Today, we are going over a bill being pushed through the system, with one of the longest titles I’ve seen in a while. I hope your ready for it, it’s a mouthful.
Senate Bill 3081: Providing for the Interrogation and Detention of Enemy Belligerents Who Commit Hostile Acts Against the United States, to Establish Certain Limitations on the Prosecution of Such Belligerents for Such Acts, and for “Other” Purposes.
The Bill was started on March 4, 2010 by Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain.
The Bill has been sponsored by: Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Brown, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Lemieux, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Vitter. Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
This bill is also known as the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.
If the title wasn’t “ambiguous enough, the bill is pretty shady as well. At first glance, one can see that this obviously starts out dealing with “interrogations” and the “detention” of enemy “belligerents”??
When I first read the title, I almost thought it was suggesting they were going to interrogate drunks and vagrants who were belligerent. That being the most common time you hear to someone referred to as belligerent. Yet, upon looking up the dictionary definition, I find that Belligerent takes on a whole new meaning.
Oxfords English Dictionary suggests that Belligerent is an adjective and means:
“1. Waging or carrying on regular recognized war; actually engaged in hostilities; formerly also said of warlike engines, and the like.” From the OED
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary suggests that Belligerent means:
“1. Waging war, specifically: belonging to or recognized as a state at war and protected by and subject to the laws of war.”
“2. Inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness
Merriam Webster also suggests that Belligerent implies being actually at war or engaged in hostilities.
With this information even before reading the bill, it does strike my curiosity as to why any of these senators suggested it to be wrong for former president Bush to go to war and not declare it. Do you think they will this time?….
Off of the day dreaming and on to the bill. Besides horrible comma and grammar use in this bill, there are some things I hope you’ll make yourself aware of. Some of which I will bring up here in this article, but the rest you will need to read yourself.
Now, the first thing to look at, is Sec. 3. Interrogation and Determination of Status of Suspected Unprivileged Enemy Belligerents. Part (b) Interrogations, Section (3) Inapplicability of Certain Statements and Rights-
“A individual who is suspected of being an unprivileged enemy belligerent shall not, during interrogation under this subsection, be provided the statement required by Miranda v. Arizona (384. U.S.436 (1966)) or otherwise be informed of any rights that the individual may or may not have to counsel or to remain silent consistent with Miranda v. Arizona.”
Now, the interesting thing is, the only citizens who are allowed Miranda rights, yup, you guess it! It’s American’s. Under no constitutional law or right, do we grant any other than American’s the right to Miranda rights. These are the rights the police officers mumble off to you when you get arrested. “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say…” You know the rest.
Looking at the definitions down near the bottom of the bill, it suggests that a “Privileged Belligerent” is: “An individual belonging to one of the eight categories enumerated in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
To read the Geneva Convention Article 4. Check out this site and read up:
An “Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent” is: “An individual (other than a privileged belligerent) who–
(A) Has engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners;
(B) Has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
(C) Was a part of al Qaeda at the time of capture.”
The most interesting part of all this is that none of it so far gives any inkling that our “public servants” are going to officially declare war, which obviously should have been done a long time ago, but why make things worse by not doing?
The next section to turn your attention to is: Sec. 5. Detention Without Trial of Unprivileged Enemy Belligerents.
“An individual, including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2) (which is decided by the Secretary of State and the Attorney General) in a manner which satisfies Article 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of the hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and any authorization for the use of the military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities.”
This section highlights that if you are claimed to be a Belligerent by the Secretary of State (Hilary Clinton) and the Attorney General, or by the President, if those two should disagree, then you will be without your Miranda rights and without your right to a speedy trial, habeous corpus or even without being formally charged of a crime. Again, these are rights that only American’s have, yet in the passage you will note that we are doing these even if such ’belligerents’ attack our “coalition partners”, which is most likely the U.N.
Amazingly, this bill is not nearly as long as most of the Bill being pushed through the system, as it appears, instead of making bills so long it takes days to read them, instead they are just trying to make them so ambiguous it looks like they are hoping no one will understand or that it will “look good”.
I must admit that if there weren’t certain subtleties in it, I would have thought this might be a good thing to stop the arguments about what to do with the 9/11 attackers. The sad thing is though, that they have all the power they need to take away the attackers Miranda rights, rights to a trial and all the others, because they are not American citizens. As for anyone else, do they have plans of arresting those who are Americans? We’ve already heard from several CIA on you tube and other medias, that they can and will arrest American’s if they feel the person is an enemy, but they mostly talked of it being those who are overseas and have joined up with the “bad guys”. If that is true, then why is there need for this bill that would be enacted IMMEDIATELY if they get it passed?
Furthermore I challenge you to find a true definition for “acts of war” other than “Casus Belli” which basically means “case of war” or “cause of war” and the best description I can find is that it is anything that one nation considers as a start to and logical reason for going to war against another country.
This bill wouldn’t seem so bad, if there were any need for it, or if it were not so ambiguous in nature, which is why I am alerting you to it. If you value your Miranda rights or any other rights, I would suggest you phone, email, write or visit your U.S. senators and tell them in no uncertain terms that you would like this bill abolished.
If they would like to make their job clearer when detaining enemy combatants or terrorists, then they should refer to the Constitution, which gives no rights to those who are not citizens of American and does not bar the federal government from treating non-American’s as such. At very least, they need to give clear definitions and descriptions of those who can be detained, what the qualifications for being determined a Belligerent are exactly, as well as making it clear that those who are simply activists or similar individuals, are not considered “enemies”.
Please take the time to read this bill
Then form your own opinion about it, start a petition on www.change.org , email, write, call and visit your senators. Don’t risk loosing your rights to an ambiguous bill.