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I've seen two opposing front page posts talking about the apparent rift between the President and Senate Republicans regarding the 'Military Commissions Act of 2006.' One view suggests that the rift is a set-up.  The other suggests that it is not.

More below the fold...

mcjoan:

I think it's very likely they are setting up votes for a few of their members to "vote against" Bush. And it's possibly why we saw three FISA bills passed out of Judiciary this week. Senators can vote against the Specter bill, and against the administration, but when it comes down to it, they'll "do what the president wants."

DemFromCT:

Nor was this a cleverly contrived media plot to allow Republicans to run away from the unpopular President (as if their votes weren't a matter of public record). That line of thinking is part of the prevelant media narrative in DC, which goes like this: when Republicans lose, they really win, because Republicans are always right.

Both views are reasonable, and either could be correct.  Or, both could be wrong.  I offer a third view, and it scares me because if I am anywhere close to the real story, it's going to make the NSA spying program look like the least of our worries.

There really isn't a rift between the President and Senate Republicans.  It is a set-up, but its relationship to the elections is only tangential.  The reason for this is because there are no substantive differences between the legislation in play.  There are perceived differences though, and this is what is fueling the media hype.  It's all smoke and mirrors though, and is intended to keep us from seeing what is really going on.

One of these perceptions is that the President is advocating torture, and that some Senate Republicans have an issue with that.  This over-simplifies the issue somewhat because of the varied conceptions of what constitutes 'Torture.' It's generally conceptualized along the lines of pulling someones fingernails off, or something similarly physically abusive.  Interrogation techniques such as 'Cold Celling,' 'Long Standing,' and 'Water Boarding' are, however, less clear.  Just how far is 'Too far' in our treatment of 'Terrorists?'  If it saves lives, is it wrong to 'Water Board,' especially if it leaves no physical damage?  Questions such as these are answered the same in all three versions of the 'Military Commissions Act of 2006.'

Nothing in the legislation re-defines 'Torture.'  It simply refers to existing law for its definition.  Each version of the legislation points to 18 USC 2340, which reads:

(1) "torture" means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) "severe mental pain or suffering" means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from--
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality;

If all three versions of the legislation refer to the same existing law in defining 'Torture,' then obviously, there cannot be a substantive basis for the perception that differences exist.

Another perception is that the President is attempting to alter Common Article III of the Geneva Convention, which reads:

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

The provisions of the legislation do nothing to alter the language of Common Article III.  The primary reference to the Geneva Convention reads:

Sec 6. Satisfaction of Treaty Obligations.

(a) In General.-- Satisfaction of the prohibitions against cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment set forth in Section 1003 of The Detainee treatment Act of 2005 (title X of Public law 109-148; 119 Stat. 2739; 42 USC 2000dd) shall fully satisfy United States obligations with respect to the standards for detention and treatment established by Section 1 of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Section 1003 of The Detainee Treatment Act reads:

SEC. 1003. PROHIBITION ON CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT OF PERSONS UNDER CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

(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.

If all three versions of the legislation refer to the same existing law with regard to the Geneva Conventions, then obviously, there cannot be a substantive basis for the perception that differences exist.

If you recall from the introduction, it was said:

I offer a third view, and it scares me because if I am anywhere close to the real story, it's going to make the NSA spying program look like the least of our worries.

Notice that Section 1003 of 'The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005' makes reference to the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.  This is the standard by which we are to treat Detainees.  It's already the law, and has been for some time now.  If this is so, then why the persistent perception that there is debate concerning the treatment of Detainees?  Surely, we are not considering providing a 'Terrorist' with protections beyond those that we ourselves enjoy.  No, of course not.  It's a fabricated debate to keep us from seeing what is really happening.

The 'Military Commissions Act of 2006' references Section 1003 of 'The Detainee Act of 2005,' which it then refers to 18 USC 2340.  The Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments referenced in Section 1003 are being defined by 18 USC 2340.  This opens the door to an unprecedented increase in federal and state police powers, with regard to US citizens, because the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments are congressionally cast in terms of 18 USC 2340.

Interrogation techniques such as 'The Cold Cell,' 'Long Standing,' and 'Water Boarding' would then be within range of US citizens because such tactics are not prohibited by 18 USC 2340, which is the new standard by which to measure violations of the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

Since the 'Military Commissions Act of 2006' links itself with Section 1003 of 'The Detainee Act of 2005,' which in turn links itself with the Fifth, Eight, and Fourteenth Amendments, thereby purporting to render itself constitutional, other of our rights are endangered.

