Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
There was an uproar several months ago when the US Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and there was a section in it (1021) that said, according to Wikipedia:
” includes the power to detain, via the Armed Forces, any person “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”, and anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the U.S. or its coalition allies in aid of such enemy forces, under the law of war, “without trial, until the end of the hostilities authorized by the [AUMF]”.
Congress, and the President, it seems, had shut down another piece of the US Constitution. It was time for activists, especially those that questioned the activities of US government agencies, to step back and take a hard look at what was about to happen. The question? Could this law be used against us?
It sure looked like it, especially to those of us familiar with the gun toting fools at the FDA, or the fully militarized Public Health Service (yes, they are a military organization, and yes, they do wear military uniforms) that the possibilities were daunting.
What possibilities? Well, every time we turned around, over the last few years, some government agency was declaring another pandemic, declaring that the newest flu strain was going to end mankind as we know it, and demanding MANDATORY vaccinations of, and for, EVERYONE.
We beat all those back.
But, what if, suddenly, those same alarmists declared that this flu was a product of a terrorist organization? Would our attempts to stave off this crap end with us being picked up by the military, never to be seen again?
Everybody I talked to, no matter which political side of an argument, was concerned – right and left alike. The question was “What are we going to do?”
Well, We Needn’t Have Worried…
My daughter Jennifer (Tangerine) was already on it.
Now let me explain – No, we did not name our daughter “Tangerine.” We, like most parents, searched long and hard for exactly the right name, and we selected Jennifer Ann. Later, amongst her friends, running through the sun of Southern California, she became “Jennie-Annie-Dots” because of those marvelous freckles. Even the black-and-white photos I took of her showed that glory. But, those photos, even then, showed something else – that look in her eye.
And, that look in her eye has never gone away. Look at that picture of her, above, on the federal courthouse steps in Manhattan.
So, “Tangerine?” Where’d that name come from? College, of course. That bright red hair came out at birth, and acted as a sign “What you see is what you get.” And, that’s a very good thing.
Jennifer has a lot of projects she is working on. Among other things she runs a website called RevolutionTruth. You would have to see it to grasp its importance.
Since she is regularly on national radio, was on Oprah several years back, blogs for Michael Moore, writes as well as I do, it wasn’t hard for her to convince journalist Chris Hedges to broaden the lawsuit he was preparing over NDAA section 1021 to add a lot more Plaintiffs, herself included. So, when Chris said “maybe,” Jennifer went out and got Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Alexa O’Brien of U.S. Day of Rage, Icelandic member of parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir and Occupy London Kai Wargalla, the last two, both, also, of Revolution Truth.
Then she went out and found nineteen groups and people to file Amicus Briefs in favor of the lawsuit. They included, according to Courthouse News:
“the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Center for Media and Democracy, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Constitution Party National Committee, Downsize DC Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, Restoring Liberty Action Committee, Tenth Amendment Center, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, U.S. Border Control, U.S. Justice Foundation and Western Center for Journalism.”
She has organizing skills.
As you probably already know, federal Judge Katherine Forrest, yesterday, struck that section of law down – declaring it to be unconstitutional. Naomi Wolf, writing for the London Guardian said:
“On Wednesday 16 May, at about 4pm, the republic of the United States of America was drawn back – at least for now – from a precipice that would have plunged our country into moral darkness. One brave and principled newly-appointed judge ruled against a law that would have brought the legal powers of the authorities of Guantánamo home to our own courthouses, streets and backyards.
US district judge Katherine Forrest, in New York City’s eastern district, found that section 1021 – the key section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – which had been rushed into law amid secrecy and in haste on New Year’s Eve 2011, bestowing on any president the power to detain US citizens indefinitely, without charge or trial, “facially unconstitutional”. Forrest concluded that the law does indeed have, as the journalists and peaceful activists who brought the lawsuit against the president and Leon Panetta have argued, a “chilling impact on first amendment rights”. Her ruling enjoins that section of the NDAA from becoming law.
In her written opinion, the judge noted that she had been persuaded by what the lead plaintiffs – who include Pulitzer prize-winner Chris Hedges of the Nation Institute, editor Jennifer Bolen of RevolutionTruth, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, co-founder of Occupy London Kai Wargalla, Days of Rage editor Alexa O’Brien, and the Icelandic parliamentarian and WikiLeaks activist Birgitta Jónsdóttir – had argued. In their testimonies (in court and by affidavit), these plaintiffs compiled a persuasive case that they had “standing” to sue because it was reasonable for them to worry that they could conceivably could be detained indefinitely under the section 1021 law because their work requires them to have contact with sources the US government might assert were “terrorists” or “associated forces” of al-Qaida.”
You can read Naomi’s whole article by clicking here. You can read the Amicus Brief by clicking here.
I watched her interview on “Young Turks” just an hour ago…
I don’t need to say any more.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate – And VERY proud father.