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Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

Posted on Jan 16, 2012
AP / Dusan Vranic

Detainees pray at the U.S. military detention facility known as Camp Bucca in Iraq in this 2009 photo.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

Text of Hedges’ Legal Complaint (Updated)


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By Rwolf, March 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Free Speech If You Dare?

NEXT: Will U.S. Deem 1st Amendment Activities—SUPPORT Hostilities, Belligerents, Terrorism?

Where U.S. Government appears headed with the Patriot Act, The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 and recently introduced “Enemy Expatriation Act” that would allow U.S. Government to Strip Americans of Citizenship without evidence or a conviction is getting Congress to grant U.S. Government (The Executive Branch) the Power to arbitrarily arrest, charge, Indefinitely Detain Americans that participate in 1st Amendment activities (on the premise) certain 1st Amendment Activities appeared intended or were used to support or provoke hostilities, combatants, belligerents; terrorism or threaten National Security.

Congress just passed H.R. 347—The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. U.S. Government can now charge, prosecute and imprison anyone that—knowingly enters or remains in: any part of a (Federal—Restricted Building or Grounds) without permission or location under the jurisdiction of the Secret Service—parameters that may change without notice. Visitors that don’t know it is illegal or accidentally enter a restricted building or grounds may be prosecuted. Whoever U.S. Government alleges (Intended, Conspired or In Fact Impeded or Disrupted) the orderly conduct of Government’s business or an official function may be prosecuted. H.R. 347 includes the term (proximity). Innocent protesters standing near a restricted building, grounds or a (special event of national significance) designated by Homeland Security “or otherwise restricted location” may be Prosecuted—For Intent; Conspiring; or For—In Fact Impeded or Disrupted the orderly conduct of government business or an official function:

A Provocateur need only join a lawful protest—then provoke disorderly conduct or violence; cause bodily harm or property damage in (proximity) or at a restricted location to cause prosecution of innocent protesters under vague terms of H.R. 347. If a protester enters a restricted building or grounds and by violence physically harms someone there; damages property; or is found carrying a weapon, all participants could be imprisoned 10 years and or fined.  H.R. 347 mentions (restricted in conjunction with—(a special event of national significance). Government can claim ANYTHING (is restricted in conjunction with— (a special event of national significance) for example: proximity, any location, activity or physical act; any roadway. In 2008 Homeland Security designated the Republican and Democratic National Conventions (special events of national significance).

It is foreseeable U.S. activists in the future that occupy government and other property (and) violate State or Federal laws will be charged by U.S. Government for conspiring or provoking violence; supporting hostilities; International and or Domestic Terrorism and may be incarcerated in Indefinite Detention or prosecuted under United States Code 18 Sec. 2331 (appear intended (i)“to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion…” Any Violent-Occupation or Protest even if caused by agent provocateurs, potentially can play into the hands of individuals, law enforcement and corporations that may want America turned into a Police State: Almost any criminal or physical act can be used by U.S. Government or Police to charge a person or group with advocating, supporting or committing terrorism. Considering these laws—only idiots or provocateurs would advocate violence or destruction of property. 

U.S. terrorist laws are broad and vague and can be used by Government or Police against anyone, which makes it easy to set up or frame anyone for being involved in or connected to terrorism—perhaps for no other reason a Citizen or group dared challenge or question government policy.

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By soxin8, February 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

I applaud you taking on the president over the NDAA. I am wondering if anyone will stand up for a more basic freedom, the right not to be a victim of a planned FBI assault. That story can only be found with a search for “New police weapon against homeless” and also “Historic coverup of FBI and police crimes currently taking place”. More details are available if I received an email from you at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Bill Anderson

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By whitedog, February 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

We can hope for a dark horse, but I personally doubt it. And isn’t that one more passing of the buck? Emma Goldman used to say that voting was the opiate of the masses. We need to get out and say what we want to say ourselves. Intervene on our own behalf. Find the way to strike out ourselves. Our politians aren’t doing it. Are bought and sold, frightened into submission. And so are we. The terrible “they” aren’t just bad administrators or policy makers, they are damned threatening. Kill off whomever get in their way. And this needs to be said loud and clear. The intimidation needs to be met where it exists. The people running things need to be named. The CEO’s, the oil barons, the military industrial complex and media people need to be outed and personally addressed. And we need to be ready for their terrible retribution, stand together and fight them with the words and deeds that are so frightening to them: the truth, and awful truth about their sad loveless lives, their miserable awful unreal values, the evil things they’ve done.

And those who have stood against them need our support. Gary Null’s documentaries on AIDs are beautiful. The 911 documentarists are incredibly courageous. Alex Gibney. John Pilger. So many truly courageous people need our support.

Those with the courage to stand up, now would be a good time.

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By Don Forbes, February 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Chris Hedges!

I have been wondering how the legality of this latest attack on the US Constitution could be challenged, since it carries within its dark language the ‘catch-22’ of denial of due process for anyone accused by the Executive branch of ‘terrorism’. Mr Hedges, I sincerely hope (that word again) that you are successful in your lawsuit, because I am afraid that the civil rights I enjoyed during my formative years will be gone for my grandchildren. I totally share your observation that our country has been gradually taken over by, for want of a better term, “the corporate elite”. It stands to reason that a form of control existing outside the Founder’s strong democratic form of governance would be needed to move the economic interests of the elite forward, and this is exactly what has happened. ‘Big Business’ has become even more powerful than the system it purports to serve.

We can’t hold the elite corporate class totally responsible, however. Part of the blame must be placed on all of us who abdicated the responsibility for our interests to our representatives in Congress, when those very interests were being co-opted by Money, which has become the ‘lingua franca’ of not just our society, but now also of our government. I believe this is what is meant by the phrase “members of a true democracy get that government which they truly deserve”.

And now, thanks to the meltdown of 2008, we have been shocked out of our stupor into the realization of just what we have wrought. This economic mess has been occurring over a very long time, at least since 1980, so I’m afraid it will be a long time in its dismantling, as well. It will take a drastic upset of the status quo to start the reversal of this destructive path which we find ourselves on. But at least now we recognize what needs to be done. And Mr Hedges, with fully aware citizens like yourself pointing out the correct path, I feel much better about our chances for ultimate success. Early last year, I was telling my wife “I can’t believe people aren’t marching in the streets about what is happening to our country”. Then I heard about Occupy Wall Street, and I felt much better. I look forward to marching in an Occupy event myself someday, and I wish you all the best in your efforts to restore our rights under the Constitution, and to a levelling of those economic interests which would renew and strengthen the 99 percent.

