The Most Revolutionary Act

Diverse Ramblings of an American Refugee

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
New Plymouth, New Zealand
December 02
Retired psychiatrist, activist and author of 2 young adult novels - Battle for Tomorrow and A Rebel Comes of Age - and a free ebook 21st Century Revolution. My 2010 memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led me to leave the US in 2002. More information about my books (and me) at


FEBRUARY 12, 2013 2:39PM

Update on Indefinite Detention Lawsuit and Appeal

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People may recall that lower court judge Katherine Forrest ruled against the Obama administration in the lawsuit Hedges vs Barrack Obama, which claimed that the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) violates important protections guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. In addition to Hedges, the plaintiffs consist of  six other journalists, activists and whistleblowers, including Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and Icelandic Member of Parliament Brigitta Jonsdottir (who had her Twitter account details seized by the FBI a few months ago).

The Obama administration appealed the ruling, and hearings were held last week in a Manhattan appeals court. The court has indicated they are unlikely to rule until the Supreme Court rules on a similar case involving warrantless wiretapping – Clapper vs. Amnesty International – in which Hedges is also a plaintiff.

The provision at the heart of the lawsuit is 1021(b)(2), which allows the military to detain people who have “substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces . . . without trial until the end of hostilities.” This could mean indefinitely as Obama clearly views the war on terror as an open-ended war to protect US interests in the Middle East and Africa.

A recent article in Business Insider by Michael Kelley reports on a panel discussion the plaintiffs held after the hearings ended last Wednesday:



During the discussion, attorney Carl Meyer states

 “In broad terms, the stakes are very high because what our case comes do to is: Are we going to have a civil justice system in the United States or a military justice system? The civil justice system is something that’s ingrained in the Constitution and was always very important in combating tyranny and building a democratic society.”

He leaves no doubt that by allowing the military to detain US residents in military prisons, the NDAA totally negates fundamental provisions of the US Constitution.

Read more: here

photo credit: Shrieking Tree via photopin cc


Crossposted at Daily Censored and The Most Revolutionary Act

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Is anyone surprised Obama has appealed the lower court ruling overturning indefinite detention. Talk about malignant narcissism.
I can easily visualize Obama saying to himself, " It's GREAT to be King!"

(and then strolls nude through the White House as people complement his clothes...)
As you and I both know only to well Dr. you cannot win it a court that is owned by your opposition.

@Amy. Frank is his tailor.
I can see the drone logic (not in favor of using them) easier than I can get this. I am not shocked by anything - but how foolish is Obama is to drift this way? And is a politicized judical system really any worse? Thinking back to 2000 - and how we got Bush - I wonder - as I know you do - does justice mean anything up there?
america needs a new constitution. but that phrase, 'land of the free,' it was a lie. chains of the mind keep the cattle quiet, even if not content.
OF COURSE the government appealed it. You can expect them to continue to do so until they get what they want. That and keep on writing new laws to the same end. And it won't matter which party is in office. It isn't, as we are led to believe, the party which is at fault; it is the system that is at fault for it is the system that allowed "the people's representatives" and their political parties, to be taken over and controlled by the wealthy corporations/banks. Not that it makes any difference in regard to the NDAA since the American government - like all other governments - has always jailed and/or assassinated those whom it pleas them to jail or assassinate, since the very first one; perhaps even before that first one was officially installed in office.

[r] Bush deserves impeachment as does Obama. Sociopathic and psychopathic leadership takes and authoritarian followers do nothing.

3 types of people. Those who makes things happen. Those who watch things happen. Those who ask too late, "WTF happened?"

We are a citizenry of the second two.

