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November 07, 2012



Let me get this straight.

The plaintiffs are not under any threat of military detention, so they don't have standing to challenge this.

However, if they were detained under this law, they would be unable to even make a phone call, let alone a legal challenge.

So you can't challenge it until it's too late, and then... you can't challenge it.

Does this remind anyone of the Salem witch trials? To find out if someone was a witch, tie them up and put them in deep water. If they float, they are a witch... if not, they're dead.


Did anyone read the transcript from the case in District Court?

The Court: “When we are talking about cases which have used the phrase ‘substantially supported’ and said that that is a valid criterion under the AUMF or of the legislation, that’s not the same thing as saying that . . . any court has found, one way or the other, that ‘substantially supported’ has an understandable meaning to an ordinary citizen?”

The Government: “It’s true that the courts have not expressly ruled that, that’s right.”

The Court: Give me an example. Tell me what it means to substantially support associated forces.

Government: I’m not in a position to give specific examples.

The Court: Give me one.

Government: I’m not in a position to give one specific example.


The Court: “Assume you were just an American citizen and you’re reading the statute and you wanted to make sure you do not run afoul of it because you are a diligent U.S. citizen wanting to stay on the right side of §1021, and you read the phrase ‘directly supported’. What does that mean to you?”

Government: Again, it has to be taken in the context of armed conflict informed by the laws of war.

Court: That’s fine. Tell me what that means?

The Government: “I cannot offer a specific example. I don’t have a specific example.”

Even now, the government refuses to define "substantial support" "direct support" and "belligerent act."

It's absurd that the DOJ can say these plaintiffs have no case, the law practically applies to any and everyone.

Coleen Rowley

I don't understand how the Obama DOJ can in one breath prosecute under the 1917 Espionage Act more than twice the number of government whistleblowers than all other presidents combined, characterizing the whistleblowers' disclosures to the media not as spying but as "communicating with the enemy"--subject to the death penalty-- but in their other breath (in this case), say that Chris Hedges and other reporters have nothing to fear in terms of being indefinitely detained by the military.


DOJ may think they can surely file a brief on time, but if Sandy intervenes, they can re-think - and the court will hear their plea for an extension.

DOJ may think Chris Hedges surely has no risk of detention for abetting terrorism if he hangs out with terrorists, but if an attack intervenes, they can re-think and detain him wherever he is - but then they'll say he has no right, as a terrorist, to habeas corpus. No court will hear his plea, at least not if he's abroad at the time and the detaining authority conducts an extraordinary rendition.

What DOJ may think can happen should bear absolutely zero weight on the issue! Not only is it speculative, but it's simply untrue.

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