The 'Military Commissions Act of 2006,' in all three versions, removes the right to a 'Speedy Trial.' It removes the right against 'Self-Incrimination.'  It permits 'Hearsay.'  The right be free from arrest and trial without 'Probable Cause' is replaced with:

Charges and specifications against the accused shall be signed... and shall state:

1. That the signer has personal knowledge of, OR REASON TO BELIEVE, the matters set forth therein; and

2. That they are true in fact to the best of his knowledge and belief.  (Emphasis mine)

The express withdrawal of such rights as constitutional under the Fifth, Eight, and Fourteenth Amendments is characterized  in the legislation as necessary considering the unique circumstances of the 'War on Terror.'  The NSA spying program is also supposedly consistent with the unique circumstances of the 'War on Terror.'  Does this not also cast a light upon the recent Republican insistence that reference to 'The Patriot Act' be included in a resolution commemorating 9/11?

In conclusion, and I wish I could have explained my views better, but this line of reasoning is not wholly outside the realm of possibility.  I've detailed the relevant laws exhaustively.  I've showed that the apparent rift between the President and the Senate Republicans doesn't exist at all.  It's all been smoke and mirrors.  I could be wrong about all of this, or I could be right.  If I've made any sense at all, please hit the RECOMMEND button on the upper right side of your screen.

Originally posted to Soul on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:02 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  it's not too long (6+ / 0-)

      and I hope you will write more on this important matter.  if you're familiar with Robert Jay Lifton's publications on psychic numbing and Nuremberg, then it makes sense that whatever the Bush administration does for "shock and awe" is meant for us as much as (if not more) than anyone else.  indefinite detention and torture are another way of utilizing the "fear up" cues to US citizens.

      •  Agreed, it is not too long. (5+ / 0-)

        You need the quotes and the full language of the avilable statutes to get all eyes facing the black and white logic. There may be some differences on how far this is immediately applicable, yet there is NO DOUBT this is a back door assault on the Bill of Rights and American citizens.

         If a terrorist like Tim Mcveigh who murdered  168 persons can be dealt with in the criminal justice system as it existed prior to Bush, then what are his special exemptions all about?

        Ahmir Kansi (sp.) who killed CIA employees in the parking lot in Virginia was hunted down, captured and brought to America for trial as were followers of Sheik Abdul Rahman,the first Twin Tower bomber leader.

        The special justice system that is being built inside the "Patriot Act" is a sop and a pet project for Bush to help him retroactively avoid prosecution for violating numerous human rights conventions that the USA already is a signatory to.

           The aim at delegitimizing and taking away rights of citizens is another benefit to control by the "unitary executive".

        OK............ Next!

        by Pete Rock on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:50:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This title is much better (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Soul

      The first time I visited here I thought about saying "here's a tip: change your title"...don't know why I didn't...
      And yeah, it's long, but I'd rather have length and depth than somebody screaming something about something and making me do all the research to figure out wtf they're talking about.
      Great job here.

      "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."- Emerson

      by Sidof79 on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:31:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Administration is also not in cimpliance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ckntfld, Soul

    in regard to: the right to a speedy trial

                 the right to face one's accuser(s)

                 the right not to provide evidence
                 against one's self

    These are in addition to torture.

    Vote Jerry McNerney for Congress CA11

    by Friend of the court on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 06:42:00 PM PDT

  •  No Shit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Soul

    They, you know, them, those people, would torture you too if they could.  As far as they're concerned we're useless eaters to be expended as they see fit.

    Hell, they've practically repealed civil rights all the way back to the Magna Carta.  Anybody wanna play Robin Hood?

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

    by gmoke on Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 07:25:08 PM PDT

  •  Waterboardgate/Draft Dodger's Crusade (6+ / 0-)

     Hey, the scandal needs a name, and I think that is a good one - calls up Watergate, which was followed by a fifty seat earthquake in the house in 1974.

    Waterboardgate - a side scandal during The Draft Dodger's Crusade.

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise" - U.S. Constitution author and fourth President James Madison

    by Iowa Boy on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 08:15:58 PM PDT

  •  oh, not about torturing us, about impeachment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, tlh lib

     That definition stuff isn't about citizens, its about Bush & Co. seeing the Democratic freight train coming and trying to cover themselves so they don't end up in the Hague after impeachment proceedings.

