The personal freedoms of Americans are now in tatters following the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal to knock down the National Defense Authorization Act, constitutional and election law attorney William Olson says.
"This is a rather remarkable shredding of the Bill of Rights," Olson told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"The National Defense Authorization Act … [has] this rather amazing authority to grant to the military the ability to pick up people … who support in some way al-Qaida or the Taliban or associated forces."
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But he explained that the language of the act is so "loose,'' that anybody can be picked up for any reason.
"The president of the United States … [has] this power to detain indefinitely without charges, without trial, without an arrest warrant, without a grand jury, just to be able to hold someone who they think might be a threat of some sort," Olson said.
The case, Hedges v. Obama, stems from a 2012 lawsuit brought by journalist Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and others.
They asked the Supreme Court to block the enforcement of the act allowing the president to indefinitely imprison anybody believed to have "aided" Taliban or al-Qaida terrorists — all without access to court proceedings.
"Chris Hedges … [a] Pulitzer Prize winner … was in court saying, 'Could you pick me up if I wrote a story after being embedded with Taliban or other groups, and I’m just writing a story?''' Olson said.
"And they said, 'We can’t say, we’ll get back to you.'"
Olson said the act is supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
"The establishment powers that be in both parties apparently want to entrust the president of the United States," he said.
"How are you going to challenge it when the black SUV rolls away from your house and no one even knows where you’ve been taken?"
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