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Text of Hedges' Legal Complaint

Text of Hedges' Legal Complaint

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Published by: peesch on Jan 16, 2012
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08/14/2012

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Carl J. Mayer (CM-6589)MAYER LAW GROUP LLC1040 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2400 New York, NY 10018212-382-4686 Bruce I. Afran (BA-8583)10 Braeburn DrivePrinceton, New Jersey 08540609-924-2075 Attorneys for Plaintiff 
 UNITED STATES DISTRCT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK  ----------------------------------------------------CHRISTOPHER HEDGES,
Plaintiff, INDEX NO.:v.
BARAK OBAMA
, individually and as COMPLAINTrepresentative of the UNITED STATESOF AMERICA; LEON PANETTA,individually and in his capacity as theexecutive and representative of theDEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE,Defendants.
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Plaintiff, by his attorneys CARL J. MAYER and BRUCE I. AFRAN, individuallyand on behalf of all others similarly situated, as and for their Complaint againstdefendants assert as follows:1.Plaintiff Christopher Hedges is a United States citizen and a journalist who in thecourse of his ordinary journalistic work from time to time writes about and coversentities, organizations and persons and their associated forces that are engaged in1
 
hostilities with the United States or its coalition partners, as described under the
Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40)
.2.Defendant Barak Obama is the President of the United States and has individualand executive responsibility for carrying out, enforcing and executing the laws of theUnited States and, in particular, as Commander in Chief with respect to laws governingand acts of the military and service branches and the Department of Defense, including but not limited to the AUMF and the Homeland Battlefield Bill of the National DefenseAuthorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 (the “Homeland Battlefield Bill”).3.Defendant Leon Panetta is the Secretary of Defense and has individual andexecutive responsibility for carrying out, enforcing and executing laws of the UnitedStates respecting the acts and actions of the military and service branches including theAUMF and the Homeland Battlefield Bill and, in particular, the prosecution of purportedwar crimes and crimes and acts proscribed in wartime, the incarceration of prisoners of war or persons taken into custody as unlawful combatants, along with the supervision of military prisons and detention centers in the United States and abroad.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
4.Jurisdiction is based upon a question or controversy arising under the Constitutionand laws of the United States pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331.5.Venue is properly within the Southern District of New York in that the UnitedStates maintains offices, bases and branches of the military in this district and alsomaintains in this district military prisons and detention centers along with military andcivil prosecutorial offices and staff.6.Venue is further properly grounded within this jurisdiction in that plaintiff, in2
 
connection with his journalistic profession, conducts his work in this district and travelsto and from this district to meet with, interview and report upon “covered persons” under the AUMF and the Homeland Battlefield Bill and departs from this district in connectionwith travel abroad for such purposes.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND
7.On December 31, 2011 President Obama signed into law the HomelandBattlefield Bill that will take effect on or by March 3, 2012.8.The Homeland Battlefield Bill provides for indefinite detention of United Statescitizens and permanent residents taken into custody in the United States on suspicion of  providing substantial and/or direct support for persons or entities engaged in hostilitiesagainst the United States. Particularly, section 1031 of the Homeland Battlefield Billdefines a “covered person” subject to indefinite detention in the following manner:
“(b) Covered Persons- A covered person under this section is any person asfollows:(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terroristattacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored thoseresponsible for those attacks.(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, theTaliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against theUnited States or its coalition partners, including any person who hascommitted a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aidof such enemy forces.”Homeland Battlefield Bill, §1031(b).7. The Homeland Battlefield Bill provides that any person detained under the Actwhether detained within or without the United States may be held without trial until theend of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001).
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