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Take Action: McCain/Lieberman/McKeon Bill Removes Right to Trial, Means Endless Incarceration Without Trial
TAKE ACTION against a Dangerous Bill
Newt Gingrich went apoplectic over the fact that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the so-called "underwear bomber") was read his Miranda rights after his arrest, and that he will be tried in a civilian court. They hit the talk show circuit to criticize Attorney General Eric Holder for his handling of the case. You may remember the case of Richard Reid (the so-called "shoe-bomber") who was arrested, read his rights and sent to trial in civilian court. He pled guilty and is now serving life in prison. I've heard Gingrich and others defend the Bush Administration's handling of Reid by asserting he is a U.S. citizen - he is not. The cases are quite similar and demonstrate how politically-motivated the "outrage" is. Although civilian courts have done a fine job of trying and convicting terrorist (403 terrorists convicted since 9/11 compared to 3 convictions via military commissions) a large group of politicians are working to prohibit the use of civilian courts in terrorism cases (focusing their arguments on the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
We are particularly worried by a bill introduced by McCain/Lieberman in the Senate, and by Rep. McKeon in the House. The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010 (S. 3081; H.R. 4892) would allow the President to decide whether you are entitled to a fair trial, or if he should just toss you in jail and throw away the key. If the President accuses you of being a terrorist, or of providing material support to terrorists, you will not be read your Miranda rights, you will not be entitled to a trial, you may not even be charged, you will be interrogated by special teams… and you can be locked up without trial until the war on terror ends. Even if you are a U.S. citizen. The accusation can be based on 'secret evidence' that you will never see. It could be based on lies, or misunderstanding. You could be innocent of all charges, and never be allowed to prove it.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. While it probably will not get voted on in Committee, the bill, or provisions of the bill, could be added to another piece of legislation on the floor of the Senate - so we have to fight the provisions in this bill NOW!
Click here to send an email. Or, call your Senators (Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121) and tell them to oppose these dangerous ideas!
Note: the bill will not likely be voted on as a S. 3081, but rather as an amendment or a series of amendments - so while you can mention the bill number, it is most important to raise concerns about the substance of the bill.
I am concerned that Senators McCain, Lieberman or other Senators may introduce provisions from S. 3081 as amendments to another bill on the floor of the Senate. I urge Senator ______ to vote against any amendments that would:
- Prohibit the use of civilian courts to try terrorism suspects
- Prohibit the reading of Miranda rights to terrorism suspects
- Deny the right of Habeas Corpus to terrorism suspects