The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

A Victory for All of Us | Chris Hedges

“At the hearing on this motion, the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs would not be subject to indefinite detention under [Section] 1021,” Judge Forrest noted. “Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty, potentially for many years.”

In January, attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran asked me to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that challenged the harsh provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We filed the lawsuit, worked for hours on the affidavits, carried out the tedious depositions, prepared the case and went to trial because we did not want to be passive in the face of another egregious assault on basic civil liberties, because resistance is a moral imperative, and because, at the very least, we hoped we could draw attention to the injustice of the law. None of us thought we would win. But every once in a while the gods smile on the damned.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, in a 68-page opinion, ruled Wednesday that Section 1021 of the NDAA was unconstitutional. It was a stunning and monumental victory. With her ruling she returned us to a country where—as it was before Obama signed this act into law Dec. 31—the government cannot strip a U.S. citizen of due process or use the military to arrest him or her and then hold him or her in military prison indefinitely. She categorically rejected the government’s claims that the plaintiffs did not have the standing to bring the case to trial because none of us had been indefinitely detained, that lack of imminent enforcement against us meant there was no need for an injunction and that the NDAA simply codified what had previously been set down in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act. The ruling was a huge victory for the protection of free speech. Judge Forrest struck down language in the law that she said gave the government the ability to incarcerate people based on what they said or wrote. Maybe the ruling won’t last. Maybe it will be overturned. But we and other Americans are freer today than we were a week ago. And there is something in this.

The government lawyers, despite being asked five times by the judge to guarantee that we plaintiffs would not be charged under the law for our activities, refused to give any assurances. They did not provide assurances because under the law there were none. We could, even they tacitly admitted, be subject to these coercive measures. We too could be swept away into a black hole. And this, I think, decided the case.

Keep reading

Lawmakers back indefinite detention for terror suspects in US | The Hill

And the NDAA lives, as is, in the House. Weak and predictable. At least there was an opposition from the Democrats this time around.

Lawmakers rejected an amendment that would have barred military detention for terror suspects captured in the United States on a 182-231 vote, beating back the proposal from a coalition of liberal Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans led by Reps. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.).

Instead, the House passed, by a vote of 243-173, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sponsored by Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Jeff Landry (R-La.) and Scott Rigell (R-Va.) that affirmed U.S. citizens would not be denied habeas corpus rights.

Smith and Amash had hoped to attract enough support from libertarian-leaning Republicans to pass their measure, but only 19 Republicans voted for it, while 19 Democrats voted against.

I’ll add this bit from Adam Serwer about the amendment that did pass:

[The third amendment was] proposed by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), called the Right to Habeas Corpus Act. Rigell’s bill, which has 32 cosponsors, would do basically nothing. That’s because all it does is affirm the right of American citizens to have a judge evaluate the legality of their detention, and there has been no disagreement over that right since the Supreme Court affirmed it in 2004. The question has been whether the United States could hold suspected terrorists without ever charging them with a crime. Under Rigell’s bill, a future president could still potentially indefinitely detain an American citizen arrested in the United States on suspicion of terrorism, while Smith’s bill would prevent them from doing so. 

Rigell’s bill is “addressing a habeas problem that doesn’t exist, and ignoring the real problem, which is indefinite detention without charge or trial,” says ACLU legislative counsel Chris Anders.

You know, the Right Wing in Congress has been pulling this stuff for decades, and it only stops when the real Americans put their feet down. Ted Kennedy used to just rule this kind of bullcrap out of bounds in the Senate. But apparently Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi just don’t care, and neither does Barack Obama. There are a whole series of bad decisions that the three of them could have stopped if they had bothered. Juan Cole | NDAA Provisions attacking Freedom of Speech Struck Down

The Revolt Against the NDAA Hits Congress | Adam Serwer

Congress is now considering three bills designed to quiet the uproar [over last year’s NDAA]. One, sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), would repeal the detention sections of the NDAA entirely. Another, sponsored by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), would ensure that suspected terrorists captured on US soil, whether they are citizens or not, could not be detained indefinitely without trial.