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise" - U.S. Constitution author and fourth President James Madison

    by Iowa Boy on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 08:18:42 PM PDT

  •  One more sneaky element (8+ / 0-)

    Note these words in the proposed legislation:

    or under the physical control of

    What this would mean: if, a person is treated humanely up until the moment they are handed over to someone else's authority, then the US believes it has fully satisfied its obligations under the Geneva conventions.

    So you pick em up, toss em on a plane to a rent a gulag, as in the rendering rendition program, and as long as you're humane up until you hand them over for torture, you can wash your hands of the responsibility for the torture.  Kind of like a torture escort service, and we're the pimp.

    Of course, technically, they could just set aside certain prison blocks as "officially belonging to" some other country, staff it with people from that country, and save all the fuel costs associated with having to move folks off US soil...

    Democracyfest Incorporated thanks all those who made the 3rd Annual DemocracyFest a success.

    by mataliandy on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 08:31:16 PM PDT

    •  I believe the 1948 Geneva Convention (6+ / 0-)

      addresses the practice of sending prisoners to another country to be tortured.  

      The person who pays the hit man is just as guilty as the hit man.  

      http://homepage.mac.com/alfredo_tomato/Wheatpaste.html

      by alfredo on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 08:59:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, technically (0+ / 0-)

        GC Common Article 12: Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the Convention. When prisoners of war are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for the application of the Convention rests on the Power accepting them while they are in its custody.

         So, basically, as long as some state promises the US that it wont torture our detainees (our newly GC backed detainees I might add), our responsibility as the oringal Detaining Power is over under the GCs.  Of course the promise not to torture can and I'm sure does come with a wink and a nod that Bushco has a hearty chuckle at while stating smugly to the world that the US is abiding by the GCs.  Those bastards...

        Freedom only for the members of the government, only for the members of the Party - though they are quite numerous "- is no freedom at all." -Rosa Luxemburg

        by un figlio della sinistra on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:46:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  maybe this has to do (0+ / 0-)

      with bringing all this stuff stateside per my comment below.

      ask not for whom the bell tolls...

      Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

      by stonemason on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:06:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Made sense. (6+ / 0-)

    A terrifying degree of sense.

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 09:04:17 PM PDT

  •  The Hidden Agenda is Obvious (11+ / 0-)

    And I do think that if Bush has his way; everything that they now want to do to suspected "terrorists" they'll be wanting to do to anyone who dares disagree with the "party line".

    Imagine Joe McCarthy with the "freedom" to torture!

    Bush is Pinochet; no better.

    Maybe the "gun nuts" have a point?

    •  that (0+ / 0-)

      would be ill-advised... we're all too centralized for any real conflict.  Turn off the electricity in winter, stop the trucks, and everyone freezes/starves in the dark of January.  Through centralization our populace has long ago thrown in the towel.  

      Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

      by stonemason on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:08:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Abu Ghraib: Coming to a Police Station Near You (10+ / 0-)

    If its okay for a dog to chew on your balls in Baghdad, it will be okay in Peoria.

    Purported "unauthorized" leaks of Abu Ghraib imagery serve a public education function (i.e. propaganda) by desensitizing the Great American Lardmass to what will soon become standard operating procedure for domestic police forces.

    As you lower expectations about how "terrorists" (i.e. political dissidents) are to be treated, each subsequent exposure to torture imagery renders them more familiar, hence more acceptable.

    At the end, such imagery will tend to bore most, exciting only deviates and dissidents, who will soon essentially be deemed the same.

    •  Hey (0+ / 0-)

      through homeland suckurity, police forces all over are being funded to learn all this domestic stranglehold stuff.  we happen to be from a town which is insane for police presence.  In a town of 12,000, you hear sirens all day long.  Go into town, and see that these long-playing sirens are mostly cop cars (dozens and dozens of them) just flipping on the lights to clear away traffic.  Once they're in front of the pack, off go the pary lights and they proceed as normal.  Not many people are getting pulled over.  Everyone knows that they're getting funded by dhs.  This siren crap goes on from roughly 9-5.  after that you hear nothing.

      Every once in awhile the scariest thing of all happens... for a day you hear no sirens.  Means they're all in training.

      Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

      by stonemason on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:12:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  too late, already here (8+ / 0-)

    Police practices already include hour after hour of questioning and sleep deprevation.  One of the most effective methods of torture used by Stalin was sleep deprevation.  It is simple and effective.  People who have been awake for a few days will agree to just about anything for the promice of a few hours of sleep.

    If you are forced to stay awake over a period of time, your body actually begins to poison itself.

