In the long-running battle to restore the constitution a coalition of journalists and activists filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration because the NDAA was being used to silence government critical reporting and otherwise constitutionally protected activities.
The NDAA is being challenged in a lawsuit by journalists accused of supporting terrorism for reporting facts that challenge the official US government narrative.
A coalition of prominent journalist known for being critical of the United States in the War on Terror have joined forces to file a lawsuit against Barack Obama and Leon Panetta to challenge the National Defense Authorization act.
The NDAA, also known as the Homeland Battlefield Bill, has legalized a wide variety of totalitarian measures against US citizens by declaring the entire world, including the United States, a battleground in the war against terrorism and is a clear and present danger to the US Constitution.
As I reported before the bill was passed into law:
The United States Congress is set to vote on legislation that authorizes the official start of World War 3.
The legislation authorizes the President of the United States to take unilateral military action against all nations, organizations, and persons, both domestically and abroad, who are alleged to be currently or who have in the past supported or engaged in hostilities or who have provided aid in support of hostilities against the United States or any of its coalition allies.
The legislation removes the requirement of congressional approval for the use of military force and instead gives the President totalitarian dictatorial authority to engage in any and all military actions for an indefinite period of time.
It even gives the President the authority to launch attacks against American Citizens inside the United States with no congressional oversight whatsoever.
Just to recap:
- Endless War – The war will continue until all hostilities are terminated, which will never happen.
- No Borders – The president will have the full authority to launch military strikes against any country, organization or person, including against U.S citizens on U.S soil.
- Unilateral Military Action – Full authority to invade any nation at any time with no congressional approval required.
- No Clearly Defined Enemy – The US can declare or allege anyone a terrorist or allege they are or have been supporting “hostilities” against the US and attack at will.
- Authorization To Invade Several Countries – The president would have full authority to invade Iran, Syria, North Korea, along with several other nations in Africa and the Middle East and even Russia and China under the legislation all of which are “known” to have supported and aided hostilities against the United States.
In accordance with the NDAA, we have seen the US government argue that it can now impose military detention on US citizens.
That means US citizens can be arrested and thrown in jail indefinitely without a right to a trial or even a lawyer.
The US government has also asserted they can ship US citizens they detain tosecret overseas prisons where they can be tortured.
The government has even asserted NDAA they are now allowed to preemptively assassinate US citizens they decide t add to a top-secret kill list with no judicial oversight.
The NDAA authorizes the government to do these things based merely on accusations with no need to provide evidence or even proof of their allegations.
Americans were tricked into supporting the NDAA by being assured the legislation would only be used to fight enemy combatants engaged in terrorism.
The government has quickly used vague language in the bill to broaden definition of terrorism and what constitutes supporting terrorism.
In two cases KNOWN cases against US citizens we have seen the enemy combatant label being charged for simply uploading videos to YouTube.
Another US citizen has been charged as an enemy combatant for providing a link to classified information.
That classified information was publicly available on the whistle blowing website WikiLeaks.
Even Bradley Manning, who the US alleges gave WikiLeaks the classified files, now also qualifies under the broadened definition of supporting Al Qaeda.
Remember, in each of these cases all that is needed to invoke the NDAA to infinitely detain, torture, or even assassinate any of these US citizens is an allegation – no evidence of guilt or even to substantiate the allegation need be provided.
Now journalists critical of US government policies are being accused of providing support for terrorism.
Prominent journalist Chris Hedges learned about being placed on the US terror watch list after he was interrogated by Federal government officials apparently because his reporting of facts that oppose the official scripted narrative that is echoed by the corporate media reports is somehow being interpreted as supporting terrorism.
Can you see where this is heading?
Those who question, dissent or expose the government are being treated as providing support for terrorism even when they have no connections to Al Qaeda or any other terrorist organizations.
Furthermore, journalists are being silenced in fear that by reaching by even reporting on certain stories or contacting certain organizations they will become a target of the NDAA.
Chris Hedges how now filed a lawsuit against the government challenging the NDAA.
He is also being joined by a coalition of prominent journalists who have signed on to the lawsuits and issued affidavits in support of his claims.
Included on the lawsuit are Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky among others.
Naomi Wolf has also signed an affidavit in support of the lawsuit detailing how the NDAA is being used to prevent her from reporting on stories critical of the government because such stories can easily be considered as supporting terrorism.
Today they held a press conference in New York about the lawsuit.
