May 18, 2013
Federal Judge Strikes Down Indefinite Detention Law
Posted on Sep 13, 2012
A temporary stop on the U.S. military’s power to imprison anyone deemed to have “substantially supported” terrorist groups was made permanent on Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that journalists could be snatched up under the law.
The ruling against a provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act frustrates the government’s attempts to grant itself the ability to indefinitely detain anyone it could associate with terrorist activity, including domestic protesters.
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges had sued the Obama administration over the provision, along with journalists, scholars and political activists Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and Naomi Wolf. Judge Forrest placed a temporary injunction on the provision in Section 1021 of the law in May.
“This court does not disagree with the principle that the president has primacy in foreign affairs,” Forrest said in Wednesday’s ruling. But government arguments in favor of the provision were not convincing, she said.
“The government has not stated that such conduct—which, by analogy, covers any writing, journalistic and associational activities that involve al Qaeda, the Taliban or whomever is deemed “associated forces”—does not fall within § 1021(b)(2).”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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