Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I think Congress just passed a law that would make the rendition of a US citizen to a foreign country perfectly legal

A basic tenet of our legal system is that an American citizen enjoys certain inalienable rights under the Constitution that cannot be abridged.  Well I think the new Defense budget just did some serious "abridging".  The National Defense Authorization Act (i.e. the Defense funding bill), empowers the President to "transfer" any person "suspected" of being "associated" with Al Queda, the Taliban or "associated" groups "to the custody or control of the person's country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity."  Say what!?  Note that there is no carve out for US citizens.  And good luck getting the good people of Uzbekistan (or the Sudan, or Yemen, or anywhere else outside of the US, to recognize your Constitutional rights).  So be careful.  If the President "suspects" you are "associated" with a group "associated" with the Taliban, he could order your immediate rendition to a nice Pakistani jail.  I gotta believe that, if ever challenged, the Courts would either throw that out or read it to apply to non-citizens because it is blatantly unconstitutional otherwise.  Still, that language will be signed into law this week.

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