    There was an interesting case in Palo Alto, California a few years ago.  An 18 year old kid was accused of raping an elderly woman.  At first he denied the rape, but after more aggressive questioning, he confessed.  Later, DNA evidence proved his innocence.  

    The aggressive questioning was not much less than what Stalin did.  It didn't involve waterboarding or cold cells.  Torture is easy and it is here today.

    The worst of it is that a majority of the people think that the Constitution is an symbol of soft on crime.  

  •  Bush-not really a Pres. only a corporate puppet (1+ / 3-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila
    Hidden by:
    tlh lib, papercut, means are the ends

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    if the govt are willing to be involved in a coverup
    such as 9/11 and create a controlled implosion
    to insure the destruction of a building i don't think
    they are worried about torturing americans.'
    they wanted to do it by planning operation northwoods
    but Kennedy stopped them.
    sooner or later they would get their wish.
    but it could backfire..every dog has its day.
    Bush is a pretend President that is a corporate
    puppet-he has been groomed for the job because
    quite honestly they had to get someone who wants
    to deal with special interest groups and that
    only cares about his pocket rather than americans.

  •  congratulations to the diarist (8+ / 0-)

    whose excellent work here was rescued by Susan G.

  •  tyranny, now closer to home (6+ / 0-)

    Provocative title followed by a really nice diary. Thanks! It's amazing to me how the tyranny we fight abroad seems to manifest itself here under pretty titles.

  •  Boil that frog ! (4+ / 0-)

    The tat gets boiled by slowly increasing heat is an old metaphor for loss of freedom.

    But now it's tme to turn up the heat on W and run with the issue of tortures use against Americans

  •  they could torture yoo too -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    celticshel, means are the ends

    -- and maybe they should !

  •  I don't see it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Soul

    (I have done no research.  I'm working off the information in Soul's post.)

    I don't see how any of this helps the government apply the Military Commissions Act (any version) to ordinary criminal matters.  The Government can have kangaroo courts or show trials for terror suspects, but it can't treat the prisoners any worse than it treats ordinary accused criminals.  

    18 USC 2340 is simply a definition.  Statutes borrow definitions from other statutes all the time.  It's a hassle for lawyers, but if "torture" has only one definition in the US Code and all the other statutes reference it, then judicial decisions concerning the definition automatically apply across the board.  This is a good thing -- it would be horribly confusing to have multiple, inconsistent definitions (for an example, look at the Tax Code).

    Section 1003 of the Detainee Act says that no one in custody (physical control) of the US Government can be subject to any bad treatment that contravenes Amendments 5, 8, or 14 of the Constitution.  I read that as extending to "detainees" (presumably defined elsewhere in the act) the Constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment as already enjoyed by those locked up for ordinary crimes.  (As some commenters have pointed out, this is cold comfort.  Ordinary criminals are not exactly guaranteed kind and usual punishment.)

    The different versions of the 2006 Act do deny the detainees rights to a speedy trial and against forced self-incrimination.  These are Constitutional rights unambiguously held by those accused of ordinary crimes.  The Supreme Court can probably whittle these rights down to nothing, but Congress simply does not have the power to take them away altogether.  The hearsay rule is not a Constitutional right; it's merely a common-law rule (now codified) that evolved to help improve the accuracy of trial outcomes.  Apparently accuracy is less important for terror suspects than for the rest of us.  Orwellian.

    The place to look for signs that domestic Americans might be targeted is in the sections of the draft Acts defining the jurisdiction of the Military Commissions. Supreme Court decisions old and new suggest that such a provision would be unconstitutional.

    •  Thank you for this comment... (0+ / 0-)

      It points out an areas that I need to clarify more, and will soon.  Thanks again for the critical reading.

    •  wait, (0+ / 0-)

      the patriot act in concert with the presidential declaration of national emergency post 9/11 change the whole turf.  We go into what is often called crisis constitution mode.  

      Patriot act basically has the possibility of putting us in a permanent state of emergency, thereby sidelining the Constitution.  The above link is the ACLU.  Better thoroughly check them out because this is not to be dismissed.

      Here's a thumbnail of changes brought by Patriot 2 (it's easy to get the successive generations of patriot act confused):

      from here
      A Brief Analysis of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003
      posted 11/21/04
      Also Known as USA Patriot Act II
      by Alex Jones

      The second Patriot Act is a mirror image of powers that Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler gave themselves. Whereas the First Patriot Act only gutted the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and seriously damaged the Seventh and the Tenth, T he Second Patriot Act reorganizes the entire Federal government as well as many areas of state government under the dictatorial control of the Justice Department, the Office of Homeland Security and the FEMA NORTHCOM military command. The Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as the Second Patriot Act is by its very structure the definition of dictatorship.

