Hero: Christopher Dodd

by Jay Stevens 

Here we go. The work can begin.

Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd today announced his intention to introduce legislation in the Senate that would amend the “torture bill.” Some planned changes:

Restores Habeas Corpus protections to detaineesNarrows the definition of unlawful enemy combatant to individuals who directly participate in hostilities against the United States who are not lawful combatants

Bars information gained through coercion from being introduced as evidence in trials

Empowers military judges to exclude hearsay evidence they deem to be unreliable

Authorizes the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to review decisions by the Military commissions

Limits the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and makes that authority subject to congressional and judicial oversight

Provides for expedited judicial review of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to determine the constitutionally of its provisions

This is exactly what needs to happen: reinstitute the rule of law over the executive branch, yet still giving federal officials powerful law-enforcement tools to combat terrorism. Let’s face it: the executive needs oversight. Detainees must have their basic rights. This shouldn’t even be up for discussion, let alone already existing legislation voted on by the Senate.

There were 12 Democrats who voted for it and only 1 Republican who voted against it. Let’s hope those numbers change and significantly. The 2006 elections was a clear demonstration that American voters do not like the way the executive branch is handling Iraq and the “war on terror.” We’ll soon see which Senators got that message.

  1. Colby Natale

    Yeah, the fact that anyone is even having to lodge these amendments is pretty sad. I am especially glad to see the planned return of Habeas Corpus, he was gone way too long.

  2. This sounds like the right remedy. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Here you see the importance of having a right wing noise machine – Dodd will be accused of abetting terrorists, and it will become a chant when he runs for reelection. That’s the reason so many Democrats supported the demise of HB – they couldn’t stand up straight in the wind.

  4. Big Swede

    Every time I hear our elected leaders appeasing our enemies I think of Hussein Mussawi’s bold statement. “We are not fighting so that you will offer us something, we are fighting to eliminate you!”

  5. Big Swede: ???

    Seriously, dude. WTF? Who said anything about appeasing terrorists?

    Hey, if this law is still on the books when Hilary’s President, maybe we can use it to silence guys like you!

  6. BTW, that was a joke. But the premise isn’t. So you like the bill now, when your boy George is the Prez. How do you like it when Hilary Clinton’s the Prez?

  7. Big Swede

    Tell you what tstone, when these terrorists groups start abiding by the Geneva Convention and providing their prisoners Habeas Corpus protections along with comforts and religious amenities that we have at our facility that’s when we should amend, not before. As far as Hillary is concerned I hope whatever decision is made concerning combatant rights will be well reasoned knowing that 3000 souls from her state are watching!

  8. Tell you what, Big Swede, when you establish beyond a doubt that who we’re holding is a terrorist, then we talk about punishment, etc.

    Right now federal officials have a lousy track record in that regard. The less likely a “suspect” is a terrorist, the more likely they’ll be held indefinitely without recourse to a hearing. That’s the way it’s played out so far, anyway.

    So you’re telling me it’s okay to hold innocent people and beat the sh*t out of them because…well, you don’t really explain why it’s okay.

  9. Big Swede

    Let me see, do we beat the sh*t out of them before or after the Muslim approved meal or maybe right before their prayer time, or even after their required console with the prison cleric? And lets talk about the innocent, what’s more innocent than a Wall Street reporter or a civilian contractor? Tell me tstone, would they have wanted a good sh*t kicking or the machete across the spine….Seriously, dude.

  10. Sorry, BS, you won’t bait me. You obviously have no appreciation of the rule of law. That’s what US democracy and our civil liberties are based on.
    What you’re telling me is that you inherently trust the government to do the right thing.
    I won’t go there.
    There’s a nice big country a few thousand miles to the east governed without any consideration for those pesky liberties or human rights. You might like it there.

  11. Big Swede

    Leahy’s certainly my hero, in the late 80’s he was forced to resign from his post on the intelligence committee because of numerous leaks to the press on covert operations.

  12. gerbats

    Terrorist’s Bill of Rights introduced in Senate. Among these provisions, American soldiers must read Miranda rights to all terrorist captured. Plastic laminated cards with Miranda rights will be issued to all GIs on battlefield. Democrats praised the new guidelines. ” These terrorists deserve the same rights as all Americans” a leading Democrat told this reporter. ” Cutting off americans’ heads may be a freedom of speech issue” he said.

