Stopping Torture: My Mission, I Need Your Help

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

As many of you know, my husband, Dan, was a Vietnam vet who survived torture. Dan suffered from his injuries for over thirty years, until his fatal heart attack four and a half years ago. When he got back to the US, Dan had to have all of the toenails on both of his feet removed, to try to get rid of the bamboo infection from where they had inflicted pain to try to get him to tell them what they wanted to know. There was never enough food in the house to fill the hole left by the food deprivation he had suffered. He never got a full night’s sleep. He was till waking up screaming the week before he died.

Dan left me with a mission, to stop torture as the law, policy and practice of the United States, and to fight to have those responsible held legally accountable.

     

Every day of the last four and a half years I have worked on the mission, now I need YOUR help. This is a critical time, in my view, to push for legal accountability for torture, and there is legislation proposed by Senator McCain that needs to be strongly opposed. I am not only a widow, but also multiply disabled as a result of a genetic disease, which prevents me from working fulltime. I feel horrible having to ask this, but if I can get some financial support, it would make much more effective at my mission. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your support.

There are two specific projects which, in my view need my attention. It would help immeasureably if I could give that attention without worrying about how I am going to pay the rent. If I could get support from now until September, it would make a difference in my life, and I truly believe, in the fight against torture and for accountability.

Below are the details are the details of the bill that needs to be STOPPED: S3081

       With gratitude,

       Standing for justice and accountability,

                For Dan,

                Heather

S. 3081: Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010

Mar 4, 2010 – Introduced in Senate. This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the Senate for consideration. This is the latest version of the bill currently available on GovTrack.

S 3081 IS

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3081

To provide for the interrogation and detention of enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States, to establish certain limitations on the prosecution of such belligerents for such acts, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 4, 2010

Mr. MCCAIN (for himself, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts, Mr. WICKER, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. LEMIEUX, Mr. SESSIONS, and Mr. VITTER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

——————————————————————————–

A BILL

To provide for the interrogation and detention of enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States, to establish certain limitations on the prosecution of such belligerents for such acts, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010’.

SEC. 2. PLACEMENT OF SUSPECTED UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS IN MILITARY CUSTODY.

(a) Military Custody Requirement- Whenever within the United States, its territories, and possessions, or outside the territorial limits of the United States, an individual is captured or otherwise comes into the custody or under the effective control of the United States who is suspected of engaging in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners through an act of terrorism, or by other means in violation of the laws of war, or of purposely and materially supporting such hostilities, and who may be an unprivileged enemy belligerent, the individual shall be placed in military custody for purposes of initial interrogation and determination of status in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

        So the person being placed in custody would be suspected, no proven guilty yet. That makes sense, but read on for what they want to do with these suspects.

(b) Reasonable Delay for Intelligence Activities- An individual who may be an unprivileged enemy belligerent and who is initially captured or otherwise comes into the custody or under the effective control of the United States by an intelligence agency of the United States may be held, interrogated, or transported by the intelligence agency and placed into military custody for purposes of this Act if retained by the United States within a reasonable time after the capture or coming into the custody or effective control by the intelligence agency, giving due consideration to operational needs and requirements to avoid compromise or disclosure of an intelligence mission or intelligence sources or methods.

         How long is “reasonable”? Is eight years “reasonable”?

SEC. 3. INTERROGATION AND DETERMINATION OF STATUS OF SUSPECTED UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS.

(a) Establishment of Interrogation Groups-

(1) ESTABLISHMENT AUTHORIZED- The President is authorized to establish an interagency team for purposes as follows:

(A) To interrogate under subsection (b) individuals placed in military custody under section 2.

(B) To make under subsection (c)(1) a preliminary determination of the status of individuals described in section 2.

(2) COMPOSITION- Each interagency team under this subsection shall be composed of such personnel of the Executive Branch having expertise in matters relating to national security, terrorism, intelligence, interrogation, or law enforcement as the President considers appropriate. The members of any particular interagency team may vary depending on the skills most relevant to a particular case.

(3) DESIGNATIONS-

(A) HIGH-VALUE DETAINEE- An individual placed in military custody under section 2 shall, while subject to interrogation and determination of status under this section, be referred to as a ‘high-value detainee’ if the individual meets the criteria for treatment as such established in the regulations required by subsection (d).

(B) HIGH-VALUE DETAINEE INTERROGATION GROUP- An interagency team established under this subsection shall be known as a ‘high-value detainee interrogation group’.

      A small group of people will be making these decisions. Again, it makes sense, until you read on.

(b) Interrogations-

(1) INTERROGATIONS TO BE CONDUCTED BY HIGH-VALUE DETAINEE INTERROGATION GROUP- A high-value detainee interrogation group established under this section shall conduct the interrogations of each high-value detainee.

