Military Commissions Act of 2006 (opposition)
From OpenCongress Wiki
Many individuals and organizations opposed one or more of the provisions in the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This page documents those in opposition, as well as their respective justifications for doing so.
Note: This page covers the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (opposition). It, along with Military Commissions Act of 2006 (evolution and passage), is a sub-article of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 page, which is itself a sub-article of the main Congresspedia article on War on Terror detainee legislation.
Organizations opposing the bill
Former military officials opposing the bill
Letter to Senate Armed Services Committee
On September 15, 2006, 29 retired military leaders signed a letter to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee urging Congress to reject any provision that would redefine Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, or downgrade it's intended standards for humane treatment in any way. The letter concluded:
- “We believe -- and the United States has always asserted -- that a broad interpretation of Common Article 3 is vital to the safety of U.S. personnel. But the Administration's bill would put us on the opposite side of that argument. We urge you to consider the impact that redefining Common Article 3 would have on Americans who put their lives at risk in defense of our Nation. We believe their interests, and their safety and protection should they become prisoners, should be your highest priority as you address this issue." (Read the full letter ) 
The following is a list of former officers that signed the letter, in addition to other comments they have made concerning either the bill or detainee treatment itself.
- General Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.) - "Different kinds of interrogation techniques, most specifically, those that are more gentle, but persistent, that cause a detainee to gain confidence in his interrogator and so forth, usually produce better information." 
- General John Shalikashvili, USA (Ret.)
- Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.)
- Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr., USA (Ret.)
- Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.)
- Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.)
- Vice Admiral Albert H. Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.)
- Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, USA (Ret.)
- Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, USN (Ret.)
- Major General John Batiste, USA (Ret.)
- Major General Eugene Fox, USA (Ret.)
- Major General John L. Fugh, USA (Ret.)
- Rear Admiral Don Guter, USN (Ret.)
- Major General Fred E. Haynes, USMC (Ret.) - "We Americans have been so thoroughly imbued with the idea that you have to treat prisoners humanely...treating an individual decently you are much more likely to get any information you might want — and it's more likely to be correct." 
- Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, USN (Ret.) - "We care very, very much about the country and the military — and that's why [we] are speaking out." 
- Major General Melvyn Montano, ANG (Ret.)
- Major General Gerald T. Sajer, USA (Ret.)
- Brigadier General David M. Brahms, USMC (Ret.)
- Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.) - "When you have a winking-and-nodding policy [as was the case at Abu Ghraib], that just brings about the consequences that we came to view at [the prison]." 
- Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote, USA (Ret.)
- Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.)
- Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Ret.)
- Brigadier General Richard O'Meara, USA (Ret.)
- Brigadier General Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.)
- Brigadier General Anthony Verrengia, USAF (Ret.)
- Brigadier General Stephen N. Xenakis, USA (Ret.)
- Ambassador Pete Peterson, USAF (Ret.)
- Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, USA (Ret.)
- Honorable William H. Taft IV 
Fmr. JCS Chairman and Sec. of State Colin Powell speaks out
In a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), an opponent of the original bill proposed by the administration, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman and Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed his opposition to the administration's proposal. In the letter, he stated, “The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism...To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts...Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.”  (Read Powell’s letter in its entirety)
Fmr. JCS Chairman John Vessey speaks out
In a separate letter, addressed to McCain, former U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Vessey, said:
- “If such legislation is being considered, I fear that it may weaken America in two respects. First, it would undermine the moral basis which has generally guided our conduct in war throughout our history. Second, it could give opponents a legal argument for the mistreatment of Americans being held prisoner in times of war." 
Articles and Resources
- Warren Richey, "New lawsuits challenge Congress's detainee act. Even before Bush has signed the legislation, defense lawyers are suing over its constitutionality," Christian Science Monitor, October 6, 2006.
- Nat Hentoff, "Congress Bows To Bush. New Military Commissions Act gives president more power than ever," Village Voice, October 8, 2006.
- Jim Lobe, "Scrapping the Geneva Conventions," Global Politician, October 10, 2006.
- "Olbermann: 'Why does habeas corpus hate America'," Crooks and Liars, October 10, 2006. (WMV and QT formats). re Keith Olbermann
- John Amato, "Countdown Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: 'Your words are lies, Sir'," Crooks and Liars, October 18, 2006. (WMV and QT formats).
- "We can kill you and you may not object," Once Upon a Time.... Blog, October 18, 2006.