Thank God those who make things happen are challenging the ethical and legal freakshow that is presently the USA or really the Dictatorship of America.

best, libby
Here's a great video update by Chris Hedges on the NDAA appeal. He outlines the real reason why Obama is aggressively pursing this legislation:
Hi Doc: Thanks for the update on Chris Hedges and his NDAA appeal. Pretty scarey isn't it. Unfortunately, Obama Admin may be on solid ground legally and when it comes to a national security issue he will follow the advice of his experts and let the Court decide.
Understand and make distinctions with very real differences: if admitted traitors like Anwar al-Awlaki declare war on their country and assure us they are a 'clear and present danger', if they want “due process” they can COME AND GET IT. But a fugitive is quite different. Would anyone argue that the government can not kill Christopher Dorner? At this point a well placed bull is all the 'process' he is legally 'due. But if he was in custody it's a very different story.
Still, understand another distinction with a real legal difference. The military is not looking at you or me! We need not worry about that. But if we gave the government a reasonable suspicion we are the cohorts of al-Awlaki, and if there is 'probable cause' to hold us in custody by the military, then what 'due process' are we entitled to? Remember, we are not a fugitives but in custody and even if we have a truckload of evidence against us we have a right to know that it is and to confront our accusers. THAT IS THE NARROW ISSUE THAT HEDGES' LAW SUIT IS ALL ABOUT.
Now all that is different in war time ... or is it? Even Emma Goldman and Eugene V. Debs got 'due process' – such as it was. Then again they were not accused of actually being terrorists during an actual war but just expressing their opinions. Still, even if they were so accused, would they not have a right to know the charges and stand trial?  Clearly the Bill of Rights says YES!
But as to Hedges law suit surely he knew it would not be so simple. Nothing peculiar here: this is the way litigation works (it's not 'malignant narcissism' — whatever that is). but simply litigation and the looser always appeals where the stakes are high.

Lilly is right: thank goodness there are lawyers will challenge this. You can be sure, even with pro bono representation, and the possibility of attorney's fees if Hedges prevails, the cost and effort are unimaginable to most people. This is serious hard work — most folks don't have a clue. So we should all stand up and salute this wonderful lawyers.
Frankly, unless the composition of the Court alters, I predict Hedges will loose - Obama's best hope as a so-called liberal is that he can appoint another justice who can strike him (and the powers that control him) down. Any nincompoop who thinks a president can do as he thinks is just needs to go see Lincoln. Democracy is not dictatorship.
At a time like this the court will defer. Suspension of due process and habeas corpus are not at all unusual on national security issues and even Lincoln did it for heaven sake. It is axiomatic that “the Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact” and the high court will probably not interfere. Hedges' lawyers probably know this which makes their Quixotic effort all the more heroic. But they are charging windmills (our favorite pastime?).
SCOTUS will deny certiorari unless a circuit court affirms the first ruling and then probably find a way to rubber stamp the exceptions to 'fundamental' rights.
But I appreciated Hedges' acknowledgment of the fact that Obama is a prisoner of politics which is owned by Wall Street interests. I also agree with hedges (for all the reasons I wrote here and in self-referential links and the follow up comments) that we must hold Obama to a higher standard. When this (and more that Obama Admin does) was done by the right the left screamed bloody murder. And now they are silent – which demonstrates their objections to Bush were more political than authentic.
Again “Yes, all politics is snow job but in American politics especially the game is called my religion is better than your religion, my hypocrisy is more noble than your hypocrisy, my lies are more pious than your lies, and my propaganda is more authentic than yours... and
"Speaking of which how very clever! Now that the majority is coming around anyway [on the marriage issue] isn't all this 'debate' a perfect way to keep LGBT activists silent on the issue of his continuance of Bush's drone policy, silent on his selection of a CIA director, silent on his capitulation to Wall Street, silent on his failure to close Gitmo, silent on his expansion of Bush's faith-based initiatives. By appeasing minorities one can argue that he has silenced all dissent on the left." And silent on his detention policies as to American citizens EVEN IF there is probable cause to believe they are terrorists.  
We do not need a new Constitution but to defend and enforce the one we have.
Thanks for this. Important info. Shared via Facebook. I'll add this to my drone, Gitmo, and Bradley Manning watchlist!
You make some very important points, Francois. The problem as Hedges et al state in their lawsuit, is that the Obama administration is treating whistleblowers as enemies of the state. I myself was a whistleblower in the 1980s, and the government came after me (illegally). Now everything they did to me (which I describe in my memoir The Most Revolutionary Act) would be perfectly legal.

Very interesting your observation about the legalization of gay marriage being a diversion. They're very clever that way, aren't they?