by Kelley B. Vlahos
August 14, 2012
While Congress was dickering over doomed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the “Freedom 7″ have been quietly gaining the upper hand over the federal government.
In fact, their successes so far have been so underreported by the mainstream media that it is hardly known that this small but determined group of plaintiffs has managed to secure a temporary injunction against the controversial NDAA measure that allows for the indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens without trial in so-called terrorism cases.
Freedom 7 plaintiffs Tangerine Bolen and Chris Hedges
“I would say it’s been a battle for us to get any mainstream coverage … it’s been a herculean effort to get anyone to pay any attention,” charged Jennifer “Tangerine” Bolen, founder of RevolutionTruth.org and a plaintiff in Hedges v. Obama, which essentially challenges Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA, passed by Congress and signed by the president late last year. The language authorizes the military detention for those responsible for, or having enabled the 9/11 attacks as well as:
(Any) person who was a 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, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
Despite strident opposition from some Democrats and libertarian Republicans on the Hill, a House amendment that would have carved U.S. citizens out of the detention policy failed miserably this spring. A signing statement by Obama that insists the act would not be used by the military to detain Americans indefinitely without trial is widely considered by critics as meaningless, mostly because there is no guarantee that subsequent administrations won’t do whatever they damn well please anyway.
Point is, the government has not clarified what defines “substantially supported” or “associated forces.” This stands at the heart of the lawsuit, led by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Christopher Hedges: that there is no guarantee the act won’t be used against reporters and activists who in the course of their work, interview or communicate with persons the U.S. government may at some point consider part of an “associated force,” risking not only the constitutional protections of freedom of speech and a free press, but the right to a fair trial and due process.
- Antiwar.com Newsletter | August 11, 2012 (antiwar.com)
- What makes our NDAA lawsuit a struggle to save the US constitution | Tangerine Bolen (guardian.co.uk)
- NDAA Lawsuit a Struggle to Save the Constitution By Tangerine Bolen, Guardian UK (jhaines6.wordpress.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 (prn.fm)