The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tangerine? Despite that unfortunate name, this woman is to be taken seriously.

Forget Obamacare… This Might Be The Most Important Lawsuit in American History

Despite a mainstream media blackout on the topic, the alternative media is abuzz with this week’s hearing on the constitutionality of the clearly unconstitutional NDAA.  In case you don’t remember, section 1021 of the NDAA, which Obama signed into law on December 31 of last year, allows the government to lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely without a trial.  At the time of signing, Obama penned a pathetic letter to many of his outraged supporters where he basically said he signed it but he won’t use it.  Thanks pal!

In any event, the Administration is showing its true colors by appealing an injunction that judge Katherine Forrest issued against it in May.  The injunction was in response to the lawsuit filed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and others.  While the NDAA clearly vaporizes the 5th and 6th Amendments of the Constitution, I believe the real target is the 1st Amendment.  By having a law on the books that allows the government to arbitrarily lock anyone up and throw away the key, the government is actually trying to instill enough fear in people that they self-censor speech and become too afraid to criticize the criminal elite political and economic oligarchy.

Tangerine Bolen is one the lead plaintiffs in the suit against the government and she penned a powerful piece for the UK’s Guardian.  Here are some key quotes:
I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. 
In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported. 
Judge Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law, after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. At that time, twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law. 
This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest’s injunction.

Tangerine Bolen
Activist and reporter Tangerine Bolen, a plaintiff in the case against the NDAA, speaking to the media after a New York judge enjoined section 2012 of the law. Photograph via Fromthetrenchesworldreport

Take the time to watch this short video from one of the co-counsels on the case as to exactly what the government is arguing in court.  Not a word from the mainstream media on the most important court case in American history.  This law is aimed directly at the First amendment. You know, the one that guarantees I can publish this blog without fear of government reprisal (at least not readily-visible reprisal).


Duffer said...

I recall at the time of passage that I looked up the roll-call . . how our three "representatives" in Foggy Bottom voted on this measure.

Didn't Big Johnson, Toon, and Gnome all three vote for it - and no one is taking them to task for it?

That being the case - what freaking good is the Fourth Estate?

Bob Newland said...

The NDAA is in effect right now, according to The State. There is an injunction also in effect, issued by a federal judge, supposedly making the law not-in-effect.

The nature of crime--committed in secrecy by The State--makes it almost impossible to tell if The State is paying any attention to the injunction issued in May.

I have no faith in the federal courts, including SCOTUS, to either strike down the law or to enforce their ruling if they should happen to strike it down.

Pure terrorism.