tagged w/ Indefinite Detention
By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, January 16, 2012
Less than a month after the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law, President Barack Obama faces a lawsuit because of its highly controversial provisions regarding the detention of suspected terrorists.
Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint against Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on behalf of journalist Chris Hedges. The complaint states that the law violates the First and Fifth Amendments.
The $662 billion defense spending bill contained a controversial section that required terrorism suspects to be detained by the military without trial, regardless of where they were captured.
Despite language in the law that states it does not affect existing authorities relating to the detention of U.S. citizens or others captured within the U.S., Hedges claims that it still allows the government to detain Americans indefinitely without trial.
“I spent many years in countries where the military had the power to arrest and detain citizens without charge,” Hedges explained at TruthDig. “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.”
While signing the bill, Obama issued a signing statement in which he pledged that the new laws would not violate Americans’ constitutional rights. But human rights advocates said that did not prevent future administrations from abusing the law.
The complaint alleges that Hedges could fall within the scope of the law. As part of his job as a journalist, he has direct communications with persons who are likely to be deemed engaged in hostilities with the United States. The detention provisions cover anyone who has “substantially supported” or “directly supported” “al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”
Hedges said at TruthDig that the controversial bill passed “because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can.
"Take your Civil Liberties, at no Cost!!!"By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, January 16, 2012
Less than a month after the National... more
The White House intern changes the subject.
The geeks at Anonymous probably think they are having more fun publishing the Twitter handles of the 83 senators who approved the NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act, last Thursday, on Bill of Rights Day, which okays indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. But buried in the information dump is a truly amazing piece of information, which could have been put together from public records, but which Anonymous actually brought to the fore.
Anonymous singles out Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) for receiving a particularly large sum from companies and PACs lobbying for the NDAA. From the RT report:
Robert J. Portman…we are truly disturbed by the ludicrous $272,853 he received from special interest groups supporting the NDAA bill that authorizes the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.
Even in Washington terms, over a quarter million is a ridiculous amount of money from special interest groups supporting an issue to any single legislator. Congressmen have been bought for far less, with around $50,000 considered a serious ante at anyone’s table, and much less merely keeping you in the game.
Then RT reports:
“Among the supporters of NDAA are California-based manufacturer Surefire, L.L.C., who won a $23 million contract from the Department of Defense three months ago.
Read full article
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/19/1046972/-Anonymous:-Night-Raid-Equipment-Maker-Lobbied-for-NDAA,-Singles-Out-Sen-Rob-PortmanThe geeks at Anonymous probably think they are having more fun publishing the Twitter... more
By failing to stand against the Defense Authorization Act, Barack Obama has rubber stamped the provision allowing indefinite detention of American citizens without due process within our own borders. It is an insult to the founding fathers, and affront to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.By failing to stand against the Defense Authorization Act, Barack Obama has rubber... more
Cenk is steamed to say the least!
1 year ago
On 15 December 2011, Angelenos gathered at the Los Angeles Federal Building to protest the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) 2012 which contains provisions allowing for indefinite detention of US citizens by the government without a trial.
Both the House and Senate passed the bill this week. Officials at the White House state that President Obama intends to sign the bill.
http://youtu.be/Z89K19SPTwoOn 15 December 2011, Angelenos gathered at the Los Angeles Federal Building to protest... more
I happen to think that, as Progressives, we have a greater responsibility to question the President on his policies, because we’re the ones who put him into office, and if we refuse to be honest about our own guy, then all of those derisive spitballs lobbed at the other side are nothing more than a grand exercise in hypocrisy of the worst kind.
http://veracitystew.com/2011/12/16/betrayal-obama-to-sign-national-defense-authorization-video/I happen to think that, as Progressives, we have a greater responsibility to question... more
While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.
Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.
The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.
The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.
I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?
The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.
But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.
In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”
The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.
In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.
The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.
Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-beingWhile nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the... more
Some people choose to be blind.
White House intern MPH confronts the president on the toilet.
It is starting to look like the president who campaigned on closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay may end up doing something wholly different: signing a law that would pave the way for terrorism suspects to be held indefinitely.
Administration officials are looking at the possibility at codifying detention without trial and are awaiting legislation that is supposed to come out of Congress early next year.
Analysts say two key events have conspired to force President Obama's hand on indefinite detention legislation. Last week, a New York jury nearly acquitted Ahmed Ghailani, a young Tanzanian who was charged with more than 280 counts of murder and conspiracy for his alleged role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa; and Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in midterm elections.
Case Highlights Administration's Dilemma
Obama administration officials had thought the Ghailani case would be a slam-dunk. Four other men were convicted of the same crime in the same New York federal court back in 2002.
But in this case, after five days of deliberation the jury convicted Ghailani of a single charge of conspiracy.
