Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 11 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 6 (17 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   16 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

The Last Chance to Stop the NDAA

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 2 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 10   Supported 9   Valuable 9  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 9/2/13

Become a Fan
  (366 fans)

"This is a way of acknowledging they're troubled by the apparent lack of constitutionality of the law," Afran said during our conversation...

"But they were not willing to face the question head on. So, in effect, they said, 'Well, when someone's threatened with arrest, then we have a concrete injury.' But no one's going to be threatened with arrest. They'll simply be arrested. They're not going to send a letter saying, 'By the way, on Thursday next we're going to place you in military custody.' ... The whole point of the law is that they're going to come in and take you [in secrecy]."

The appellate court stated that the law does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In reading the law this way the justices were saying, in effect, that I and the other plaintiffs had nothing to fear. Afran called this a "circular argument." The court, in essence, said that because it did not construe the law as applying to U.S. citizens and lawful residents we could not bring the case to court.

"They seem to accept a lot of what we said, namely that the whole history of the jurisprudence, of the court decisions, is that American civilians cannot be placed in military custody," Afran said...

"And they accept the idea that Section E of the statute says, 'Nothing herein shall be construed to affect existing authorities as to the detention of U.S. citizens.' So on the basis of that they say this is not meant to add any new powers to the government and since the government doesn't have power over civilians in this way the law can't be extended to civilians. The problem is by saying there's no standing, they deprive the district court of entering an order, saying and declaring that the statue does not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, lawful residents in the U.S."

The court, in essence, accepted the principle that citizens cannot be taken into military custody but refused to issue a direct order saying so that would be enforceable.

"We have the absurdity of the court of appeals, one of the highest courts in the country, saying this law cannot touch citizens and lawful residents, but depriving the trial court of the ability to enter an order blocking it from being used in that way," Afran said. "The lack of an order enables future [military] detentions. A person may have to languish for months, maybe years, before getting a court hearing. The [appellate] court correctly stated what the law is, but it deprived the trial court of the ability to enter an order stopping this [new] law from being used."

"A law is not constitutional just because habeas corpus says you have a right to go to court to try to get out," Afran said in speaking about the legal mechanism by which someone might challenge custody. "The citizen is entitled not to be detained in the first place absent probable cause. Habeas corpus is a remedy of last resort. It's not there to justify the use of unconstitutional detention laws."

The Supreme Court takes between 80 and 100 cases a year from about 8,000 requests. There is no guarantee our appeal will ever be heard. If we fail, if this law stands, if in the years ahead the military starts to randomly seize and disappear people, if dissidents and activists become subject to indefinite and secret detention in military gulags, we will at least be able to look back on this moment and know we fought back.


Next Page  1  |  2

 

Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

This Is What Resistance Looks Like

Hope, from now on, will look like this. Chris Hedges Speech Before Joining Anti War Vets in DC Civil Disobedience Action

A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe

The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government

Criminalizing Dissent

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
10 people are discussing this page, with 16 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I was a staff sergeant in the Marines during my to... by x_Warrior on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 3:52:19 PM
I marked off "News" because it belongs in the News... by Burl Hall on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 4:06:35 PM
please consider who you're working for: click... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 5:22:13 PM
If the most powerfull nation on Earth is a fascist... by Paul Repstock on Monday, Sep 2, 2013 at 5:52:48 PM
They all write about the symptoms of the police st... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 12:33:40 AM
These writers are publishing the truth they can pr... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 4:05:18 AM
I never said they had to prove anything about 9/11... by 911TRUTH on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 10:59:32 AM
has accomplished? I also question your denigratio... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 12:18:47 PM
which has been far more than I ever wanted to, the... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 1:15:35 PM
All the columns of all three buildings were cut ne... by Robert James on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 7:27:04 PM
Why should any laws be obeyed when the president d... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 8:25:48 AM
This is the most serious attack on citizens' freed... by Mari Eliza on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 10:22:33 AM
It includes every American citizen who is accused ... by Paul Repstock on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 10:31:44 AM
How do two planes bring down three skyscrapers - p... by Lance Ciepiela on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 10:37:03 AM
Another sad tale of truth told.   And it... by Merv Ritchie on Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013 at 6:38:18 PM
The demand that all people should see and publical... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Sep 4, 2013 at 10:17:46 AM