Professor Martin Scheinin has been examining United States practices in the war on terror, has issued a preliminary report. The Associated Press reports:
Martin Scheinin, of Finland, also said several U.S. laws enacted since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks had undermined civil liberties, citing the Patriot Act, the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military Commissions Act.
It is “regretful that a number of important mechanisms for the protection of rights have been removed or obfuscated under law and practice since the events of September 11,” Scheinin said in a preliminary report written after meeting with U.S. diplomats and justice and security officials.
There is, of course, nothing remotely surprising about Scheinin’s conclusions. They are the same as conclusions reached by American bar associations which have studied the same practices, and they match the rulings of the United States Supreme Court in Hamdan, which concludes that the Military Commissions put in place by President Bush were a violation of the requirements of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.