limit the power of the others, and to check them when they get overly zealous.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Wait until it becomes and issue, until then the tears are shed for no-one.

[quote]<strong>However, if we sink to the level of dispensing with personal freedoms in the wake of such an assault, there is a real constitutional crisis.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes. . . IF.
Good thing it's not going on.

IF someone were to rape and kill my grandmother that would be terrible. IF.

[quote]<strong>I am not saying we are there yet, but if someone does not put the brakes on this runaway train, we will be. Racial Profiling. Limiting Congress' access to facts (that one has been stopped, at least a little). Limiting Judicial review of possible capital sentences passed on people (legal aliens) who are entitled to all the rights of American citizens.</strong><hr></blockquote>

What racial profiling?

Congress' "limited" access to facts was a result of members of congress blabbing national security secrets to the press. If you can't be trusted you shouldn't be told.

What limits to judicial review?

[quote]<strong>These are not the conditions of a free society.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Good thing they aren't the conditions of our society then. PHEW!
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post #20 of 20
[quote]Originally posted by Mandricard:

<strong>9-11 was a horrific act. There is no question about that. However, if we sink to the level of dispensing with personal freedoms in the wake of such an assault, there is a real constitutional crisis.</strong><hr></blockquote>

The military tribunals will not try American citizens. What personal freedoms are being dispensed with? I know that the Supreme Court has ruled that even foreign residents have some protections under our Constitution but that doesn't automatically translate to they can't be tried before a military tribunal. Where's the Constitutional crisis?

[ 11-30-2001: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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