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Powers of Military Tribunals


• Permit extended detention and questioning of Middle Easterners recently entering United States.

• Slow down the process for granting visas to Muslims.

• Allow monitoring of communications between people in federal custody and their lawyers.

Assault on Liberty

  • Nat Hentoff Abandoning the Constitution to Military Tribunals

  • Alan M. Dershowitz
    Military Justice Is to Justice as Military Music Is to Music

  • Norman Siegel
    No to Military Tribunals: They Are Not Fair

  • Jeffrey Herman
    Powers of Military Tribunals

  • • Non-U.S. citizens charged with terrorism can be tried in the United States, overseas, or even on military ships.

    • Suspects brought before a tribunal will have no right to seek redress in any state, federal, foreign, or international court.

    • Defendants could include suspects who attack Americans or U.S. interests.

    • May hold and try suspects in secret, with no public scrutiny. Freedom of Information Act may not apply.

    • Could impose any sentence, including death, with no judicial review.

    • May allow conviction after a “full and fair” trial by a two-thirds majority, as opposed to unanimous verdict.

    • Tribunals need not obey the principles of law and the rules of evidence used in U.S. District Courts.

    • Only the president or the secretary of defense will have the power to overturn a tribunal’s decisions.

    • The executive order has no apparent expiration date.

    • The order applies specifically to Al Qaeda.

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