In response to the most recent ISIS-inspired attack in New York City, President Trump has called for eliminating the 5th- and 6th-Amendment rights of Americans, at least if they’re accused of terrorism. As CBS reports it:
“We have to come up with punishment that is far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now,” Mr. Trump said during the meeting, also calling the current justice system in place for suspects in acts of terror a “joke” and a “laughing stock.”
Asked by CBS News’ Major Garrett, who was the pool reporter, whether he should be sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the president replied yes, “I would certainly consider that, yes. Send him to Gitmo. I would certainly consider that.”
As legally dubious as Guantanamo is, at least it has been the fate only of people captured overseas. Now Trump is considering using it for people arrested in the United States. Doing so would deny us of our right to “due process of law” (5th amendment), to a speedy and public jury trial in the “State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed” (6th amendment), to confront witnesses (6th amendment), and to have the aid of a lawyer (6th amendment). If that sounds just fine to you since it would be only for terrorists, remember that, if we somehow went along with Trump’s plan, then you’d have only to be accused of terrorism to lose your rights. Remember that Congress told us the PATRIOT Act powers would be used only for terrorism investigations; they were immediately put into use for drug and other crimes.
Also, Trump is just making things up – as usual. Are there Americans out there who’ve been convicted or terrorism and are being given light sentences? What is he talking about?
And once again, Trump shows his authoritarian obsession with being laughed at. See my previous post on that. He, like fascists, pushes a story of a nation humiliated and that he alone can free us from that humiliation and show the world who’s the greatest.
Trump’s authoritarianism was obvious from early in his primary campaign. He has offered us no surprises. He is exactly who he said he was during his campaign.