Skip to comments.Judge rules against NDAA indefinite detention – Obama Administration immediately appeals
Posted on 09/14/2012 10:04:47 AM PDT by JohnPierce
Judge Katherine B. Forrest should go down in history as having pulled this Republic away from the abyss of Hell.
- Naomi Wolf
On New Years Eve, December 31, 2011, President Obama signed into law H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). This innocuous sounding bill, a version of which is passed every year, contained something much different than previous versions. It contained a provision allowing the government to arrest anyone, anywhere, without a warrant, and to detain them indefinitely without trial or hearing.
For those who arent paying attention or who are willing to overlook mistreatment of foreigners in the name of the War on Terror, this is one you shouldnt ignore because it is directed at YOU. Let me repeat myself this bill gives the federal government the draconian power to arrest American citizens on American soil without a warrant and to detain them indefinitely without trial or hearing. This is a law so destructive to our concept of due process that it has drawn criticism and concern from all corners of the political spectrum.
President Obama, in signing the bill, issued a signing statement in which he says that his administration has no intention of using the powers thereby granted. However, as the Young Turks illustrate in their January 2nd, 2012 report on the NDAA signing, once signed by President Obama, this becomes the law of the land and any future administration is free to use these powers.
But perhaps I, in my libertarian zeal, am merely exaggerating the implications of the NDAA. Lets see what the ACLU has to say about it.
President Obamas action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.
For the first time in American history, we have a law authorizing the worldwide and indefinite military detention of people captured far from any battlefield. The NDAA has no temporal or geographic limitations. It is completely at odds with our values, violates the Constitution, and corrodes our Nations commitment to the rule of law.
Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today.
Nope It looks like they agree with me. And they are not the only ones. In early 2012, a group of influential progressives and anti-war activists including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Christopher Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, and Alexa OBrien filed suit against the Obama Administration seeking an injunction against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA. That case is Hedges v. Obama.
Back in May, Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York issued a temporary injunction in the Hedges case. In her injunction, she dismissed the administrations argument that the powers granted under the NDAA were no broader than those already in place from the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
In a responsive pleading filed on July 23rd, the Obama Administration imperiously demanded that the court must not decide the constitutional questions put forward by the plaintiffs. Also, they noted, even if the injunction is made permanent, they will not consider themselves bound by it because in their opinion, it would have nil effect, for the government would continue to possess the identical detention authority under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.
It never ceases to amaze me how much the left will tolerate from one of their own. If President Bush had tried to strong-arm a court and then declared that he would ignore the results in any case, there would have been round-the-clock constitutional crisis media coverage and calls for impeachment. But in the case of the Obama Administration, despite the warnings from the ACLU, no one in the mainstream media seems willing to address the issue with the seriousness it deserves.
But Judge Forrest was not intimidated and on September 12th, made her injunction permanent. She made it clear that the stakes do not get any higher than the threat of indefinite military detention during a war on terror that will probably not end in our lifetime and the vague, overbroad language in the NDAA doesnt even come close to passing constitutional muster when measured against such a threat to liberty and due process.
I join a host of other civil libertarians in saluting her wisdom and courage but the battle over indefinite detention is far from over. It took less than a day for the Obama Administration to file an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. As the ACLU has so aptly noted, the final word belongs to the Supreme Court and I suspect this case may ultimately end up before the high court.
I have to say For a president who insists he will never use this power, he is certainly willing to spend an awful lot of taxpayer money defending it. It kinda makes you say hmmm.
--EMBEDDED COURT DOCUMENTS--
Would you please provide link to the NDAA and if possible, please tell me which section authorizes this. I truly wish to read the source document. I tried looking but all I find are news reports, not the actual act.
The full text of the NDAA is available at:
The provisions in question start at Section 1021.
There isn’t a line that says “American citizens” or “American soil”. The devil is in the lack of constraints on the power.
§ 1022: (b) (1) . . . “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” but this only says that they are not REQUIRED to detain citizens. They still retain the power.
I think this may kill the rotten thing, because from this point it is just “running out the clock”, and president Romney will likely tell the Just Us Department to stop appealing.
The real problem here are the 86 US Senators who voted in favor of the damned thing. These people need to be retired.
Thanks, appreciate it.
Read the section.
I also see in Section 1021, para (c) the following:
“(e) AUTHORITIES.Nothing in this section shall be construed
to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”
I am not a lawyer, so, while it doesn’t specifically mention American citizens or American Soil, because of section 1021 (c), it doesn’t need to—as that section addresses and protects Americans.
If I am mistaken, please help me out here.
Absolutely. I was ashamed to see that both of my Senators voted for it. :(
That’s the point. The 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (AUMF) already was interpreted to allow the indefinite detention of citizens arrested in the UNited States. That needed to be corrected, not expanded.
The NDAA only strengthened the unconstitutional powers that the AUMF had already been interpreted to grant the federal government. Hence the “existing laws or authorities” language means nothing. :(
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