The wikipedia article [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Commissions_Act_of_2006].
Wow. It’s all I can say.
No “sam’s alarmist, anarchist, anti american” calls please, this is real, written down and passed into law.
You are an “unlawful enemy combatant” [UEC] if you have “… been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.”
Re-read the emphasized bit. Read it again. This gives the President and Secretary of Defense carte blanche to declare people UEC’s from within hidden tribunals. This could happen in the field, with American officers deciding there and then that some innocents are UEC’s and taking action.
Reading through more of it, and in an effort not to bore you ;-), heres a quick fire summary;
1) The judge may include heresay, warrantless evidence, testimony obtained through “coercion” [coercion is defined by the President, torture, rape etc are not allowed] and “classified evidence not made available to the defense“, with only a military lawyer present; this jumps up and down on the Third Geneva Convention, Article 3, ie “The passing of sentences must also be pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”
2) Oops, not allowed to use the Geneva Conventions in defense anyway; “No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or any protocols thereto in any habeas corpus”
3) “the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions … which are not grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions” Err, right; the USA reserved the right to punish persons detained under the Geneva Conventions with the death penalty.
4) The right not incriminate oneself is effectively removed, as evidence gathered under “coercion” is allowed, ie the interrogators can legally beat a false confession out of a UEC and declare it as evidence.
5) Back to the Third Geneva Convention, Article 17; “No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.” Looks like they’ll ignore that one as well.
Ah well, theres more I can go on about, but I can tell some people have already gone to sleep.
I would hope that the UK government now sees the USA for what it is; a thug and bully.
If you went to a supermarket whose security guards took away shoppers and staff in the middle of the store and came back with said person bruised and got someone else, then did it again and again, who frisked you on the way in, frisked you on the way out and only let you come in with a signed permit, whilst telling you all the time it’s for your own security and safety, you’d quickly go elsewhere.
The UK needs to find somewhere else to shop. And quickly, else the combination of beatings and “security announcements” will brainwash us into accepting it as normal, or worse, becoming a security guard at the store.