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As reported in truthdig.com, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd district today ruled against Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent and best-selling author of War is a Force that Gives us Meaning) in his suit against the Obama administration over section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. This provision enables indefinite military detention without trial until the end of hostilities anyone "who was 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"

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The controversy lies chiefly over how loosely the phrases "substantially supported" and "associated forces" can be interpreted, and whether that could be a threat to American citizens engaging in journalism amongst other things. In my opinion it's not too great a leap to imagine after hearing so many folk in Washington rail on about how Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald is a traitor who harmed America by providing sensitive information to America's enemies. Of course the phrase "until the end of hostilities" is an equally troubling phrase 12 years after the AUMF...

Hedges filed suit in early 2012 and several months later a federal Court issued an injunction against the law. President Obama immediately filed for appeal, and today the injunction was dismissed.

Here is Hedges's response:

This is quite distressing. It means there is no recourse now either within the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branches of government to halt the steady assault on our civil liberties and most basic Constitutional rights. It means that the state can use the military, overturning over two centuries of domestic law, to use troops on the streets to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers. States that accrue to themselves this kind of power, history has shown, will use it. We will appeal, but the Supreme Court is not required to hear our appeal. It is a black day for those who care about liberty.
Here is the court decision.

Personally, I do not believe Chris Hedges is being alarmist in his interpretation of the potential dangers and inherent unconstitutionality of this law. I am grateful to him, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, and everyone who has been involved with fighting the White House on this issue. This is yet another devastating loss for the American people and for democracy.

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