Then there’s a third bill, proposed by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), called the Right to Habeas Corpus Act. Rigell’s bill, which has 32 cosponsors, would do basically nothing. That’s because all it does is affirm the right of American citizens to have a judge evaluate the legality of their detention, and there has been no disagreement over that right since the Supreme Court affirmed it in 2004. The question has been whether the United States could hold suspected terrorists without ever charging them with a crime. Under Rigell’s bill, a future president could still potentially indefinitely detain an American citizen arrested in the United States on suspicion of terrorism, while Smith’s bill would prevent them from doing so. 

Rigell’s bill is “addressing a habeas problem that doesn’t exist, and ignoring the real problem, which is indefinite detention without charge or trial,” says ACLU legislative counsel Chris Anders.

Rigell’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment. But Anders notes that detention authority can be a “confusing” and “difficult” area in which to legislate, partially because many of the issues aren’t entirely settled. Of the two bills that would actually alter the NDAA, Smith’s has 56 cosponsors in the House. Paul’s bill has five cosponsors.

Republicans in the House, however, seem much warmer to Rigell’s mostly symbolic legislation, with [House Armed Services Committee spokesman, Claude] Chafin insisting it would “put to rest any doubt to the…purpose of last year’s NDAA.” The law’s critics don’t believe that. “We don’t trust Congress, who just passed this thing into law, to all of a sudden say, ‘Oh, we were wrong; we’re going to change it,’” director of the Tenth Amendment Center, Michael] Boldin said. That’s probably a safe bet.

More: House May Limit Detention After Arrests on U.S. Soil | Charlie Savage

Federal court enjoins NDAA | Glenn Greenwald

A federal district judge today, the newly-appointed Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York, issued an amazing ruling: one which preliminarily enjoins enforcement of the highly controversial indefinite provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last December. This afternoon’s ruling came as part of a lawsuit brought by seven dissident plaintiffs — including Chris Hedges, Dan Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Brigitta Jonsdottir — alleging that the NDAA violates ”both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as well as due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

The ruling was a sweeping victory for the plaintiffs, as it rejected each of the Obama DOJ’s three arguments: (1) because none of the plaintiffs has yet been indefinitely detained, they lack “standing” to challenge the statute; (2) even if they have standing, the lack of imminent enforcement against them renders injunctive relief unnecessary; and (3) the NDAA creates no new detention powers beyond what the 2001 AUMF already provides.

As for the DOJ’s first argument — lack of standing — the court found that the plaintiffs are already suffering substantial injury from the reasonable fear that they could be indefinitely detained under section 1021 of the NDAA as a result of their constitutionally protected activities. As the court explained (h/t Charles Michael):

In support of their motion, Plaintiffs assert that § 1021 already has impacted their associational and expressive activities–and would continue to impact them, and that § 1021 is vague to such an extent that it provokes fear that certain of their associational and expressive activities could subject them to indefinite or prolonged military detention.

The court found that the plaintiffs have “shown an actual fear that their expressive and associational activities” could subject them to indefinite detention under the law,and “each of them has put forward uncontroverted evidence of concrete — non-hypothetical — ways in which the presence of the legislation has already impacted those expressive and associational activities” (as but one example, Hedges presented evidence that his “prior journalistic activities relating to certain organizations such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban” proves “he has a realistic fear that those activities will subject him to detention under § 1021″). Thus, concluded the court, these plaintiffs have the right to challenge the constitutionality of the statute notwithstanding the fact that they have not yet been detained under it; that’s because its broad, menacing detention powers are already harming them and the exercise of their constitutional rights.

Significantly, the court here repeatedly told the DOJ that it could preclude standing for the plaintiffs if they were willing to state clearly that none of the journalistic and free speech conduct that the plaintiffs engage in could subject them to indefinite detention. But the Government refused to make any such representation. Thus, concluded the court, “plaintiffs have stated a more than plausible claim that the statute inappropriately encroaches on their rights under the First Amendment.”

