Institutionalizing Indefinite Detention

Heading America for Full-Blown Tyranny

TyrannySince taking office, Obama authorized numerous police state measures. They follow earlier ones under George Bush.

They’re heading America for full-blown tyranny. It’s already a hair’s breadth away. It could arrive any time full force. It’s been wrapped in the American flag all along.

Most people don’t know how seriously their rights are compromised. Thousands of political prisoners in America’s gulag hell testify about police state harshness. Much worse ahead looms.

On March 7, 2011, Obama’s Executive Order 13567 authorized indefinite detentions and military commission trials. Doing so violated America’s Fifth Amendment. It states:

“No person….shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law….”

Bush administration officials, of course, originally authorized military commissions. They’re lawless by any standard. They permit torture. They deny international law protections.

They let presidents convene them against “unprivileged enemy belligerents” or anyone designated a threat to national security. Any reason can be claimed or none at all.

They deny speedy trials or any at all. They legitimize torture extracted evidence. They also permit hearsay and secret evidence unavailable to counsel.

They deny due process and judicial fairness. They destroy human dignity. They mock rule of law principles. They sanction kangaroo court justice.

At the time, Obama contemptuously claimed that indefinite detentions and military commissions “broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice, provide oversight for our actions, and ensure the humane treatment of detainees.”

He lied. He spurned inviolable international and constitutional principles. On December 31, 2011, he went further. He signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

It legitimized indefinite detentions. It included US citizens at home and abroad. America’s military may arrest and imprison them uncharged. It permits holding them without trial based on suspicions, hearsay, secret evidence, or none at all.

No reasonable proof is needed. Presidential diktat authority has final say. No one anywhere is safe.

Due process, civil protections, and judicial fairness became null and void. Presidents may order anyone arrested and imprisoned for life without charge or trial. Abuse of power replaced rule of law protections.

It’s US statute law. It violates international and constitutional provisions. It’s one step closer to full-blown tyranny. Administration lawyers claim US citizens are legitimate targets. Presidential authorization alone is needed.

Inviolable rights no longer apply. Protesting imperial lawlessness, social injustice, corporate crime, government corruption, or political Washington run of, by and for rich elites can be criminalized.

So can free speech, assembly, religion, or anything challenging America’s right to kill, destroy and pillage with impunity. America’s less safe to live in than ever. There’s no place to hide anywhere.

On December 19, Russia Today headlined “NDAA 2013 – Indefinite detention without trial is back.”

It never went away. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s amendment claimed to limit military detention. It nominally exempted US citizens and permanent residents apprehended domestically.

It did more harm than good. It hardened indefinite detention. It legalized detaining students with visas, tourists, immigrants and others indefinitely.

It left citizens and permanent residents vulnerable. If arrested, it authorized due process. NDAA mandates military commissions. Civil ones aren’t allowed. Kangaroo justice is certain.

Feinstein’s amendment made bad 2012 legislation worse. Habeas rights were denied. Freedom took another body blow. Police state harshness hardened. Presidential diktat authority was endorsed.

Weeks earlier, senators approved it. On December 18, Senator Carl Levin said “language of the Senate bill was dropped.” He stopped short of explaining more.

On December 19, lawmakers removed her amendment. Deceptive language replacing it said:

NDAA “shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution to any person inside the United States who would be entitled to the availability of such writ or to such rights in the absence of such laws.”

Is means no one entitled to habeas “availability” shall be denied it. Anyone authorities arrest is assumed ineligible.

On September 12, Southern District of New York federal Judge Katherine B. Forrest blocked Obama’s indefinite detention law.

She called it “facially unconstitutional: it impermissibly impinges on guaranteed First Amendment rights and lacks sufficient definitional structure and protections to meet the requirements of due process.”

She added that:

“If, following issuance of this permanent injunctive relief, the government detains individuals under theories of ‘substantially or directly supporting’ associated forces, as set forth in’ the National Defense Authorization Act, and a contempt action is brought before this court, the government will bear a heavy burden indeed.”

Plaintiffs successfully argued that ambiguous language like “substantially supported,” “associated forces,” and “directly supported” leave them and others vulnerable to lawless indefinite detention.

In response to Judge Forrest’s ruling, administration officials appealed. They said she exceeded enjoining NDAA’s Section 1021.

They claimed doing so “threatens irreparable harm to national security and the public interest by injecting added burdens and dangerous confusion into the conduct of military operations abroad during an active armed conflict.”

They granted a stay on her injunction. She questioned 2001 Authorization for use of Military Force (AUMF) interpretation. Its language and NDAA’s Section 1021 aren’t the same, she said.

“They are not co-extensive. Military detention based on allegations of ‘substantially supporting’ or ‘directly supporting’ the Taliban, Al Qaeda, or associated forces, is not encompassed within the AUFM and is enjoined by this order regarding” NDAA.

Obama officials argued she overstepped. She took “it upon (herself) to disagree with an interpretation of the military’s detention authority that had previously been endorsed by all three branches of government,” they claimed.

“What is more, (she) expressly invites actions for contempt sanctions if the military exercises detention authority in a manner inconsistent with the court’s deeply flawed understanding of that authority.”

In June, she issued a preliminary injunction against enforcing  statute provisions she questions. While appealing her ruling, Obama officials didn’t block it.