(2) UTILIZATION OF OTHER PERSONNEL- A high-value detainee interrogation group may utilize military and intelligence personnel, and Federal, State, and local law enforcement personnel, in conducting interrogations of a high-value detainee. The utilization of such personnel for the interrogation of a detainee shall not alter the responsibility of the interrogation group for the coordination within the Executive Branch of the interrogation of the detainee or the determination of status and disposition of the detainee under this Act.

(3) INAPPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN STATEMENT AND RIGHTS- A individual who is suspected of being an unprivileged enemy belligerent shall not, during interrogation under this subsection, be provided the statement required by Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 436 (1966)) or otherwise be informed of any rights that the individual may or may not have to counsel or to remain silent consistent with Miranda v. Arizona.

The prisoner would purposefully not be advised of their rights, so it is likely that they would not have a lawyer to find, bring, or present any potentially exculpatory evidence.

c) Determinations of Status-

(1) PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION BY HIGH-VALUE DETAINEE INTERROGATION GROUP- The high-value detainee interrogation group responsible for interrogating a high-value detainee under subsection (b) shall make a preliminary determination whether or not the detainee is an unprivileged enemy belligerent. The interrogation group shall make such determination based on the result of its interrogation of the individual and on all intelligence information available to the interrogation group. The interrogation group shall, after consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, submit such determination to the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General.

(2) FINAL DETERMINATION- As soon as possible after receipt of a preliminary determination of status with respect to a high-value detainee under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General shall jointly submit to the President and to the appropriate committees of Congress a final determination whether or not the detainee is an unprivileged enemy belligerent for purposes of this Act. In the event of a disagreement between the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General, the President shall make the final determination.

(3)DEADLINE FOR DETERMINATIONS- All actions required regarding a high-value detainee under this subsection shall, to the extent practicable, be completed not later than 48 hours after the detainee is placed in military custody under section 2.

All of this would be done in 48 hours

(d) Regulations-

(1) IN GENERAL- The operations and activities of high-value detainee interrogation groups under this section shall be governed by such regulations and guidance as the President shall establish for purposes of implementing this section. The regulations shall specify the officer or officers of the Executive Branch responsible for determining whether an individual placed in military custody under section 2 meets the criteria for treatment as a high-value detainee for purposes of interrogation and determination of status by a high-value interrogation group under this section.

(2) CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION OF INDIVIDUALS AS HIGH-VALUE DETAINEES- The regulations required by this subsection shall include criteria for designating an individual as a high-value detainee based on the following:

(A) The potential threat the individual poses for an attack on civilians or civilian facilities within the United States or upon United States citizens or United States civilian facilities abroad at the time of capture or when coming under the custody or control of the United States.

(B) The potential threat the individual poses to United States military personnel or United States military facilities at the time of capture or when coming under the custody or control of the United States.

(C) The potential intelligence value of the individual.

(D) Membership in al Qaeda or in a terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda.

(E) Such other matters as the President considers appropriate.

(3) PARAMOUNT PURPOSE OF INTERROGATIONS- The regulations required by this subsection shall provide that the paramount purpose of the interrogation of high-value detainees under this Act shall be the protection of United States civilians and United States civilian facilities through thorough and professional interrogation for intelligence purposes.

(4) SUBMITTAL TO CONGRESS- The President shall submit the regulations and guidance required by this subsection to the appropriate committees of Congress not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. LIMITATION ON PROSECUTION OF ALIEN UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS.

(a) Limitation- No funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Justice may be used to prosecute in an Article III court in the United States, or in any territory or possession of the United States, any alien who has been determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2).

No civilian trials

(b) Applicability Pending Final Determination of Status- While a final determination on the status of an alien high-value detainee is pending under section 3(c)(2), the alien shall be treated as an unprivileged enemy belligerent for purposes of subsection (a).

SEC. 5. DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL OF UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS.

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.

 So, a person could be pulled off the streets and imprisoned without having an exculpatory evidence presented on the word of his or her enemy on the decision of a small number of members of the US government, without trial, for the rest of their lives.

SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) ACT OF TERRORISM- The term ‘act of terrorism’ means an act of terrorism as that term is defined in section 101(16) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101(16)).

(2) ALIEN- The term ‘alien’ means an individual who is not a citizen of the United States.

(3) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS- The term ‘appropriate committees of Congress’ means–

(A) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.

(4) ARTICLE III COURT- The term ‘Article III court’ means a court of the United States established under Article III of the Constitution of the United States.

(5) COALITION PARTNER- The term ‘coalition partner’, with respect to hostilities engaged in by the United States, means any State or armed force directly engaged along with the United States in such hostilities or providing direct operational support to the United States in connection with such hostilities.

(6) GENEVA CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR- The term ‘Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War’ means the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, done at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3316).

(7) HOSTILITIES- The term ‘hostilities’ means any conflict subject to the laws of war, and includes a deliberate attack upon civilians and civilian targets protected by the laws of war.