There’s more at the link including positive signs that the NDAA may also be in violation of the 5th amendment and could be struck on those grounds. Greenwald adds:

I really should mention the rest of the plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit beyond the four well-known ones I named above, because each deserves immense credit from everyone for doing this. Alexa O’Brien is an independent journalist who writes for WL Central, regarding WikiLeaks, and writes about Guantanamo issues for the website she founded, Day of Rage. Kai Wargalla is a British activist who founded Occupy London and has done extensive work in advocating for WikiLeaks. Jennifer Bolen, who along with Hedges spearheaded the organization of this lawsuit, is an activist with Revolution Truth who did substantial work to defeat the NDAA.

Though I knew a fair amount about it as it proceeded, I hadn’t written about this lawsuit before, largely because I did not expect it to succeed; I anticipated that it would be dismissed on “standing” grounds, the favored tactic (along with the State Secrets privilege) for both the Bush and Obama DOJs to persuade federal courts not to even adjudicate constitutional challenges to the War on Terror powers. Serious kudos to all of the plaintiffs and lawyers here who persevered in what I’m certain they knew would be an uphill battle.

Agreed.

socialuprooting:

Homeland Battlefield Act Portion Found Unconstitutional By New York Judge
Citing a threat to journalists and scholars, a judge on Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights” for journalists and others. She cited testimony by journalists that they feared their association with certain individuals overseas could result in their arrest because a provision of the law subjects anyone who “substantially” or “directly” provides “support” to forces such as al-Qaida or the Taliban can be detained indefinitely. She said the wording was too vague and encouraged Congress to change it.
“An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so,” the judge said.
She called the fears of journalists in particular real and reasonable.
The ruling came in a lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of journalists, scholars and others. Forrest cited the vague nature of the law as it pertains to journalists and the government’s inability to provide assurances that the specific conduct at issue would not subject plaintiffs to prosecution and detention.
The National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law in December, allowing for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism.
The lawsuit was filed two weeks later by a group of writers and activists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Christopher Hedges, who testified that the vagueness of the law left him “constantly second-guessing what or what not constitutes terrorist activity under this legislation because it’s so amorphous.”
A message left Wednesday with a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors was not immediately returned.
Bruce Afran, a lawyer for seven individuals and one organization that brought the lawsuit, called the ruling a “great victory for free speech.”

socialuprooting:

Homeland Battlefield Act Portion Found Unconstitutional By New York Judge

Citing a threat to journalists and scholars, a judge on Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights” for journalists and others. She cited testimony by journalists that they feared their association with certain individuals overseas could result in their arrest because a provision of the law subjects anyone who “substantially” or “directly” provides “support” to forces such as al-Qaida or the Taliban can be detained indefinitely. She said the wording was too vague and encouraged Congress to change it.

“An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so,” the judge said.

She called the fears of journalists in particular real and reasonable.

The ruling came in a lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of journalists, scholars and others. Forrest cited the vague nature of the law as it pertains to journalists and the government’s inability to provide assurances that the specific conduct at issue would not subject plaintiffs to prosecution and detention.

The National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law in December, allowing for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism.

The lawsuit was filed two weeks later by a group of writers and activists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Christopher Hedges, who testified that the vagueness of the law left him “constantly second-guessing what or what not constitutes terrorist activity under this legislation because it’s so amorphous.”

A message left Wednesday with a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors was not immediately returned.

Bruce Afran, a lawyer for seven individuals and one organization that brought the lawsuit, called the ruling a “great victory for free speech.”

The Revolt Against the NDAA Hits Congress | Adam Serwer

The revolt against the NDAA has brought together organizations and activists that disagree on almost every other issue—tea party activists, the states’ rights Tenth Amendment Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Occupy Wall Street protesters. The NDAA is “waking people up to the idea that the federal government shouldn’t have this kind of power,” says Michael Boldin, the director of the Tenth Amendment Center. “We’re seeing this weird mishmosh coalition of people.” In mid-April, Boldin’s group joined a number of otherconservative organizations in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of liberal journalist Chris Hedges’ anti-NDAA lawsuitagainst the Obama administration.

The NDAA backlash has already fueled action on the state level. In Virginia, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell recently signeda bill that could prohibit state authorities from “knowingly” aiding in the military detention of a US citizen. The Arizona Legislature passed a bill making it a misdemeanor for state officials to help the feds detain US citizens under the NDAA, and the Maine Legislature passed a joint resolution urging Congress and the president to amend the law to make it clear that Americans apprehended on US soil can’t be detained without trial. All three states have legislatures with Republican majorities.

