Sic Transit Habeas Corpus
An excellent blog posting over HERE regarding the horrible bill the Senate is about to pass (the House version already passed) going over all the things wrong with the bill. And lots of stuff at Sullivan.
Congress suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War at President Lincoln's request AFTER he had already violated the constitution in the Merriman case and kept a rebel leader incarcerated for months without charges or a trial. But I would give Lincoln a pass as we were in the middle of a rebellion.
The so-called "War on Terror" may be lots of things, but it is no Civil War. There is no open rebellion on our soil.
This bill has so many problems and I won't list them all here, especially when others have listed them so well. But in short, we should fear a law that would grant the president sole discretion to determine who is an unlawful enemy combatant (meaning anyone engaged in undefined hostilities against the United States who is not a "lawful enemy combatant") and allows the president to detain such persons indefinitely without charges and without a trial. That is so overbroad that to call it overbroad seems understated.
If the United States stands for imprisoning people indefinitely without charging them with a crime, and torturing them using techniques perfected by Stalin, then I ask: who won the Cold War? Free societies don't do this, not to our own, and not to others.