Distorting the Military Commissions Act II
Alas, another Rhode Island blogger has lost herself in the progressive fever-swamps because of the Military Commissions Act. Now Sheila Lennon of the Projo?s Subterranean Homepage News is claiming that the Military Commissions Act can be used to prevent American citizens from petitioning for a writ of Habeas Corpus…
Yes, anyone can not (sic, I think Ms. Lennon meant “now”) be “disappeared” at the pleasure of the President. This abrogation of the most basic right to challenge the legality of your detention is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court must overturn it.Her fears are based on Keith Olbermann’s inaccurate MSNBC rant against the MCA. But despite Olbermann’s delusions, it is not true that the MCA means that anyone can be made to disappear at the pleasure of the President, because…
- The MCA does not apply to American citizens.
- Everyone — even aliens — detained under the MCA has an express right to be represented by a defense counsel of their own choosing. This is from section 949c of the MCA…
(3) The accused may be represented by civilian counsel if retained by the accused, but only if such civilian counsel
(A) is a United States citizen;
(B) is admitted to the practice of law in a State, district, or possession of the United States or before a Federal court;
(C) has not been the subject of any sanction of disciplinary action by any court, bar, or other competent governmental authority for relevant misconduct;
(D) has been determined to be eligible for access to classified information that is classified at the level Secret or higher; and
(E) has signed a written agreement to comply with all applicable regulations or instructions for counsel, including any rules of court for conduct during the proceedings.
- And nothing in the MCA prevents someone improperly detained under the MCA from challenging the claim (with the help of his or her defense counsel) that he or she is not an American citizen in a regular civilian court, outside of the MCA system.
I hope liberals are beginning to realize how much the hysteria over the MCA undercuts the claim that they are the reality-based community. But there is always hope! If bloggers like Ms. Lennon would pay more attention to the right-blogosphere, they would be less likely to make such gross errors of fact.