Congress is now considering three bills designed to quiet the uproar. One, sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), would repeal the detention sections of the NDAA entirely. Another, sponsored by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), would ensure that suspected terrorists captured on US soil, whether they are citizens or not, could not be detained indefinitely without trial.

Then there’s a third bill, proposed by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), called the Right to Habeas Corpus Act. Rigell’s bill, which has 32 cosponsors, would do basically nothing. That’s because all it does is affirm the right of American citizens to have a judge evaluate the legality of their detention, and there has been no disagreement over that right since the Supreme Court affirmed it in 2004. The question has been whether the United States could hold suspected terrorists without ever charging them with a crime. Under Rigell’s bill, a future president could still potentially indefinitely detain an American citizen arrested in the United States on suspicion of terrorism, while Smith’s bill would prevent them from doing so. 

Rigell’s bill is “addressing a habeas problem that doesn’t exist, and ignoring the real problem, which is indefinite detention without charge or trial,” says ACLU legislative counsel Chris Anders.

Rigell’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment. But Anders notes that detention authority can be a “confusing” and “difficult” area in which to legislate, partially because many of the issues aren’t entirely settled. Of the two bills that would actually alter the NDAA, Smith’s has 56 cosponsors in the House. Paul’s bill has five cosponsors.

Republicans in the House, however, seem much warmer to Rigell’s mostly symbolic legislation, with Chafin insisting it would “put to rest any doubt to the…purpose of last year’s NDAA.” The law’s critics don’t believe that. “We don’t trust Congress, who just passed this thing into law, to all of a sudden say, ‘Oh, we were wrong; we’re going to change it,’” Boldin said. That’s probably a safe bet. [++]

I am full of joy to be a plaintiff in this particular case. Why? Because we’re in a turning point in the history of this nation. We need to stand for freedom. There’s an escalating authoritarianism and even a creeping fascism. Think about arbitrary police power and my dear brother, Trayvon Martin. Think about arbitrary judicial power and arbitrary presidential power, Section 1021 and 1022. The president has the right to assassinate and murder whoever he or she chooses to. That is the benchmark of an authoritarian regime, a crypto-fascist one, and I come from a tradition that says we must stand for freedom in the context of the courts or in the context in the streets. Freedom is precious. If you don’t fight for it, you lose it.

Cornel West

NDAA press conference

(via socialuprooting)

(via bostonreview)

socialuprooting:

March 29th marks the beginning of the anti-NDAA class action lawsuit, launched by several groups and individuals, that seeks to stop the unconstitutional provisions which allow the US military to indefinitely detain any suspected “terrorist” from going into effect (sections 1021 and 1022 specifically). This case, if successful, would force the government to remove those unconstitutional elements, and further, to better define its terms, such as “associated forces” and “belligerents”, as well as clearly define who is considered a threat to the United States. For more information on the lawsuit go here.
On Thursday the 29th, the first round of plaintiffs, dubbed the Freedom Seven, will testify in front of a federal judge. We must show solidarity, and we must show our discontent with an authoritarian piece of legislation that destroys our civil liberties. JOIN THE PEOPLE AND MARCH FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FROM FOLEY SQUARE TO UNION SQUARE!
On Facebook: one and two

socialuprooting:

March 29th marks the beginning of the anti-NDAA class action lawsuit, launched by several groups and individuals, that seeks to stop the unconstitutional provisions which allow the US military to indefinitely detain any suspected “terrorist” from going into effect (sections 1021 and 1022 specifically). This case, if successful, would force the government to remove those unconstitutional elements, and further, to better define its terms, such as “associated forces” and “belligerents”, as well as clearly define who is considered a threat to the United States. For more information on the lawsuit go here.

On Thursday the 29th, the first round of plaintiffs, dubbed the Freedom Seven, will testify in front of a federal judge. We must show solidarity, and we must show our discontent with an authoritarian piece of legislation that destroys our civil liberties. JOIN THE PEOPLE AND MARCH FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FROM FOLEY SQUARE TO UNION SQUARE!