      I challenge all Americans to study the new Patriot Act and to compare it to the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.

      Ninety percent of the act has nothing to do with terrorism and is instead a giant Federal power-grab with tentacles reaching into every facet of our society.

      It strips American citizens of all of their rights and grants the government and its private agents total immunity. Here is a quick thumbnail sketch of just some of the draconian measures encapsulated within this tyrannical legislation:

      SECTION 501 (Expatriation of Terrorists) expands the Bush administration's "enemy combatant" definition to all American citizens who "may" have violated any provision of Section 802 of the first Patriot Act. (Section 802 is the new definition of domestic terrorism, and the definition is "any action that endangers human life that is a violation of any Federal or State law.") Section 501 of the second Patriot Act directly connects to Section 125 of the same act. The Justice Department boldly claims that the incredibly broad Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act isn't broad enough and that a new, unlimited definition of terrorism is needed.

      Under Section 501 a US citizen engaging in lawful activities can be grabbed off the street and thrown into a van never to be seen again. The Justice Department states that they can do this because the person "had inferred from conduct" that they were not a US citizen. Remember Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act states that any violation of Federal or State law can result in the "enemy combatant" terrorist designation.

      SECTION 201 of the second Patriot Act makes it a criminal act for any member of the government or any citizen to release any information concerning the incarceration or whereabouts of detainees. It also states that law enforcement does not even have to tell the press who they have arrested and they never have to release the names.

      SECTION 301 and 306 (Terrorist Identification Database) set up a national database of "suspected terrorists" and radically expand the database to include anyone associated with suspected terrorist groups and anyone involved in crimes or having supported any group designated as "terrorist." These sections also set up a national DNA database for anyone on probation or who has been on probation for any crime, and orders State governments to collect the DNA for the Federal government.

      SECTION 312 gives immunity to law enforcement engaging in spying operations against the American people and would place substantial restrictions on court injunctions against Federal violations of civil rights across the board.

      SECTION 101 will designate individual terrorists as foreign powers and again strip them of all rights under the "enemy combatant" designation.

      SECTION 102 states clearly that any information gathering, regardless of whether or not those activities are illegal, can be considered to be clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power. This makes news gathering illegal.

      SECTION 103 allows the Federal government to use wartime martial law powers domestically and internationally without Congress declaring that a state of war exists.

      SECTION 106 is bone-chilling in its straightforwardness. It states that broad general warrants by the secret FSIA court (a panel of secret judges set up in a star chamber system that convenes in an undisclosed location) granted under the first Patriot Act are not good enough. It states that government agents must be given immunity for carrying out searches with no prior court approval. This section throws out the entire Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

      SECTION 109 allows secret star chamber courts to issue contempt charges against any individual or corporation who refuses to incriminate themselves or others. This sections annihilate the last vestiges of the Fifth Amendment.

      SECTION 110 restates that key police state clauses in the first Patriot Act were not sunsetted and removes the five year sunset clause from other subsections of the first Patriot Act. After all, the media has told us: "This is the New America. Get used to it. This is forever."

      SECTION 111 expands the definition of the "enemy combatant" designation.

      SECTION 122 restates the government's newly announced power of "surveillance without a court order."

      SECTION 123 restates that the government no longer needs warrants and that the investigations can be a giant dragnet-style sweep described in press reports about the Total Information Awareness Network. One passage reads, "thus the focus of domestic surveillance may be less precise than that directed against more conventional types of crime."

      *Note: Over and over again, in subsection after subsection, the second Patriot Act states that its new Soviet-type powers will be used to fight international terrorism, domestic terrorism and other types of crimes.

      Of course the government has already announced in Section 802 of the first USA Patriot act that any crime is considered domestic terrorism.

      SECTION 126 grants the government the right to mine the entire spectrum of public and private sector information from bank records to educational and medical records. This is the enacting law to allow ECHELON and the Total Information Awareness Network to break down any and all walls of privacy. The government states that they must look at everything to "determine" if individuals or groups might have a connection to terrorist groups. As you can now see, you are guilty until proven innocent.

      SECTION 127 allows the government to takeover coroners' and medical examiners' operations whenever they see fit. See how this is like Bill Clinton's special medical examiner he had in Arkansas that ruled that people had committed suicide when their arms and legs had been cut off.

