I have always looked upon my experiences here in Ecuador as nothing short of an adventure.....a "re-conquest". You will find that this Blog not only offers information on how to live, invest or simply visit Ecuador (rated the number one retirement heaven by International Living magazine for 2011) but also informative information and articles on how to survive in this fast changing and volatile World we live in. Your comments are welcome!
El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
From the Grinch: Actually, The Newest Version Of NDAA Makes It EASIER To Detain Americans INDEFINATELY
At first glance it looked like the 2013 version National Defense Authorization Act
(NDAA) did more to protect Americans against indefinite detention. We
and several other news organizations reported as much yesterday.
But on closer examination the new NDAA actually makes it EASIER to detain citizens indefinitely.
Here's the added clause in question:
“Nothing in the AUMF or the 2012 NDAA
shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus
or to deny any Constitutional rightsin a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution for any person who is lawfully in the United States when detained pursuant to the AUMF and who is otherwise entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights.”
Yesterday we focused on the line "nothing ... shall be construed to deny ... any constitutional Rights ..."
But today we offer another interpretation from Bruce Afran, a lawyer
for the group of journalists and activists suing the government over the
Afran explained that the new provision gives U.S. citizens a right to
go to civilian (i.e. Article III) court based on "any [applicable]
constitutional rights," but since there are are no rules in place to
exercise this right, detained U.S. citizens currently have no
way to gain access to lawyers, family or the court itself once they are
detained within the military.
"The biggest thing about the  NDAA was that you weren't getting a trial ... Nothing in here says that you'll make it to an Article III court so it literally does nothing," Dan Johnson, founder of People Against the NDAA, told BI. "It's a bunch of words, basically," Afran noted that the newest version actually goes further than the NDAA that's now in effect.
"The new statute actually states that persons lawfully in the U.S.
can be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force
[AUMF]. The original (the statute we are fighting in court) never went
that far," Afran said. "Therefore, under the guise of supposedly
adding protection to Americans, the new statute actually expands the
AUMF to civilians in the U.S."
The suit against the government challenges the indefinite detention provisions
of section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA—which allow the military to
indefinitely detain anyone who commits a "belligerent act" or provides
"substantial support" to the Taliban, al-Qaeda or "associated forces"—on
the grounds that certain terms were unconstitutionally vague and could
chill free speech.
The provisions were permanently blocked by Judge Katherine Forrest but went back into effect after Appeals Court Judge Raymond Lohier reinstated
them in October because he agreed with the government that section 1021
was simply a "reaffirmation" of the AUMF, which gives the president the
authority to indefinitely detain anyone involved in carrying out the
9/11 terrorist attacks.
The newest version of the NDAA seems to be equating the AUMF and section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA—which the government has argued all along—and thereby codifies precisely what the plaintiffs are fighting in court.
All of this makes the lawsuit—which will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court—central to the issue of the indefinite detention of Americans. The bottom line, according to Afran, is that the
NDAA "is still unconstitutional because it allows citizens or persons
in the U.S. to be held in military custody, a position that the Supreme
Court has repeatedly held is unconstitutional."