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Secret Trials and Executions: Military Tribunals and the Threat to Democracy

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Secret Trials and Executions: Military Tribunals and the Threat to Democracy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Olshansky, who is Assistant Legal Director at New York's Center for Constitutional Rights, lays out a skillful argument which, point by point, shows how the "war on terrorism" at home amounts to a declaration of war on the Constitution itself...

This small book in the Seven Stories Press "Open Pamphet" series is an indispensable wake-up call to defense attorneys who may still be laboring under the illusion that our criminal justice system remains more or less intact where American citizens are concerned. It should be clear after January 8 that a political earthquake has already occurred. "

-Jordan Elgrably, Criminal Defense Weekly

Since the attacks of September 11th, there has been a sweeping revision of U.S. immigration laws, foreign intelligence gathering operations, and domestic law enforcement procedures. While aimed at countering terrorism and bringing to justice those individuals who are responsible for carrying out acts of terror against the U.S., many of these measures also involve a profound curtailment of our constitutional rights and liberties. Among the most controversial of the new measures is the unprecedented order authorizing the creation of special military tribunals to try non-citizens suspected of terrorism.

Declaring an "extraordinary emergency," George Bush unilaterally signed the measure into existence on November 13, 2001. With a single swipe of his pen, President Bush replaced the democratic pillars of our legal system with that of a military commission system in which he, or his designee, is rule-maker, investigator, accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, sentencing court, reviewing court, and jailer or executioner. This system is a radical departure from the key constitutional guarantees considered to be the heart of American democracy: the rights to a presumption of innocence, an independent judiciary, trial by jury, unanimous verdicts, public proceedings, due process, and appeals to higher courts. All of these safeguards against injustice are gone.

"The sadness and the sense of crisis that pervades the nation since September 11th is undeniable," writes Barbara Olshansky of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "This fact, however, does not justify even a partial repeal of the Bill of Rights, especially when such a repeal is unnecessary to protect the citizenry." In this Open Media Pamphlet Special Edition, Olshansky helps us step back for a moment to assess several of the Administration's recent policy pronouncements, and examine how the Constitution addresses the cardinal issues of military authority and the requirements of due process and equal protection under the law, and how the courts and Congress have defined the proper roles of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in our federal government.

To provide a framework for this analysis, Olshansky looks at the history of military tribunals, whether the current situation warrants the type of forum proposed by the President, the official positions that our government has taken with regard to the use of military tribunals by other nations, the legal basis for the specific form of military tribunal that is established by the Military Order, what alternatives exist to bring to justice those who may be guilty of such crimes, what constitutional principles are at stake in this decision, and what the decision to use military tribunals will mean in terms of this country's credibility and moral authority in the international arena. An urgent and timely Open Media Pamphlet Special Edition.

Synopsis:

Since the attacks of September 11th, there has been a sweeping revision of U.S. immigration laws, foreign intelligence gathering operations, and domestic law enforcement procedures. While aimed at counteringterrorism and bringing to justice those individuals who are responsible for carrying out acts of terror against the U.S., many of these measures also involve a profound curtailment of our constitutional rights andliberties. Among the most controversial of the new measures is the unprecedented order authorizing the creation of special military tribunals to try non-citizens suspected of terrorism.

In Secret Trials andExecutions, Olshansky helps us step back for a moment to assess several of the Bush Administration's 2001 policy pronouncements, and examine how the Constitution addresses the cardinal issues of military authority and therequirements of due process and equal protection under the law, and how the courts and Congress have defined the proper roles of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in our federal government.

Toprovide a framework for this analysis, Olshansky looks at the history of military tribunals, whether the current situation warrants the type of forum proposed by the president, the official positions that our governmenthas taken with regard to the use of military tribunals by other nations, the legal basis for the specific form of military tribunal that is established by the Military Order, what alternatives exist to bring to justicethose who may be guilty of such crimes, what constitutional principles are at stake in this decision, and what the decision to use military tribunals will mean in terms of this country's credibility and moral authority inthe international arena.

About the Author

Barbara Olshansky is the Assistant Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. She focuses on class action lawsuits concerning immigrants rights, racial discrimination in employment and education, environmental justice and public health, prisoners' rights, and Native American rights. She has developed a name as a fierce critic of Homeland Security legislation and the PATRIOT Act and as an adamant defender of civil liberties.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781609803001
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Subject:
Political Science : Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Author:
(New York, N.Y.), Center for Constitutional Rights
Author:
Olshansky, Barbara
Author:
Center for Constitutional Rights,
Subject:
Political Science : Political Freedom & Security - Human Rig
Subject:
Law : Military
Subject:
History : United States - 21st Century
Subject:
General
Subject:
CURRENT EVENTS / Law
Subject:
Law
Subject:
Civil Rights
Subject:
Constitutional law
Subject:
Constitutional
Subject:
Military law.
Subject:
Human Rights
Subject:
Military courts
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - International Secur
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Constitutional law -- United States.
Subject:
Civil rights -- United States.
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Subject:
Law-Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
January 2011
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » Politics » Human Rights
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Secret Trials and Executions: Military Tribunals and the Threat to Democracy
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Product details pages Seven Stories Press - English 9781609803001 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Since the attacks of September 11th, there has been a sweeping revision of U.S. immigration laws, foreign intelligence gathering operations, and domestic law enforcement procedures. While aimed at counteringterrorism and bringing to justice those individuals who are responsible for carrying out acts of terror against the U.S., many of these measures also involve a profound curtailment of our constitutional rights andliberties. Among the most controversial of the new measures is the unprecedented order authorizing the creation of special military tribunals to try non-citizens suspected of terrorism.

In Secret Trials andExecutions, Olshansky helps us step back for a moment to assess several of the Bush Administration's 2001 policy pronouncements, and examine how the Constitution addresses the cardinal issues of military authority and therequirements of due process and equal protection under the law, and how the courts and Congress have defined the proper roles of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches in our federal government.

Toprovide a framework for this analysis, Olshansky looks at the history of military tribunals, whether the current situation warrants the type of forum proposed by the president, the official positions that our governmenthas taken with regard to the use of military tribunals by other nations, the legal basis for the specific form of military tribunal that is established by the Military Order, what alternatives exist to bring to justicethose who may be guilty of such crimes, what constitutional principles are at stake in this decision, and what the decision to use military tribunals will mean in terms of this country's credibility and moral authority inthe international arena.

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