Guest Post: Judge Katherine Forrest Is A Modern American Hero

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics

Judge Katherine Forrest is a Modern American Hero

Sometimes, the greatest deeds are done by those who are just doing their jobs, like Judge Katherine Forrest who last week struck down the indefinite detention provision (§1021) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

It would be all too easy in this age of ever-encroaching authoritarianism in America for a judge ruling on a matter like this to just go with the government line and throw water over the plaintiffs. After all, telling truth to power has consequences. Forrest was appointed by Obama, but after this ruling one wonders whether she is about to meet a career dead-end. Power — especially narcissistic power — does not like being told uncomfortable truths.

Everything about this case is shameful; it should be obvious to anyone who can read the Constitution that indefinite detention without trial (just like assassination without trial — something else that Obama and his goons have no problem practicing and defending) is hideously and cruelly unconstitutional. It defecates upon both the words and the spirit of the document.

It is directly and completely in contravention to the Fifth Amendment:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

It is shameful that this law was proposed, it is shameful that any legislator would vote for it, and it is shameful that the President would sign it into law, albeit with a flimsy signing-statement claiming that he would not use the indefinite detention provision against American citizens.

More shameful still is the fact that when this challenge was brought that the Obama administration tried to dismiss it on a technicality — they tried to make the case that because none of the plaintiffs were to be indefinitely detained that they could not challenge the law. Judge Forrest’s investigation of this claim was revealing. Naomi Wolf notes:

Forrest asked repeatedly, in a variety of different ways, for the government attorneys to give her some assurance that the wording of section 1021 could not be used to arrest and detain people like the plaintiffs. Finally she asked for assurance that it could not be used to sweep up a hypothetical peaceful best-selling nonfiction writer who had written a hypothetical book criticizing US foreign policy, along lines that the Taliban might agree with. Again and again the two lawyers said directly that they could not, or would not, give her those assurances. In other words, this back-and-forth confirmed what people such as Glenn Greenwald, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the ACLU and others have been shouting about since January: the section was knowingly written in order to give the president these powers; and his lawyers were sent into that courtroom precisely to defeat the effort to challenge them. Forrest concluded: ”At the hearing on this motion, the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs would not be subject to indefinite detention under [section] 1021. Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty, potentially for many years.

Very simply, it is now obvious that the NDAA was written not to deal with terrorists or potential terrorists. After all, if the government has evidence that an individual or group is planning to commit a terrorist attack then they do not need an indefinite detention provision; all they need is to arrest such individuals and prove beyond reasonable doubt before a jury of their peers that a crime has been committed. That is how justice works — if the evidence exists you can bring a successful prosecution. After all if they do not have the evidence to prove that a group or individual was planning to commit an act of terrorism then they have no business arresting them or charging them with any offense. Suspects — lest we forget — are innocent until proven guilty.

These new powers have nothing to with combatting terrorism. If the government has no evidence that can stand up in a court of law it has no business detaining anyone. No, this new power grab has an entirely different target — like the plaintiffs in this case: writers, investigative journalists, bloggers, philosophers, dissidents, human rights activists, libertarians, free-thinkers, tax protestors, critics of fractional-reserve banking, whistleblowers — people like Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, and Birgitta Jonsdottir. People like Congressman Justin Amash and Congressman Adam Smith who tried to amend indefinite detention out of the bill. People like me — and to some degree, if you are reading this, people like you. 

The fact that the Obama administration could not give assurances about those who simply criticise U.S. foreign policy indicates very strongly that this power grab is about shutting-up and frightening critics of the U.S. government and the Obama administration.

But — for now —  §1021 of the NDAA, that implement of fascism, has been struck down and thrown out as “facially unconstitutional” as well as having a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights”.

We should thankful for this brave judge’s actions, and for the plaintiffs actions in standing up to tyranny, and vigilant against future incursions.

On the other hand, every politician involved in writing, legislating and authorising this hideous unconstitutional law should be reminded of the words of the Declaration of Independence — it is the right of the people to alter or abolish any government that becomes destructive to liberty.

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AUELOX's picture


Colombian Gringo's picture

She will be deposed by the Obamanoids, who hate us for what is left of our freedoms.

Gully Foyle's picture

Colombian Gringo

Oh please, you can't single out a single group of politicians.

