I would encourage people to check out FindHabeas.com to find out more information about The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) and why the ACLU (and we too) should be concerned about what the MCA means.
The below is pulled directly from the FindHabeas.com website:
"The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) gives the president absolute power to decide who is an enemy of our country, to imprison some people indefinitely without charging them with a crime, and to define what is — and what is not — torture and abuse.
Just before the 2006 elections, Congress passed and the President signed the Military Commissions Act (MCA). Under the Military Commissions Act, the U.S. government can now:
- Imprison some people indefinitely without charge or legal justification
- Deny detainees any court review of their imprisonment
- Hand down convictions based on evidence literally beaten out of witnesses
- Redefine torture and abuse as they see fit, without regard for the Geneva Conventions or any other human rights law
The MCA was sparked by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the original military commission system established by President Bush to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay was unfair and illegal. It ratifies key parts of the illegal commissions, reversing in part the Supreme Court decision.
This wide-ranging and dangerous legislation eliminated a cornerstone of our Constitution by taking habeas corpus rights away from certain individuals. It allows our government to continue to hold hundreds of prisoners with no end in sight.
Without due process, we are almost certainly holding innocent people behind bars. In fact, the Bush administration has already acknowledged that at least 140 of the prisoners held at Guantanamo are not terrorists — they are individuals who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
High-ranking officials must be held accountable for the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody. And we must challenge the practice of “extraordinary rendition” — the kidnapping of foreign nationals for detention, interrogation, and torture in overseas prisons.
The Military Commissions Act, torture by our government and extraordinary rendition stain our nation’s legacy as the standard bearer for the protection of human rights.
We must not tolerate our country being engaged in acts of kidnapping and torture or a law that says the President can simply decide what is and isn’t torture. It is up to all of us to restore respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. You can do your part; take action today.
The Restoring the Constitution ActThe Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007, introduced by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA), fixes all of the problems that the MCA caused in undermining the Constitution and the rule of law. The legislation restores habeas corpus and due process to detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and to other detainees held indefinitely by the federal government. It would specifically block any president from arbitrarily deciding who is an enemy combatant and limit that designation to people actually engaged in armed conflict with our country.
In addition, this bill would prevent this and future presidents from making up their own rules on torture, and make clear that the federal government must comply with the Geneva Conventions, which have been America’s laws for decades. The bill makes clear that the Constitution is the law of the land — and that no president can make up his or her own rules regarding torture and abuse.
Congress made a mistake when it passed the Military Commissions Act. But the ultimate responsibility lies with us, the people. We know what America stands for, at home and abroad. We must call on Congress to correct its mistake: restore respect for the Constitution, restore habeas corpus and restore all the constitutional and due process rights Congress took away. Take action today to restore the Constitution."