RT: White House demands military prisons for Americans under NDAA

Published: 17 September, 2012, 19:41

The White House Logo.(Reuters / Adrees Latif)

The White House Logo.(Reuters / Adrees Latif)

The White House has asked the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals to place an emergency stay on a ruling made last week by a federal judge so that the president’s power to indefinitely detain Americans without charge is reaffirmed immediately.

On Wednesday, September 12, US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest made permanent a temporary injunction she issued in May that bars the federal government from abiding by the indefinite detention provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA. Judge Forrest ruled that a clause that gives the government the power to arrest US citizens suspected of maintaining alliances with terrorists and hold them without due process violated the Constitution and that the White House would be stripped of that ability immediately.

Only hours after Judge Forrest issued last week’s ruling, the Obama administration threatened to appeal the decision, and on Monday morning they followed through.

At around 9 a.m. Monday, September 17, the White House filed an emergency stay in federal appeals court in an effort to have the Second Circuit strip away Judge Forrest’s ruling from the week earlier.

“Almost immediately after Judge Forrest ruled, the Obama administration challenged the decision,” writes Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist that is listed as the lead plaintiff in the case. According to Hedges, the government called Judge Forrest’s most recent ruling an “extraordinary injunction of worldwide scope,” and Executive Branch attorneys worked into the weekend to find a way to file their stay.

“The Justice Department sent a letter to Forrest and the Second Circuit late Friday night informing them that at 9 a.m. Monday the Obama administration would ask the Second Circuit for an emergency stay that would lift Forrest’s injunction,” Hedges writes. “This would allow Obama to continue to operate with indefinite detention authority until a formal appeal was heard. The government’s decision has triggered a constitutional showdown between the president and the judiciary.”

Attorney Carl Mayer, a counsel for Hedges and his co-plaintiffs, confirmed to RT early Monday that the stay was in fact filed with the Second Circuit.

“This may be the most significant constitutional standoff since the Pentagon Papers case,” Carl Mayer says in a separate statement posted on Mr. Hedge’s blog.

Bruce Afran, who serves as co-lead counsel along with Mayer, tells Hedges that the White House could be waging a war against the injunction to ensure that the Obama administration has ample time to turn the NDAA against any protesters participating in domestic demonstrations.

“A Department of Homeland Security bulletin was issued Friday claiming that the riots [in the Middle East] are likely to come to the US and saying that DHS is looking for the Islamic leaders of these likely riots,” Afran tells Hedges. “It is my view that this is why the government wants to reopen the NDAA — so it has a tool to round up would-be Islamic protesters before they can launch any protest, violent or otherwise. Right now there are no legal tools to arrest would-be protesters. The NDAA would give the government such power. Since the request to vacate the injunction only comes about on the day of the riots, and following the DHS bulletin, it seems to me that the two are connected. The government wants to reopen the NDAA injunction so that they can use it to block protests.”

Hedges, who has previously reported for papers including the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor, argued that his job as a journalist requires him to routinely interact and converse with persons that may be considered terrorists in the eyes of the US government.

Under the NDAA, Americans “who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners” can be held in prison cells “until the end of hostilities,” vague verbiage that essentially allows for those suspect of such associations to be decided under the discretion of US President Barack Obama or any federal agent underneath him.

“Because the language is so vague in this law,” Mr. Mayer explains to RT, “if any journalist or activist is seen as reporting or offering opinions about groups that could somehow be linked not just to al-Qaeda but to any opponent of the United States or even opponents of our allies”

“I spent many years in countries where the military had the power to arrest and detain citizens without charge,” Hedges wrote when he first filed his suit in January. “I have been in some of these jails. I have friends and colleagues who have ‘disappeared’ into military gulags. I know the consequences of granting sweeping and unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation. And while my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be fought if we are to have any hope of pulling this country back from corporate fascism.”

Monday morning, Hedges once more responded to the White House’s relentless attempts to reauthorize powers granted under the NDAA, asking, “If the administration is this anxious to restore this section of the NDAA, is it because the Obama government has already used it? Or does it have plans to use the section in the immediate future?”

“The decision to vigorously fight Forrest’s ruling is a further example of the Obama White House’s steady and relentless assault against civil liberties, an assault that is more severe than that carried out by George W. Bush,” writes Hedges.“Obama has refused to restore habeas corpus. He supports the FISA Amendment Act, which retroactively makes legal what under our Constitution has traditionally been illegal — warrantless wire tapping, eavesdropping and monitoring directed against US citizens. He has used the Espionage Act six times against whistle-blowers who have exposed government crimes, including war crimes, to the public. He interprets the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act as giving him the authority to assassinate US citizens, as he did the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. And now he wants the right to use the armed forces to throw U.S. citizens into military prisons, where they will have no right to a trial and no defined length of detention.”

In his latest blog post, Hedges acknowledges, “The government has now lost four times in a litigation that has gone on almost nine months.”

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9 Responses to RT: White House demands military prisons for Americans under NDAA

  1. Sheri says:

    Jean– what do you think? Is it possible that the NDAA was put in place for the real criminal cabal? I guess, if Obama cared about the people, it would make little sense to hold them in a detention center– unless it happens to be the ones causing all the conflict. Who knows? I am just guessing. Has Obama confirmed that he sent his attorneys there to defend the NDAA?

