Holding a single flower each, two protesters wearing black hoods and orange jumpsuits take part in a demonstration in front of the White House. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has dealt a terrible blow to Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and the other activists and journalists suing to prevent the indefinite military detention of American citizens. Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 would allow the military to detain indefinitely persons who are deemed to consort with terrorists or those who commit “belligerent acts” against the United States. Journalists, whose job it is to do just that, would undoubtedly qualify, Hedges has argued.
The plaintiffs have had successes and setbacks in court.
Here is what Hedges wrote after Wednesday’s decision:
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.
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