They all support some compromise and erosion of rights at some point.

Where the fuck are the legalized drugs, except the  BIGPARMA crap?

Where the fuck is the right to die?

Those are two basic points that revolve the right of the individual to do what they want with their own body.

Colombian Gringo's picture

You are right. The Republicriminals will take away what is left.   The entire left/right system is a big fraud, a circus designed to sucker us into thinking we have choice.

SilverIsKing's picture

I have a crush on Katherine Forrest.

macholatte's picture



Good one, Mr. Aziz.


Unfortunately you cannot lay the blame for the NDAA onto just Barry and his cronies. You need to look at the Gang of 535 to find the weasels and rats and snakes. Here are the names of the traitors who swore to “uphold, protect and defend the Constitution”:


 HR 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 - Voting Record


U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress - 1st Session


Aziz's picture

" it is shameful that any legislator would vote for it"

I think it's disgusting Barry and his goons are defending it, but like you I'm more disgusted at the people who proposed it and voted for it. 

hedgehog9999's picture


DaveyJones's picture

been out for the weekend

I posted a link to the story back on 5/17. Was also spooked by the government's unwillingness to assure the court that the act would not be applied to mere journalism. Scary stuff. Let's see what happens up the chain.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Yes this has been a bi-partisan effort but it is shocking how much Obomba and the Dems are gunning for it. You know this is what the Republicans have wanted for a long time (Cheney was the master) but now even the so-called "Left" is getting in on the act. I recall when we used to denounce the Soviets and the East Germans for spying on their own people and detaining them without charges...

Dre4dwolf's picture

You don't have a choice when all the choices are chosen by the same person.


Heads I win, Tails you lose.


Choose which side the coin lands on.


The only way to win or choose int his world is to full on tilt the table steal the coin and punch the mofo in the face for being an asshole.


Violence is just nature balancing out the universe when too many assholes are born.



Oh regional Indian's picture

The right to die should be as fundamental as the right to live. Great point Gully.


WallowaMountainMan's picture

Oh please, you can't single out a single group of politicians.

for sure, but the math says you go after the 1% regardless as to their 'etc'.

wealth distribution reflex the general well-being of the people.

charted, it gives people a tool by which to examine their state of affairs.

the tool works at scale.


Poetic injustice's picture

No worries, next TSA full cavity search will remind you of your freedoms.

Kayman's picture

So when does Sheriff Barry indefinitely detain this judge ?  For her own good, of course.

WillyGroper's picture

I see a horrific accident on the horizon.

BorisTheBlade's picture

It's all for your own security, having an undisturbed anus is one of the unauthorized freedoms.

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

The NDAA has been blown so far out of proportion on Zero Hedge merely due to ideology. Few have stopped to consider who they would turn to in a domestic terror attack. Would YOU want spineless government officials who have to take out a rule book when interrogating someone seeking to blow up your community?! Or would you like them to be able to get straight to business, to not simply release them back into YOUR community to kill, maim, murder, and fondle young girls.

We are in this together. And we need power to act. The idea that this will be used on people with differing opinions is ridiculous, a form of mental illness - this will be used against OUR enemies. And we can all help by being on the lookout, whether that be on the internet, in the workplace, or at home...

Poetic injustice's picture

"Or would you like them to be able to get straight to business, to not simply release them back into YOUR community to kill, maim, murder, and fondle young girls."

This phrase was about law enforcement structures, right?

About everything else - you really are fan of waterboarding and detention of anybody who is disliked by government.
And if you read this site - prboably you are on waterboarding list too. Maybe not tomorrow, but I have no illusions that witchhunt will be done. Just remember "commie cleansing".

And yes, I did put -1 to your rant.

ConstantineK's picture

Well said. The problem with people like him is that they think they are patriots.

Bananamerican's picture

you meant "parrots" right?

sometimes ZH just needs a negative 1000 button for such bedwetting orwellian sheep

...unless this guy is pulling a MDB

ATM's picture

But the government is going to keep us safe.......aren't they?

DarkestPhoenix's picture

It's not waterboarding if you use gasoline.

FeralSerf's picture

He's not on the waterboarding list.   He's a government paid troll -- your taxes at work.  There's lots of them now watching the blogs.

TomGa's picture

The NDAA IS a domestic terror attack.  It has already terrorized more people than Al Qaeda ever possibly could .

