The Secret prisons Of America’s Future
by Lev Six
The White House has filed an appeal to reverse a federal judge’s ruling that bans the indefinite military detention of Americans. Attorneys for the president say they are justified to imprison alleged terrorists without charge or trial.
In section 1021 of the NDAA, the president’s authority to hold a terrorism suspect “without trial, until the end of the hostilities” is reaffirmed by Congress. Despite Obama’s accompanying statement voicing his opposition to the provision, he inked his name to the NDAA on December 31, 2011.
In May, a group of plaintiffs challenged section 1021 in court. Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that the indefinite detention provisions signed into law late last year by Obama failed to “pass constitutional muster” and ordered a temporary injunction to keep the military from locking up any person, American or other, over allegations of terrorist ties. On Monday, however, federal prosecutors representing the President and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta filed a claim with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of eliminating that ban.
“There is a strong public interest in protecting rights guaranteed by the First Amendment,” Forrest wrote in her 68-page ruling. “There is also a strong public interest in ensuring that due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment are protected by ensuring that ordinary citizens are able to understand the scope of conduct that could subject them to indefinite military detention.”
This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying than the last. Government attorneys again presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to answer questions about the NDAA and indefinite detention.
Judge Forrest responded that if the provision had indeed been applied, the United States government would be in contempt of court.
The original plaintiffs, who include Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges, have asked Judge Forrest to make her injunction permanent.
NDAA 2012, section 1021:
“A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”
Western governments, brutal Sunni-Arab dictatorships, an assortment of terror groups including al-Qaeda, and other powerful interests have backed the Syrian uprising since before violence broke out last year.
The al-Qaeda-styled group in Syria is Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham (the Front for the Protection of the Syrian People). Like other al-Qaeda affiliated groups, al-Nusra’s statements and videos are usually issued by its own media group, al-Manara al-Baida (the White Minaret) in Syria.
Al-Nusra has claimed responsibility for several attacks against the Syrian army, security and shabiha (state-sponsored thugs) since it announced its formation early this year.
“Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags. They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?” But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.
According to Abu Khuder, his men are working closely with the military council that commands the Free Syrian Army brigades in the region. “We meet almost every day,” he said. “We have clear instructions from our leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations.” Abu Khuder’s men had a lot of experience in bomb-making from Iraq and elsewhere, he added.
The foregoing accounts of the hostilities in Syria provide nearly irrefutable evidence that numerous radical militants are found among the ranks of rebels (particularly within the Free Syrian Army), including among those filling leadership roles within those forces.
According to media reports, Obama’s latest secret intelligence order grants the CIA and other U.S. government agencies even broader latitude in supporting the “revolutionaries.”
We should all take a closer look at who is providing “substantial support” to terrorists and violating section 1021 of the NDAA.