With a few noble exceptions, the mainstream media has failed to give the critical issue of “indefinite detention” the attention it deserves. Today we launch an effort to “hack” around them, and make sure Americans know about this extraordinary threat to our civil liberties and the Obama administration’s attempts to fight a federal court’s finding that indefinite detention is unconstitutional.

Lawyers, plaintiffs, and civil liberties advocates involved in the Hedges v. Obama lawsuit and other activism to fight the NDAA – otherwise known as the “indefinite detention” law — are taking to social media today in two ways.

1) Several will participate in an “Ask Me Anything” conversation today, Thursday, at noon on the website Reddit. All are welcome to participate at: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/

Confirmed participants include Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, and Revolution Truth director Tangerine Bolen (all plaintiffs); lawyers Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer; and Demand Progress executive director David Segal.

2) Demand Progress has launched a detain-your-friend Facebook app. It allows users to spread the alarm about indefinite detention by “detaining” their friends Facebook profile pictures — overlaying prison bars upon them and posting info to their Facebook walls about indefinite detention and how to fight it. Internet users can visit DefeatNDAA.com to “detain” their friends.

Indefinite detention was passed as part of the fiscal 2012 National Defense Authorization Act and signed into law by President Obama on New Years Eve, 2011. It would allow the military to detain civilians — even Americans — indefinitely and without charge or trial.

The provision being fought (Section 1021 of the NDAA) suspends due process and seriously threatens First Amendment rights. Judge Katherine Forrest ruled entirely in favor of the plaintiffs earlier this month, calling Section 1021 completely unconstitutional and granting a permanent injunction against its enforcement..

The Obama DOJ has vigorously opposed these efforts, and immediately appealed her ruling and requested an emergency stay on the injunction – claiming the US would incur “irreparable harm” if the president lost the power to use Section 1021 – and detain anyone, anywhere “until the end of hostilities” on a whim. This case will probably make its way to the Supreme Court.

David A. Segal

David A. Segal