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

First it was fascism (Hitler) then it was communism (USSR) now is terrorism. There should always be a boogie man fot the war merchants and manipuative governments.

What we realy need is more education of who controls the governments.

First lesson, take your cash out of the big banks, buy gold and silver and live within your means.

Think about how powerful this is: If even a small % of the people did that, TPTB will get the message. 

mick_richfield's picture

And start growing more of your own food.

The meaning of the NDAA is that our reptilian overlords are becoming desperate.  The wheels are coming off and they don't know why.  Before they lose it all, they will do absolutely anything.

I was surprised when they blew up MFG.  I shouldn't have been!  Of course there are no limits to what they will do.

They will not only have their minions pass 'laws' like NDAA -- they will not only kick the playing table over like MFG.

If they think that killing a few billion of you will help, they will only hesitate for as long as it takes to push the button.

ATM's picture

It will be for our own good or at least that's how their arrogant fucked up logic works. They know best and if we need to die to save the world we will, in droves.

Libertarian777's picture

aah yes... the old 'there are scary terrorists out there so give us complete power to protect you' argument.

So if there are scary drug cartels too why do we arm them?

If there are scary terrorists, why does the FBI supply them with (albeit fake) bombs and assist in planning the attack?

If there are so many terrorists why do more people die in swimming pools than at the hands of terrorists each year?

It's not just the NDAA being blown out of proportion, its the NDAA, FISA, CISPA, SOPA, TSA, DHS, surveillance drones, NSA data center etc. etc. You're only part of the tin foil brigade if you believe in something that isn't real. If you deny what is before your eyes then YOU are part of the tinfoil brigade.

The government CANNOT protect you against everything. If the government must supply you with everything, including your security and your freedom, that same government using those same powers can TAKE EVERYTHING AWAY. And please spare me the 'bureaucrats know best' argument. They don't. Human Action is where its at.

When the insane run the asylum, the sane sound mad.

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

What an insult your post is to our brave service men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan so ungrateful people like you can continue to enjoy your freedoms. I would like to see the NDAA go further and prosecute this kind of homegrown domestic terrorism that you are a proponent of - criminally attacking our brave service men and women. You, sir, should be ashamed. You don't deserve to be a citizen of this great country founded on freedom and liberty.

Joe Sixpack's picture

Wow. You hop from worn cliche to worn cliche faster than a hungry fly hops from feces to feces.

inzider84's picture

HAha, i get it. Thought you were for real at first. But the double standards overwhelm this post, so i called your trolling.


Good humor, sir.


Freedom and liberty!

Convolved Man's picture

All soccer players play football.

Not all football players play soccer.

foxenburg's picture

"Would YOU want spineless government officials who have to take out a rule book when interrogating someone seeking to blow up your community?"


Presumably you'd have SOME evidence that they were seeking to blow up a community?? Let's charge them, present the evidence...and if the jury buys it, lock them up! As an aside, I am in favour of there being some sort of rule book when being interrogated by cops.

ATM's picture

But if you charge them then you have to produce the evidence and apparently our government doesn't like to do that when it comes to "terrorism".

What's the excuse they use?? Oh yeah, national secrets. If they produce the evidence it means the terrorists will know how we got the evidence. That's a cool little scam. Sort of like saying that the mob evidence that was gathered couldn't be displayed ina  court of law because the rest of the mob would know how it was obtained, only back then they wanted the mob to know because it scared the hell out of them. 

AustriAnnie's picture

Then why is it that most brave service men and women are against the NDAA?

Because they didn't fight for freedom and watch their friends get body parts blown off, and watch innocent civilians get bombs dropped on them, just so that they could come home to a police state.

The veterans in this country fought for America and the concept of individual liberty.  They did not fight for politicians' right to power over American citizens.  Defending individual freedom is not achieved by eliminating one-by-one all the individual rights which make up that very same freedom you pretend to protect.  

I DARE YOU to walk into a room full of veterans and read your post aloud.  I dare you to suggest to those men and women that they lost years of their lives, were injured and maimed, lost dear friends, and watched innocent civiilians die, just so they could come home and see their sons and daughters detained for exercising the very rights they fought to protect.

I can only hope you posted in sarc/.  If not, then I hope you are the first one they lock up.  Detention would suit you well, since you fear liberty and wish only for authoritarian rule over your life.  