(8) PRIVILEGED BELLIGERENT- The term ‘privileged belligerent’ means an individual belonging to one of the eight categories enumerated in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

(9) UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENT- The term ‘unprivileged enemy belligerent’ means an individual (other than a privileged belligerent) who–

(A) has engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners;

(B) has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or

(C) was a part of al Qaeda at the time of capture.

SEC. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.

This Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to individuals who are captured or otherwise come into the custody or under the effective control of the United States on or after that date.

We must stop this bill. I realize it is only co-sponsored by a small number of senators at the moment, but I have no confidence, given what has happened, that it will not build support and pass.

 I am willing and eager to go to Washington in the next few weeks to fight against this bill. I have gone and lobbied against torture on my own dime before, a couple of times, but this time I need your help. There are three ways you can help:

 1) You can write, phone, or visit your senators and congressional representative to tell him or her how you feel about this bill.

 2) You can send me an email to share with your senators and congressional representative.

 3) If you would like me to go and speak on behalf of those without a voice, my email, which is also my paypal, is in my profile.

 Thank you for listening.

 Thank you for your support.

 I am truly grateful to be part of this community.

 With YOUR support, we WILL win.

 With YOUR support, there will be justice and accountability.

      Standing for justice and accountability,

               For Dan,

               Heather

Tomorrow I will talk about the March for Legal Accountability for Torture.

Please join me then.      With gratitude, For Dan, Heather
       

17 comments

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  1.    For Dan,

      Heather

  2. Thanks, Sweetie 🙂

           Hugs,

           For Dan,

           Heather

    • Edger on April 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    To Whom Does the Bill of Rights Apply?

    The important point is that the Constitution doesn’t apply to Americans, it doesn’t apply to citizens, it doesn’t even apply to “people.” It applies to the federal government. The body of the Constitution tells the federal government what it is allowed to do, and in some places it explains how to do it (election procedures and such). The Bill of Rights tells the federal government what it is not allowed to do . . .

      1. Make no law abridging freedom of speech, press, religion, or assembly,

      2. Do not infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

      3. Don’t quarter soldiers in peacetime.

      4. Don’t conduct unreasonable searches and seizures.

      5. Don’t commit double jeopardy or force people to testify against themselves.

      6. Don’t deny an accused a speedy trial.

      7. Don’t deny an accused a trial by jury.

      8. Do not impose excessive bail.

      9. Just because certain rights of the people aren’t mentioned in this Constitution doesn’t mean you’re allowed to usurp them.

     10. Don’t exercise any power not authorized in this Constitution.

    Where exceptions were meant to apply, they are specifically stated. And there are no exceptions stated for any type of guns, for any type of speech, for any specific crimes, or for crimes where non-citizens are involved.

    My overriding point in the article was that, until a suspected “terrorist” gets a fair and impartial trial, you don’t know whether he is a terrorist. So even if you think non-citizen terrorists have no rights, how do you even know for sure that they are terrorists – or that they are non-citizens – until every facet of due process has been applied.

    [snip]

    Meanwhile, back in the United States, human rights groups complain that the government is imprisoning and torturing American citizens in violation of the Bill of Rights. But the President tells the press and public not to worry – that only non-Americans are being imprisoned and only terrorists with vital information are being tortured.

    You can’t prove that you’re neither a foreigner nor a terrorist, because there has been no impartial judicial hearing in which you have the benefit of an attorney, the right to confront your accusers and cross-examine them, and the judgment of a jury of your peers.

    But then, you shouldn’t have those rights because law-enforcement agencies have information that you’re a foreign terrorist.

    But don’t worry; this isn’t really happening. All those people confined in Guantanamo, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in other countries to which the U.S. government has transferred people? They’re certainly guilty and they’re certainly foreign – or our government would never have put them in prisons.

    So go back to sleep. Your government will protect you.

    Mr. McCain, as well as a few others, is a traitor and a war criminal.

    …………………………

    I’m glad you posted this here today, Chacounne.

    • TMC on April 14, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I have missed you. Good to see you are still fighting for Dan and stopping torture. We are joined by the hearts to call to account all those who are guilty of authorizing torture.

  3. is an American mission.  Is there an organization for survivors of torture and their spouses?

    This bill is frightening.  Anyone, including US citizens, could be declared an enemy belligerent, held without access to a lawyer, and undergo interrogation without benefit of legal advice, and remain incarcerated for an indeterminable period [Suppose the US ceases hostilities but a coalition partner does not?] without trial at the whim of a secret few.

    It is an act that erases justice under the guise of creating a two-tiered system of “justice.”

    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.

    This is the Star Chamber Act, nothing less.

  4. it is nice to hear from you.

    Thank you for this most heartfelt diary and for all your fighting efforts.

    I will call my Reps. and scream at them on this.  And I will use your e-mail address!

    Courage!

  5. Bush policies with which the Obama administration and leading Democrats have put the country  into a “Koh-dependent relationship.”

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