Obama fights ban on indefinite detention of Americans

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Again I must ask…..what about the Constitution where it says we have a right to speedy trial and face our accusers?  You know, the 6th amendment ….being terrorists doesn’t change that, especially American terrorists. Even then the Constitution applies. Folks we are seeing the Constitution being trampled on weekly if almost daily now and that is not good. For those that think it is outdated, if you could see the future and what it holds without the current Constitution, you’d change your mind real fast about changing what we’ve had for over 200 yrs., it’s worked pretty good for us.

The White House has filed an appeal in hopes of reversing a federal judge’s ruling that bans the indefinite military detention of Americans because attorneys for the president say they are justified to imprison alleged terrorists without charge.

Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in May that the indefinite detention provisions signed into law late last year by US President Barack Obama failed to “pass constitutional muster” and ordered a temporary injunction to keep the military from locking up any person, American or other, over allegations of terrorist ties. On Monday, however, federal prosecutors representing President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta filed a claim with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of eliminating that ban.

The plaintiffs “cannot point to a single example of the military’s detaining anyone for engaging in conduct even remotely similar to the type of expressive activities they allege could lead to detention,” Obama’s attorneys insist. With that, the White House is arguing that as long as the indefinite detention law hasn’t be enforced yet, there is no reason for a judge to invalidate it.

Reuters reports this week that the government believes they are justified to have the authorization to lock alleged belligerents up indefinitely because cases involving militants directly aligned against the good of the US government warrants such punishment. Separate from Judge Forrest’s injunction, nine states have attempted to, at least in part, remove themselves from the indefinite detention provisions of included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA.

“[T]here are so many people from all sides of the political spectrum opposed to this law that they ought to just say, ‘We’re not going to appeal,’”attorney Carl Mayer said. “The NDAA cannot be used to pick up Americans in a proverbial black van or in any other way that the administration might decide to try to get people into the military justice system. It means that the government is foreclosed now from engaging in this type of action against the civil liberties of Americans.”

The original plaintiffs, who include Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges, have asked Just Forrest to make her injunction permanent. Oral arguments in the case are expected to begin this week.

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Congress Passes Law for Military to Arrest US Citizens Without Trial

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Sheriff Richard Mack appears on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch to discuss how the bill allowing indefinite detention of even American citizens on U.S. soil is an obvious breach of the Constitution (6th amendment), and something that founders like James Madison warned about.

This law violates the 6th amendment:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Obama Administration Proposes Rolling Back Fifth and Sixth Amendments

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Well here we go down that very “slippery slope”…notice in this article the Obama administration is talking about “terrorists” and doesn’t say anything about them being or not being US Citizens. So be careful here!  Obama wants a modification that strikes at ideas established in the Magna Carta of 1215 and British common law — due process and a right to a speedy trial. Remember this says nothing about “not being US Citizens” and don’t forget the MIAC report about Ron Paul supporters, people against illegal immigration, abortion, the United Nations, the Income Tax or are a Chuck Baldwin supporter you could be considered a “terrorist”.

5th Amendment:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

6th Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence .

Proposal Would Delay Hearings in Terror  Cases

President Obama’s legal advisers are considering asking Congress to allow the government to detain terrorism suspects longer after their arrests before presenting them to a judge for an initial hearing, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.

If approved, the idea to delay hearings would be attached to broader legislation to allow interrogators to withhold Miranda warnings from terrorism suspects for lengthy periods, as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. proposed last week.

The goal of both measures would be to open a window of time after an arrest in which interrogators could question a terrorism suspect without an interruption that might cause the prisoner to stop talking. It is not clear how long of a delay the administration is considering seeking.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proposal is still being developed, cautioned that it was not clear what the final proposal would include. Several aides to leading Democratic members of Congress said the administration had not approached their offices for detailed discussions of the matter, and the administration declined to comment on the internal deliberations.

Benjamin Wittes, a terrorism policy specialist at the Brookings Institution, said the issue of the timing of a Miranda warning was generating much more political attention because people were familiar with Miranda rights from television shows. But, he said, the need for an early “presentment” hearing is even more likely to disrupt an interrogation because it involves transporting a suspect to a courtroom for a formal proceeding.

“I would be very surprised if, when we see the proposal that they are cooking up, there weren’t a significant component of it that is about a window of detention,” said Mr. Wittes, who argued in favor of delaying initial hearings in an opinion column published by The Washington Post on Friday.

Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, assailed the Obama administration for considering such ideas. He noted that the administration of President George W. Bush, which was heavily criticized by civil-liberties groups, never proposed such modifications to criminal procedures.

“It’s highly troubling that the Obama administration might propose to lengthen the time in which a potential defendant would come before a judge,” Mr. Romero said. “Both proposals would severely undercut the Obama administration’s assertion that they believe in the rule of law.”

The administration’s flirtation with the ideas follows the arrest last week of Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. Federal interrogators questioned Mr. Shahzad for several hours before warning him that he had right to remain silent and consult a lawyer, citing an exception to the Miranda rule for immediate threats to public safety.

Officials have said that Mr. Shahzad waived those rights, as well as his right to a quick initial hearing before a judge, and has continued cooperating with interrogators. But, worried that suspects in future cases may not do likewise, or that law enforcement officials will be confused about the rules, the administration has decided to push for changes.

There is a federal rule of criminal procedure that requires law enforcement officials to take a prisoner to a judge for an initial hearing “without unnecessary delay.” But specialists in criminal law said it would be a fairly simple matter for Congress to pass a statute exempting terrorism cases.

But they said it would be trickier to get around a Supreme Court precedent that governs when people must get initial hearings before a judge in cases in which the police have arrested someone without a warrant. The court has ruled that such prisoners must generally get a hearing within 48 hours to ensure there is probable cause to believe they committed a crime.

Congress has no authority to override the Supreme Court’s constitutional rulings. But several legal specialists said the court might be more willing to approve modifications if lawmakers and the executive branch agreed that the changes were necessary in the fight against terrorism.

One idea, Mr. Wittes said, would be for prosecutors to ask a judge for permission to continue holding a terrorism suspect who had been arrested without bringing the prisoner to the courtroom. As a safeguard, he said, Congress could require a high-level Justice Department official to certify that delaying the suspect’s initial appearance in court was necessary for national-security reasons.

NYTimes.com