On Facebook: one and two

Totalitarian Systems Always Begin by Rewriting the Law | Chris Hedges

The NDAA implodes our most cherished constitutional protections. It permits the military to function on U.S. soil as a civilian law enforcement agency. It authorizes the executive branch to order the military to selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus for citizens. The law can be used to detain people deemed threats to national security, including dissidents whose rights were once protected under the First Amendment, and hold them until what is termed “the end of the hostilities.” Even the name itself—the Homeland Battlefield Bill—suggests the totalitarian concept that endless war has to be waged within “the homeland” against internal enemies as well as foreign enemies.

[…]

Totalitarian systems always begin by rewriting the law. They make legal what was once illegal. Crimes become patriotic acts. The defense of freedom and truth becomes a crime. Foreign and domestic subjugation merges into the same brutal mechanism. Citizens are colonized. And it is always done in the name of national security. We obey the new laws as we obeyed the old laws, as if there was no difference. And we spend our energy and our lives appealing to a dead system.

Franz Kafka understood the totalitarian misuse of law, the ability by the state to make law serve injustice and yet be held up as the impartial arbiter of good and evil. In his stories “The Trial” and “The Castle” Kafka presents pathetic supplicants before the law who are passed from one doorkeeper, administrator or clerk to the next in an endless and futile quest for justice. In the parable “Before the Law” the supplicant dies before even being permitted to enter the halls of justice. In Kafka’s dystopian vision, the law is the mechanism by which injustice and tyranny are perpetuated. A bureaucratic legal system uses the language of justice to defend injustice. The cowed populations in tyrannies become for Kafka so broken, desperate and passive that they are finally complicit in their own enslavement. The central character in “The Trial,” known as Josef K, offers little resistance at the end of the story when two men arrive to oversee his execution. Josef K. leads them to a quarry where he is expected to kill himself. He cannot. The men do it for him. His last words are: “Like a dog!” [++]

Dianne Feinstein Assures Us Her Review of Targeted Killing Is Adequate | Marcy Wheeler

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein just sent out a release assuring us all that her committee keeps close watch over counterterrorism programs, including targeted killing. In her statement, she asserted that “our counterterrorism efforts are lawful under the Constitution.”

The Attorney General presented the administration’s legal analysis for the use of force against terrorists, including Americans. I believe it is important for the public to understand the legal basis and to make clear that our counterterrorism efforts are lawful under the Constitution, U.S. law and the law of war.

We are made safer by strikes against terrorists who continue to lead and carry out attacks on the United States. There are legal limits to this authority and great care is taken to ensure it is exercised carefully and with the absolute minimum of collateral damage. The Senate Intelligence Committee is kept fully informed of counterterrorism operations and keeps close watch to make sure they are effective, responsible and in keeping with U.S. and international law. [my emphasis]

It’s all very nice for DiFi, a member of the Gang of Four, to tell us that her committee is keeping close watch on the assassination of American citizens.

She can say that, because she has actually seen the government’s legal memo authorizing the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

Except that as of 6:47PM on Monday, according to Ron Wyden’s Communication Director, the full Senate Intelligence Committee still had not seen the legal justification for the Awlaki killing. Nor had it answered simple questions, like how much evidence the government needs to meet the Executive Branch’s unilateral standards for due process. Or whether the government can kill you in the US.

For example, the government should explain exactly how much evidence the President needs in order to decide that a particular American is part of a terrorist group.  It is also unclear to me whether individual Americans must be given the opportunity to surrender before lethal force is used against them.  And I’m particularly concerned that the geographic boundaries of this authority have not been clearly laid out.  Based on what I’ve heard so far, I can’t tell whether or not the Justice Department’s legal arguments would allow the President to order intelligence agencies to kill an American inside the United States.

If a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee doesn’t know the answers to those questions, DiFi is simply wrong when she claims her committee has had adequate oversight over the killing of an American citizen.

It’s all very nice that DiFi tells us this is constitutional. But right now there’s still been grossly inadequate oversight to test that claim. Hamdi required an impartial adjudicator. But at this point, I’m not convinced we’ve even fulfilled the requirements of the National Security Act.

