I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Coerced Testimony, Hearsay: This Is Acceptable? In What Country? Oh Yeah, The United States!!

Yes, that's right!! The Pentagon and the White House as well as the Congress think this is completely acceptable.

In a normal court of law, coerced testimony and hearsay is not allowed. Yet, the President felt the need to push through legislation in the last Congress that would make this legal. I ask, what planet are we living on? I mean seriously, this is absolutely asinine. This is what makes America great? Talk about a crock of shit!! But hey, either you're with us or against us right? Isn't that what the KING said?

So let me lay this out for you.

The procedures outlined in the manual "will ensure that unlawful enemy combatants suspected of war crimes and certain other offenses are prosecuted before regularly constituted courts affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people," said Principal Deputy General Counsel Dan Dell'Orto.

There are several things wrong right there with that statement. First of all, it's stating that these are "unlawful enemy combatants." It's essentially stating their guilt right there. Second of all, it states that they will be afforded all of the judicial guarantees as given to civilized people. Bullshit!! These "enemy combatants" haven't been afforded anything thus far. And this is not a country of civilized people. We are NOT CIVILIZED!! When we hold people incommunicado for years without access to anything that is considered humane, we are NOT CIVILIZED. When we torture people in order to get information that we want, regardless of the validity of that information, we are NOT CIVILIZED. When we think that we can invade any damn country that we want, we are NOT CIVILIZED.

Dell'Orto said the manual calls for the accused to be presumed innocent and requires that convictions be based on guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

When you start off with a statement making reference to the "innocent" as being enemy combatants, you're not making a presumption of innocence. You're already labeling them as guilty. Guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt? How is that possible when you're going to allow hearsay and coerced testimony? Oh yeah, that's right!! Even though it's coerced testimony or hearsay, it must be true!! Right?????

Independent counsel will "represent defendants zealously and protect against even the appearance of unlawful influence" in a jury system comparable to that used by general courts-martial, he said.

Independent counsel? And who exactly are these people going to be? Are they going to be counsel that is appointed by the White House? Are they going to be counsel appointed by the Pentagon? Independent my ass!! These people haven't been afforded access to legal counsel since they've been detained. They're certainly not going to be afforded "independent" legal counsel now.

Defendants are further to be provided with evidence before its admission in court, he said.

They haven't been provided with evidence justifying their detention thus far. They're not going to be provided with evidence before trial either.

In addition, the accused must be granted "a reasonable opportunity" to obtain evidence and witnesses," and are granted the right to protection against self-incrimination, he said.

And how does the Pentagon suggest they do this? They're not allowed to meet with legal counsel now. How are they going to obtain evidence and find witnesses if they're locked up for about 23 hours a day, and when they're not locked up they're being "interrogated?" Oh yeah, they'll have that one hour a day in which to gather all the evidence and witnesses needed to prove their innocence.

Protection against self-incrimination? Where was their right to that protection when they were being interrogated and tortured? Oh, it didn't apply then? Okay!!

Brig. Gen. Thomas Hemingway, a legal adviser to the Office of Military Commissions, told reporters that the manual provides for a "clear prohibition of evidence obtained by torture" if it was obtained after December 30, 2005. But if it was obtained before that time, and if the judge determines that it is reliable, it may be admitted, he said.

Oh really? Well, considering that most if not all of these people have been detained prior to December 30, 2005 and were likely tortured, it's a safe bet that any "evidence" obtained will be presented.

No evidence -- not even classified evidence -- will be admissible that the accused has not seen, but the manual lays out procedures under which the government could ask the judge to rule on whether "certain matters should be redacted," or summarized or replaced with substitute evidence, Hemingway said.

Again, bullshit!! They haven't shown these people any evidence that the government supposedly has against them, and they never will. Nothing is going to stop the government from declaring that they did show this evidence to the accused, and who would dare question the honesty of the government? They're not going to have "independent" counsel to argue this on their behalf.

This is complete and utter bullshit!! The United States of America is not a civilized country. We don't have civilized people living in this country. We don't have civilized people running this country. This is not about protecting the national security of this country. This is not about protecting the American people from people who wish to do us harm. This is about getting away with illegal wars. This is about getting away with torturing people. This is about getting away with killing people. This is about a country that has gone to hell at the hands of a man who thinks he's King. Think I'm wrong? Just wait until you're the next person to be held incommunicado permanently. Just wait!! Think it's never going to happen? Think again!!


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