On Dec 31, 2011, Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012(NDAA) enacting provision 1021 which allows the US president to use our military to indefinitely detain US citizens & US residents in the US and around the world even on unproven suspicion of being or substantially supporting terrorism without the right to a trial & to held in prison indefinitely until the end of hostilities with terrorists which could be years from now which was passed in the House December 1st 283 to 136 and with bipartisan support in the Senate 93 to 7. This violates our 1st and 5th amendment rights.
If you think this provision to detain American citizens/ US residents (any person) without the right to an attorney and trial and to be held indefinitely in prison is unjust, please sign this petition urging the 2nd Circuit Court and the United States Supreme Court to declare provision 1021 unconstitutional in the federal case of Hedges VS Obama. See the provision below.
Sec 1021 (b)(2) states: A person who was 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, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
(c)(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
It is precedented that the case will go all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Since the bills introduction earlier last year, Obama said he would veto it, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder have said these provisions are harmful and counterproductive. Directors of the FBI, the CIA, the National Intelligence Director have also contested the same about this unlawful provision, so why has our congress approved it for our president to sign?
On January 13th 2012, Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint on behalf of Chris Hedges, famous journalist and author along with 6 high-profile plaintiffs against the provision and their defendants Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and 6 other high-profile defendants.
On May 16, 2012 Federal Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled provision 1021 unconstitutional violating 1st & 5th amendment rights. In August, Obama and Panetta filed an appeal against her ruling. In September, Judge Forrest rejected the goverments appeal and issued an permanent injunction against Sec 1021 rendering it useless. The next day, Obama appealed the permanent injunction to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. In October they granted Obama a stay on Judges Forrests permanent injunction until the appeal is rendered therefore the provision can still be used at this time.
On November 6, 2012, the government filed its opening brief to Second Circuit Court criticizing Forrests interpretation of 1021's "associated forces" while during the first court hearing on the case Forrest asked the government many times if this term in anyway applied to the plaintiffs. The government would not answer her or stated they couldn't give her a clear example at this time leaving her to interpret the term for herself and concluded the plaintiffs chills speech argument to be true.
Chris Hedges the main plantiff believes the governments immediate response to this is suspicious stating"The request by the government to keep the law on the books during the appeal process raises a disturbing question. If the administration is this anxious to restore this section of the NDAA, is it because the Obama government has already used it? Or does it have plans to use the section in the immediate future?"
"The Government was unable to offer definitions for the phrases ‘substantially support’ or ‘directly support. In particular, when the Court asked for one example of what ‘substantially support’ means, the Government stated, ‘I’m not in a position to give one specific example.’ When asked about the phrase ‘directly support,’ the Government stated, ‘I have not thought through exactly and we have not come to a position on ‘direct support’ and what that means.’ In its pre-trial memoranda, the Government also did not provide any definitional examples for those terms.” - Federal Judge Katherine Forrest
"Although government lawyers argued during the trial that the law represented no change from prior legislation, they now assert that blocking it imperils the nation’s security."-Chris Hedges
"The scariest development in the indefinite detention battle is that under the National Defense Reauthorization Act of 2012 recently signed, you as an American citizen can be detained forever without trial, while the allegations against you go uncontested because you have no right to see them." - Guantanamo Bay Military Attorney Lt. Col. Barry Wingard
"The NDAA leaves too much to presidential interpretation. President Obama’s signing statement already suggests that he believes his administration has the authority to indefinitely detain Americans - only that he chooses to not use it. Furthermore, no guarantee exists that future administrations will not interpret the law to do so"- CAIR Organization
"Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?"- Chris Anders from the ACLU
We are not in any way uncondeming judging or crtitizing our president and government rather we are trying to create a neutral space for discussion.
According to Sec 1021 (b)(2) it states: A person who was 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, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
What is an associated force? What is any person? What is a belligerent act? In provision 1021 "associated forces" are not defined and a "belligerent act" is also not defined. We have come to the understanding that the government can interpret those terms any way it sees fit without having to answer to anyone. This provision allows the government to expand the definition of terrorism. ANY PERSON CAN BE CALLED A TERRORIST. Hearsay was used in the dark days on earth by the Spanish Inquisition and in this great country purity of heart and acute intelligence are gifts that we have used to protect the undefended, and therefore discussion is sorely needed.
Further into Sec 1021(c)(1) states: Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
According to this section, the government can accuse anyone including American citizens on mere suspicion of terrorism without having to present any evidence to a trial in court. This is extremely unconstitutional and Un-American. As far as anyone can know, it could take years to even decades before the end of hostilities against terrorist groups is officially over. But certainly this vague lack of definition leaves it open for application to anyone/everyone in the USA.
Chris Hedges and plaintiffs in this federal case have probable cause to believe they can be accused "covered persons" AKA terrorists, or terrorism supporters in their line of work at any point due to the government not giving a clear answer and reassurance to Federal Judge Katherine Forrest to the contrary.This puts the plaintiffs 1st & 5th amendment rights in blatant jeopardy. If this can happen to them how can this not happen to any person in the United States who not free to voice peaceful dissent at anytime so long as this provision exists.
We are a nation of constitutional just law, not the other way around. This is unconstitutional and unjust no matter which way you look at it.
We call upon you the 2nd Circuit Court of US Appeals and the US Supreme Court to truly see this provision 1021 for what it truly is bearing in mind liberty's torch her divine light overshadowing America representing liberty, freedom and justice for all. Sec 1021 with the NDAA law directly opposes liberty's values and attempts to take away our 1st and 5th amendment rights and therefore the Second Circuit has reversed Judge Forrests permanent injunction how can this be allowed? This is not a card game we are playing, to declare this provision UNCONSTITUTIONAL . Furthermore we value our military and are fully aware of the many heroes who have laid down their lives to protect and defend our country, So please case your vote and remember the pen is mightier then the sword.