The Republican that Republicans don’t like and the ex-Democrat that Democrats don’t like are teaming up to propose a bill that I’m pretty sure God himself wouldn’t like. It also has one of the most ridiculous names I’ve heard in a while.
The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010, introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), would also create an entirely new system of interrogation by requiring intelligence officials to be consulted about how to handle terrorism suspects after their capture. The bill was precipitated by misguided objections to the Obama administration’s correct decision to charge accused Christmas Day attacker Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the criminal court system. The legislation would have a “high value detainee” team, made up of members of different intelligence agencies, interrogate and determine whether alleged terrorist suspects are “unprivileged enemy belligerents.” If so, and if the suspect is then charged, the legislation would mandate the use of the discredited and unconstitutional military commissions.
The… Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act. I mean, kudos for not pulling a PATRIOT Act and having it make an idiotic acronym, but… “Enemy Belligerent”? Really? Wow.
What’s most disturbing is that this whole debate and discussion on what to do with terrorism suspects forgets the word “suspects”. The presumptions and arguments are rooted in the notion that these guys are guilty and the trial is simply a procedural hurdle to get over before we can lock ’em up or (oh please please please) execute them. Even the prospect that they aren’t guilty doesn’t factor in. Bring it up just in casual conversation, they’ll tell you that “we know they’re guilty!” Justice? Where?
In watching all this, I’m doing what I often do: questioning motives. In the spirit of that, I have a question for you guys. Which would be worse: if these guys are doing it because they’re genuinely terrified of what would happen should terrorist suspects be tried in courts, or because they just want to seem “tough on terrorism”? Normal cowards or political cowards?