2 June 2004

A legal question

I have a question for anyone with a legal background:

The US is currently at "war" with "terror," and the president has therefore been authorized by Congress to do whatever he feels is necessary to win the fight against terror. Until a Supreme Court decision says otherwise, the president, as Commander in Chief, apparently has the right to broadly order the arrest of anyone (including Americans) anywhere (including in the US) without a trial (the Padilla case is an example of this). These people can be tortured (as in Guantanamo) and killed (as will happen in the Guantanamo execution chambers being built) without any oversight. Of course, the president himself is not doing this, but rather, those in the military, all of whom are below him in rank. In short, the president and anyone in the military (who believes they are following an order) apparently now have the right to grab anyone anywhere and hold them, torture them, or kill them. Moreover, there is no way for us, as citizens, to know the extent to which this is going on, as such actions are classified. So my question is this: A local commander reads this blog and decides that I'm a terrorist and should therefore be captured and held incognito. In the process, I'm killed. Later, through a great deal of serendipity, someone above the local commander decides that executing me was not kosher. Now as I see it, at this point, there are two possible outcomes. (1) The local commander is reprimanded and gets a checkmark on his record (perhaps he doesn't make colonel at his next promotion board), or (2) nothing.

Am i mistaken about the law here? Can someone with some more advanced knowledge of the law help me out? But please don't tell me it won't happen because the local commander is a nice guy, that you saw him fishing with his son last weekend. The heads of the Nazi death-camps also went fishing with their sons, kissed their daughters goodnight, listened to classical music, and shot kids and tortured pregnant women as part of their dayjob.

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