February 12, 2013

Is Obama already holding US citizens illegally?

John Glaser, Anti-War - In Hedges v. Obama, journalists and academics including Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, et al. are battling against the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes provisions granting the power to indefinitely detain individuals, including US citizens, suspected of allying with or supporting “terrorists.”

Late last year, Judge Katherine B. Forrest blocked the government from enforcing those particular statutes on grounds that they violate Constitutionally guaranteed rights to due process. In response, the Obama administration immediately appealed Forrest’s ruling, asking for an “immediate stay,” or suspension of the case’s proceedings. When Forrest denied the request, the government went to the Second US Court of Appeals in Manhattan and asked another judge for an emergency stay, which Judge Raymond J. Lohier granted. The latest appeals court extended the stay, undermining Judge Forrest’s ruling that the government should be barred from enforcing the law.

Consider how panicked the government’s response here was. Following Forrest’s decision, they scrambled to get a hold of Lohier at 9:00 AM the following day, and overrule the injunction. Chris Hedges, the lead plaintiff in the case, speculates that this is an indication that the Obama administration is already depriving citizens of due process under the NDAA provisions. The hurried response to Forrest’s decision was done, he says, because the US government might otherwise have been in contempt of court.

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