Do you think there is any chance of a “dark horse” Independent candidate rising up this summer to challenge the Republi-crat candidates, to begin the reversal of our descent? President Obama has betrayed all of us who voted for change, so he does not deserve a second chance, in my opinion. The fact of who he was before the election, and who he turned out to be, after being elected, should be proof enough of how far our country has descended into the depths of economic tyranny. I am certain that the American people see this, and would elect a worthy Independent candidate, if they saw a true and honest alternative to the current crop of dictator wanna-be’s.

Don Forbes

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By whitedog, January 23, 2012 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

If anything in the copy of the lawsuit is mispelled, blame the typist- maybe the firm is infiltrated, my local Green Party is, in spades.

And why not say Mr. King was assasinated by the government, they assasinated Kennedy, brought the Twin Towers down killing how many innocent people, have had those poor passengers somewhere at their complete mercy for lo these many years, all to go to war on 2 innocent countries, killed how many people there on all sides. The most freaky of which to my mind were a group called The Pilgrims of God, 100 or so mown down Sudan-like on their way to some important spiritual site, now why was that?

I hope Mr. Mayer and Mr. Abrams are great legal battlers, the pervaders of the cruel and alarming dismembering of our constitutional rights over the past 12 years need some good sturdy yomens of justice to defend those of us in other trenches—say like my neighborhood where we on our block on our side of the street have experienced 12 shootings since June 2010, one murder on Christmas of one of the most beautiful young men on the planet. The fallout I believe of all the shenanigans that eat away at our good natures, encourage wanton violence.

Chris, a wrestler in highschool, is one of our best contemporary investigative journalists. No group too hot for him to reveal. If this Act threatens his ability to investigate for us the situations that are most insidiously warped, it should be removed.

That Barack Obama is not the liberal paragon he pretended to be, I was never surprised, though I am surprised that he has been such a Complete Wuss to the Republican cretins, something I was naive enough not to expect. His rise was way too fast—4 years from obscurity into the White House, ahem, so embedded. And that “they” chose a man of color over the woman says so much in so many ways. I watched the faces glowing with pride turn away in shame as their man turned out to be “one of them”. Egh, Mr. Obama, that you knew it was your job to cast your people into an even deeper well of dispair is so bad, Honey. Going gray, I hope so.

So now we are faced with chosing him over Mitt or Newt or who is it? One of those clowns. And if one of them gets in, it will be the RACE down the perverbial highway of trashed dreams and spirits, the trail of tears and blood and dead children. Obama is a bad guy, but must look a little good, dance in the footsteps. No Great Black Hope, but not the stark raving mad villain Bush was. Politics is a very nasty place, and it is ultimately we who must stand up to it with all the decency and resolve we have. And reading here for the most part convinces me that we can do a damn good job if we only would.

Go, Chris, you have my prayers and blessings behind you. And that is saying something.

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By Kathleen Moore, Habeas Corpus Canada, January 23, 2012 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Hedges—your Respondent (Defendant) may be “liquidated” by the Georgia courts before you finish suing him. Your lawyers might like to contemplate how they would amend your proceedings in the event Mr. Barack Obama is found ineligible to run for another term; in which case, he would obviously be NULL & VOID in this term. As a “de facto” as opposed to “de jure” POTUS, how would all those nice VOID-because-UNCONSTITUTIONAL police-state laws rack up that he’s been pretending to “pass” “into law”?  Perhaps a global motion to declare all of same void could accompany your specific recourse re the NDAA as an “in the alternative”.

Video: “Breaking! ALERT! Obama Summoned to Appear in Georgia Eligibility Hearing!”

Judge whacks Obama in eligibility case ‘Defendant has failed to enlighten the court with legal authority’

FYI - Following are three good sources discussing the legal consequences when people exercise office to which they are not legally entitled.

[1] Unconstitutional Statutes and De Facto Officers; Pannam, Clifford L., 2 Fed. L. Rev. 37 (1966-1967)
This article concerns the case when officers have been appointed in virtue of unconstitutional statutes (as opposed to having pretended to “pass” unconstitutional statutes). Pannam conducts a very ineresting re-assessment of Norton v. Shelby County which might come in handy.

[2] A decade later, I see we now have this, which appears to apply directly to Obama’s eligibility situation: (I haven’t read it, but it does cite Pannam):

The De Facto Officer Doctrine: The Case for Continued Application, KA Clokey - Columbia Law Review, 1985 - JSTOR

[3] And, in addition, I can recommend a Canadian, whose classic book is now online free at, JUDGE Albert Constantineau of Prescott and Russell, Ontario (1910):

A treatise on the de facto doctrine: in its relation to public officers and public corporations based upon the English, American and Canadian cases including comments upon *** extraordinary legal remedies in reference to the trial of title to office ***  and corporate existence (1910)

Kathleen Moore (pro se)
The Official Legal Challenge
To North American Union

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By aacme, January 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“How much more power do they need to fight “terrorism”?”

Power is like money. There is never enough, because the more you have the more you want.

With money or power, a little is usually sufficient, but a lot is a gaping need for more.

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By Kathleen Moore, Habeas Corpus Canada, January 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NDAA - Why The Executive May Not Violate The Constitution And Remain in Office:

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By sooth, January 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

chris hedges speaking briefly on the lawsuit at the
occupy the courts rally in nyc jan 20.

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By Keith Doubt, January 20, 2012 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.

A few months ago President Obama had vehemently promised that he would veto this bill if passed by Congress. During the signing Obama added the statement as if to reassure American citizens that his administration would never authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens because “doing so would break our most important traditions and values as a nation.” These values, of which he speaks, are the right to legal counsel and protection from detention without evidence or trial. Nevertheless, the bill that President Obama signed legally authorizes him as well as future presidents to do exactly that, hold American citizens indefinitely without trial or legal counsel. President Obama’s words are morally engaged, but his actions are not.

Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish economist, provided such insight into the American character in 1944.

  The American has, more courageously than anywhere else on the globe, started to measure, not only human intelligence, aptitudes, and personality traits, but moral leanings and the “goodness” of communities. This man is a rationalist; he wants intellectual order in his moral set-up; he wants to pursue his own inclinations into their hidden haunts; and he is likely to expose himself and his kind in a most undiplomatic manner.

Not so long ago this unworldly trait of Americans was beloved throughout the world. Some cling still to this image of who Americans ideally are. The sentiment is the principle behind the American Creed, and President Obama was elected in 2008 because he spoke far more eloquently on the American Creed and its importance today than other presidential candidates.

Then Mydral writes on a contrasting side to the American character, which is a source of social dissonance in that our attitudes are out of harmony with our behavior.

  The very mass of unsettled problems in his heterogeneous and changing culture, and the inherited liberalistic trust that things will ultimately take care of themselves and get settled in one way or another, enable the ordinary American to live on happily, with recognized contradictions around him and within him, in a kind of bright fatalism which is unmatched in the rest of the Western world.

President Obama’s signing of the National Defense Appropriations Act permitting the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens represents, in Mydral’s words, “a kind of bright fatalism.”  It creates a fear within which it becomes still more acceptable for the rule of men to trump the rule of law. The political resignation of Congress and Americans to the inevitability of the signing represents, in Myrdal’s words, “the inherited liberalistic trust that things will ultimately take care of themselves and get settled in one way or another.” Will this fatalism destroy the American Creed?

If Mydral knew that Americans elected a black president in 2008, he would have assumed that the moral dissonance he observed in 1943 had been resolved within the society. He would not have anticipated that Americans would become caught even more tightly in the fatalism that he described so astutely in An American Dilemma.

Occupy Wall Street is a serious political effort to fight this fatalism and restore confidence in the convictions behind the American Creed, namely, that the notion of “justice for all” is not only a moral but also a legal principle in the United States.

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By Keith Doubt, January 20, 2012 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This blog entry on the subject may be supportive.

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Migs's avatar

By Migs, January 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment


“Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and 52 percent of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other 48 percent know they’re going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.”

Interesting analogy but what specific “ice cream” did Obama offer and how is he any different to any other politician who promises ice cream when he/she runs for office?

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By Kathleen Moore, Habeas Corpus Canada, January 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ron Paul is recklessly pretending to try to “repeal” the NDAA.  This is absolutely WRONG.  It helps to UNDERMINE the appropriate LEGAL recourses.

NDAA is TREASON: it’s a crime, not a “political” choice to debate in Congress & “repeal”.

Also, VOID “law” (purported law) DOES NOT EXIST. You cannot “repeal” what does not exist! The remedy is LEGAL, JUDICIAL DECLARATION OF VOIDNESS “ab initio” (the purported law is VOID from the moment of alleged passage).

Pretending NDAA is political, Paul ENTRENCHES the criminals in OFFICE; by operation of the Constitution, their OATHS are VOID and they are SELF-DISCHARGED.  What Paul is doing in pretending it is just a bad “political” idea is ENTRENCHING a criminal President and the criminals who broke their OATHS to pretend to “pass” it.  You NEED them OUT! 

PAUL’s actions are misguided.

He is helping to keep criminals in place when they are OUT OF OFFICE by reason of VOID OATHS!

He is deceiving himself and the public.  He is damaging the Constitution! 

He is pretending CRIMINALS who have attempted HIGH TREASON have “political” power. They have NO power; they are subject to IMPEACHMENT and INDICTMENT.

What to do about VOID “laws” like NDAA: [1] judicially nullify, [2] impeach the perpetratorrs. READ about it here, in this extract from AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE:
A.  People under VOID OATHS for TREASON have no right in law to SIT, DEBATE & “PASS” laws in Congress!  Their presence IMPEACHES the lawful Congress.  Ron Paul is asking an IMPEACHED Congress full of traitors who pretended to “pass” NDAA, to now pretend to also “repeal” this non-existent VOID “law”! It’s insane. 

How badly does this man want to score political points?  Is he willing to FLUSH the Constitution for his own ad-hoc system, just so he can say “HE” did it?  That’s he’s a “hero”.  You have to respect the Constitution, not make up your own system for political gain.

What is the LAWFUL composition of Congress?  Which offices do you need to form a Congress?  How many PEOPLE are under VOID OATHS due to NDAA?  If you have TOO FEW to lawfully constitute a Congress when the NDAA voters are REMOVED, you have a VOID CONGRESS.  You need to check into this, and FIX it.

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By idealist707, January 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps the USA Declaration of Independence provides some guidance when meeting despotism and tyranny.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”


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By bramdruckman, January 19, 2012 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Hedges:

I applaud your efforts in this matter though I seriously doubt they will bear
fruit. On the other hand, beginning March 3, 2012, the U.S. military will begin
breaking down peoples’ doors at 3 in the morning and hustling them off to
unknwn destinations for indefinite detention without trial. Indefinite detention
means ‘for the rest of their natural lives’.

My question to you, sir, is what can we the average American citizen do to
reverse this slide into Nazism? I live in California where both of our state senators
voted for this law, which President Obama signed, granting him almost unheard
of power to decide who should be rounded up. Is there any way we, the people,
can change this state of affairs?  Can we in California, for example, recall our
two senators, and would that do any good? Can we, citizens across the country
initiate a national referendum, a plebicite of sorts, to decide if we, and I
empahasize we, not just our military, want to simply toss away our basic civil
rights guaranteed by the Constitution in the name of National Security? Can we arrest those members of
Congress who signed away those rights and try them for treason? And finally,
can Congress legally over-ride the Constitution as they’ve done without the
states voing on ammendments?

Mr. Hedges,  if you and your associates could give us some answers and
guidance regarding the above it would be most appreciated.

I thank you in advance.

Bram Druckman

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By Arouete, January 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

The courts are not a propaganda tool. I perceive the case as doomed on procedural grounds related to lack of standing, lack of ripeness, and lack of an actual case in controversy. As such it will probably be dismissed and Hedges and his lawyers may be sanctioned for frivolous litigation and abuse of process.

