The White House’s ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process was reauthorized late Monday by a solitary appeals judge, giving the US Government unilateral power to eliminate habeas corpus and indefinitely detain any suspected terrorist for interrogation, even a US citizen.
Last December, President Barack Obama signed the NDAA into law, though explained his hesitation to support the bill due to the indefinite detention provision allowing the US government the ability to detain suspected terrorists (including American citizens) without charge, trial, or basic human rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.
“The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,” President Obama wrote in a missive accompanying the bill. “In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”
Many criticized the president for allowing our rights to take such a hit whilst distancing himself from the legislation that he himself signed into law.
Last week, a federal judge ruled that a temporary injunction on the indefinite detention clause should be permanent, removing the White House’s ability under the NDAA to imprison US citizens under even mere allegations of terrorist association. The US Justice Department asked for a stay on the order, and mere hours later, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier agreed to the hold, reports RT.
The NDAA clause, which has been almost universally criticized by the press and various human rights groups including the ACLU, allows the imprisonment and stripping of rights of 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” until the dubious and vaguely worded deadline “the end of the hostilities.”
“First Amendment rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be legislated away,” Judge Forrest, who advocated the permanence of the temporary injunction, wrote last week. “This Court rejects the Government’s suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention.”
Judge Forrest called the NDAA’s indefinite detention allowances a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights.”