Thursday, June 21, 2007
Bush Administration Continues to Break The Law and Violate their Oath. Secret Prisons and Unlawful Detention are for Dictatorships, NOT Democracies.
At least 39 individuals who remain missing are believed to have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the US authorities. The wives and children of other detainees in secret CIA custody have also been held in custody and interrogated, either as potential sources of information or to secure the capture of their husband or father.
Based on research by six leading human rights groups - Amnesty International, Cageprisoners, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and NYU School of Law, Human Rights Watch and Reprieve -, the briefing paper Off the Record provides the most comprehensive account of these 39 individuals' apprehension and detention to date, including four missing detainees here identified for the first time.
The full list includes cases of nationals from countries including Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, Kenya and Spain. They were arrested in countries including Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Sudan, and transferred to secret sites run by the US government.
In many cases, the current fate and whereabouts of detainees included on the list are completely unknown. In other cases, some speculative information has emerged in the press or through research and investigation.
In all cases, the US government’s silence has created grave uncertainty. The US government must end the use of secret detention, clarify the fate and whereabouts of all people who have been secretly detained and allow them access to their families and to adequate legal process.
The US has the duty to detain and bring to justice anyone responsible for crimes but it must do so in a manner that respects human rights and the rule of law.
For a little refresher course for those of you unfamiliar with the Constitution, I've highlighted the places where the Bush Administration has violated the law. Bush and all his officials took an Oath to Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States. The U.S. Constitution is VERY CLEAR and does not distinguish between U.S. Citizens and Non-Citizens. The Constitution never says that only Citizens get the protections of the Bill of Rights.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.