Supreme Court Allows Indefinite Detention Without Trial

Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chris Hedges – along with journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, activist  Tangerine Bolen and others – sued the government to join the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans.

The trial judge in the case asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys.

The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge.

The trial judge ruled that the indefinite detention bill was unconstitutional.  But the court of appeal overturned that decision, based upon the assumption that limited the NDAA to non-U.S. citizens:

We thus conclude, consistent with the text and buttressed in part by the legislative history, that Section 1021 [of the 2012 NDAA] means this: With respect to individuals who are not citizens, are not lawful resident aliens, and are not captured or arrested within the United States, the President’s [Authorization for Use of Military Force] authority includes the authority to detain those responsible for 9/11 as well as those who were 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—a detention authority that Section 1021 concludes was granted by the original AUMF. But with respect to citizens, lawful resident aliens, or individuals captured or arrested in the United States, Section 1021 simply says nothing at all.

The court of appeal ignored the fact that the co-sponsors of the indefinite detention law said it does apply to American citizens, and that top legal scholars agree.

Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the case, thus blessing and letting stand the indefinite detention law stand unchanged….

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/ndaa.html

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