- a project of Irregular Times
Why Repeal the Military Commissions Act?
The Military Commissions Act transforms the United States of America from a nation of laws into a nation of power unaccountable to law. It transforms the United States of America from a free democracy into a de facto dictatorship.
The following are the major components of the Military Commissions Act:
It revokes habeas corpus, thereby giving the power to imprison people without trial for as long as the President likes
It gives George W. Bush and other top officials legal amnesty for any war crimes he may have committed
It legalizes torture
It creates a secret committee controlled by the President that can declare anyone to be an enemy, and thereby strip away their legal rights guaranteed by the Constitution
It ends protection of prisoners of war by the Geneva Conventions
It removes the right to a speedy trial
It sets up absurd kangaroo courts that fail to meet the most fundamental civilized standards of justice, with unfair trials kept hidden from the American public
If even just one of these effects of the Military Commissions Act matters to you, then you need to act. Nobody will do it for you. The Democratic Congress has so far failed to act to repeal the Military Commissions Act. A few pieces of legislation have been introduced to repeal some parts of the Military Commissions Act, but these bills have not received widespread support among Democrats in Congress, and wold fail to achieve a complete repeal the Military Commissions Act, even if they were passed.
There is no part of the Military Commissions Act that is necessary to protect American security. What we need is a total repeal of the Military Commissions Act.
The Military Commissions Act is not a purely Republican or Democratic problem. Both Republicans and Democrats voted for this infamous law. Both Democrats and Republicans need to be part of the movement to repeal the Military Commissions Act.
What Can I Do?
Don't just fret about the Military Commissions Act. Don't just throw your hands up in the air. You are not helpless. You are not powerless, unless you choose to be. There are many things you can do to help make the repeal of the Military Commissions Act a reality.
1. Call your member of the U.S. House of Representatives and both of your U.S. senators. Tell them that you want them to support a total repeal of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. You can find the contact information for your representative and senators at Congress.org.
2. If you are not a citizen of the United States, contact the U.S. embassy in your country to protest the passage and implementation of the Military Commissions Act. You can find contact information for the nearest embassy here.
3. Sign the petition to repeal the Military Commissions Act.
4. Attend or organize a March Fourth event focused on the need to repeal the Military Commissions Act.
5. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper expressing, in your own words, the reasons that the Military Commissions Act must be repealed.
6. Contact the following organizations to see how you can assist in their efforts to challenge the Military Commissions Act and close down the overseas prisons in which the Bush White House is holding people captive.
American Civil Liberties Union
Center for Constitutional Rights
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights First
National Guantanamo Coalition - UK
7. If you have a web site, write about the need to repeal the Military Commissions Act, and link to the petition calling for the repeal. If you don't have a web site to do this on, start one!
8. Hold a screening of The Road to Guantanamo in you home or in your community, and urge the attendees to take action to repeal the Military Commissions Act.
9. Sit down with 5 of your closest friends and family members, and explain to them why it is important to you that the Military Commissions Act be repealed. Then, urge them to take action.
10. Join the Care2 Group to Repeal the Military Commissions Act to get organized with others who are interested in promoting the repeal. Then, encourage others to join the group as well.