Feds Urge Judge to Lift Her Order Barring Enforcement of Indefinite Detention

by on May 26, 2012 · 4 comments

in American Empire, Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, History, Military

U.S. prosecutors asks Manhattan Federal Judge Katherine Forrest to undo ruling against military detention law

By Basil Katz / Chicago Tribune – Reuters / May 25, 2012

NEW YORK – Federal prosecutors on Friday urged a judge to lift her order barring enforcement of part of a new law that permits indefinite military detention, a measure critics including a prize-winning journalist say is too vague and threatens free speech.

Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest this month ruled in favor of activists and reporters who said they feared being detained under a section of the law, signed by President Barack Obama in December.

The government says indefinite military detention without trial is justified in some cases involving militants and their supporters.

But critics worry that the law is unclear and gives the Executive Branch sole discretion to decide who and what type of activities can be considered as supporting militants.

The judge’s preliminary injunction bars the government from enforcing section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions.

The section authorizes indefinite military detention for those deemed to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”

In a brief filed in New York late on Friday, the government said the plaintiffs in this particular case had nothing to fear.

 “As a matter of law, individuals who engage in the independent journalistic activities or independent public advocacy described in plaintiffs’ affidavits and testimony, without more, are not subject to law of war detention as affirmed by section 1021,” prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office wrote.

 During oral arguments in March, Forrest heard lawyers for former New York Times war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and others argue that the law would have a chilling effect on their work.

The judge said she was worried by the government’s reluctance at the March hearing to say whether examples of the plaintiffs’ activities – such as aiding the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in the case of Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of parliament in Iceland – would fall under the scope of the provision.

Bruce Afran, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the government’s brief failed to address fundamental concerns about what type of conduct is outside the law, and which person or group is deemed sufficiently “independent” of enemy forces.

 “It is surprising that the government is pursuing this case because it has other statutes that specifically target terrorist groups,” Afran said.

 The government noted that courts rarely intervene in matters directed by the Executive Branch.

 “Issuing an injunction regarding the President himself, or restraining future military operations (including military detention) … would be extraordinary,” prosecutors wrote, noting that they were considering an appeal of the judge’s order.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rwolf May 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm

NDAA Indefinite Detention—is Fascism
It is no surprise The P{resident’s Federal prosecutors recently urged a federal judge to lift her order barring enforcement of a vague part of NDAA that permits indefinite military detention and threatens free speech.

NDAA 2012 can be used by a tyrannical U.S. Government to have arrested without probable cause—any lawful protester, writer, speaker on the pretext they are a Belligerent. NDAA can be used by the President to indefinitely incarcerate (silence) ANYONE who would dare speak out, protest or write against a government policy, coalition partner or support any issues opposed by the President or Administration. NDAA Indefinite Detention provisions appear written so the President, Justice Department and military can arrest lawful Americans—that exercise their Constitutional Right of Free Speech and Assembly.

Should this brave federal judge give in to Obama’s Federal prosecutors, restore the fascist Indefinite Detention provisions of NDAA, President Obama will have the power to incarcerate any American without probable cause—or their knowing the charges against them, no right to an attorney, trial or judicial proceeding. Fascism? President Obama would have Americans believe the President needs this power in some cases. Does President think Americans are dumb? NDAA includes the term “Belligerent” allowing U.S. Government and the military to round up and Indefinitely Detain unlimited numbers of Americans not involved in terrorism.

Under NDAA 2012, thousands of Americans may already be subject to Indefinite U.S. Military Prison Detention without charges or right to an attorney or trial? Most American activists don’t know what other activists and groups they networked or associated did before NDAA 2012—that the President or Justice Department retroactively may alleged under NDAA was illegal. The National Authorization Act of 2012 and USA Patriot Act are expansive and vague—what constitutes (1) supporting or aiding terrorists, (2) a terrorist act; (3) when someone is a “Combatant” or (4) “a Belligerent.” For example, Americans advocating, attending or supporting a meeting or protest demonstration against a U.S. Government Agency; Policy or U.S. Military Action—could be charged with (1) (2) (3) and (4) under NDAA and the Patriot Act.

Under NDAA, corrupt federal and local law enforcement need only plant evidence; entrap participants of lawful groups to cause indefinite detention of group participants and supporters. Under NDAA framed and entrapped Americans may not even have access to an attorney.


Prattle On, Boyo May 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm

And we thought Bush was tyrannical. Clearly, Obama is his 3rd term.


Sunshine May 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

the constitution and bill of rights afford me the luxury to boldly say ‘fuck the NDAA and the branches of the government who’s members are nothing more than thugs, thieves, and greedy bastards’ if I were so inclined to say something of this nature. No one can take away my voice, yet more and more the government thinks they somehow have a right to silence this Uppity Woman.

I say Ron Paul 2012.


mr.rick May 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm

We might as well elect Romney and get this show on the road. The last time we were in these straits it took “Tricky Dick” to wake us up. As long as we give our first black President slack, the Banksters are just gonna tighten their grip. A whole bunch of people better wake up in a hurry or all hell is gonna break loose.


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