Bush and military tribunals
  by Scott Davis

I read President Bush's justification for military tribunals. That otherwise the evidence presented just informs bin Laden
of our technology so he can improve his stealth in the future. That the terrorists did not consider the civil rights of the
innocent civilians they murdered September 11th.

The President's logic is flawed because those are all reasons for a military tribunal only if the accused is guilty. If the
accused is innocent, a military tribunal trammels on the accused's rights. Presumption of innocence is the bedrock
principal of our legal system. So, Bush has not justified military tribunals. Instead he equates accusation with guilt.

We saw in the second Presidential debate the smirk of pleasure that the three who dragged James Byrd to his death
would themselves be killed, when Bush was loose with the facts. Only two received the death sentence. And the smile
spoke volumes about Bush's empathy deficiency.

Bush has reserved for himself the right to decide who will stand before a military tribunal. That power is in the wrong hands
for two reasons. First, because Bush lacks the personal qualities that would restrain its use. Second because it is a power
not awarded him by anything other than self-proclaimation. It violates the consitutional separation of powers and ushers in
an imperial presidency that smacks of despotism.

I can only hope for rigorous resistance to this development by the other two branches of government.


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