NDAA

My Own Personal Moment of Zen

By Benjamin Wittes
Thursday, July 12, 2012, 12:06 PM

I received the following email just now--the first time in my life, and I suspect the last, that I ever been confused with a certain blogger over at Salon.com:

From: Lucas Vazquez

To: wittes.lawfare@gmail.com

Subj: NDAA Lawsuit Q&A Invitation

Hello Mr. Greenwald,

I am a volunteer on the Hedges v. Obama NDAA lawsuit. I work with Tangerine Bolen, who is a plaintiff in the suit and also the coordinator of the case and campaigns we are conducting around it. As you may already know, we had a landmark round one victory for the case. Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District Court in Manhattan ruled entirely in our favor, declaring Section 1021 of the NDAA unconstitutional on its face. This may well be the strongest ruling in favor of the people and for civil liberties in over a decade. It was a surprising win to many, as this Obama-appointed Judge excoriated the Department of Justice in its refusal to provide evidence or assurances that our plaintiffs would not be arrested and indefinitely detained for exercising their First Amendment rights.

We are holding a Q&A on August 2 at 6 pm EST with our attorneys, several plaintiffs (including Daniel Ellsberg) and a group of panelists that is comprised of reporters and prominent bloggers. It would be great if you could join us on the panel. Constituents from a large number of activist communities will be able to call in to listen to the Q&A, and will be submitting questions about the implications of this lawsuit and our recent win and next steps via social media before and during the call. Reporters on the call will essentially lead with their own questions. The call will be moderated by me and Ms. Bolen. We are holding this call five days before our final hearing on the case - a hearing at which we hope to be granted a permanent injunction on 1021 - thus ensuring no citizen exercising First Amendment rights can be arrested and detained without charge, evidence or trial, indefinitely. If we succeed in gaining a permanent injunction, it will be a landmark win for journalists and activists in an arena where civil liberties are being steadily encroached upon, and in which high levels of secrecy in the name of national security are changing the face of the legal and judicial system and our ability to ensure democratic processes remain in place in this nation.

We will be adding this event to our website shortly and will follow up with a link to more information. We hope you can join us on August 2.

All best,

Lucas Vazquez

Hedges v. Obama and StopNDAA.org Volunteer

A look at my back email reveals a previous message from Mr. Vazquez inviting me to participate on this panel--and actually addressed to me. I seem to have overlooked the first message, for which I certainly apologize. In any event, I probably won't be joining the panel--for which I think I am decidedly inappropriate. But thanks to Mr. Vazquez for the invitation, whether misdirected or mislabeled.

UPDATE: Please see this followup post on Lucas Vazquez--who turns out to be an 18-year-old.