Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Travel Advisory for Visitors to the United States

By       Message Stephanie Westbrook       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 3258
- Advertisement -
As U.S. citizens, October 17 will be remembered as a dark day in our nation's history, the day George W. Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The new law, authorized by Congress (on yet another dark day), gives the president unprecedented powers to imprison anyone he considers an "unlawful enemy combatant" and to try those so labeled via military commissions.

The signing of this bill into law raises the question: does the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs plan to issue a travel advisory for its citizens traveling to the United States? If so, such an advisory should explain that it will be the president who decides, according to a vague and ambiguous definition, who should be labeled as an "unlawful enemy combatant." This definition includes not only those who are "engaged in hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents," but also those who "purposefully and materially support" hostilities. The evidence used to make such a determination may remain classified.

The travel advisory should emphasize that non-U.S. citizens labeled as "unlawful enemy combatants" may be arrested and imprisoned indefinitely without charge. In fact, the new law eliminates the right of habeas corpus, the right of detainees to challenge their imprisonment in court.

According to the terms of this law, if and when a prisoner is tried, it will be via a military commission convened by the Secretary of Defense or other military official and composed of a military judge, prosecutor and defense attorneys. The detainee will not benefit from legal protections considered essential by international standards. Evidence may be kept secret from the detainee and the military commissions may allow evidence obtained through methods most would consider torture. The approved "interrogation techniques" will be decided by the president and will not be made public. In addition, the right to appeal has been all but eliminated and any appeal based on the Geneva Conventions will be denied.

- Advertisement -
And finally, the advisory should remind travelers that in January of 2006, Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, won a $385 million contract to build detention centers in undisclosed locations within the United States to be used, as stated in a company press release, for the "rapid development of new programs."


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Stephanie Westbrook is a U.S. citizen who has been living in Rome, Italy since 1991. She is active in the peace and social justice movements in Italy.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A concerted effort from Europe against Israeli produce exporter Agrexco

Absurdity Is the Norm in the Gaza Strip

Questioning Our Special Relationship with Israel

AIPAC: Telling a Whopper

U.S. Military Base in Vicenza, Italy Gets Final Approval