Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:32 PM
marmar (68,233 posts)
NDAA Indefinite Detention Provision Challenged In Federal Appeals Court
(HuffPost) Obama administration lawyers defended the military's indefinite detention powers in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, claiming civil liberties advocates have painted a false impression that the executive branch will go "driving around in black vans and picking up people we don't like" under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
A lawyer for the government's opponents, Bruce Afran, spoke out against the "dictatorial" power of indefinite detention under the law, saying at a press conference after the hearing that "if this power is upheld, it means that Americans can be subject to military imprisonment."
The NDAA allows the military to indefinitely detain anyone who "substantially supported" al Qaeda or its allies. At issue during the Wednesday hearing was whether US citizens are included under that definition -- and what exactly it means to "substantially" support al Qaeda. Three judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals peppered both sides with questions during the oral arguments, but seemed reluctant to wade into the constitutional issues that civil liberties advocates have raised.
The plaintiffs in the case, who include former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, argue that the standards by which the government may detain al Qaeda supporters under the NDAA are so vague that journalists and others reasonably fear detention merely because they have been in contact with terrorists. .................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/ndaa-indefinite-detention-lawsuit_n_2632254.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
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