    • Jean says:

      Sheri, I’m not going to guess on this, and that is what it would be. Why waste my time? I’m trying my best to watch, to observe . . . We just don’t know the ‘real’ truth on this – yet. Hugs, ~Jean

  2. chris says:

    Hedges writes: “It is my view that this is why the government wants to reopen the NDAA — so it has a tool to round up would-be Islamic protesters before they can launch any protest, violent or otherwise.”

    The thing is, the provision in the NDAA that allows for indefinite detention of American citizens was signed in on New Year’s Eve, 12/31/11. The Benghazi attack did not occur until 9/11/12. This makes it unlikely that it was designed to quell possible riots by American Muslims.

    More likely scenarios: It was designed to suppress dissent and instil fear in the Occupy Wall St. crowd, which was still going strong then. Or, if there’s an event (financial or otherwise) and martial law is declared, it could be used as a last ditch attempt at ‘restoring order’ or something like that.

    Besides just guessing, all I really do know is that if Bush had signed it into law people would have been completely up in arms about it, but when Obama chips away at our civil liberties somehow it’s acceptable. At this point, I hope it’s simply a fear tactic and nothing more.

  3. energygain says:

    We are fortunate to have someone as eloquent and committed as Chris Hedges defending American
    freedom to dissent. “I know the consequences of granting sweeping and unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation. And while my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be fought if we are to have any hope of pulling this country back from corporate fascism.” His experience with fascist states speaks volumes. So does his query in another interview, Where are the other attorneys who are sworn to uphold
    the Constitution.

  4. James Freeman says:

    Does anyone see the sameness of the adoration of Adolph Hitler by the vast majority of Germans durring the 1`920s and the 1930s , and what is happening today in America?
    The very people that we think were intelegent and industrious were saying that they belonged to Hitler and practically swooning in the streets at the very sight of Hitler. Young children that were in youth camps and government schools were disobeying their parents, saying ” we belong to Hitler “.
    It is hard to believe that that scenario could ever happen again …. RIGHT?
    At the end of the second world war, the country had a defeated attitude and many declared that Hitler had lied to them.
    Don’t know about you but that scene looks all too familliar, having been born in 1932, those years are still very vivid in my mind.

  5. James Freeman says:

    It is very apparent that our federal government is considering itself as America when it takes up the issue of terrorism, and not the American people as representative of our great country, as our imperialistic big brother government now considers the citizenry as terrorists if we exercise our first amendment right to critercise and partition the very people we hired (voted), to represent us, and we pay dearly with our hard earned wages. Our blisters are on our hands, their blisters are on their asses and on their tongues!

    It seems to me that the tail is wagging the dog (how rediculous this upside world has become)!

    It is no wonder that the majority of concerned citizens have come to the conclusion that the people that set our rules and mandates have been infected by the air in DC to the point of mental illness that craters on the edge of insanity!

  6. Linda says:

    Yeah he want to arrest you for crimes you might commit! Soon it will be just like in the movie minority report soon oh, there using spiders and drones now and all the chem trailes now make us batteries that’s for them to hit us with the drones, we are headed for serious police state

  7. ExtrovertedOne says:

    Obama’s REALLY dirty…I don’t care if he’s being controlled be the cabal or not. After WW2, during the trials in the Hague for Nazi war criminals, the excuse “I was just following orders” didn’t fly then, and it most definitely WILL NOT be accepted now. Moral courage certainly IS rare in this day and age, especially, it seems from the president of this corporation, the United States of America. There’s a saying that is one of my favorites and it goes like this (I may be paraphrasing) evil wins when good men do nothing. If Obama is so good, why does he not step up to the plate and fight for THE PEOPLE rather than the cabal by fighting for the NDAA? When the time comes, when Obama is no longer president, and he’s all alone, and he realizes all of the evil that he has done, he may say to himself that he was just following the cabal’s orders to save his life and the lives of the people that he loves. An excuse like that would ring hollow to brave men like George Washington, or anyone else that fought in the revolutionary war. These men not only put their lives on the line, but also put everything else that was dear to them in great peril FOR A GREATER PURPOSE. DOES OBAMA HAVE THE GUTS TO DO THAT? Evidentially, HE DOES NOT. If he did, he would not be fighting so hard to do the cabal’s will. When push comes to shove, what will Obama do? When Obama’s family is STILL threatened with death even AFTER Obama does all this stuff for the cabal because the cabal is nothing more right now than a bunch of evil, desperate (because they’ve lost) bastards, WHAT WILL BARACK OBAMA DO? By then, it will be much too late. Obviously, a person like Barack Obama will not be ready for the shift. He needs to reincarnate on Earth maybe more than a few more times to learn some more lessons, obviously.

  8. Roberto says:

    It looks like the gov is planning on the riots coming here and wants to be able to lock up people and throw away the key. It’s called baiting the hook. In order to bring the riots here, they had to go to all the trouble of paying the poor idiot to throw the trailer together poorly and then make sure it was distributed wherever they already had provocateurs ready to incite riots. And the media, always loyal to their masters took up the baton and passed it around to all media outlets to give it credibility… and it’s never been anything more than another lousy false flag operation.

    Honestly, these think tanks surely do lack imagination. And thankfully the people are waking up to being screwed around by their noses. You can only holler “Wolf” so many times and then it loses it effectiveness at inciting emotional responses.

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