"The jury came within one count of acquitting him entirely," says Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "And had that happened that would have put the government in an enormously difficult position because if you hold a trial and somebody is acquitted, it kind of violates our sense of what a trial is to say, well, we're going to hold him anyway."
Ghailani was never going to walk out of the courtroom a free man because the Obama Justice Department, from Attorney General Eric Holder on down, has made clear that if any high-profile terrorism suspects are acquitted, they will never go free. They would be held as enemy combatants instead.
Juan Zarate, a former deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration and now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says that's a huge problem. When prosecutors can hold someone behind bars even without proving their case the criminal trial becomes a show trial.
The way the Obama administration has approached this has been less than clear. They have applied different legal frameworks for different problems and that has created confusion.
- Juan Zarate, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and former deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration
"When the attorney general is asked if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind] or, in this case, Ghailani is acquitted, and the answer for all intents and purposes is he'll remain in custody regardless of the verdict, that is a problematic answer in the context of the use of the criminal legal system," Zarate says.
"Heads I win, tails you lose, is not the way our justice system is supposed to work," he adds.
If holding someone indefinitely as a fallback position is a bad idea, there are only a couple of alternatives. One is to try suspects in a military commission — which operates under different rules of evidence, although analysts are quick to say that the evidence that was barred from the federal trial in the Ghailani case probably wouldn't have been admissible in a military commission either.
Another option is to imprison terrorism suspects without ever going to trial — to just hold them.
And that's what lawmakers are looking at now. In August, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina quietly introduced a bill that would codify indefinite detention. He wanted to answer questions such as what kind of enemy combatant could be locked up without trial? How much evidence would government need to do that?
While the idea of holding suspects indefinitely without charge is against everything the American legal system stands for, it is happening already: Mohammed was captured in March 2003 and has been in Guantanamo Bay since September 2006.
What would be new are clear rules to govern the practice. Right now, the administration says that it can hold terrorism suspects under the laws of war, a principle that has been upheld by the courts. There is also some legal cover in the resolution Congress passed in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks that provides sweeping powers to the executive to keep America safe.
"We need a framework that is legal and defensible that balances the individuals' rights with the right of the government to defend itself," says Zarate. "The way the Obama administration has approached this has been less than clear. They have applied different legal frameworks for different problems and that has created confusion."
Even if the Obama administration wanted to try low-level detainees in U.S. courts, it faces so much opposition from Congress it would be hard to do. And now, with the new Republican majority in the House, what was once very hard could become impossible.
It is un-American to hold people without charge or trial. Codifying indefinite detention will end up legitimizing it.
- Laura Murphy of the ACLU's Washington office.
That's why analysts say that Obama, rather than close Guantanamo, will end up having to support a law that holds suspects indefinitely. As one administration official who is privy to the deliberations told NPR, "I can’t see a way around that outcome right now."
Zarate says the mixed verdict in the Ghailani case shows that the administration needs to define detention better than it has. "The decision on signing legislation on indefinite detention may be crystallizing in certain ways, especially in the post-election environment," he says. "They are going to begin to speak about it more publicly and more directly. I think in many ways they have already made this decision."
Civil Liberties Groups Cry Foul
"It is un-American to hold people without charge or trial," says Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington office. "Codifying indefinite detention will end up legitimizing it."
What, she asks, if the detainees suspected of terrorism are actually innocent? What kind of system would there be to determine that? Would there be any kind of judicial review? If this applies to terrorism now, she asks, how long before it applies to drug lords or human traffickers or organized crime?
Wittes of the Brookings Institution sees it differently. He says indefinite detention without rules, which essentially is what is happening now, should concern people more. Individual judges, U.S. attorneys and civil liberties lawyers are handling this on a case-by-case basis. And that is making the process murky.
"If your concern is not legitimizing it, lying about it is a very strange way to do that," says Wittes. "And what we are doing is lying to ourselves about the detention which we engage in."
Incoming House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas is working on a companion bill to Graham's effort. His aides declined to provide any detail about legislation that is in the works.
And administration officials told NPR that they didn't want to discuss the legislation before they actually see what's in it.
What seems clear at this point, however, is that one of the things to come out of the new Congress is going to be something that deals squarely with detainee detention.
http://www.infowars.com/obama-administration-weighs-killing-fourth-amendment/It is starting to look like the president who campaigned on closing the prison at... more
1. Your tax dollars at work… in Obamastan
2. A cum blast from the past
3. Future crimes today
4. The Winter Olympigs
5. Worldwide Resistance Report
7. Ward Churchill deconcstruct’s Obama’s Cairo speech1. Your tax dollars at work… in Obamastan
2. A cum blast from the past