Tuesday, August 14, 2012

After Latest NDAA Challenge Hearing, Thoughts on the Criminalization of Dissent

After Latest NDAA Challenge Hearing, Thoughts on the Criminalization of Dissent.

After Latest NDAA Challenge Hearing, Thoughts on the Criminalization of Dissent

Monday, 13 August 2012 10:07
Written by 

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed

American flag behind bars(Photo: ctj71081)I was on the 15th floor of the Southern U.S. District Court in New York in the courtroom of Judge Katherine Forrest on Tuesday. It was the final hearing in the lawsuit I brought in January against President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. I filed the suit, along with lawyers Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran, over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We were late joined by six co-plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg.

This section of the NDAA, signed into law by Obama on Dec. 31, 2011, obliterates some of our most important constitutional protections. It authorizes the executive branch to order the military to seize U.S. citizens deemed to be terrorists or associated with terrorists. Those taken into custody by the military, which becomes under the NDAA a domestic law enforcement agency, can be denied due process and habeas corpus and held indefinitely in military facilities. Any activist or dissident, whose rights were once protected under the First Amendment, can be threatened under this law with indefinite incarceration in military prisons, including our offshore penal colonies. The very name of the law itself—the Homeland Battlefield Bill—suggests the totalitarian credo of endless war waged against enemies within "the homeland" as well as those abroad.

"The essential thrust of the NDAA is to create a system of justice that violates the separation of powers," Mayer told the court. "[The Obama administration has] taken detention out of the judicial branch and put it under the executive branch."

In May, Judge Forrest issued a temporary injunction invalidating Section 1021 as a violation of the First and Fifth amendments. It was a courageous decision. Forrest will decide within a couple of weeks whether she will make the injunction permanent.

In last week's proceeding, the judge, who appeared from her sharp questioning of government attorneys likely to nullify the section, cited the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a precedent she did not want to follow. Forrest read to the courtroom a dissenting opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson in Korematsu v. United States, a ruling that authorized the detention during the war of some 110,00 Japanese-Americans in government "relocation camps."

"[E]ven if they were permissible military procedures, I deny that it follows that they are constitutional," Jackson wrote in his 1944 dissent. "If, as the Court holds, it does follow, then we may as well say that any military order will be constitutional, and have done with it."

Barack Obama's administration has appealed Judge Forrest's temporary injunction and would certainly appeal a permanent injunction. It is a stunning admission by this president that he will do nothing to protect our constitutional rights. The administration's added failure to restore habeas corpus, its use of the Espionage Act six times to silence government whistle-blowers, its support of the FISA Amendment Act—which permits warrantless wiretapping, monitoring and eavesdropping on U.S. citizens—and its ordering of the assassination of U.S. citizens under the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, is a signal that for all his rhetoric Obama, like his Republican rivals, is determined to remove every impediment to the unchecked power of the security and surveillance state. I and the six other plaintiffs, who include reporters, professors and activists, will most likely have to continue this fight in an appellate court and perhaps the Supreme Court.

The language of the bill is terrifyingly vague. It defines a "covered person"—one subject to detention—as "a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces." The bill, however, does not define the terms "substantially supported," "directly supported" or "associated forces." In defiance of more than 200 earlier laws of domestic policing, this act holds that any member of a group deemed by the state to be a terrorist organization, whether it is a Palestinian charity or a Black Bloc anarchist unit, can be seized and held by the military. Mayer stressed this point in the court Wednesday when he cited the sedition convictions of peace activists during World War I who distributed leaflets calling to end the war by halting the manufacturing of munitions. Mayer quoted Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' dissenting 1919 opinion. We need to "be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe," the justice wrote.


  1. boomerangcomesbackAugust 14, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Thank you for posting this hugely important Patriotic endeavor on the part of Chris Hedges and associates. They are representing ALL Americans Constitutional Rights, and it is a shame their group is so small, considering the gravity and importance of what they are arguing and representing.

    "It is a stunning admission by this president that he will do nothing to protect our constitutional rights". This statement can be turned around to read, "this president has circumvented the Constitution with utmost contempt for the Rights granted ALL Americans under the legal framework that has afforded unalienable individual Rights for over 200 years".

