First under George W. Bush, and now under Barack Obama, the right to a fair trial in the United States has suffered severe erosion. Both presidents have claimed the power to seize anybody, American citizen as well as foreigner, inside US borders and elsewhere, and imprison these people indefinitely, without criminal charge. Both presidents have also claimed the right to subject anyone, civilians as well as soldiers, to a military trial with remarkably lowered standards of justice that don’t meet the requirements of the Bill of Rights.
All the President has to do is accuse you of terrorism, and you’re put into this system outside of ordinary U.S. law. The justification for this treatment: You’re a terrorist.
Of course, no court of law has found you guilty of being a terrorist. You haven’t been given the opportunity to defend yourself in court. But, say Bush and Obama, you don’t deserve the right to a fair and speedy trial, because you’re guilty.
That’s not how things are supposed to work in the United States of America, but who is going to stand up and make it right? Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives are making an attempt.
Democrat John Garamendi, with Republican Justin Amash and Democrats Ed Perlmutter and Adam Smith, has introduced H.R. 5936. H.R. 5936 will, if passed, revoke the requirement of military imprisonment for people suspected of terrorist crimes and will re-establish the right to a fair trial.
99 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives, however, is withholding support from this bill.