A Federal Appeals Court in New York has thrown out a previous ban on the enforcement of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) statute allowing the president to impose indefinite detention without trial.
A 2012 lawsuit against the NDAA, brought by Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and others, had sought to preemptively block the federal government from using the NDAA to detain them as dissidents, since the bill was extremely vague about who it could apply to and granted presidents seemingly enormous latitude on the matter.
Judge Katherine Forrest twice ruled in their favor, and in September permanently blocked the use of the NDAA’s detention clause. It is that block which was removed today by the Appellate Court, which ruled that Hedges et al hadn’t established “sufficient basis to fear detention.”
President Obama fought against the Forrest ruling, claiming it could force him to release some of the people he’s already detaining without trial, and administration officials have defended the idea of leeway on who counts as “aiding the enemy,” saying it was neither “possible nor advisable” to issue specific rules.
But while objecting to the idea of limitations in the abstract, the administration sought to avoid getting into any specifics of who it might detain with the NDAA, and simply argued that none of the listed participants in the case could prove ahead of time that they were liable to be detained. And of course once they’re detained without access to courts, they couldn’t challenge it anyhow.
Indeed, the court openly spurned the question of whether or not it could detain any of the listed people, seemingly conceding the point that Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir could conceivably be accused of “aiding al-Qaeda” for being involved in WikiLeaks, as Bradley Manning has been, and on those grounds might then be detained under the NDAA, but saying that she hadn’t proven her detention was “imminent” and therefore she couldn’t challenge it.
9 thoughts on “Appeals Court Affirms NDAA Indefinite Detentions”
Like the government wouldn't have ignored it if it had gone the other way.
It is a corrupt and cowardly ruling because it avoided addressing what was clearly a justiciable issue for which the parties had standing. It now throws us back into legal limbo where it will be literally impossible to challenge the law since the window of when a detention may be "imminent" would be very small, and once the person were detained the government could theoretically move them to an undisclosed location where it would be impossible for them to obtain legal counsel, communicate with the court, or seek habeas corpus, etc.
The Second Circuit used to be one of the grandest Courts of Appeal. Since 9/11, it has been infected by the secrecy laws and faux issues of national security, and become unwilling to stand firm on the most fundamental assaults on our Constitution by the Executive and Congress.
Kafka wrote a manual it turns out.
Anyone need anymore proof that the Courts are not there to protect the citizens from the government? As Sorkin states in ep2-1, "First thing we do is kill all the lawyers."
Larger game, I dub thee Good-Witch-Bad-Witch. It's nice that the Good Witches sued –'cept the main issue is the rights of the witches that either a majority or a powerful minority would burn. Thing is, if you really have something troublesome to say, and have some appreciable audience … you've likely been the subject of an op; obvious or not, provable or not, acting on you or just building a file. Overt kidnapping or murder is just a part of one procedure easier for them to get away with if you're not a Chomsky or a Hedges. There is a way in which 'Gubment" is right to point out that the Railroading or Star Chamber shticks would be unlikely (disadvantageous) in their case, but every such case is a witch burned or endungeoned at someone's pleasure. From the perspective of who they're challenging, it's likely both men are tolerable or even welcomed limited antithesis. The Bad Witches might be expected to 'confess.'
'We' didn't-take-care-of-it when it was e.g. Shaker Aamer, Aafia Siddiqui http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/67706 , or Bill White http://americanfreepress.net/?p=10417 . Two of those are Good Witches to people here, so I can safely assume precedents predate them. Since 'we' have our 'Bad Witches,' 'we' made our bed and now lie in it.
These kangaroo courts are worse than the executive office. Shame on them. The decision reads like it was drafted by the Obama zombie lawyers and/or whatever unit in the government is intent on ruining the life of every American.
Everything is political and for the 1%ers.
They make the laws, interpret the laws and enforce the laws – for themselves and the Ruling Class.
Catch 22 meets 1984. There is no help from any of the three branches of government, at least at the federal level. They're all out to get us.
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