View Full Version : McCain+Lieberman's Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act

03-08-2010, 03:18 PM
March 4, 2010

Mr. President, I rise to introduce legislation that sets forth a clear, comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of enemy belligerents who are suspected of engaging in hostilities against the United States. This legislation seeks to ensure that the mistakes made during the apprehension of the Christmas Day bomber, such as reading him a Miranda warning, will never happen again and put Americans’ security at risk.

Specifically, this bill would require unprivileged enemy belligerents suspected of engaging in hostilities against the U.S. tobe held in military custody and interrogated for their intelligence value by a “high value detainee” interagency team established by the President. This interagency team of experts in national security, terrorism, intelligence, interrogation and law enforcement will have the protection of U.S. civilians and civilian facilities as their paramount responsibility and experience in gaining actionable intelligence from high value detainees.

These experts must, to the extent it is possible to do so, make a preliminary determination whether the detainee is an unprivileged enemy belligerent within 48 hours of a detainee being taken into custody. The experts then must submit their determination to the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General after consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General make a final determination and report it to the President and the appropriate committees of Congress. In the case of any disagreement between the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General, the President will make the final call.

A key provision of this bill is that it would prohibit a suspected enemy belligerent from being provided with a Miranda warning and being told he has a right to a lawyer and a right to refuse to cooperate. I believe that an overwhelming majority of Americans agree that when we capture a terrorist who is suspected of carrying out or planning an attack intended to kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent civilians, our focus must be on gaining all the information possible to prevent that attack or any that may follow from occurring. Under these circumstances, actionable intelligence must be our highest priority and criminal prosecution must be secondary.

Additionally, the legislation would authorize detention of enemy belligerents without criminal charges for the duration of the hostilities consistent with standards under the law of war which have been recognized by the Supreme Court. Importantly, if a decision is made to hold a criminal trial after the necessary intelligence information is obtained, the bill mandates trial by military commission where we are best able to protect U.S. national security interests, including sensitive classified sources and methods, as well as the place and the people involved in the trial itself.

Mr. President, it should come as no comfort to any American that nearly eight and a half years after the attacks of 9/11 we still don’t have a clear mechanism, legal structure, and implementing policy for dealing with terrorists who we capture in the act of trying to bring about attacks on the United States and our national security interests at home and abroad. What we saw with the Christmas Day bomber was a series of missteps and staggering failures in coordination among the most senior members of the Administration’s national security officials that have continued to be compounded by Administration apologists who still don’t seem to understand that repeating the same mistakes that were made in 2001 and 2002 is going to lead to the deaths of many more Americans.

The vast majority of Americans understand that what happened with the Christmas Day bomber was a near catastrophe that was only prevented by sheer luck and the courage of a few of the passengers and crew. A wide majority of Americans also realize that allowing a terrorist to be interrogated for only 50 minutes before he is given a Miranda warning and told he can obtain a lawyer and stop cooperating is not sufficient.

Let me be clear about where I think the fault lies with our current policy. I believe that the local FBI agents who were involved with investigating the Detroit attack are patriotic Americans who are experts in the field of law enforcement. I hold the FBI in the highest regard and believe they set the standard for law enforcement professionalism not only in the U.S., but internationally. But it is impossible for FBI field agents to know all the information that is available to the U.S. intelligence community worldwide during the first 50 minutes of interrogation of a suspected terrorist. We must ensure that the broad range of expertise that is available within our government is brought to bear on such high-value detainees. This bill mandates such coordination and places the proper focus on getting intelligence to stop an attack, rather than allowing law enforcement and preparing a case for a civilian criminal trial to drive our response.

Mr. President, deliberate mass attacks that intentionally target hundreds of innocent civilians are an act of war and should not be dealt with in the same manner as a robbery. We must recognize the difference. If we don’t, our response will be hopelessly inadequate. We should not be providing suspected terrorists with Miranda warnings and defense lawyers. Instead, the priority and focus must be on isolating and neutralizing the immediate threat and collecting intelligence to prevent another attack.

In closing, let me say that I hope that Congress and the Administration support this legislation as part of a comprehensive solution for detaining, interrogating and prosecuting suspected enemy belligerents. However, there is a lot more work that must be done. I am continuing to work with Senator Graham, Senator Lieberman, and others to address other crucial aspects of detainee policy.

As part of that effort, I believe we must establish a system for long-term detention of terrorists who are too dangerous to release, but who cannot be tried in a civilian court. While the law of war authorizes detention until the end of hostilities--something the Supreme Court has recognized and which is reinforced in this bill--I believe that a review system for the long-term detention of detainees should be set out in law. Additionally, both the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the D.C. Circuit Court have urged Congress to provide uniform guidelines to apply in the habeas corpus cases that have been brought by detainees. Currently, the outcomes in the Guantanamo detainee habeas cases are inconsistent because of different interpretations of novel questions of law the judges face in applying habeas to wartime prisoners for the first time in our history. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to improve this process to obtain better, more uniform results. I do not believe that we will have addressed all the necessary detainee policy challenges until we do so, and my efforts will not stop until we have addressed all the detainee issues in a comprehensive fashion.
While other detainee policy challenges remain, I believe the handling of the Christmas Day bomber – including the law enforcement focus and the decision to read a Miranda warning after only 50 minutes of interrogation-- demand that Congress and the Administration first address the issue which is most crucial to our national security. For that reason, we must have a clear policy, legal foundation, and mechanism for the detention, interrogation and trial of enemy belligerents who are suspected of engaging in hostilities against the United States. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this important legislation.


03-08-2010, 03:31 PM
I don't have time to read this but rest assured the proper philisophical standpoint is the opposite of what this bill rests upon. I know this because

McCain Liebermann

03-08-2010, 03:40 PM
to sum-up--

lock 'em up, shoot them in the knee-caps, make 'em talk, throw away the key...

we're at war people!

