We realize the rioting and killing in the Middle East have justifiably dominated the news cycle but we can’t help but think that a judge banning the use of waterboarding back in, say, 2006 would’ve garnered just a little more attention. As it stands, we stumbled across this by accident in a somewhat obscure East County (San Diego) on-line news pub.
The logical extension of the Bush administration policies finally gets its justifiable judicial smackdown:
On September 12, 2012, Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that the so-called “indefinite detention” provision of the fiscal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act violates the Constitution and issued a permanent injunction against its use. The law would have allowed the military to indefinitely detain civilians -- even Americans -- without charge or trial if they are accused of certain crimes, or even associated with certain criminals.
There are six plaintiffs in the case including writer Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, and the leaker of the Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg.
"Today is a day to celebrate,” plaintiff Tangerine Bolen responded to the ruling. "The steady assault on the US Constitution was dramatically slowed today, as Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in our favor. After eleven years of witnessing a radical departure from democracy and fundamental civil liberties and towards increased authoritarianism -- all under the guise of the war on terror -- we have a ray of hope and reason to keep the faith: in judges who stand with the Constitution, in the rule of law, and in all those who sacrifice so much to preserve our liberties.”
Plaintiffs fear that Obama will continue to defend the law, by choosing to appeal the ruling to a higher court.
Activist group Demand Progress -- whose million-plus members have helped support the lawsuit -- launched a petition late Wednesday evening urging President Obama to not appeal the ruling, and US Senators to oppose indefinite detention when it comes up for a vote this fall.
A copy of Demand Progress' Petition can be seen at: http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/ndaa_lawsuit_win/
"It's wonderful to see judge Forrest -- a recent Obama appointee -- buck the administration and stand up for the Constitution," said Demand Progress executive director David Segal, "Our members urge Obama to stop defending this obscene abuse of executive authority, and ask our senators to oppose indefinite detention when they vote on the NDAA later this fall.
Strange days indeed when we find ourselves siding with the likes of Noam Chomsky.
No word, however, on that other part of the ADAA which gives the President the power to kill U.S. citizens overseas without traditionally-recognized due process.
As it is... rest easy, libs: your days of camping out in a ditch somewhere near Crawford, Texas since 2009 have finally paid off. Through your efforts, the Constitution may yet still be restored to its full glory.