I have been the harsh critic of propaganda and journalism’s slide back into the dark ages. Particularly, on the marriage equality issue, I have excoriated activists who have played a good propaganda game but did a miserable job of education- thus leaving their audience spewing spoon-fed buzz-words with no more cognitive understanding than a pet shop parrot. Two decades hence and the vast majority remain abysmally ignorant of the law.

So when I saw this headline the first thing I wanted was to see the filed complaint and read the applicable law so I can think for myself. Thank you very much for easily downloadable pdf documents. VERY much appreciated. This is a teaching moment (in more ways than one) and the most responsible journalism / activism I have seen in I don’t know how long. It should be the gold standard. Don’t just tell me. Show me the law. I can read and think for myself.  And there is precisely where the trouble is. That said, you can sue the pope for bastardy but the question is: can you win. This lawsuit may be frivolous and an abuse of process.

It is axiomatic that one must have legal ‘standing’ - be able to show present, personal, harm - not some theoretical fear that lies in the future. Since the courts do not give advisory opinions and Hedges has stated no personal harm done to him he can rely only on ‘taxpayer standing’ which is iffy at best;  but even then it must be ripe and he must show an actual case in controversy.  All this must be stated as present facts in the complaint or it may be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action.  Indeed, I think it will be dismissed on demurrer and never have a hearing in the legal merits - of which there appear to be none. ]

Since Hedges can show no personal harm to himself, show no standing to sue, demonstrate justicability, no actual current harm done to anyone under a law only just signed, there appears no actual case in controversy, under this new law. Absent all these essential elements it may be deemed an abuse of process that has dismissal and sanctions written all over it.

This leaves us with an ethical question: Considering the fact that the courts are already strained with legitimate complainants who have suffered real harm, is it ethical to dely those cases with frivolous litigation merely because a propagandist wants to make a political point and use the court as his public relations propaganda device?

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By faith, January 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Just in case you missed the Jonathan Turley article, I have cited it below.
It is worth a read concerning the predicament our nation is in.  Professor Turley is a
Constitutional expert.

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By litlpeep, January 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Good luck finding a judicial opening sympathetic to such truths.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges. Virtually the only journalist on TruthDig worth anything. I strongly suspect that the only reason that Chris Hedges is allowed is because he does not promote voting at all. If Chris Hedges started to publish stories supporting any particular candidate like Rocky Anderson or Jill Stein, or in fact how the Democratic Party in Wisconsin would not allow Aldous Tyler (a resident of Wisconsin) to be on the ballot to primary challenge Obama, then Chris Hedges would probably find his stories pulled from TruthDdig.

I could be wrong but I do strongly suspect it. As an aside, I find that while I am a registered person at TruthDig,  I am unable to have my comments go through immediately.

Perhaps I am banned from one more “progressive” blog site. Censorship seems to have become a liberal value.

Can ya dig it? As in TruthDig it?

Rocky Anderson for president

Michael Cavlan
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

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By Lumpenproletarier, January 18, 2012 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Dr Bones,

So glad you could join the discussion! We are all
eagerly anticipating your next insightful contribution
to the dialog.

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By Paul Watkins, January 18, 2012 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris, you are a man of unquestionable integrity and
you have a genuine moral purpose to do what is right
for the PEOPLE of America and the rest of the world.
It’s your right and your duty as a free man to
question decisions that threaten to take those
freedoms away. 

Chris, you have the will and intelligence to make the
political puppets of Wall St, and corporate America
take a step back, listen and understand the real
devastation and chaos they’re spreading throughout
America and the world, simply because of this freak-
hybrid form of corrupt UNREGULATED capitalism which
is destroying us all.

With you all the way.

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By Dr Bones, January 18, 2012 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lumpenproletarier, why should anyone listen to you rephrase what Chris Hedges claims when they can read what he writes for themselves?  LOL!

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By Steve Finney, January 18, 2012 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Chris

  Steve from northern Ireland here, here’s wishing you
good luck & justice, I wish you & yours well. It is
great to know there is still integrity in the world.

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By Lumpenproletarier, January 18, 2012 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

The version of the Bill which Hedges posted is not
the one which was signed into law. Go to for the actual bill. Note that in
neither version are the words “suspect” or “suspected
terrorists” used.

In Hedges legal complaint, he uses the term “Homeland
Battlefield Bill”; that is a made-up name, designed
to trigger an emotional response from his fan base.

(b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this
section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or
aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on
September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for
those attacks.
(2) 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.

Hedges apparently believes that his past journalistic
activities, like having dinner with Taliban leaders,
makes him a “covered person”. If he gets detained
when the law goes into effect, that would be grounds
for a court case. Until then, his legal action puts
the cart before the horse; Hedges is suing for
something that “might” happen.

Using that line of reasoning, I should sue my
neighbor because his pet dog might bite me?

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By Arouete, January 18, 2012 at 12:36 am Link to this comment

Bravo! With so much to read I can’t comment yet but let me say this, I have been the harsh critic of journalism’s slide back into the dark ages. Particularly, on the marriage equality issue, I have excoriated activists who had done played a good propaganda game but a miserable jog at education- thus leaving their audience piping spoon-fed buzz-words with no more cognitive understanding than a pet. Two decades hence and the vast majority remain abysmally ignorant of the law.

So when I saw this headline the first thing I wanted was to see the filed complaint and read the applicable law so I can think for myself. Thank you very much for easily downloadable pdf documents. VERY much appreciated.

This is truly a teaching moment and the most responsible journalism / activism I have seen in I don’t know how long. It should be the gold standard. Don’t just tell me. Show me the law. I CAN read. I CAN think. So thanks for the homework. Readers will learn a great deal be reading the pleadings and the applicable law. Naturally a legal eduction is a plus but not necessary to comprehension.

That said, litigation costs LOTS of money, LOTS. And it’s a truck load of work. Since I doubt is has much chance of prevailing on the merits (or even being heard on the merits) I see a huge expenditure of time and money. So the purpose is just propagandist?

You can sue the pope for bastardry. But the question is: Can you win? I suspect the case will be blown out of the water early on. We shall see.

