US legalises Presidential right to torture

by andrew on October 18, 2006 10:21 am in Rendition

From the American Civil Liberties Union

“The president can now – with the approval of Congress – indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act.”

WASHINGTON – As President Bush signed S. 3930, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed outrage and called the new law one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history.

To highlight concerns with the act, the ACLU took out a full page advertisement in today’s Washington Post, calling itself “the most conservative organization in America.” Since its founding, the ACLU has fought to conserve the system of checks and balances and defend the Bill of Rights.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director:

“With his signature, President Bush enacts a law that is both unconstitutional and un-American. This president will be remembered as the one who undercut the hallmark of habeas in the name of the war on terror. Nothing separates America more from our enemies than our commitment to fairness and the rule of law, but the bill signed today is an historic break because it turns Guant’namo Bay and other U.S. facilities into legal no-man’s-lands.

“The president can now – with the approval of Congress – indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act.”

The full page advertisement from the Washington Post is available at: www.aclu.org/safefree/detention/27085leg20061017.html

The ACLU’s letter on S. 3930, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, is available at: www.aclu.org/natsec/gen/26861leg20060925.html

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