FC: NYT's William Safire says Bush has seized "dictatorial power"

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Wed Nov 14 2001 - 22:52:23 PST

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    Previous article:
    "Text of Bush's order creating military tribunals for civilians"
    "Predictably, the American Civil Liberties Union has rushed to decry
    this logical exercise of war powers as 'deeply disturbing,' and in
    contravention of ideas 'central to our democracy.' In fact, the
    president's order is well-grounded in constitutional text, statute and
    past practice, and is more likely to preserve civil liberty than
    undermine it."
    November 15, 2001
    Seizing Dictatorial Power
    WASHINGTON -- Misadvised by a frustrated and panic-stricken attorney
    general, a president of the United States has just assumed what
    amounts to dictatorial power to jail or execute aliens. Intimidated by
    terrorists and inflamed by a passion for rough justice, we are letting
    George W. Bush get away with the replacement of the American rule of
    law with military kangaroo courts.
    In his infamous emergency order, Bush admits to dismissing "the
    principles of law and the rules of evidence" that undergird America's
    system of justice. He seizes the power to circumvent the courts and
    set up his own drumhead tribunals  panels of officers who will sit
    in judgment of non-citizens who the president need only claim "reason
    to believe" are members of terrorist organizations.
    Not content with his previous decision to permit police to eavesdrop
    on a suspect's conversations with an attorney, Bush now strips the
    alien accused of even the limited rights afforded by a court-martial.
    His kangaroo court can conceal evidence by citing national security,
    make up its own rules, find a defendant guilty even if a third of the
    officers disagree, and execute the alien with no review by any
    civilian court.
    No longer does the judicial branch and an independent jury stand
    between the government and the accused. In lieu of those checks and
    balances central to our legal system, non-citizens face an executive
    that is now investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and jailer or
    executioner. In an Orwellian twist, Bush's order calls this
    Soviet-style abomination "a full and fair trial."
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