NDAA Provisions attacking Freedom of Speech Struck Down

A federal judge has ruled unconstitutional portions of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which provided for indefinite imprisonment for journalists and activists who reported on organizations deemed ‘terrorist’ by the US government.

Judge Katherine Forrest ruled,

“The statute at issue places the public at undue risk of having their speech chilled for the purported protection from al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ‘associated forces’ – i.e., ‘foreign terrorist organizations.’ The vagueness of Section 1021 does not allow the average citizen, or even the government itself, to understand with the type of definiteness to which our citizens are entitled, or what conduct comes within its scope.”

The vagueness is such that prominent figures such as Rudy Giuliani have palled around with the MEK (Mojahedin-e Khalq or People’s Holy Jihadis) of Iran, which was on the terrorism watch list for years, with no adverse reaction from the government. But now the Israel lobbies have succeeded in getting the MEK, which has a secret alliance with Israeli intelligence, removed from the list! So could you meet them before? Report on their views? Now? Note that remaining on the list is Lebanon’s Hizbullah, a national liberation organization that got back Lebanese territory from an illegal Israeli invasion and occupation that killed tens of thousands of people.

If we let the US government determine to whom we can speak and what we can say, assuming our words represent no clear and present danger of provoking violence, we may as well just trade in our US passports for an Iranian one.

You know, the Right Wing in Congress has been pulling this stuff for decades, and it only stops when the real Americans put their feet down. Ted Kennedy used to just rule this kind of bullcrap out of bounds in the Senate. But apparently Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi just don’t care, and neither does Barack Obama. There are a whole series of bad decisions that the three of them could have stopped if they had bothered.

Cenk Uygur interviews journalist Tangerine Bolen on the implications:

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Responses | Print |

5 Responses

  1. Glad to see this but it is too bad a single judge has to be putting on the brakes while, as you point out, Obama, Pelosi, Reed, and a host of DC others don’t seem to care, or are actively on the other side of the fence. One has to ask the question of whether it does any good to vote anymore. When one begins to ask that question, functional democracy is no longer present. When neither of two candidates represents a coherent choice, voting is a joke.

  2. This is good, but next they should sue under the law which forbids material aid to listed terrorist organizations. (Should have done it already when they did NDAA). Why?

    Because telling the story presented by a terrorist organization (or by one of its members) in public might be construed by the USA as giving material support. And off you fly to jail.

    Even if (by blatant selective prosecution) the USA has not prosecuted Giuliani and Dean and others for their support for MEK, they have prosecuted others and have prevented lawyers from giving legal advice to listed organizations which sought to get un-listed. This is the project (for MEK) which Giuliani et al. have been working on. the “material support” law is scary and seems (to me) unconstitutional, or at least un-American.

  3. Nice to see some states taking the lead against this act of tyranny. Hopefully, if all 50 follow suit and unite against NDAA, this unconstitutional piece of legislation will be struck down forever! There’s a good article that shows the opposition to NDAA and what people are doing about it: link to martiallawusa.com

  4. Obama just signed an executive order to financially punish those who oppose the Yemeni president. Obama does not seem lax on civil liberties issues. Rather, he’s on the wrong side.

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