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"Torture Bill" or "Detainee Trial Bill"? Who do I distrust the least?

Pursuing my monomaniacal obsession with domestic corruption as I am wont to do, sometimes complicated, important matters slip past me. And, so it is with Thursday's "Detainee Trial Bill", or, as it's called by many, the "Torture Bill", or, as it's called in the bill itself, the "Military Commissions Act of 2006".

Some of the clues that this is a very bad bill are that both Insty and CaptainsQuarters support it.

Some of the clues that this is not as bad as it's made out to be are that the NYT opposes it. Not only that, but at the end of the page is a list of "Related Blogs", all of which (oddly enough) agree with the NYT, and all or almost all of which are leftwing sites. Another leftwing site calls it "The Power to Disappear" and that post almost entirely consists of part of a Salon article from Carl Levin.

Yale's Bruce Ackerman offers "The White House Warden", but I suspect he may be on the left side of things. Antiwar.com, strangely enough, doesn't offer wall-to-wall coverage, but does have "Groups Unanimously Assail New Detention Law"; one of the groups opposed is the far-far-left "Center for Constitutional Rights".

Dave Winer finally gives me a reference point:
What's next? How far is "economic terrorism" from Islamofascists? Not really very far at all. When McCain runs for President the immigration issue will be front and center. Use your imagination if you want to understand what the final solution will be. And you should worry. I don't believe U.S. citizenship is any kind of protection.
Does he expect anyone to take this seriously when he thinks the author of the McCain-Kennedy amnesty would result in any kind of a "final solution"? Does anyone who even uses such phrases without strong evidence expect to take him seriously? In the extraordinarily slim change that there were such a plan, the last people McCain would exact it on would be those who make money for those who contribute to him.

On the other hand, another Yalie, Prof. Jack Balkin, says that:
(1) Yes, a few parts of the MCA do apply to citizens; and

(2) the MCA is probably unconstitutional in many of its applications to citizens; and

(3) some constitutional applications of the MCA to citizens are deeply troubling.
And, the always-excitable, way-far-out-there, but at least slightly straight-shooting Alex Jones offers "Torture Bill States Non-Allegiance To Bush Is Terrorism":
...In section 950j. the bill criminalizes any challenge to the legislation's legality by the Supreme Court or any United States court. Alberto Gonzales has already threatened federal judges to shut up and not question Bush's authority on the torture of detainees.

"No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever, including any action pending on or filed after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions under this chapter."
What I'd really like to see is a short debate (with links and cites) from those who are trustworthy, experts, and who are definitely on opposite sides. Unfortunately, something like that seems difficult to find.

Politics · Fri, 09/29/2006 - 21:35 · Importance: 1

Sat, 09/30/2006 - 01:26
eh

What I'd really like to see is a short debate (with links and cites) from those who are trustworthy, experts, and who are definitely on opposite sides.

Why? Do you really trust "experts"? You can read the bill the same as they can, right? Tedious as that exercise may be. Does it seem like something that ought to have been pushed by a responsible administration? Or passed by a responsible legislature?

Think about the whole 'War on Terror' business; does the Bush administration seem trustworthy? Or competent? Bush says his critics buy into terrorists' propaganda. But who has more of a reason to push an agenda? Bush to defend his policy, or Woodward to sell books? Personally, I think Woodward has already sold enough books. And the case against Bush et al largely makes itself. Like I wish my bed would do.