On September 18, 2001, The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was signed by President Bush. This legislation was argued by the Bush Administration to allow the United States to indefinitely detain US without Trial. This law was challenged in several court trial Hamdi v. Rumsfeld which made it clear:
Though no single opinion of the Court commanded a majority, eight of the nine justices of the Court agreed that the executive branch does not have the power to hold a U.S. citizen indefinitely without basic due process protections enforceable through judicial review.
Another trial also worth checking out was the Jose Padilla case, here is a 2011 Glenn Greenwald article about it
So the US government had to go back to the drawing board, this time they passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, same days as The John Warren Defense Act of 2007, also worth looking into and the erosion of the Posse Comitatus Act, but that’s another aspect.
The MCA of 2006 was struck down again by another trial Boumediene v. Bush (2008):
On June 12, 2008, Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion for the 5–4 majority, holding that the prisoners had a right to the writ of habeas corpus under the United States Constitution and that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was an unconstitutional suspension of that right.
Then there wasn’t to much going on until Obama came to office. Who created an indefinite detention system in 2011 through executive order. Rachael Maddow even discussed this prior to the implementation and did a good job of pointing out how authoritarian it was.
I guess the government wasn’t happy with not being able to detain US citizens, so on December 31st 2001 New Year Eve, Obama signing into Law he 2012 NDAA which had section 1021 & 1022, which permits the US Government to indefinitely Detain US citizens.
This time, the law prevailed in court after Chris Hedges sued the Obama Administration:
We conclude that plaintiffs lack standing to seek preenforcement review of Section 1021 and vacate the permanent injunction.The American citizen plaintiffs lack [Article III] standing because Section 1021 says nothing at all about the President’s authority to detain American citizens. And while Section 1021 does have a real bearing on those who are neither citizens nor lawful resident aliens and who are apprehended abroad, the non-citizen plaintiffs also have failed to establish standing because they have not shown a sufficient threat that the government will detain them under Section 1021. Accordingly, we do not address the merits of plaintiffs’ constitutional claims.
I read the courts conclusion to mean, since the law wasn’t used against Chris Hedges, that meant he didn’t have any legal standing to challenge it… Which is a catch 22 imo, since if the law was used on Mr. Hedges, he wouldn’t be permitted a trial.
This debate still rages, and in June of 2018, Rand Paul & Lindsey Graham debated it in Congress…. Definitely worth a watch.
Please feel free to make any corrections or add to this whole debacle. This stuff really gets into all sorts of other topics like Torture, Killing of US citizens without trial, Martial Law and so on. Just wanted to bring it up, because most people aren’t aware of how hard our government has been working to undermine our right to trial.