by Tangerine Bolen
The US government seems determined to have the power to do away with due process and Americans’ right to a trial.
I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the President the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. In May, following a March hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers essentially asserted even more extreme powers – the power to entirely disregard the Judge and the law. Indeed, on Monday, August 6, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that as of this writing has been scarcely reported.
In the March hearing, the US lawyers had confirmed that yes, the NDAA does give the President the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys have stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA. Judge Katherine Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law – after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. Twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law. This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying: incredibly, in this hearing, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s provision – one that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial — has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world — AFTER Judge Forrest’s injunction. In other words, they were saying to a US judge that they could not or would not state whether Obama’s government had complied with the legal injunction that she had lain down before them.
To this, Judge Forrest responded that if the provision has indeed been applied, the United States government itself will be in contempt of court. Government attorneys also, in this hearing, again presented no evidence to support their position — and brought forth no witnesses.
I have mixed feelings about suing my government, and in particular, my president, over the National Defense Authorization Act. I voted for Obama. I even had an Obama dance; and I could not stop crying for joy and pride the night he was elected. I defended him for over two years.
- NDAA on trial: White House refuses to abide with ban against indefinite detention of Americans (rt.com)
- NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About (libertyblitzkrieg.com)
- What makes our NDAA lawsuit a struggle to save the US constitution | Tangerine Bolen (guardian.co.uk)
- US attorneys refuse to assure judge that they are not already detaining citizens under NDAA (headlineclicker.com)
- What Makes Our NDAA Lawsuit a Struggle to Save the US Constitution (libertycrier.com)
- NDAA on trial: White House refuses to abide with ban against indefinite detention of Americans (EndtheLie.com)
- NDAA on trial: White House refuses to abide with ban against indefinite detention of Americans (hangthebankers.com)
- NDAA on trial: White House refuses to abide with ban against indefinite detention of Americans (johnmalcolm.me)
- Obama Admin. Files Appeal of NDAA Injunction (thenewamerican.com)
- NDAA on trial: White House refuses to abide with ban against indefinite detention of Americans (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)