Military Detention Law Blocked by New York Judge

Military Detention Law Blocked by New York Judge

By Bob Van Voris and Patricia Hurtado – May 17, 2012 12:01 AM ET
Judge Katherine Forrest

Opponents of a U.S. law they claim may subject them to indefinite military detention for activities including news reporting and political activism persuaded a federal judge to temporarily block the measure.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan yesterday ruled in favor of a group of writers and activists who sued President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Defense Department, claiming a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law Dec. 31, puts them in fear that they could be arrested and held by U.S. armed forces.

The complaint was filed Jan. 13 by a group including former New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges. The plaintiffs contend a section of the law allows for detention of citizens and permanent residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to people engaged in hostilities against the U.S., such as al-Qaeda.

“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,’” Forrest said in an opinion yesterday. “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.”

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Tell Congress to Pass the SAFE Banking Act

Tell Congress: End Too-Big-To-Fail. Make Banking SAFE

US Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

By Isaiah J. Poole

May 16, 2012 – 3:05pm ET

JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion bad bet has made it crystal clear: The Wall Street banksters are still recklessly gambling with government-guaranteed money. And the too-big-to-fail banks are still too big.

It is time for Congress to act. Tell Congress to break up the big banks by passing Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Keith Ellison’s SAFE Banking Act. That legislation is the one tool on the table that will cut too-big-to-fail banks down to size.

When President Obama signed Wall Street reform into law two years ago, one crucial piece was missing: a cap on how big banks can get. The bank lobby defeated all efforts to include a limit on their size.

Now the six largest banks – led by JPMorgan Chase – are collectively bigger and more concentrated than they were before they blew up the economy, with the assets they control growing from $6.1 trillion before the collapse to more than $8.5 trillion today, according to Federal Reserve data.

Continue reading Tell Congress to Pass the SAFE Banking Act