House Panel Flip-Flops on Military Commission Bill, ACLU Says Proposal Undermines Due Process, Geneva Conventions

September 20, 2006 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today condemned the House Judiciary Committee as that panel approved the White House’s proposal on military commissions after an earlier vote to reject it. Earlier, the committee failed, on a vote of 17-20, to approve H.R. 6054, with Representatives Jeff Flake (R-NM), Bob Inglis (R-SC) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) voting with the Democratic members. The committee then moved to report the proposal with an unfavorable recommendation. However, the committee later revisited the issue, and on a vote of 20-19, approved the bill favorably.

The following may be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“The House Judiciary Committee’s initial rejection of the White House proposal on military commissions was an affirmation of our nation’s commitment to due process and the Geneva Conventions. Unfortunately, the committee reversed its principled stance when it later voted to approve the bill. President Bush’s proposal fails to remedy the problems outlined by the Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and would weaken America’s standing in the world as a protector of human rights. The failings of the White House bill have been recognized by many veterans, military law experts and conservative members of Congress. We urge all lawmakers to reject the president’s proposal which violates the very core of who we are as Americans.”

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