03-08-2010, 06:55 PM

03-09-2010, 01:51 AM
I would consider anyone who signs this bill to be an "enemy belligerent" (wtf not even calling them combatants anymore).

Basically more thought crime legislation.

It would be justice if each of the authors and voters of this legislation were immediately taken and treated according to the very nature they describe in the bill.

"deliberate mass attacks that intentionally target hundreds of innocent civilians"

I'd consider this legislation to do much worse than any bomb or gun could ever do.... hence all who vote for it are threats to the citizens of the US.

03-09-2010, 01:57 AM
Please don't forget to Digg this, Tweet it, Facebook it, whatever. We MUST shoot this thing down before it gets any more support!

http://digg.com/political_opinion/A_Detention_Bill_You_Ought_to_Read_More_Carefully_ 4

03-09-2010, 02:15 AM
Please don't forget to Digg this, Tweet it, Facebook it, whatever. We MUST shoot this thing down before it gets any more support!

http://digg.com/political_opinion/A_Detention_Bill_You_Ought_to_Read_More_Carefully_ 4 (http://digg.com/political_opinion/A_Detention_Bill_You_Ought_to_Read_More_Carefully_ 4)

Well, I dam blew up my Facebook with my 1256 "friends," the more comments and "likes" the story gets, the more it makes "top news," which makes it persistent and more people will see it. If you are on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/glenbradley and comment/like the (I think 3?) stories I have on my wall about this. The more it gets promoted, the more it will rise to the top of "Top News"

And if you are on Twitter, I started the twitter hash #S3081

03-09-2010, 02:40 AM
My guess is if this economy tanks any further, the dollar crashes, banks and the federal reserve steal more tax payer money. There will be mass chaos in this country. I think Congress very well knows it..

03-09-2010, 02:43 AM
And if you are on Twitter, I started the twitter hash #S3081

Okay, this is slightly embarrassing but I'm an eejit when it comes to Twitter. How do I utilize the hash code? :o

03-09-2010, 02:51 AM
Okay, this is slightly embarrassing but I'm an eejit when it comes to Twitter. How do I utilize the hash code? :o

No worries, everybody is/was new to Twitter at some point. I cut my teeth on the Iran Election thing, so I gained some pretty valuable tweet promotion skills.

To use a hashtag all ou have to do is put the text:


somewhere within your tweet. (including the pound sign) Tweets are indexed by their hashtags, and that can (with enough popularity) develop it into a "trending topic" by virtue of everyone using the same hash.

Once it starts trending, it will climb very, very fast.

03-09-2010, 03:24 AM
Now, on Twitter, you can just click on the hashtag and it will list all messages posted with that tag in it. :D

03-09-2010, 03:25 AM
Now, on Twitter, you can just click on the hashtag and it will list all messages posted with that tag in it. :D

Sweet! Thanks for the tips.

I hath Tweeted it! :D

03-09-2010, 03:31 AM
Sweet! Thanks for the tips.

I hath Tweeted it! :D

& I hath found it, retweeted you, replied to the tweet, and followed you to boot ;-)

03-09-2010, 07:14 AM
Legislation Would Also Create New System Of Interrogation

CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – A bill introduced today in the Senate would hand the government the power to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects without charge or trial, dealing a swift blow to due process and the rule of law.

The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010, introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), would also create an entirely new system of interrogation by requiring intelligence officials to be consulted about how to handle terrorism suspects after their capture. The bill was precipitated by misguided objections to the Obama administration’s correct decision to charge accused Christmas Day attacker Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the criminal court system. The legislation would have a “high value detainee” team, made up of members of different intelligence agencies, interrogate and determine whether alleged terrorist suspects are “unprivileged enemy belligerents.” If so, and if the suspect is then charged, the legislation would mandate the use of the discredited and unconstitutional military commissions.

The American Civil Liberties Union vigorously opposes the Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“The Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act is a direct attack on the Constitution.

“Indefinite detention flies in the face of American values and violates this country’s commitment to the rule of law. Over the last decade, we have seen how disregard for the rule of law has disastrous results for America’s standing in the world, and it is unfathomable that Senators McCain and Lieberman would forget so recent a lesson. We must forever put an end to the false and dangerous assumption that sacrificing our principles makes us safe. We should never conclude that our ideals are not strong enough to withstand these threats.

“Contrary to what some in Congress may believe, there is no significant class of prisoners who simultaneously cannot be prosecuted or safely released. If evidence is too unreliable to prosecute someone, it is certainly too flimsy to detain them for the rest of their lives without an opportunity to defend themselves.”

The following can be attributed to Christopher Anders, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:

“Like indefinite detention, using military commissions is an abandonment of American values. Our time-tested federal courts have proven themselves capable of handling terrorism cases while upholding due process. Federal courts have produced over 300 terrorism-related convictions while the discredited military commissions have produced only three. Using the commissions will result in years of delay due to legal challenges and will yield results mired in doubt. Americans deserve better.

“When it comes to terrorism, some lawmakers continue to underestimate the competence of our criminal justice system. Our criminal justice system has proved repeatedly that it is capable of obtaining reliable intelligence from terrorism suspects, while that has not always been the case when we throw detainees into secret detention and discard all the rules. Denying due process rights to our enemies defies the values we are fighting to protect. The Constitution is not optional despite the efforts of these senators to render it so.”

More information on why terrorism suspects should be tried in federal court is available here: https://www.aclu.org/national-security/terrorism-cases-should-be-tried-federal-court


03-09-2010, 07:26 AM
who are the REAL terrorists?

03-09-2010, 11:32 AM
who are the REAL terrorists?

Anybody who does not help make this thing go viral!! :D :p