SgtShaftoe's picture

I give you a big roger that. I've had enough friends get blown up over there. I was an officer in the army, and remember my oath. Every time I hear one of these no-nothing fools spout off, I have a sudden urge to beat the shit out of them.

To all the know nothing's like our one above:

Torture doesn't work. Read "the interrogator". A book by the most successful interrogators the Germans had during WWII. Never mind that top agents in CIA also agree.

Also go read "the black swan of Cairo" and "blowback". If you want a fucking war, go send your own happy ass over there to get fucking killed, and leave my people in peace.

ConstantineK's picture

Psycho...what an appropriate nickname.

General Decline's picture

...and how did our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq secure any freedoms for us? If anything, we have less fredoms now than we did prior to those wars. I'm confused. Please explain.

ConstantineK's picture

Did you make it to the 8th grade pal?

oldman's picture


You know what, dude?

Anyone who died for this country did it for their own reason and that was their CHOICE, dude. We have a mercenary military, not a voluntary force saving the nation from?????????????

They get paid to take a chance to die and they sign up without any patriotism-----money, baby---and promises.

I get very tired of the defense of and the spending on your fucking glorified war-mongering assholes. You want to fight--to kick ass---- to save the country---for personal pleasure? I'll send you the weapon of your choice and a round trip ticket to whichever war you choose---just to get you out of serious people's faces    

I was born in the US of A, so I am a citizen---and not by choice--and I am not ashamed            om   

SgtShaftoe's picture

It's not always a choice.


Economic forced enlistment

Mandatory enlistment contracts (wanna be a felon deserter?)

Stop-loss. (That's a bitch)

DosZap's picture

It's not always a choice.

Sure it have a brain, YOU decide.

SgtShaftoe's picture

It's much harder for front line soldiers to not go to war, than officer based on consequences.. To desert makes one unemployable, and potentially and very realistically imprisoned. It's the officer core and NCOs that need to stand up and leave. I resigned in protest of the Iraq war. So did many of my peers and superiors.

Some kids that have nowhere to turn have a rigged game, they live, they get a paycheck, they die, their family gets a paycheck, and they feel like they're a part of something...gang mentality. It's totally fucked. The system has to fail!!!

oldman's picture


hey Sarge,

That it is not always a choice is the only way the MIC could continue their shit. We cut out the draft to reduce the crimnalization of our young people into assassins and curtail the military adventures of the psychos.

But then, they begin to empty the prisons and recruit foreign nationals to take up our killing. Sort like North's accusation in '82, I think, that we wouldn't give the administration the funding for the Central American/Drug cartel/domino effect/war, so we had to do a enough business to fund it ourselves.

And Silence-----------------------------------------------------

No one said a word except a few wackos like Hunter S Thompson and myself

Silence--------------------------------------------------------and during that silence from '82 to '84, I realized that my country was dead-----------------------no one said a word in protest---------------it was as if no one had watched the Congressional hearings on TV when that was all we saw--------and North, I had to respect as a man who told it like it was--------------------and silence----------------------------------not a word

It took me ten years, but finally, on the evening of July Fourth 1994-----I left my poor dead country-----flew out of LAX through a barrage of fireworks----it was very exciting----and I was free

Excuse the digression---I lose it a lot these days

Anyway, the circumvention of intention of the citizenry is more than common

maybe it's in the air---or the food chain---or the water---or the tv, cellphone,laptop,music---but always the 'other' the one that made me do it------Oh, shit---I don't go on with this shit

Thanks for your comment--I truly appreciate straightness, sgtshaftoe                    om


SgtShaftoe's picture

Well said. I don't know what to think anymore. Anyone above o-5 is a fucking politician anymore. There is no respect for human life anymore in command. It's all incentives to get their next rank. The guys at the bottom get screwed. That's been the rule over history from the bonus army and after pretty much every major war. After the music stops, I expect to see fireworks. It's a very sad situation.

goldfish1's picture

You don't deserve to be a citizen of this great country founded on freedom and liberty. You want fascism.

a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Race Car Driver's picture

> "Would YOU want spineless government officials who have to take out a rule book when interrogating someone... [blah, blah, blah...]"

Ahhh - shaddap with this 'Save me Underdog!' Polly Purebred bullshit and grow a set of balls.