Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Meanwhile, an Indefinite Detention Ruling

While the country was focused on out-of-control Muslims killing four State Department officials and the administration was equally focused on blaming an obscure US filmmaker (to include a perp-walk) a circuit judge in the Southern District of New York also made some news.  She made a previously-ordered stay on Obama's indefinite detention authority in the NDAA defense bill "indefinite".   This was the expanded provision that Obama said he would never use, probably.

So where was all the coverage?

Well, "Russia Today" was on it:
On Wednesday, September 12, US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest made permanent a temporary injunction she issued in May that bars the federal government from abiding by the indefinite detention provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA. Judge Forrest ruled that a clause that gives the government the power to arrest US citizens suspected of maintaining alliances with terrorists and hold them without due process violated the Constitution and that the White House would be stripped of that ability immediately.
Actually the NY Times had it but it certainly wasn't a screaming headline:
The Obama administration fought the move, saying the law did not cover free-speech activities. It also claimed that the statute created no new detention authority that did not already exist in the original authorization to use military force. While Judge Forrest said she thought that it did expand detention authority, the fact that the government took the narrower view was “decisive” because it meant that “enjoining the statute will therefore not endanger the public.”
Brilliant turn of logic by the judge. The hilarious part of the Times coverage is that they couldn't bring themselves to just cover the judge's order bashing Obama in one story, they had to roll it into a story on the GOP House voting to extend the FISA law (warrantless surveillance).  Ah yes, those old glory days when Bush was Hitler.  Meanwhile the sad part of the overall story is the lack of an overall story. When Obama does it, it's not news. 

STAYED  9/18/12

The administration has already managed to acquire a stay on the stay through an appeals court judge.   I don't know if this expanded authority is needed or not, my observation is about the coverage in context with how Bush's programs were covered--Pulitzers were won.  In the Obama era the entire story has swept past the American public like a train passing at 3am. 

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