A federal judge has ruled in favor of Chris Hedges and several anti-war plaintiffs that they cannot be constitutionally detained for “substantially” or “materially” supporting Al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated groups” in the course of their journalism or advocacy work. (New York Times, September 18, 2012)
The Obama Justice Department countered the judicial ruling by Obama-appointee Judge Katherine Forrest by arguing that Hedges has no standing to sue because he cannot be detained under the language of the National Defense Authorization Act. Earlier in the case, according to the Times, the Justice Department refused to give such an assurance.
What Mitt Romney would do with Chris Hedges remains uncertain. Romney has said, however, he does not believe that waterboarding is torture. (New York Times, September 27, 2012)
In another federal court decision, a New York judge ruled on October 1 that hundreds of anti-war protestors detained eight years ago during the Republican National Convention were illegally arrested for lack of probable cause. But the same judge rejected the protestors demand that they be processed through the courts, which might have jammed the judicial institutions. The judge, Richard Sullivan, deferred to the FBI and NYPD “intelligence sources” that claimed the demonstrators planned “continuous unlawful behavior” aimed at shutting down the convention and the city.
Shutting down the city might have been the fantasy of a few, but according to all eyewitnesses, after weeks of official provocation, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched through the city peacefully. Those who were arrested en masse were targets of undercover police agents who swarmed into the marching crowds.