    I think we understand the "Why", and we've all been watching the methodical "How" since Bush, Jr. We've seen that Congress is neutered and corrupt, as derelict in their Sworn Duty, as the president is arrogant in attempting to arrogate "powers" to the Executive Branch, which also are wholly Unconstitutional.

    Clearly, the Administration is At War with the American People, by the Administrations' own devising. There is no justifiable necessity for this, and in fact can be none.

    The question that begs an immediate answer, is what constitutes Treason? I see a clear answer standing like a black elephant in a white room.

    1) Are ALL Americans "treasonous", "terrorists", if they hold that they maintain Unalienable Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights?

    2) Is the president or other "elected" "representatives" of The People "treasonous", "terrorists" if they hold that they can remove by policy and the pen, ALL Americans Unalienable Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights?

    Who makes this country, this Republic what it is?
    Who does the work, sweats, and sheds blood in defense of The People? Our forefathers form our History. Mr. President cannot and will not even substantiate his own legal right to act on American's behalf. Worse, he foists "fake" documents that would get any real citizen arrested. Why would anyone trust a government that is making war upon the very people it is only in existence "to serve"?

    American Citizens don't need to foist a fake anything to prove they own and maintain their Constitutional Rights. It is understood. There is not even a point to arguing this as, It Is, What It Is.

    There is not even any confusion about the matter. EO's emanate from an administrative black hole that has shown it cannot manage the economy, that insanely pays a private corporation (Federal Reserve) for its fiat money incurring needless usurious interest fees billed to the taxpayers. This administration and former illegally bail out Banks and corporations to the detriment of The People. None of what this government is tasked to do has been accomplished. It acts against it's own job description. And it is a "job". Therefore, they can be fired.

    I believe the American People are fed up with this insanity. One way or another they will answer the two questions I asked above. They are being forced to make this determination. As with so many military, business, and governmental decisions, should not a few be sacrificed for the many?

    So we ask ourselves -- Who will, and who is standing for The People? As Americans we look around, and see that WE must stand up for ourselves, as a Nation of Free Men and Women.

    That is ultimately The Question. ARE WE FREE or NOT?

    This administration is proclaiming that we are not. In fact, fighting to "prove" we are not by "decree" and degree. The fact is WE were born FREE.

  2. Thank you for posting this PD and thank you Chris Hedges & company for fighting the good fight.

    My niece is married to an American Muslim. She has converted to that religion. She is a very sweet girl of German/Irish descent. I haven't seen her in years but I comment on the beautiful pictures of their family on facebook.

    According to NDAA, that could place me at risk of being associated with someone who may have connections to someone associated with someone from the middle east who may have suspicious ties to someone married to someone connected to a person that works for a Palestinian charity.

  3. boomerangcomesbackAugust 14, 2012 at 9:28 AM


  4. boomerangcomesbackAugust 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    You want to see some funny shit? Check out this thread, and then view my comment with Biden's gaffiness.


    Dissent could be illegal? How about we just repost them showing themselves to be abject Liars and Assholes? They live in a totally different reality than the rest of Americans.

    This just lends credence to the facts on the ground, that reveal individuals can't just make shit up because it suits Their purposes, nor send out EO's they think up while in the shithouse contemplating their latest movement.

  5. boomerangcomesbackAugust 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I guess we could have expected it would come to THIS:


    But, things are way past surreal and insane now. Puddy, you know how many F'd up docs are out there. I do too. I'm sure they'll be thinking its O.K. they should be carrying though -- to protect themselves from the Zombies they've created with all of their Rx scripts they prescribe. Sure, Obamacares not, coupled with a medical prescription to carry, says they're grasping at anything they can to kill the 2nd Amendment. We don't need to ask, "What will they think of next to justify...", because they're already scraping the bottom of the pit.

    After enough life experience, a savvy individual knows enough to get a 2nd opinion, probably a third. Trusting doctors, politicians, and bankers means putting your life and welfare into their hands. Trust must be earned. At least there's a Medical Board of Ethics, and even it can screen out the bad apples. Grok the meaning for bankers and politicians. Also note, the recent investigations and fines of Big Pharma company(s) being found...

