Since I believe that the primary function of government is to ensure the rights to life, liberty and and property of “We The People,” I’m encouraging others to write letters to our Federal Congressmen and Senators. Unless we believe our soldiers are monsters and that “degrading” treatment is “torture.”
Only 9 Republican Senators voted against and 90 (“R” and “D”) Senators voted for, amendment SA 1977, to the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill (HR 2863), which goes too far in protections for suspected terrorists.
The Appropriations Bill was passed by the Senate, and the only hope is to fix it in Conference Committee, since the protections for terrorists are not in the House Bill.
SA 1977 gives every “individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government” 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendment protections. It goes beyond “cruel and inhuman” and prohibits “degrading” treatment.
Besides forcing the military to file charges or release combatants, it means no self incrimination, no double jeopardy, and equal protection under our United States Constitution and laws for people who are not citizens of the US when they are caught in battle, with bombs, those who train bombers, and those who are believed to be involved in conspiracies.
The soldiers I know are decent human beings who will not commit atrocities. The ones who have been found guilty of the much-publicised crimes in Iraq broke current military regulations. Will additional laws and regulations stop law-breakers? Or will they hamper the honest men and women who are attempting to protect our country?
Who’s going to cite his Miranda rights to Osama Bin Ladin?
And, well, it means no more bombardment with loud rock and roll music or barking dogs any where around, no panties on the head (which seems appropriate and ironic treatment for misogynists). And, if the men come from a culture that considers women leaders as “degrading” to their men, i.e., Islamic men, no women guards, I guess.
Click here for the Roll call vote and links to the full Text of the Amendment.
S. Amendment. 1977 to delete in Conference:
“(a) In General.–No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
(b) Construction.–Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any geographical limitation on the applicability of the prohibition against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment under this section.
(c) Limitation on Supersedure.–The provisions of this section shall not be superseded, except by a provision of law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act which specifically repeals, modifies, or supersedes the provisions of this section.
(d) Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Defined.–In this section, the term “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” means the cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984.”
From THOMAS.GOV Historical Documents:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.
Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
No comments yet.