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By stuart davenport, January 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris, you have an entire legion of people behind you in your lawsuit against the NDAA and the Obama admin for signing into unlawful tyranny.  Signing it doesn’t make it Constitutional and we will refuse to recognize the NDAA and other unconstitutional “laws”.  I believe local police and military are also quickly waking up to the power grab of the “taken over” federal government.

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By markhalfmoon, January 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Damn glider! Is it the anonymity of being unidentified on the internet that makes people so rude and disrespectful? Could you not have disagreed with me and made your point without calling me juvenile names?

You appear to not have a viable argument to assert, so you try to counter mine with a “conclusion” that you consider to be “obvious” without even telling what it is. President Obama is not my idol - I don’t have any of those - but he is my president. I proudly voted for him and will again.

We can debate renditions from foreign countries and what you call “assassinations” at another time, but I believe this discussion is about fears that provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 will allow a president to arrest US citizens on US soil and detain them indefinitely.  I merely wrote a comment expressing my opinion that it will not be allowed because it is legally weak, and that President Obama helped to weaken it.

And since you asked: I understand that you and a lot of other people think of Bradley Manning as a hero or whistleblower but, Manning himself pleaded at his preliminary hearing that he was not responsible for his actions due to his suffering from gender-identity disorder. He said the disorder was making it hard for him to think clearly. His defense attorneys also argued that the pressure of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy might have caused Manning to make bad decisions. He didn’t make any statements about ‘the public’s right to know.’

I understand that complex legislative maneuvering may appear to you and perhaps the Tea Party, to be “11-dimensional chess” and “twisting and contorting,” but a critically thinking intelligent person can recognize sublime political gamesmanship when it is happening right before their eyes.

Why is it so hard to believe that this man is smarter than you?

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By galeww, January 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Dear Chris,
Your lawsuit is well timed—an sobering statement on the state of America.

I urge everyone to shut down their computers for an hour or two this week, make a sign and go stand on a street corner.  It doesn’t matter what your sign says—free speech has room for all.  If you want to retain your civil liberties—use them. 

Thanks, again, Chris,
Gale Wheat

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By cpb, January 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

“If the United States Government, and President Obama in
particular, were as corrupt as Hedges thinks they are,
Chris would either be in prison, or dead by now for his
subversive writing.”

- Lumpenproletarier, January 17 at 10:46 am

That’s a somewhat simplistic take on what could pass as
common sense if it didn’t overlook so much, including

That the country, and most of the “globalized world”,
has effectively been taken over by corporate powers is
not a concept unique to Chris Hedges.  Witness Occupy,
not to mention the plethora of other writers and
journalists and bloggers who, be they known to Hedges
and perhaps quoted by him, or not, are struggling to
call attention to the underlying reality of our current
and more importantly, evolving, power balance.

Keeping up appearances, as it were, doesn’t allow the
“Inverted Totalitarian” State (Sheldon Wolin) to run
around locking up people with any level of profile. 
There are so many other ways to keep the ideas of a
fellow like Hedges marginalized.  If the “Truth” sets
more of us free, this balance is bound to shift.  In the
meantime, your common sense is not going to carry much
weight outside of the school yard.

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By Alan MacDonald, January 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

NDAA is equivalent to the Nazi Empire’s 1933 ‘Enabling Act’ which Hitler implemented under plenary powers of a dictator.

Paul is absolutely right to state that this is the death-spiral of our former country, which has been ‘captured’ and ‘Occupied’ by a disguised corporate/financial/militarist global EMPIRE, by hiding behind the facade of the empire’s bought and owned, modern, TWO-Party ‘Vichy’ sham of faux-democratic and totally illegitimate government—- just as surely as the Nazi Empire ‘captured’ and ‘Occupied’ France under its crude, first generation, and single-party ‘Vichy’ facade!

As ‘Punk Patriot’ boldly warned on Common Dreams in this excellent video, it didn’t take the disguised Empire long to utilize this new 21st century Nazi-like ‘enabling act’.

BTW, the Denver crack-down added the nice, historical touch of using these new Nazi ‘Enabling Laws’ combined with a “burning” reminiscent of ‘Kristallnacht’—- sort of a two-for-one tribute to fascism.

And Ron Paul remains the ONLY CANDIDATE in either Vichy party to expose, and commit to confront, this growing EMPIRE which has totally ‘captured’ our phony government and now ‘Occupies’ our former country.

Best luck and love to Occupy Empire.

Liberty, democracy, justice, and equality.

Alan MacDonald

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By Lim, January 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

I came to this site looking for information regarding
joining in to the lawsuit.  It is important, rather,
dire to me based on my worldview and comments I have
made supporting it; and I will continue to make. 
This is the first time since moving to this country
that I have felt almost certain that a law will be
directed towards me without real cause.  Although I
know, as someone said previously,that Chris filled
this lawsuit on behalf of all Americans(and everyone
else caught within the scope of the rifle), it would
give me great satisfaction to be able to ad my name
to this lawsuit.

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By abcetc, January 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Though I’m not crazy about the NDAA, Hedges (and his lawyers) have some real factual issues in their research:

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By balkas, January 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

what hedges should have sued is the cause of what usa does. and THE FIRST CAUSE of all what usa does
is the THOUGHT. all evil usa is doing now to palestinians, iranians, and pashtuns and did to koreans,
cubans, iraqis, indigenes, blacks of america, vietnamese, et al comes from that THOUGHT; which, of
course, is not uniquely american.
if THE FIRST CAUSE remains, we can expect much more evil from usa ‘elite’.
hedges doe snot see this, but does OWS? if also it doesn’t see the FIRST CAUSE then the ‘elite’ or
onepercent got nothing to worry about. and, it seems, not to be fretting all that much about being sued
or the OWS.

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By pabelmont, January 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Chris: The complaint is beautiful, but needs to be revised as NDAA 2012 s. 1021 replaces a former draft’s s 1031 (or so I suppose) see:

my blog entry on this

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By Ryan Grossenbacher, January 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Could this apply to Rush Limbaugh based on his comments about the LRA a few months back?

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By clearwaters, January 17, 2012 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

The rights of the common citizen have always only gotten in the way of our
militaristic government .  Thanks,Chris, for continuing the struggle to protect
democratic principle in the face of military totalitarianism.

