The Journal of History     Fall 2007    TABLE OF CONTENTS


End American concentration camps

September 11, 2007

Restoration of Habeas Corpus: End American concentration camps

Sunday, September 9, 2007

During World War II Japanese Americans were placed in detainment without criminal charges. We now recognize this was a sad, embarrassing blot on our history. Yet we are now repeating the very same outrage, and giving that very same justifications that were given before.

When President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) into law, it was a gross usurpation of powers by the Executive branch. Unfortunately, members of Congress allowed that usurpation to take place when both the House (by a vote of 250-170) and Senate (by a vote of 65-34) passed the legislation. One component of the bill authorizes the president to suspend the right of habeas corpus ‐ the Constitutionally-mandated right that allows a prisoner to request the reason for his/her incarceration from a lawful judge. The right to habeas corpus is clearly defined in Article 1, Section 9, of the U.S. Constitution: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”

The MCA, however, slaps the Constitution in the proverbial face by denying that right to certain persons detained. The MCA states:

No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or case of action, including an application for a writ of habeas corpus, pending on or filed after the date of enactment of this Act, against the United States or its agents, brought by or on behalf of any alien detained by the United States as an unlawful enemy combatant, relating to any aspect of the alien’s detention, transfer, treatment, or conditions of confinement.

For more information on the MCA please read “Are YOU the Enemy?” published in The New American magazine on October 30, 2006.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has since introduced a piece of legislation that would amend the MCA to restore habeas corpus. The bill (S. 185), titled the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 11-8 on June 7, 2007.

While it is not known when or if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will call S. 185 to a floor vote, the possibility for a vote could come at any time. While there are numerous problems with the MCA, restoring the right to habeas corpus would be a good first step in restoring the damage done to the Constitution by President Bush when he signed that bill into law.

Use this link to take action on this issue.

Sample Editable text to your legislator:

During World War II Japanese Americans were placed in detainment without criminal charges. We now recognize this was a sad, embarrassing blot on our history. Yet we are now repeating the same outrage, and giving that same justifications. I urge you to support Senator Arlen Specter's Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 (S. 185). The bill would amend the Military Commissions Act (PL 109-366) to reflect the constitutionally-mandated right of habeas corpus, as described in Article 1, Section 9, of the U.S. Constitution.

I would like to know where you stand on this issue and if you intend to support this measure when it comes up for a floor vote. Condoning torture is mankind's regression into savagery.

The classic Milgram experiment demonstrated that 60 to 65% of the people will torture another person if told to do so. The subjects of the experiment were in a civilian setting, and were not threatened in any way.

What you see in the some of the videos below will be disturbing. The question is whether you would rather see it in a video or in our prisons and police departments.

There is a video on Abu Ghraib Torture, a video showing Matt Lauer Cornering Bush on Torture, a video showing Sen. Edward Kennedy asking Alberto Gonzales about torture, a video showing David Gregory vs Bush on Torture Bill, a video about the Chinese use of torture to extract confession, then execute and a Swedish documentary on Guantanamo prisoners. This Swedish documentary is somewhat anti-American, but makes many valid points.

Any of us could be declared an "enemy combatant" merely for voicing any objection to what the US is doing.

Defenders of our detainment of "enemy combatants" will argue that we feed them well, and give them free medical and dental care. This is somewhat like those who proudly pointed out that Mussolini made the trains run on time, or that Hitler provided a low cost automobile, or that Stalin gave everyone a job and raised the standard of living of the poor.

None of those defenders of warrantless, non-jurisdictional arrests, without charges, have volunteered to spend a few years at Guantanamo so that they can receive all of these benefits.

Relevant questions are these:

How did the "detainees" wind up at Guantanamo?

Were they arrested, in their own countries, by police with proper jurisdiction?

Were they extradited to Guantanamo according to law?

Were they charged with a crime according to our own constitutional requirements of Habeas Corpus?

Are we abiding by the Geneva Convention?

How long does it take to obtain name rank and serial number?

We are destroying freedom in the name of defending freedom. In every call for more power for government there should be a reminder that nothing in the measure will abrogate constitutional rights, or the inalienable God given rights of all human beings. We must not destroy freedom in the name of defending freedom. We must be careful about elimination of rights, or the setting up of totalitarian instruments. If we abandon the heritage of liberty in order to oppose terrorists, then the terrorists accomplish their objectives.

All dictatorships centralize police power, in the hands of the chief executive of the central government. Free countries keep it spread out, and in the hands of local authorities.

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointive, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." James Madison in Federalist paper No. 47, para. 3.

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) - American judge

Editor's note: Brandeis is the Supreme Court Justice who Woodrow Wilson put into power after he had been blackmailed to sign into law the legislation passed to create the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act, which created the Federal Reserve Bank in December 1913.

"The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."


Editor's note: As YouTube is controlled by the CIA, watch at your discretion.

The Milgram Experiment Podcast (discussion and explanation)

Milgram's obedience classic experiment ( a re-enactment )


Milgram Experiment Part 1 (actual film of test)

Milgram Experiment Part 2 (actual film of test)

Abu Ghraib Torture

Matt Lauer Corners Bush on Torture

Sen. Edward Kennedy asks Alberto Gonzales about torture.

David Gregory vs Bush on Torture Bill

Chinese use torture to extract confession, then execute

Gitmo - Story of Guantanamo prisoners (Inhumane torture)


The Journal of History - Fall 2007 Copyright © 2007 by News Source, Inc.