Posts Tagged ‘National Defense Authorization Act’

Amicus briefs in Hedges v. Obama inform indefinite detention lawsuit

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:05 am by

Law BooksThe Bill of Rights Defense Committee recently coordinated the filing of three amicus (friend of the court) briefs in Hedges v. Obama, a lawsuit in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals challenging domestic military detention under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012.

The suit was brought by journalists and activists concerned about being subjected to indefinite military detention if they interview subjects hostile to the US, and secured a permanent injunction earlier this year from Judge Katherine Forrest of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The briefs coordinated by BORDC support the position of the plaintiffs and provide additional arguments to inform the court’s decision. One brief was filed on behalf of BORDC, arguing that when the government has previously used military domestic detention it has taken extreme steps to evade the oversight of the federal courts, and thus it is now especially important for the Second Circuit to decide the constitutionality of the NDAA, so that the government does not later avoid the courts’ oversight.

The other briefs were filed on behalf of the Government Accountability Project, which defends whistleblowers, and the the Korematsu Center, which seeks to combat discrimination and to support communities in advocating for themselves. Both of these briefs were recently highlighted by the Huffington Post, in an article that also points out “7 Ways to Get Yourself Indefinitely Detained.”

Oral argument in the case is anticipated to be before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City in January. Updates can be found on BORDC’s blog and at StopNDAA.org. You can also find others organizing across the country against the NDAA on BORDC’s national map of anti-NDAA movements. Read more about each brief after the jump.

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News Digest 12/07/12

Friday, December 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 12/06/12

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

12/6, Marisa Taylor, McClatchy Newspapers, Federal polygraph programs are secret even to researchers

12/5, Editor, National Security Network, Disciplining the Senate Defense Bill

12/5, Jennifer Martinez, The Hill, McCaul: Cybersecurity legislation is ‘top’ priority next Congress

12/5, Andrew Leonard, Salon, An online privacy invader gets caught

12/4, Theodoric Meyer and Peter Maass, Pro Publica, No Warrant, No Problem: How The Government Can Still Get Your Digital Data

12/3, Declan McCullagh, CNET, Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans’ text messages

News Digest 12/05/12

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 11/29/12

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 11/26/12

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 11/20/12

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

Blurring Lines: The expanding use of anti-terrorism measures in domestic law enforcement

Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 11:13 am by

On September 24, the ACLU of Northern California obtained 13 pages of documents detailing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s surveillance of Occupy protesters leading up to planned direct action at the Oakland docks last December. Contained in the documents was the unsettling admission that the FBI consorted with private corporate security officials before the demonstrations in an effort to mitigate their effectiveness.

The documents represent a small part of what is likely a trove of dossiers created by federal law enforcement officials since the rise of the Occupy movement last fall. But even more troubling to proponents of civil liberties is the two-thirds of the documents that remain classified.

For its part, the FBI denied any “unnecessary intrusions into the lives of law-abiding people” but cited “the interest of national defense or foreign policy” in keeping the remaining documents secret. Exactly why a political protest amounts to a national security threat remains dubious.

Collusion between governmeand agencies and the corporate sector

While scrutiny of domestic political organizations by the FBI is nothing new, the collusion of domestic law enforcement with the private sector, the military, and other government agencies whose missions, on paper at least, are strictly foreign, to suppress civil disobedience is a particularly disturbing trend.

In April, the Associated Press won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the NYPD’s collusion with the Central Intelligence Agency to establish an all-powerful intelligence unit (Intel) within the department aimed at infiltrating the city’s ethic communities. The very same unit was instrumental in gathering ‘intelligence’ on Occupiers at the movement’s symbolic headquarters, Zuchotti Park.

Disturbing techniques to limit dissent

In their efforts to squelch political dissent, government agencies are increasingly relying on questionable tactics and specious justifications to neutralize what it perceives as threats to governmental, and in cases such as above, private interests. These include widespread surveillance, group infiltration, and the use of federal grand juries as tools for political repression.

Above all, the frequent application of the label (potential) ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’ to activist groups and political activity provides the pretext for law enforcement to employ pervasive, intrusive, and often unconstitutional measures.

On October 10, 24-year-old Portland activist Leah Lynn Plante was the last of three Occupy activists sentenced to 18-months in federal prison for her refusal to provide a grand jury testimony regarding fellow activists in the region. Plante was never accused of a crime but was active in the Northwest anarchist scene. During their July 25 raid, 40 agents from the FBI and the Joint Terrorist Task Force held her and her roommates at gunpoint while they seized black clothing, books, artwork and other various literature as “evidence”.

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The tragic death of Adnan Latif

Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 9:48 am by

Last week, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif died at Guantánamo Bay, after 10 years of imprisonment by the United States without charge. He had been cleared for transfer three times, and ordered released by a federal district court judge. Despite the military clearing him for transfer, our government fought the judges’ order to release Mr. Latif, effectively condemning him to die in custody despite having never been charged with a crime.

Three months ago, The Supreme Court refused to hear Mr. Latif’s case, along with that of six other cases brought by men challenging their indefinite detention. Instead, the Court allowed judges from the DC Circuit court to continue to eviscerate the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Boumediene v. Bush, which guaranteed the men at Guantánamo a “meaningful opportunity” to contest their imprisonment.

A dissenting judge in Mr. Latif’s case before the DC Circuit court noted that his colleagues came “perilously close to suggesting that whatever the government says must be treated as true.”  He further observed that “[n]ot content with moving the goal posts, the court calls the game in the government’s favor.”

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Anti-NDAA, anti-SOPA Candidates Running for Congress

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm by

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are two of the most controversial pieces of legislation of the past year. Signed by President Obama last December, the NDAA authorizes the military to indefinitely detain anyone accused of being a terrorist or offering “material support.” This includes American citizens.

Meanwhile, SOPA (and it Senate version, the Protect IP Act, PIPA) would have blocked domain names and cut off funds to websites that were accused of infringing copyright. However, a national backlash to “Stop SOPA” forced Congress to table those bills.

Recognizing the grassroots thirst for stronger stands to protect liberties, a diverse array of candidates has emerged across the nation — including Democrats, Republicans, and independents — campaigning against the NDAA and SOPA.

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