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By Lumpenproletarier, January 17, 2012 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

If the United States Government, and President Obama in
particular, were as corrupt as Hedges thinks they are,
Chris would either be in prison, or dead by now for his
subversive writing.

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By clearwaters, January 17, 2012 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

The rights of the common citizen have always only gotten in the way of our
militaristic government. Thanks for continuing the fight, Chris.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, January 17, 2012 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Re: markhalfmoon

Your comment:“This lawsuit by Chris Hedges is
doing exactly what I believe Obama wanted it to do.
Challenge the law’s legality in the courts. I believe
he set it up to lose in court.

People who are just determined to dislike, mistrust
and criticize every single thing President Obama
does, of course will assume the worse. That he has
some nefarious plot to sell them out to the evil
forces of the world, etc.

I believe his back was up against the wall with this.
Congress was going to pass it, with or without him.
He agreed to sign it in return for planting legal
bombs in it that I feel certain will cause it to be
struck down in court.”

This is the way I see the situation. The AUMF was
already in play and the NDAA did little to increase
any aspect of the AUMF that did not already exist. It
seems the ONLY option left is to take the law to the

I also think it’s probable that the Obama
Administration will simply not “fight” or defend
portions of the law, such as he has done with DOMA.
If lawsuits address certain aspects of the laws with
which he himself disagrees… why defend it, then
it’ll simply die in the courts, like DOMA is.

BTW, I like your comment:
“Why is it so hard to believe that this man is
smarter than you?”


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By wcn, January 17, 2012 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

America is a wild, dancing gypsy.

She will draw you in with her laughter, her dark, flashing eyes.

Her lithe dance, the bright colors of her costume, will seduce you, make you
love her and want to believe her.

She will invite you to sit at her table so she may tell you all about your life, who
you are. Yet, only she can read her cards; they are stacked in her favor.

With hot breath in your ear, she will say that you are exceptional, you will have
the perfect mate, become rich one day, maybe even be President.

She will lie to your face and make you swallow every word, rob you blind yet
you will feel it is her just due, knife you in the back and leave you bleeding in
the gutter.

The crowd gathering to watch you gasp your last breath will say you deserved
it; after all, you were a seducer of women, a false prophet, a lier, a thief, a
closet terrorist.

Then, the gypsy will drive away in her wagon of mysteries, her lilting laughter
drawing in the desperate, the confused, the most unexceptional among us.

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By Michael Irvine, January 17, 2012 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - It’s the BANNAREPUBLICANIFICATION of

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By swulsin, January 17, 2012 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Why does the legal brief refer to 1031 and 1032 (the articles always mentioned in news articles written about the unconstitutionality of NDAA, when the document provided as the actual law itself has the articles in question as 1021 and 1022?

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By Misfiteye, January 17, 2012 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

NorCalChuck forgot to mention that GW gave huge bowls of ice cream to the rich (tax cuts), the war profiteers (two bogus wars), the banks (Henry Paulson no-strings-attached bailout) and Big Pharma (Medicare not allowed to negotiate drug prices), the list goes on and on.

But hey who’s counting?  They all do it.

As long as people believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Jesus Christ there is no reason to expect that anyone will ever question where the Ice Cream comes from or who has to pay for it.

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By SharonMI, January 17, 2012 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read somewhere that once you’ve been disappeared (arrested under this bill), there wouldn’t be any way for you to file a lawsuit…your family may not even know what happened to you so couldn’t file on your behalf. Therefore, I believe Mr. Hedges is doing this as a preventive measure. As far as I can tell, he is the most vocal “public figure” of the Occupy movement and as such would be a first target when they start rounding the protesters up. Was is any wonder the “confused” kept asking, “who’re the leaders”?

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By Arwen, January 17, 2012 at 8:03 am Link to this comment


Thanks so much for your elegant
video. It really sums up our
whole situation very well.

Other readers, get inspired:

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By Roger Lavigne, January 17, 2012 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Chris H Its nice to see that someone stands up for the rights! This elected officials seem to think that there in office just to pass laws with out addressing the people first.They have also forgot that their there to SERVICE the people not SPECIAL INTEREST. So thank you again I’m behind you 100%
Roger 99%

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By Arianna, January 17, 2012 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

I love the post by NorCalChuck.  It seems that Olivia
will do well in this world.  She’s got the right moves
already.  However, it is true that people(adults) can
be swayed by promises, no matter how shallow they may
be, when it comes to choosing an elected official.  We
are dazzled by grandiose speeches and theatrical performances, rather than by real issues.  Most of us
rarely research voting records or actions taken by would-be candidates.  Pack mentallity is the focus of
too many well intentioned voters, and fear of being
ostracized for any radical viewpoint rules our way of
thinking.  We all need to cease our “third grade” ways
of processing information.

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By ardee, January 17, 2012 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

NorCalChuck, January 16 at 2:27 pm

I must note that I enjoyed your analogy immensely, right up until you posted this little gem:

Remember, the government cannot give anything to anyone - that they have not first taken away from someone else.

This is a falsehood on several levels and is a tired and trite right wing mantra deserving of being put to bed once and for all.

Citizens of a nation pay taxes ( remember those). They pay them because this enables the govt. to build and maintain infrastructure that all of us enjoy. Roads, bridges, schools, transportation etc. including necessary assistance programs for the neediest among us.

To say that the govt. “takes away from you” is to display an arrogance and selfishness rather overwhelming, as well as to portray a false and misleading right wing piece of propaganda. It is the duty of all Americans to pay our fair share of the burdens of running this nation.

You righties seem to believe that you are exempt from such responsibilities and it is this selfishness that sunders our nation. One might argue about how our tax dollars are spent, one might work to see that they are spent with more frugality and with better judgment. But to argue that the Govt. “takes from you” is to be a child, like the ones you supposedly teach.

Shame on you.

