President Bush has called it vital for his war on terrorism; however, one opposition Democrat Senator said his country would look back on the day as a “stain” on the nation’s history. The US President has signed into law a new bill that authorises tough interrogation of terrorism suspects and trials before military commissions. He said the law would help bring to justice those believed to be responsible for the September 11 attacks.
“It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill he knows will save American lives,” said Bush. “I have that privilege this morning. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the war on terror.”
E. Vincent Warren at the Centre for Constitutional Rights says his organisation will launch a legal challenge. “This bill puts in the president’s power, solely, the ability to determine who is and who is not an enemy combatant, even US citizens,” said Warren. “This bill also allows for non-citizens to be detained indefinitely, pulled up wherever they appear – whether they are on the battlefield or not.”
Critics of the law also claim suspects will not be able to challenge their detention or treatment in court, and authorities will be able to try people based on secret evidence.