After making her injunction permanent, they asked for an emergency stay. They claimed she made an “unprecedented” ruling. They said it affects wartime matters.

On September 17, Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Lohier issued a one-page order. It stayed Forrest’s decision until a three-judge panel rules.

On September 28, arguments were heard. Judgment rendered said banning indefinite detention is disallowed until further consideration on Obama’s appeal is heard.

On December 12, attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce Ira filed an emergency appeal with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg. They cited gravely compromised constitutional rights. They petitioned for injunctive relief (Emergent Application to Vacate Temporary Stay of Permanent Injunction).

They requested reinstating Judge Forrest’s ruling. Ginsburg handles these type emergency matters. She can decide on her own or request other colleagues join her.

Application language said:

“Unless this Court lifts the stay, core constitutional rights will continue to be violated and the status quo that the military cannot detain civilians will be upended pending an appeal process that could take many months if not years.”

It stressed that Americans are “in actual and imminent danger of losing their core First Amendment rights and fundamental Equal Protection liberties.”

On December 14, Ginsburg denied their request. She claimed it improper to interfere with appeals judges expediting their ongoing review. She said caution should be exercised in light of nullifying a lower court ruling.

Appeals judges will rule next year. If injunctive relief is denied, expect petitioning the Supreme Court to follow.

A Final Comment

On May 18, the House passed the 2013 NDAA 299 – 120.

On December 21, the Senate followed suit 81 – 14.

Obama will choose time and place to enact it. Doing so is criminal lawlessness. Malfeasance comes easy to him. He’s a serial war criminal.

Both Houses trashed international and constitutional law. They further institutionalized imperial wars.

They also endorsed locking up US citizens and permanent residents uncharged. They favor holding them indefinitely in military prisons.

They support denying them due process and judicial fairness. They judge them guilty by accusation.

Tyranny came one step closer to full-blown. Its full force could arrive any time.

# # # #

Stephen Lendman- BFP Contributing Author & Analyst
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. He received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. Since 2005, Mr. Lendman has been writing on vital world and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues. He hosts The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network. Visit Mr. Lendman’s blog site here. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net


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Comments

  1. Thank you very much for this excellent article. Readers should note that fascism will come legally… that is the fascists will not stage a violent coup… they will turn a democratic state with guaranteed rights into a fascists one by passing laws and then have judges nullify any decisions which correctly find these laws unconstitutional.

    Attorney Lynn Stewart has been locked away for years with bogus charges which essentially deny her first amendment rights…

    The terrorism milieu allows anyone to be classified as a terrorist and tried under the UNCJ which is vastly different sent of rules that the civilian justice system.

    We haven’t seen John Q Public get hauled off for indefinite detention never to be heard from again. This is having a chilling effect on journalist who might want to comment on the state of affairs.

    The press has been bought and infiltrated and reduced to infotainment and propaganda… the courts have been packed with right wing proto fascists.

    As the author points out we are very close to the real deal. The temp has been turned up and boiling the frogs.

    Wake up!

  2. avatar AVIONBLANC says:

    Very informative. It is a concise representation of what the current situation is.

    Also, it is my understanding that the government won’t confirm nor deny whether or not they are currently detaining anyone under NDAA 2012. I assume they are.One must always assume that the government will do the most evil of any options.

    We are in a full tyranny now. We are such sheep and so cowed that we obey all of their demands.

  3. avatar guadaloupi says:

    The Big Push To Tyranny Was Instituted By The Sandy Hooks Hoax

    The treasonous usurpers serving the Zionist bankers and holding the high offices of the United States (Corporation) are now making their big move. Obama is scrambling to send as many of the American military as he possibly can to 35 African countries. Obama just signed the authorization to detain American citizens in military prisons. They are bringing in foreign troops (UN and NATO). They have implemented internet censorship and blocking and will cut off the network very soon and begin gun confiscations using the Sandy Hooks Hoax as a pretext. They already have NDAA, indefinite detention, the “authority” to put as many people as they wish on their “kill list” without stating any reason or any overview by anyone, and have implemented their mass murder using drones. They have already declared the American people to be the enemy, and the US to be the battleground. They have pushed the economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff and made sure that it will go over the cliff soon. This is it… The big push to tyranny.

    http://rt.com/usa/news/us-deploying-troops-order-749/

    Know For Certain That The Sandy Hook Shooting Is NOTHING BUT A Hoax!

    Watch This 27 Seconds of Video!!

    The US Government Paid Actor says, “READ THE CARD” before he quits smiling, gets into character, and then puts on his “tear jerking” performance pretending to be the father of a murdered child.
    The rest of the “Parents” are equally phony. There are no dead and there was no massacre… it is nothing but a hoax to create a pretext.
    WHAT A SICK TWISTED FAKE TO IMPLEMENT GUN CONTROL!

  4. The Agenda For The Sandy Hook Hoax “Massacre” Stated:

    Take all of the guns from everyone except police and military.
    Stated plain as can be… that is the plan and the agenda.

  5. Suppose that things in this country really collapse… massive unemployment… the electrical gird falters… the air traffic system is crippled, water supply unreliable, food shortages.. empty shelves in stores, internet blinks on and off …mostly off… cell phones go down…

    Can this happen?

    What would the people do? What would the authorities do? Would there be a battle between the police, national guard, military and the citizens? What would they be fighting over or for?

  6. This is an incredible speech by Jesselyn Radack:

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