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By glider, January 17, 2012 at 1:53 am Link to this comment


“This lawsuit by Chris Hedges is doing exactly what I believe Obama wanted it to do. Challenge the law’s legality in the courts. I believe he set it up to lose in court”

Yeah right, Obama 11-dimensional chess.  And you are a complete Obamabot moron.  How about accepting the most obvious conclusion instead of twisting and contorting a plot to excuse your idol’s bad behavior?  In case you have not noticed your “leader” has been personally exercising the renditions this bill rubber stamps for some time now.  Hell, he even goes beyond it to assassinate Americans.  Hey, while you are engaging in extraordinary fantasies what is your rationalization for Obama on Bradley Manning and your idol’s promise to support whistle blowers?

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By kulturcritic, January 17, 2012 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

“(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.”

Is not the US State Dept now in negotiations with the Taliban?  Perhaps we should palce Ms. Clinton under military detention and provide extraordinary rendition.

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By kulturcritic, January 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

Chris - you can count me in on the lawsuit.  Put my name on the filing:

Sanford Krolick, Ph.D.

(former executive with General Electric, Ernst & Young, Computer Sciences Corporation)

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By Anonymous56, January 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

FINALLY, someone with enough balls to go against this unconstitutional bill! Thank you, thank you!! Best of luck! The American people will not be fooled by his eloquence anymore. Is there no hope for a real change? It feels as if WWIII is on the horizon & history is repeating itself…

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By markhalfmoon, January 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

This lawsuit by Chris Hedges is doing exactly what I believe Obama wanted it to do. Challenge the law’s legality in the courts. I believe he set it up to lose in court.

People who are just determined to dislike, mistrust and criticize every single thing President Obama does, of course will assume the worse. That he has some nefarious plot to sell them out to the evil forces of the world, etc.

I believe his back was up against the wall with this. Congress was going to pass it, with or without him. He agreed to sign it in return for planting legal bombs in it that I feel certain will cause it to be struck down in court.

The House of Representatives voted to pass the NDAA 2012 with 283 (65%) voting yes and 136 (31%) voting no. 14 (3%) didn’t vote.

The Senate voted to pass it with 86 (86%) voting yes and 13 (13%) voting no. 1 (1%) Senator did not vote.

I am just guessing that the 8 Republicans - including Michele Bachmann - that didn’t vote the last time would have joined their colleagues in the House to make up the two thirds majority needed to hand President Obama an embarrassing defeat with an override of his veto in this election year. There’s no question that there was more than the required number to override a veto in the Senate. It would have been a futile act of symbolism to veto it.

The veto of this bill, which primarily funds the entire Armed Forces, would cause a delay, during which troops in Afghanistan would not be paid, jets would be grounded for lack of fuel, the Pentagon couldn’t pay its heating bill and thousands of shipbuilders and other workers employed by contractors with the military would be laid off. He doesn’t have line item veto power so he couldn’t just veto the part he didn’t like.

President Obama would have begun his reelection year with Republicans blaming him for “not paying our brave combat soldiers,” killing jobs, and being weak on defense. He knew he was going to catch hell for this decision, but he made a difficult choice. That’s why he made the signing statement. What other reason would he do that? The wording of it was part of the legal sabotage he placed in it to help assure that the courts would overturn it.

All the lefties who think he is just weak, immoral or corrupt are blinded by their one dimensional thinking. Why is it so hard to believe that this man is smarter than you?

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By SteveL, January 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Saudis hijacked the planes on 9-11.  The U.S. populace gets punished with the patriot act and Afghanistan and Iraq get invaded.  A shoe bomber is let on a plane by security and is stopped by passengers.  Now passengers are targeted by the U.S and made to take off their shoes at airports.  An underwear bomber is let on the plane by security and stopped by passengers.  Now passengers are required to be x-rayed.  The U.S. has gone completely off the rails in figuring out what their security problems are and how to deal with them.  We would be much better off being governed by a pet rock.

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By Lisa, January 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s not forget it was Obama who insisted that US
citizens be included in this bill. Diane Feinstein made
an attempt to exclude US citizens from being subjected
to indefinite detention but Obama Insisted and it was
passed. Exactly who is our president and congress
working for? It doesn’t appear to be the American

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By WarrenMetzler, January 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

I accept that Chris Hedges dislikes the current condition in the US, and I
support him on this. But he totally misunderstands how this arose when he
thinks the current actions of Congress further eviscerating our Constitution are
because corporations are telling Congresspeople to set up a protection for
those corporations.

This, and all the other Constitution eviscerations, beginning in the 1880’s when
the Supreme Court decided corporations had human rights, and worsened
significantly in the past 10 years, after, as one earlier commentator pointed out,
the majority of Americans were willing to accept the deliberate lie of the Bush
administration that Al Quida did 9/11. All such eviscerations occurring because
the majority of American citizens are willing to abandon reality testing and live
in a state of significant corruption. Each representative votes, even without
realizing it, in the direction of the mind-set’s (world views, attitudes, maps,
contexts) held by the majority of her constituents. So if Congress is going
crazy, that is because most Americans have gone crazy.

So we don’t need to sue certain government officials, in this case Obama and
Panetta, we need a revival of most Americans, out of which most will develop a
fundamentally new view of reality and justice and morality. Only then will we
have a Congress that votes in laws that are rational, moral, and 100% consistent
with the Constitution we already have.

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By Outraged, January 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

Quote:to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.”

Interestingly, the lawyers are suing regarding the legality of the AUMF. The AUMF has been in place since 2001 and had ALREADY allowed the indefinite detention of detainees or anyone associated with Al Qaeda or “terrorists”. This is the way I read the law and apparently the lawyers agree.

It’s good that many lawsuits have been filed regarding it since there are many aspects which need to vetted as to the Constitution. But for those blaming Obama, it just shows how far off you are from reality.

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By marie marie, January 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the only way to fight the corporations is to stop
buying their crap. this mentality is going to be hard
to achieve in this country, and many others, in fact.

just stop buying. buy what is necessary and ignore
the rest. it is not that hard. i have been doing it
for many years now. buy books. travel. study. without
buying into the BS of this world you are quickly
going to see yourself improve, grow happier,
stronger, more independent. this goes too, with pop
music and all other aspects of the pop culture. live
for as little as you can and save up the rest, if you
can. this war cannot be fought any other way. only by
disconnecting yourself and your mind and your heart
from all what this culture has to offer. remember
matrix? we had been given the tools before the dark
times dawned. and who are the machines? we gave them
the power, yes, WE did, WE built them, and we still
do, but the difference is that now they control us as
well as all aspects of our lives. hence, disconnect
from it all. cram your desires into your middle
fingers and display them proudly.

