House Bill Contains Provision to Investigate Lawyers for Detainees
The House Armed Services Committee defense bill that will soon be considered by the full House contains a provision to investigate lawyers for detainees for misconduct:
The provision would require the Pentagon inspector general to investigate instances in which there was “reasonable suspicion” that lawyers for detainees violated a Pentagon policy, generated “any material risk” to a member of the armed forces, violated a law under the inspector general’s exclusive jurisdiction, or otherwise “interfered with the operations” of the military prison at Guantánamo.
The inspector general would be required to report back to Congress within 90 days after the provision became law about any steps the Pentagon had taken in response to such conduct by either civilian or military lawyers.
Would the Democrats be so knuckle-headed as to pass it? Would Obama sign the bill into law if it passed or veto it? [More...]
Democrats on the committee agreed to Mr. Miller’s proposal after several modifications. One change added the requirement of “reasonable suspicion” of wrongdoing before a lawyer would be investigated by the inspector general. Another enabled Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to halt such an inquiry if it would interfere with a related criminal investigation.
Detainee lawyers argue that even with such modifications, Mr. Miller’s amendment is broad enough to give pause to all lawyers representing Guantánamo detainees — including the far larger numbers who have sought judicial hearings for prisoners who contend that they are not terrorists and are being held by mistake.
Lawyers are not the enemy. Nor are we a danger. It's people like Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), the Congressman pushing the provision, who are willing to destroy our Constitution and its 200 year heritage. Today it's those with suspected ties to terrorists, tomorrow it will be those with suspected ties to drug traffickers, and the day after that, sex offenders. Pretty soon it will reach down to someone you care about. And it will be too late. Al Qaeda will laugh, all the way to the terrorist bank, as it continues to make deposits of the constitutional rights we've shredded in our misguided responses to our exaggerated fears.
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