The “Good Guys” won one.
Back in January of this year Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Chris Hedges, became the lead complainant in a law suit against the Obama administration after President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act on December 21, 2011:
Hedges asserted that section 1021 (pdf) of the bill, which authorized indefinite military detention for “a person who was a 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, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces,” left him, as a working journalist, vulnerable to indefinite detention because neither Congress nor the president defined the terms “substantial support,” “associated forces” or “directly supported.” [Emphasis added.]
After several hearings on the whether or not the plaintiffs had standing,on May 16, US District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York Katherine B. Forrest issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of 1021. On September 12, Judge Forrest made that injunction permanent
Wednesday’s 112-page opinion turns the temporary injunction of May into a permanent injunction. The United States appealed on August 6.
The permanent injunction prevents the U.S. government from enforcing a portion of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions. [..]
“This court does not disagree with the principle that the president has primacy in foreign affairs,” the judge said, but that she was not convinced by government arguments.
“The government has not stated that such conduct – which, by analogy, covers any writing, journalistic and associational activities that involve al Qaeda, the Taliban or whomever is deemed “associated forces” – does not fall within § 1021(b)(2).”
This ruling of course will be appealed. In the meantime, journalists, reporters, humanitarian aid workers are still protected by the Constitution. We owe a hearty “thank you” to Judge Forrest for not abdicating her judicial responsibilities. But most of all the Chris Hedges and the other six members of the “Freedom 7“: Pentagon Papers journalist Daniel Ellsberg; author Noam Chomsky; Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir; Occupy London activist Kai Wargalla; activist Alexa O’Brien, who believes she lost her day job because of McCarthyite suggestions her work with Occupy Wall Street/Day of Rage was somehow connected to Islamic radicals; and Jennifer “Tangerine” Bolen is the founder and Executive Director of RevolutionTruth.