Ivo Skoric on Thu, 22 Nov 2001 04:22:43 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Re: Bush Insisted Only HE Should Decide Who Stands Trial--NEWSWEEK

Is such enlergement of presidential powers allowable in a republic? 
Or are we crossing the line into an empire? Is this because Bush is 
afraid that in such a trial an information incriminating to his person 
or his family may come out?

In any case, the loophole in the executive order is obvious - it 
applies exclusively to non-citizens - therefore Al Qaeda just needs 
to take care to recruit only US citizens for its future operations. I 
guess the pool of persons with US citizenship willing to blow up 
federal buildings or commit other athrocities should suffice Al 
Qaeda's apettites.


Newsweek: Bush Insisted Only He Should Decide Who Should Stand Trial Before
Military Court

               Secret Legal Document Gave Bush Wartime Powers,
                      Including Holding Secret Tribunals

    NEW YORK, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- After he signed an order allowing the
use of military tribunals in terrorist cases, President George W. Bush
insisted he alone should decide who goes before such a military court, his
aides tell Newsweek. The tribunal document gives the government the power to
try, sentence -- and even execute -- suspected foreign terrorists in secrecy,
under special rules that would deny them constitutional rights and allow no
chance to appeal.
    (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20011118/HSSA005 )
    Bush's powers to form a military court came from a secret legal
memorandum, which the U.S. Justice Department began drafting in the days after
Sept. 11, Newsweek has learned. The memo allows Bush to invoke his broad
wartime powers, since the U.S., they concluded, was in a state of "armed
conflict." Bush used the memo as the legal basis for his order to bomb
Afghanistan. Weeks later, the lawyers concluded that Bush would use his
expanded powers to form a military court for captured terrorists. Officials
envision holding the trials on aircraft carriers or desert islands, report
Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and Contributing Editor Stuart
Taylor Jr. in the November 26 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday,
November 19).
    The idea for a secret military tribunal was first presented by William
Barr, a Justice Department lawyer -- and later attorney general -- under the
first President Bush, as a way to handle the terrorists responsible for the
1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The idea didn't take back
then. But Barr floated it to top White House officials in the days after
Sept. 11 and this time he found allies, Newsweek reports. Barr's inspiration
came when he walked by a plaque outside his office commemorating the trial of
Nazi saboteurs captured during World War II. The men were tried and most were
executed in secret by a special military tribunal.

(Find this press release by Newsweekat http://www.Newsweek.MSNBC.com. Click
"Pressroom." in list of sites down at bottom of page)

Kathy Kadane
Washington D.C.

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