New Legislation to Face a New Kind of Threat

Today, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law. The measure creates a full and fair judicial process for the effective prosecution of illegal alien enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States or its citizens. This legislation also protects American troops and intelligence agents engaged in authorized interrogations from frivolous civil lawsuits brought by terrorists by codifying and defining all serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Commissions.

We will continue to hunt down and capture dangerous individuals that seek to do us harm and as we do, it is critical that we ensure our ability to hold these unlawful enemy combatants responsible for their actions. This legislation provides the President and our military an important tool that will allow us to do just that.

We are fighting this war on a new type of battlefield with a new type of enemy. This enemy does not respect international standards and does not act in accordance with recognized laws of war. Therefore, we must create a new mechanism, based on the very standards that they fail to recognize, through which we can hold these individuals accountable while still ensuring basic fairness. The Supreme Court decision left the responsibility of deriving this mechanism to Congress and I am pleased that we were able create a system to bring justice to those responsible for committing these atrocities against America and its citizens. It is time that these terrorists face the consequences of their actions.

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