President Barack Obama must surely rue the day he appointed Katherine Forrest to the federal bench. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest issued a preliminary injunction against Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the section that gives the President “the absolute power to arrest and detain citizens of the United States [and of other countries] without their being informed of any criminal charges, without a trial on the merits of those charges, and without a scintilla of the due process safeguards protected by the Constitution of the United States,” in the words of The New American’s Joe Wolverton, II. Wolverton should know: He was a member of the legal team representing the plaintiffs.
After billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin drew global attention to the growing number of Americans giving up their U.S. citizenship to preserve their wealth and escape burdensome IRS regulations, two Democrat Senators outraged by the accelerating trend introduced the “Ex-PATRIOT” Act to get revenge — and, of course, to confiscate more wealth for the government to squander.
Critics of the legislation, dubbed the "Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy" Act, mocked the lawmakers and even the idea as “petty,” saying it would likely be unconstitutional, too. However, other analysts warned that U.S. policy makers were embarrassing the nation as well as traveling a dangerous path toward totalitarianism and even “banana-republic” status. And it should be halted immediately before the situation spirals completely out of control, critics said.
Last the week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) aimed at discovering the content of all electronic correspondence between Google and the National Security Agency (NSA).
The source of the controversy was a "highly sophisticated and targeted” cyber attack targeting Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists in 2010.
President Obama is under fire after passing a so-called “Executive Order” threatening anyone, including American citizens, who interferes even “indirectly” with the transition to power of the new U.S. government-backed dictator of Yemen. Analysts expressed concern that the measure could be an attack on the First Amendment protection of free speech rights, suggesting that journalists and activists who oppose the Yemeni regime might find themselves targeted by the administration’s newly super-charged terror war.
The almost certainly unconstitutional dictate, signed on Wednesday following a string of controversial orders in recent months, declares a “national emergency” to justify the almost-unprecedented restrictions on political activity. The order purports to give Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner broad powers to, among other measures, freeze the assets of whoever the administration claims is attempting to undermine “the peace, security and stability” of Yemen or obstruct the new regime’s consolidation of power. No trial is required.
Judge Katherine Forrest of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday preventing the Obama administration from exercising the indefinite detention authority ostensibly granted the President by Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011.