Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Military Commissions Manual Oversight Plan

There needs to be an oversight plan of the US government implementation of the Military Commissions Manual.

The implementation plan should include the lessons of the Attorney General’s reckless defiance of FISA; and ensure the US government faces timely sanctions for failing to fully comply with its Geneva requirements. It should not require multiple trips to the US Supreme Court to cure the defects with the US government’s implementation of the Military Commissions Manual.

The Supreme Court should only have to tell the Government once what it shall do: fully implement the mandatory Geneva requirements. The Attorney General has no legal foundation to assert he needs time to do something. He should find more competent DoJ Staff who will fully enforce the Geneva Conventions, not spend time on non-official business using DoJ Computers.

* * *

The Military Commissions Manual has been released.

What's needed is an oversight plan to review whether the Military Commissions Manual requirements and standards are adequate; and if they are, whether those requirements have been fully implemented.

I would hope the GAO, Congress and President jointly craft audit engagement procedures to ensure the Military Commissions Manual requirements are fully implemented, and reformed as required.

* * *

___ Addington, despite knowledge of illegal prisoner abuse in Eastern Europe, feared the change in position would be an admission of wrongdoing. Going forward, how will the Hamdan and Hamdi case results get prospectively injected into the oversight system for the Military Commissions Act; as opposed to relying on a "detection-of-illegal activity-then-delayed-response"-approach of the President?

___ Where have the real requirements operations related to fully enforcing and complying with these requirements been delegated to entities which the President is asserting do not need to comply with the Military Commissions Act?

___ How many Presidential operations -- that should fall under the Military Commissions Act-- have been delegated, hidden, classified, transitioned, renamed, assigned to a classified program budget line, or moved out of one agency to hide those activities from the court and Congress?

___ Who is the Military Commissions Manual point of contact in the various departments, Congress, and GAO?

___ What is the oversight plan of the Manual?

___ How will the GAO review the Geneva requirements and verify whether the procedures are or are not lawful?

___ What is the plan to review the approved, lawful Military Commissions Manual requirements; and evaluate whether the US Government is or is not effectively reviewing the implementation of these requirements?

___ What is the public oversight plan for this manual?

___ How will the Armed services committees, judiciary committees, and intelligence committees jointly review the effectiveness of implementing the Military Commissions Manual; what is the integration plan across the multiple committees?

___ What is the method to delegate, oversee, audit, and test the internal controls systems the DoJ OPR, DoD IG, and NSA IG as it relates to using or not using classified information for trial; and whether illegal activity, designed to support abuse of prisoners, has become an unlawful business practice; how will these illegal government practices be detected timely, forcing a timely resolution to a problem, as opposed to letting the legal issues spend half a decade as they have done with the Geneva and NSA-FISA issues?

___ How will dilatations of the rules, as they related to classified or secret proceedings, be remedied publicly?

___ How will Negroponte's concerns about the expanded NSA surveillance be brought into the nexus to test whether the classified information has been illegally captured; or whether the Congress should develop another rule or system to effectively ensure there are credible consequences on NSA, DoJ, and DoD personnel if they hide illegal activity behind the shroud of "classified secrets" or something that is in the "national security" when the real aim is to thwart enforcement of the ORCON rules prohibiting classification of illegal activity?

___ Given the US government refusal to coordinate with FISA on classified information -- as they are required to do -- why should anyone have confidence to believe that the US government, if there is a problem with rule compliance, will effectively respond to that deviation from the Military Commissions Manual?

___ What is the plan for the US government, in light of the unresolved violations of FISA, to apply these FISA-related-violation-partners to the more effective oversight plan of the Military Commissions Manual?

___ The President has thwarted DoJ OPR review of legal issues related to White House and DoJ Staff conduct of alleged illegal NSA activity and violations of FISA. The Attorney General asks that we believe he was working hard to solve this problem; yet he took more time to assert that the operations would fall under FISA, without changes to FISA, than the President took to plan the disastrous invasion and occupation of the Iraq. What is the plan to publicly ensure the DOJ OPR is given latitude to review these issues on attorney conduct; and that they will independently notify Congress, not necessarily without a direct request for a review, on issues indicating the DOJ OPR has been blocked from reviewing US government counsel conduct which may or may not violate the US Military Commissions Manual requirements?

___ There is a problem with the US government asserting that legal requirements do not apply. Reviews are not timely accomplished. What is the plan of the US government, in light of the illegal assertion that Geneva does not apply, that the US government will not require exhaustive legal reviews to compel the US government to meet the requirements in the Geneva, regardless whether the Congress does or does not approve the Military Commissions Manual?