Indefinite Detention Targeted In Democratic Bill On Handling Terrorist Suspects

Civil libertarians on the left and right were sharply critical of the law [NDAA FY2012], even though the president promised not to grab Americans.

Obama set out policy rules last month making good on that pledge, specifying that U.S. citizens and numerous other categories of suspected terrorists would not be clapped into the military system, which somewhat mollified critics.

But many pointed out that those rules are only good as long as Obama is president, prompting Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) to offer their bill Thursday.

“On the books, we have a law that gives the executive branch the power to indefinitely detain people here in the U.S., even U.S. citizens, and we believe we should take that off the books,” Smith said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “Even though you can make an argument that this executive will not exercise that authority, has not exercised that authority, we don’t believe we can afford to allow that kind of power to reside in the executive branch.”

“That policy won’t tie the hands of future administrations,” said Udall. “I continue to believe that the NDAA detention provisions weaken our national security and our constitutional protections.”

“I believe the U.S. military should be focused on getting the bad guys overseas, not getting involved with law enforcement here on U.S. soil,” Udall added.

[…]

Traitors must be dealt with, but even in our darkest hours we must ensure that our Constitution prevails,” Udall said. “Our Constitution, I believe, is in many ways the most powerful weapon we have against those who would do us harm. We can’t afford to erode our liberties. In the end, that would leave us even more at risk.

Barack Obama Waives Rule Allowing Indefinite Military Detention Of Americans | HuffPo

Not out, not banned, not unconstitutional - just “waived”. I promise not to abuse this power…

WASHINGTON — The White House released rules Tuesday evening waiving the most controversial piece of the new military detention law, and exempting U.S. citizens, as well as other broad categories of suspected terrorists.

Indefinite military detention of Americans and others was granted in the defense authorization bill President Barack Obama signed just before Christmas, sparking a storm of anger from civil libertarians on the left and right. […]

Advocates for liberties will likely find the new rules for implementing reassuring, at least while President Obama is in office. But one of their big complaints with his signing of the law is that his policies only last so long as he is in office, and they will likely step up attempts to repeal it.

More

Virginia votes to refuse NDAA | RT

anonymissexpress:

22 February, 2012, via @AdamfromNorway

 Although Congress approved this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, lawmakers on another level continue to find faults with its nasty detainment provisions. Virginia is now the latest state to consider laws that nix some of the NDAA.

When US President Barack Obama signed his name to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, he authorized the US military to detain and torture anyone on Earth — Americans included — without charge. Opposition was widespread even before the commander-in-chief put pen to paper, but critics are continuing to condemn the legislation only two months after Obama approved it. So weary of the NDAA are lawmakers in Virginia, in fact, that a recent vote within the state’s House of Delegates led to the passing of a counter-act that will keep those detainment provisions out of VA.

A recent meeting of lawmakers in the lower house of the Virginia General Assembly yielded an impressive 96-to-4 approval for HB 1160, a bill that will ban state officials from abiding by some elements of the NDAA. Should the act see similar support in the state’s Senate, Virginia will be spared from the detainment provisions that have garnered opposition against Congress and the Obama White House over the NDAA’s passing.

Under the Virginia law-in-waiting, state agents are forbidden from aiding “an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution or detention of any citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”

The Virginia bill would specifically see to it that Section 1021 of the NDAA is made illegal, which, per President Obama’s approval, legitimizes the detainment of any alleged terrorist, including Americans, that are believed to have committed a “belligerent act” or have supported “hostilities,”

Bob Marshall, a 20-year veteran of the House of Delegates and author of the legislation, tells The New America that his “oath to uphold the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions” prompted him to pen HB 1160, which he feels corrects the unconstitutional provisions put in the NDAA.

[…]

More on RT

Of special concern is the administration’s contention that ‘it is not possible’ to define the ‘precise nature and degree of substantial support, or the precise characteristics of associated forces.’ Since these undefined categories are now, verbatim, part of the NDAA, it opens the door for the indefinite detention of a category of people the government is unable to define. To suggest that these undefined categories cannot be applied to U.S. citizens is at best naïve. Carl Mirra | The NDAA and the Militarization of America