Judge Forrest admitted this evidence (the US did not object) as proof of Ms. O'Brien's credible fear of being "indefinitely detained" by the US military for activities/speech, which Judge Forrest ruled was protected by the 1st Amendment right to free speech and assembly.
1) "Indefinitely detain" suspected US citizens in military custody without charges or trial, or,
2) Target non-violent Americans/groups with covert forms of military warfare (e.g. psychological, cyber-), persecution, repression, blacklisting, discrediting, intimidation, blackmail, sabotage, social-engineering, property destruction, theft/expropriation, etc.
Though Judge Forrest's ruling would seem to ban the former, I argue that US history (going back at least a half century), political realities, and related recently exposed evidence strongly suggest that the most likely threat to 1st Amendment (free speech/assembly) & 5th Amendment (no deprivation of life, liberty, property without due process) protections has/will come from #2-covert warfare- vs. US citizens targeted because of illegally fabricated threat assessments.
Indeed, evidence exposed by Anonymous-hacker collective & published by Wikileaks, shows private intelligence contractors like HBGary, developed a proposals aimed at discrediting, repressing & silencing progressive critics of the US Chamber of Commerce & defenders of Wikileaks, specifically naming former constitutional lawyer, Glenn Greenwald (see my blog & email to the journalist, "Could Glenn Greenwald Sue US/Corporate Entities Linked to Plot to Discredit/Silence Progressive Journalists/Activists?").
This evidence- like that submitted by plaintiff Alexa O'Brien- reveal three important facts:
(a) There is an unknown amount of collusion between Big Business, US (e.g. DHS, possibly DOJ) & private security, defense, intelligence (US tax-funded) contractors, who've plotted to covertly discredit, & silence progressive groups/activists/journalists, exercising their 1st Amendment rights to free speech & assembly.
(b) US/private "war on terror" entities have plotted to (or actually have) fabricate(d) evidence that progressives were "substantially supporting" groups, deemed to pose national security threat (e.g. Wikileaks, Anonymous), in order to (secretly) justify targeting these progressives with military forms of covert warfare, Gestapo/KGB-like repression, intimidation, persecution. For example, the HBGary proposal expressed confidence it etc.
(c) Contrary to propaganda defending such extraordinary "war on terror" powers as necessary to protect Americans from members of Al Qaeda/Taliban/terrorism, they are being used to target non-violent progressive US citizens/groups, whose expressive activities displease corporate &/or political elite. For evidence that even Democratic opponents of NDAA provision 1021b-
my US Senator Klobuchar (D-MN)- have misrepresented it as only covering members of terrorist organizations in letters to constituents, see my 8/14/12 article, "Obama Lawyers' Scandalous Revelations in US Court Missed by Media & Congress: 'Secret Powers' Exceed NDAA & Imagination."
Though Americans should find these revelations shocking, intolerable encroachments on fundamental freedoms, rights to free speech & due process, this authoritarian trend was hardly unforeseeable. Indeed, in my controversial (Tucker 2004) article, "Ideological Protectionism: The Bush Administration's Misuse of Science & Information in the Policy Process" I warned of grave threats to Americans' security, democracy & global economy if the appropriate US governmental entities (e.g. Congress) did not investigate the use of "war on terror" powers for the historically unprecedented repression & censorship of scientists, academics & whistleblowers, and the possibility of Bush administration's Watergate-type crimes. In the subsequent years through until the present, I've repeatedly published analysis of evidence (like that above) to support my allegation that elements of the US executive branch were secretly claiming unprecedented "war on terror" powers & using them to target US political critics/activists with high-tech versions of J. Edgar Hoover-type COINTELPRO operations.
Far from being progressive paranoia, these evidence-based suspicions/accusations are shared by a top Bush administration official, Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff and counsel to Secretary of State Colin Powell, has made similar warnings.
In the video interview below with RT News, he warns about the NDAA and the suspension of posse comitatus (prohibition of using military/intelligence within US, enacted after Civil War), likening both to infamous FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover's massive operations (e.g. COINTELPRO) to blacklist, and target legitimate civil rights & anti-war dissenters (e.g. MLK Jr.) as "supporting" communism, and suggests the NDAA authors/supporters are
more concerned with US citizens in surging ranks of those in Occupy & protest movement than Al Qaeda sleeper cells. Regarding these trends, Wilkerson says:
"This is crazy, this is insanity. This is a road to tyranny...I don't think they're doing this based on their fear of terrorists. I really think they're doing this based in their ultimate fear of the Occupy Wall Street -- cum -- other movements in this country which are going to deepen and become more profound in every city in this country if we do head into a depression, rather than a recession which, with Europe and our banks so heavily committed to each other, is looking more and more like the future. If that's the case, these people are hedging bets against their own people, by making their military a part of the force they will call out against their own people. And to me, that's heinous. Calling the Occupy Wall Street people terrorists is the next move, I mean, that's how you start this kind of stuff."
FBI whistleblower, Colleen Rowley, has also warned that if massive 'Top Secret' Anti-Terror matrix is not reined in that:
"We are almost certain to suffer replays of the worst of examples of Cold War McCarthyism and Vietnam COINTELPRO abuses."
Some critics- including lead plaintiff Chris Hedges- refer to these trends as the criminalization of dissent. However, criminalization implies laws, trials, judges, juries, and this is also happening, as evidenced by the mass arrests, violent crackdowns on protestors, and the "Criminalizing Protest/Tresspass" Bill HR 347, which gives Dept. of Homeland Security & Secret Service expansive discretion & powers to imprison peaceful protesters near certain officials, buildings, designated areas.
However, this obscures what is more accurately described as the militarization of a free society, in which those expressing political dissent or peaceful protest groups are re-classified as "enemies" posing a national security threat & attacked with military-style covert warfare, which in vary ways can deprive them of their life, liberty or property without any due process rights to defend their innocence or challenge the US tax-funded Police State repression, and covert warfare against unarmed, non-violent US citizens &/or their associates, friends, families, etc.
Although most of the past COINTELPRO warfare vs. US citizens/groups did not involve overt violence, there is very compelling (if not irrefutable) evidence that the 1970 Kent State massacre of anti-war protestors was a COINTELPRO operation, triggered by an FBI agent provocateur, who fired a pistol to provide the justification for the slaughter of unarmed students, with the motive of sending a warning message to Americans protesting the Vietnam War (see, Kent State: Was It about Civil Rights or Murdering Student Protesters?).
This Kent State story and the on-going cover-up could not be more relevant at this historical juncture, when mass poverty & inequality remains grotesquely high in the richest country on Earth, top 1% is hoarding more wealth & income, engaged in a historically unprecedented post-Citizens United purchasing of US elections, aggressive voter repression campaigns, all combine to heat up the American pressure cooker, one measure of which will be the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protest on Mon. Sept. 17, 2012.
Regardless of what happens at the Occupy protests on 9/17/12, you can be sure there is a US taxpayer-funded covert war being unleashed to suppress, chill, discredit, fragment, and diffuse that remaining outlet for the mass outrage, inequality, despair, & desperation that's eating away at the fabric of our human society and trust in our 'democratic' institutions ability to deliver substantive & procedural justice.
Given the controversial nature of my political analysis & research, any readers I might have, will surely find it curious & suspicious that the person I recently gave permission to publish one of my blog posts on his website about Internet security/privacy, actually published my article- without my permission- on a website ostensibly devoted to Anonymous activists!
I advise against unjustified exuberance celebrating this victory for fundamental human rights, as many unanswered (even unasked) questions remain.