    Put this in your browser search terms, and watch the pages of deceit appear -- pharmaceutical companies + bribery + fines


  6. My friends, I am at a point where these trinkets of what we know are mere sinusoids of the major frequency we will see shortly.

    I have to admit to certain people now who know what, when where but not how this project transformation will unfold. The Rubicon sits either at our feet or we are up to our knees in it.

    Others may not be there but we are and I feel such sympathy for those who see the river but as a mirage behind the smiling calm exteriors of these totally vicous and committed demonic entities and their minions. Please don't be complacent on a major event at anytime now. It's powerful and finished. They are mobilized and fully operational now.

    The cycle of coming events will never allow for a breather nor an opportunity to assess. It will come fast & furious with no TIME to go retroactive. Readiness and daily mental, spritual and material considerations are essential.

    The recent posts makes me think we have only another four years of a bush/bama regime but it's not so. What comes on the 12/21/12 idate will have already been set into motion.

  7. Really not surprised Boomer. Realize the motivation and the motivators and see the rebate for gun return. Obama and Co. can offer you a hooker for the night for gun meltdown.
    I can see the WH campaign. "Lay down your guns and lay down for Brittany. Make love not War."

    This message will come out through all the pipes. But remember a lame duck with wild geese is a black swan waiting to happen. Chicken little is a frikasee.

  8. We know the response to Ranger Mike article that doctors were more dangerous than guns. This is their response.

  9. Funny that Adult Swim was the ad before the video. This is like watching a schoolyard standoff on who gets the last word or last laugh. Ryan was the devils choice for Mittens. Ryan would fire the missiles at Iran for a quart of Penzoil.

    On Biden, the worm has turned (into a slug) He is an MK-Idiot. I knew he wasn't in NC because I was not nauseated all day.

  10. Strong quake jolts northern Japan, no tsunami warning issued


    Look at the faces of these angels

  11. The answer is a resounding "Aye" but the question is what are the constitutional boundaries for action. With over a billion reounds of 40 cal. that would about match the force of one sovereign nation.

    Ammonium Nitrate is where the sovereigns are weak. DHS has a headstart on that force.

    [Can anyone explain what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs with 700 pounds of High Density Ammonium Nitrate and 700 pounds of A-5 Flake RDX? Well the DHS placed a solicitation by way of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) for these products with a delivery date of August 31, 2012. For those of you in the know, these are the ingredients to build a makeshift bomb. However the project claims it is for “Canine Explosive Training Aids”. One wonders what they need with over half a ton of explosive nitrates.]

    Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/08/dhs-purchases-massive-explosive-nitrates-scrubs-history/#ixzz23ZBCzjxO

  12. You see what a "no win" scenario is now Deb. A triple cross indeed. You have to defend yourself when the minority authorities conspire with al-qaeda.

    The terrorist is the muslim farmer and not the Taliban. Innocence is guilt from war is peace.


  13. Let's see, Obama killed the Seals, The seals killed no one and Osama killed no one and they're all dead. Let's get Osama on the ballot and save ourselves a shitload of deaths.

  14. Biden told the Black Crowd in Virginaia that Romney/Ryan would put them back into chains. When whitey Biden is exposed the home boys will be after that cracker whore.

  15. boomerangcomesbackAugust 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Yeah, I'm aware of that purchase. Gardening?

  16. boomerangcomesbackAugust 14, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    There's a picture for you! The "authorities" in Japan are such monstrous Liars and Cowards, Sepuku?!

    I have a link somewhere, which came about after the Haiti "event". A very experienced EQ/Disaster first responder explained how getting "under" a solid object was exactly the Wrong thing to do. They get squished, he pointed out. From his experience, he stated that the Best Chance a person had to survive a collapse scenario was to get "beside" a solid sturdy object. This is where the voids form, to the sides of said solid objects. It makes complete sense.

    And here we have children cowering "under" the puny desks where they could be squished. Pitiful stuff, Puddy!

  17. Seems to me the curve of the plot of this story line is bound to have a bad ending...


  18. Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    . . . . . . . . . . .

    Liberty is not an INVENTION of revolution.

    Liberty is the DISCOVERY of enlightened reason.

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Conformists, beancounters, obedient boot licking infantile fascists ...das Amerika.

    We've come a long way baby...