New McCain Bill: American Citizens May Be Held Without Charge During Hostilities,PoliGazette
So, I thought for sure that this had to be misinterpretation by liberals at best, or a downright lie at worst. They lied about the removal of the writ of habeus corpus for detainees, after all, claiming that it applied to all Americans. So, before even reading the bill, I knew that the reports of McCain writing a bill that would call for the indefinite detention of American citizens who are labeled unlawful enemy combatants were incorrect. It was just the liberals hyperventilating yet again.
Well, now I’m not sure. While it still may be nothing to blink at in the end, I find one provision in this bill – to paraphrase Chief Justice John Roberts – very troubling.
The passage in question from the bill (emph. mine):
An individual, including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2) 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 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 military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities.
Uhh, a quick reading of the fifth and sixth amendments shows that the provision about holding Americans (civilians, anyway) in this manner is clearly unconstitutional. I had a difficult time at first understanding why McCain would even write this. The man may not be a young and charming constitutional law professor, but I would guess he knows the document well enough. He knows this bill doesn’t have a chance of passing, at least not with the indefinite detention provision as written. So I wondered, “why even waste time writing that part?”
Then I remembered that McCain is being challenged by former Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth. A Republican, Hayworth has used his campaign website to take McCain to task over his terrorism cred:
But John McCain wants Guantanamo Bay shut down and terrorists moved to the U.S. for trial. J.D. Hayworth supports the mission at Guantanamo Bay and thinks it would be both a mistake and an abomination to award enemy combatants and other terrorists the rights enjoyed by American citizens.
John McCain also wants to tie the hands of our military interrogators by banning enhanced interrogation techniques. J.D. Hayworth recognizes the importance of giving our professionals the tools they need to get the job done. At least four major 9-11 style terror attacks were prevented thanks to information gathered using these techniques, and countless lives were saved.