  13. fastrunner

    Gerbats seems to be right on the money. Why do we want to release these terrorists ( like Leahy does) just so they can be shootin at our soldiers. I say keep them locked up in Gitmo.

  14. fastrunner: how do you know they’re terrorists? The US has already released a number of detainees — are they shooting at us? In fact it’s clear that the Bush administration hangs on to those the most assiduously who are the least likely to be threats.

    I’m not saying let terrorists go, I’m saying we need to determine who’s a terrorist and who’s not, and that we shouldn’t torture and detain indefinitely people only because they’ll be an embarassement to our president when they’re released.

    This isn’t a video game.

    If you want to live in a country where the executive has absolutist powers, then the US is the wrong place for you. Try China or North Korea. Don’t bring those countries here, please.

  15. fastrunner

    How do you know they are not terrorists? Shouldn’t the benefit of the doubt go towards protecting our soldiers? There have been insidences of released detainees being recaptured.
    Maybe our guys shouldn’t take prisoners.

  16. How do you know they are not terrorists?

    I don’t. Thus, the trials.

  17. Remember, the majority of the detainees in Gitmo were turned over for $10K bounties. A lot of old grudges, some random folks turned in.

    Don’t you think the Bush administration is keen to make some news on the terror front? If they actually had a true terrorist leader, don’t you think they’d love to trot him out on the world stage and try him?

    Thing is, I suspect the majority of these guys are innocent and the Bush administration keeps them locked up to protect its reputation. If they have known terrorists, try them. That’ll shut up a lot of critics.

  18. gerbats

    Like Saddam?

  19. Saddam’s trial and execution was a prime example of why the Bush administration’s contempt of international humanitarian law set back the battle against terrorism decades. Show trial, mishandled execution made Saddam a matyr.

    If you want to win the war on terror you need to people to want to side with you, because the values you represent are universal, fair, and good.

    It should be obvious by now — even to you — that the use of sheer force don’t get the job done.

  20. gerbats

    It worked in WW2 ( that’s World War 2, happened in the forties. Sometimes we forget)
    Maybe we should try it now. It seems obvious fighting a politically correct war doesn’t work.

  21. WW2…yeah…military force worked, it’s true. After six years of protracted fighting and hundreds of millions dead. That one may have been necessary, but it’s simplistic to say the least — and dead wrong — to compare WW2 to Iraq.

  22. gerbats

    Why is it wrong? Because you said so.
    Better to use overwhemling force to end it, then drag it out and lose more of our guys.

  23. Look if some lawmaker ponied up and said we need a million more troops and national committment (i.e, draft, rationing, etc.) to actually win, I’d respect that person. I would argue that it wasn’t worth it, but I’d respect the hell out of whoever said it.

    20K troops? That’s just putting 20K more American lives on the line to delay withdrawal until Bush is in Crawford whacking shrubbery full-time. IMHO, the dude should oversee the mess he got himself into.

  24. WW2: Conventional war against organized, sovereign states.

    Iraq war: Military actions against non-uniformed guerrillas of various factions, ideologies, and ever-shifting goals.

  25. The best comparison to Iraq, IMHO, is probably the guerrilla war we fought in the Phillipines around the turn of the 20th century.

  26. The American people should know that George W. Bush is not only a war criminal: for example, he is also a hate-crime criminal.

    George W. Bush had better stop committing hate crimes.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993


  1. 1 Hero: pt 2 « Rebels Are We!

    […] In response to Jay’s little piece on Christopher Dodd the other day, I wanted to point out another hero, Patrick Leahy. Leahy, who will chair the Senate Judiciary Committee next year, is attempting to get Alberto Gonzalez to release the documents outlining the Bush policy on interogations (which Leahy will be able to subpeona in January if Gonzalez doesn’t cooperate). “The American people deserve to have detailed and accurate information about the role of the Bush administration in developing the interrogation policies and practices that have engendered such deep criticism and concern at home and around the world,” […]

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