      SECTION 128 allows the Federal government to place gag orders on Federal and State Grand Juries and to take over the proceedings. It also disallows individuals or organizations to even try to quash a Federal subpoena. So now defending yourself will be a terrorist action.

      SECTION 129 destroys any remaining whistle blower protection for Federal agents.

      SECTION 202 allows corporations to keep secret their activities with toxic biological, chemical or radiological materials.

      SECTION 205 allows top Federal officials to keep all their financial dealings secret, and anyone investigating them can be considered a terrorist. This should be very useful for Dick Cheney to stop anyone investigating Haliburton.

      SECTION 303 sets up national DNA database of suspected terrorists. The database will also be used to "stop other unlawful activities." It will share the information with state, local and foreign agencies for the same purposes.
      SECTION 311 federalizes your local police department in the area of information sharing.

      SECTION 313 provides liability protection for businesses, especially big businesses that spy on their customers for Homeland Security, violating their privacy agreements. It goes on to say that these are all preventative measures - has anyone seen Minority Report? This is the access hub for the Total Information Awareness Network.

      SECTION 321 authorizes foreign governments to spy on the American people and to share information with foreign governments.

      SECTION 322 removes Congress from the extradition process and allows officers of the Homeland Security complex to extradite American citizens anywhere they wish. It also allows Homeland Security to secretly take individuals out of foreign countries.

      SECTION 402 is titled "Providing Material Support to Terrorism." The section reads that there is no requirement to show that the individual even had the intent to aid terrorists.

      SECTION 403 expands the definition of weapons of mass destruction to include any activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

      SECTION 404 makes it a crime for a terrorist or "other criminals" to use encryption in the commission of a crime.

      SECTION 408 creates "lifetime parole" (basically, slavery) for a whole host of crimes.

      SECTION 410 creates no statute of limitations for anyone that engages in terrorist actions or supports terrorists. Remember: any crime is now considered terrorism under the first Patriot Act.

      SECTION 411 expands crimes that are punishable by death. Again, they point to Section 802 of the first Patriot Act and state that any terrorist act or support of terrorist act can result in the death penalty.

      SECTION 421 increases penalties for terrorist financing. This section states that any type of financial activity connected to terrorism will result to time in prison and $10-50,000 fines per violation.

      SECTIONS 427 sets up asset forfeiture provisions for anyone engaging in terrorist activities. There are many other sections that I did not cover in the interest of time. The American people were shocked by the despotic nature of the first Patriot Act. The second Patriot Act dwarfs all police state legislation in modern world history.

      Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

      by stonemason on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:27:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  REMEMBER HAMDI and PADILLA (0+ / 0-)

      In US v. Hamdi, the SCOTUS, held that an American citizen can be classified as an enemy combatant and therefore be "detained."  The US court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit used this in upholding the enemy combatant and detainee status of Jose Padilla, a US citizen arrested on US soil.  The government has since transferred Padilla to criminal proceedings to avoid further SCOTUS scrutiny of the case.  The point is that  while you are right the the terror/torture laws and definitions cited apply to detainees, you and I can be labeled detainees.  Therefore, we at this point, would appear to fall outside the protections afforded the normal criminal defendant.  That is the scariest implaction of Soul's diary, in my opinion.
      Links:
      Padilla v. Hanft
      Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
      more Padilla

      Freedom only for the members of the government, only for the members of the Party - though they are quite numerous "- is no freedom at all." -Rosa Luxemburg

      by un figlio della sinistra on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 09:07:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Editorial this AM (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    means are the ends

    by James Carroll in the Boston Globe

    "My methods are new and causing surprise. To make the blind see, I throw dust in their eyes."

    by marykk on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:16:34 AM PDT

  •  Soul, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mataliandy, Soul

    I've been rousting out all the info on this that I could, since reading an opinion in a column that 1) four pieces of legislation are up for domestic funding within the realm of Patriot Act; 2) the administration has stated no plans to bring foreign detainees stateside, therefore 3) why do all this spending?  If not to incarcerate citizens here?

    And then there's the ugly detail that torture training and torture manual authorship primarily happen in McCain's home state at huachuca, lending the pall of hypocrisy to his outcry ("methinks he doth protest too much...").

    This stinks.  Thank you for the courage to publish your diary.  Would appreciate feedback.

    Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. - Adlai E. Stevenson

    by stonemason on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:35:35 AM PDT

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