While the corporate media ignored the law suit those advocating for the journalist were treated as wing nut conspiracy theorists as the government apologists claimed the NDAA gave the government no such powers.
Yet the federal judge who heard the case agreed that the NDAA could be used as the ‘conspiracy theorists’ alleged – namely to throw Americans in jail without trial or jury as long as the government wished without even having to provide evidence of wrongdoing.
In arriving at that decision, the federal judge issued a temporary injunction pending a final rulingdeclaring NDAA indefinite detention as unconstitutional and ordering the Obama administration to immediately cease any such illegal detentions.
Instead of following the order, Obama openly defied the federal court ban On NDAA indefinite detention and instead argued the ruling only applied to the journalists and activists named in the lawsuit.
The Judge then clarified that the ruling granted all Americans relief from such illegal detention and since that ruling not a single person being detained under the NDAA has been released.
In court last week US attorney’s for Obama refused to assure the judge Obama was following the ruling and that Americans were not currently being illegally detained under the NDAA.
The judge has warned if the order is not being followed the Obama administration is in contempt of court.
US Attorneys Refuse to Assure Judge That They Are Not Already Detaining Citizens Under NDAA
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 lawye… – 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.
But no longer. The US public often ignores his actual failings, and more importantly, entirely ignores how, when it comes to the “war on terror”, the US government as a whole has been deceitful, reckless, even murderous. We lost nearly 3000 people on 9/11. Then we allowed the Bush administration to lie and force us into war with a country that had nothing to do with that terrible day: we killed between several hundred thousand and one million Iraqi citizens, caused vast harm to our own soldiers and gutted this nation’s treasury for a war that never should have happened. Given these crimes, it is no wonder that Bush, Obama, and the US Congress appear now to be far more interested in enacting misguided, “boogieman in every corner” “war on terror” policies that distract citizens from investigating the truth about what we’ve done, and what we’ve become, since 9/11.
I, like many in this fight, am now afraid of my government. We have good reason to be. Due to the NDAA, Chris Hedges, Kai Wargalla, the other plaintiffs and I are squarely in the crosshairs of a “war on terror” that has been an excuse to undermine liberties, trample the US Constitution, destroy mechanisms of accountability and transparency, and cause irreparable harm to millions. Several of my co-plaintiffs know well the harassment and harm that they incur from having dared openly to defy the US government’s narrative: court testimony included government subpoenas of private bank records of Icelandic Parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, Wargalla’s account of having been listed as a ‘terrorist group”, and Hedges’ concern that he would be included as a “belligerent” in the NDAA’s definition of the term – because he interviews members of outlawed groups as a reporter – a concern that the US attorneys refused on the record to allay. Other advocates have had email accounts consistently hacked, and often find their electronic communications corrupted in transmission – some emails vanish altogether – a now-increasing form of pressure that supporters of state surveillance and intervention in the internet often fail to consider.
I’ve been surprised to find that most people, when I mention that I am suing my president, Leon Panetta, and six members of Congress (four Democrats and four Republicans), thank me – even before I explain what I’m suing them over! And when I do explain the fact that I and my seven co-plaintiffs are suing over a law that suspends due process, threatens first amendment rights and takes away the basic right of every citizen on this planet to not be indefinitely detained without charge or trial, their exuberance shifts, and a deeper gratitude shines through their newly somber demeanors. But this fight has taken a personal toll on many of us, including myself. This winter, as I led the campaign to amend this lawsuit and was working over 80 hours per week to get everything ready, I suddenly ended up in the emergency room, and have subsequently endured six months of a debilitating neurological illness. Thus, I have relied on an international team of volunteers, whose courage and energy has led them successfully to garner support for a lawsuit that is an attempt to restore our most fundamental of liberties.
My government seems to have lost the ability to tell – and, perhaps, even to know — the truth about the Constitution any more. I and many others have not. We are fighting for due process and for the First Amendment; for a country we still believe in; and for a government that is still legally bound to its Constitution.
If that makes us their “enemies”, then so be it. As long as they cannot call us “belligerents”, lock us up and throw away the key – a power that, incredibly, this past week US government lawyers still asserted is their right to claim . Against such abuses, we will keep fighting.
I am no radical; I am simply a moderate Democrat, suing my out-of-control government. For the sake of people everywhere, I sincerely hope we win.
For more details go to: http://stopNDAA.org
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Contributed by Alexander Higgins of Alexender Higgins Blog.