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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:44 AM

 

Feinstein amendment doubles down on NDAA's assault on constitutional rights

As I reported here, last spring a group of journalists and activists... sued President Obama to halt the implementation of Section 1021 in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would have allowed for the indefinite detention of Americans without charge or trial. The vague definition of who could be detained included individuals who were seen to provide "substantial support" to al-Qaida's "associated forces" – wording that provided no protection for journalists interviewing, for example, detainees in Guantánamo, or activists and advocates working with prisoners on their cases.

I was present in Judge Katharine Forrest's New York courtroom when she repeatedly asked Obama's lawyers if they could assure her that Section 1021 could not be used to detain people engaged in journalism or peaceful protest. The government's lawyers repeatedly refused to give her those assurances, or assurances that US citizens were not already being detained under the NDAA. Forrest ultimately blocked the implementation of the act.

But the US government appealed the ruling. In October, a court agreed to stay the implementation of Forrest's injunction and hear the appeal. Afran has read the government's new brief for the case, and pointed out that the lawyers now argue that the NDAA won't be used to militarily detain individuals considered "independent journalists" or "independent" public advocates without charges or trial.

Who is considered an "independent journalist"? Afran noted, for example, that journalists associated with an outlet – like Bob Woodward – would not be considered "independent journalists", but self-employed or unemployed journalists are (though, in journalism, contracts and associations are much more complicated than that). He also added that almost all advocates are not "independent", as they are part of a movement or group with a philosophy. So, in the government's brief, the lawyers have gone even further than they did before in corralling new types of individuals who can legally be detained indefinitely without a civil trial.

To make matters worse, a recent development sees the threat of the NDAA on US citizens increasing. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein recently introduced an amendment to the 2013 NDAA, which, at first, seems to protect Americans' due process – but, on closer examination, can be easily misinterpreted... "First of all, the Feinstein amendment does not say that people in the US can't be put into military custody. It simply says they can't be taken into indefinite military custody without 'trial'. If they are taken into military custody, they have to be given a trial of some sort – but not due process in a civil court....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/05/feinstein-amendment-ndaa-assault-constitutional-rights

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Reply Feinstein amendment doubles down on NDAA's assault on constitutional rights (Original post)
HiPointDem Dec 2012 OP
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #1
Le Taz Hot Dec 2012 #2
msongs Dec 2012 #3
patrice Dec 2012 #4

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:47 AM

1. Of course she does. She's one of the worst Democratic ruling class elitists in the Senate.

 

& R

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:07 AM

2. And you can't PRY that

79-year-old war profiteering harpy out of that fucking seat that she was JUST re-elected to with the blessing of the CDP and the DSCC. She's there for another 6 years.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:20 AM

3. instead of blaming feinstein you can praise obama when he vetos this lololololol nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:21 AM

4. Still has to be reconciled with the House doesn't it? The 2 versions differ on

Feinstein's issues, right?

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