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President Bush's decision to consider establishing military tribunals to prosecute accused terrorists has set off a major debate on civil liberties in the United States. Supporters argue that such a measure is a constitutional necessity to address terrorism of an unprecedented scope. Opponents claim that the tribunals would undermine the rule of law and deprive defendants of the protection provided for in the American system of justice. My research and personnel experience on the subject has found the tribunals to be in direct accordance of what the President of the United States his charged to do. It’s the duty of the President to ensure the safety of all citizens. The tide of war has changed dramatically within the past twenty years with our enemies becoming more and more invisible. As the country as changed throughout history, this latest change on how we deal with our enemies is just another positive step in the right direction. The tribunal rules do not violate established criminal justice procedures because it does not target crimes usually prosecuted by the civil criminal justice system.
A military tribunal or military commission is a court-like forum that is created within the military to try a person accused of crimes. It is authorized by the U.S. Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which is a federal law (Title 10, United States Code, Chapter 47) passed by Congress. The great majority of the UCMJ is devoted to the rules concerning the trial of U.S. service personnel by court-martial. Article 21, UCMJ, however, provides authority to convene other military tribunals. Some individuals in the military could argue that members are held to a different criminal justice system than civilians. Most crimes not prosecuted by civil systems like adultery are prosecuted in the military and can lead to jail time. You will never here complainants because members of the military understand they are held to a higher standard than their civilian counterparts. With higher standards there is always a higher cost to pay when you violate them.
A military tribunal is essentially a court-martial, or a military trial, during a time of war. The rules of evidence that are in the civilian criminal trials do not apply. The tribunal ordered by Bush would target non-U.S. citizens suspected by the White House to be terrorists. The issue most people hav...

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.... The decision President Bush mad is the correct one and is proven with the response by Americans. More than fifty percent of American support tribunals and the war on terrorism. We have to learn that these people want to kill us not steal out televisions. This is a war and in war sometime we have to adjust when our enemies throw curve balls at us.
In effect, what the critics of military tribunals would have the President do is turn enemy belligerents over to civilian law enforcement authorities for prosecution. To do so, however, would not only be unprecedented, but would set a horrifically bad precedent. I support the tribunals and believe it does not violate established criminal justice procedures in place in the United States. We as a country have to accept the necessary changes to ensure the survival of our culture and way of life.


Draft of Tribunal Rules Would Require Public Trials, Death-Penalty Unanimity
By Jess Bravin. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Dec 28, 2001. pg. A.18
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