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By Lois rose, January 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I sould be willing to kick in some money to sue BO too.  Send out the addy, i suspect others will happily join!

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By SharonMI, January 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

xraymike79, nice video.

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By you really want to know, January 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

suing obama?

good luck with that!
(especially with that 2 bit lawyer of yours)

what obama deserves is to be executed.

for Treason.

How can one take the Oath of Office and sign NDAA?

How can one supposedly be a Constitutional scholar and not know that NDAA is TYRANNY.

the scumbag obama knows exactly what he’s doing.  He’s the biggest POS ever to become President.

The price for this kind of treason to our cherished Constitution is DEATH !  That’s right, DEATH TO OBAMA !

Now that also applies to bush, cheney, the clinton gang and all facilitators, political, financial, media, military and spooks.

Now thruthdig, why don’t you be the good little progressive spook financed lapdog that you really are and report me to the secret service, see if I care.

While you’re at it why don’t you ban (or as you say, “reserve”) this user name also.

“The tree of Liberty must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of tyrants and patriots” —T. Jefferson

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By xraymike79, January 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

A brief video I made to illustrate the state of the world:

Graffiti Philosophy

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By There's a bustle in my Hedgerow, January 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fbleepbleepk!!!! Yes!!!! Dear Chris Hedges: I had this “crazy” idea to do the exact same
thing, along with every other American, class action style. In other news, this article is
intoxicating. I want to marry this news and have all of its babies. Thank you for the most
heroic act of patriotism Ive heard of in a long time. Good holy (Jesus) Chris(t) Hedges! I
think I love you! Xo - thank you.

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By newday, January 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Very inspiring, Chris….I’m with you 100%!
But do you still believe that WTC7 free fell with the acceleration of gravity, which the National Institute of Standards and Technology admits, which by the way necessitates the scenario that no structure, it’s own structure could be in the way which would slow it down to slower than the acceleration of gravity, due to “office fires”, which is NIST’s official explanation for it’s demise?
If you believe a building fell at the speed of gravity without even being hit by a plane, then I’ve got some great property for sale in Siberia….I’ll make you a great deal!!!!!

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By Randy Lee, January 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges is a true patriot!  Chris, if you ever ran
for office, I would vote for you without even asking
what your platform is.

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By ElkoJohn, January 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

Don’t be confused by the assertion that this Act does not
apply to U.S. Citizens.

go to

Watch the video, and
download their document (written by a Constitutional attorney)
to use in standing up to this legislation
which officially has made the U.S. a Police State.
‘’ I’m mad as hell, and I won’t take it anymore. ‘’
I hope you are too!

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By Arwen, January 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Why split hairs? The lawsuit
can’t be thrown out over a
misspelled name, because the
unique job titles clearly
indicate the defendants. Supreme
Court, Grannis v. Ordean (1914)
234 US 385 at 395, “even in
names, due process of law does
not require ideal accuracy. In
the spelling and pronunciation of
proper names there are no
generally accepted standards, and
the well-established doctrine of
idem sonans…is recognition of
this.” Neither can the lawsuit be
thrown out because of a little
typo in the section number.
Probably, the suit will just keep
getting deferred for pressing
national business, until both
defendants are out of office. The
important thing is that MANY
objections to the NDAA are on
record. Surely, journalists and
travelers are not the only ones
who can be inadvertently caught
up in the dragnet? Class action
sounds great.

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By firefly, January 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Awesome article!

For a long time now, I have felt that Obama is
nothing but a pawn in a much more powerful game by
the Arms Industry. This is all about weapons and the
need to create permanent war (and permanent paranoia)
in order to ‘create a market’ for weapons. The role
of presidents as ambassadors for the arms industry,
shows the cosy relationship between weapons
manufacturers and politicians.

Despite the fact that arms manufacturing in the west,
ultimately represents huge fortunes of public funds
flowing into private coffers for products that deal
in injury or death, the industry is usually
represented as a source of national pride. Military
top brass vie to feed it (and feed off it through the
revolving doors). The corridors of power are
infiltrated by lobbyists for the arms industry. So
pervasive is its influence that when it comes to
matters of spending, the tail often wags the dog,
with requirements of the arms industry being put
before effective strategy.

As Oscar Arias Sanchez said “We have produced one
firearm for every ten inhabitants of this planet, and
yet we have not bothered to end hunger and disease
when to do so is completely within our reach”.

Why? Because ending hunger doesn’t make anyone rich.

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By NorCalChuck, January 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment


“We are worried about “the cow” when it is all about the “Ice Cream.”

The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year.

The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president.

We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.

To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.

The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia’s mother.

The day arrived when they were to make their speeches.

Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best.

Everyone applauded and he sat down.

Now is was Olivia’s turn to speak.

Her speech was concise.

She said, “If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream.” She sat down.

The class went wild. “Yes! Yes! We want ice cream.”

She surely would say more. She did not have to. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn’t sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it.

She didn’t know. The class really didn’t care. All they were thinking about was ice cream, Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a landslide.

Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and 52 percent of the people reacted like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other 48 percent know they’re going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.”

Remember, the government cannot give anything to anyone - that they have not first taken away from someone else.

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By oregoncharles, January 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Francis Boyle, Constitutional/International law scholar, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana has offered pro bono services to this type of legal action. Why would Hedges use lawyers who misspell Obama’s last name?

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By Migs, January 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

“Did citizens think what happened to Iraq would not come home to roost?  Do not re-elect the war criminals.  Throw all incumbents out. “

I agree with the exception of Dennis Kucinich.

Chris, I just finished reading Empire of Illusion. Even though it was incredibly sad I thought it was a great read. It’s inspired me to be more active in my union this year and spend more time reading rather than watching TV.

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By CKGardner, January 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

As a young teen I went to a John Birch Summer Camp. Though almost nothing
of the theo-political ideas remain, one teacher made a point that has stuck with
me and - as an historian - I see it often in the political past: people generally
believe the the present threat to their freedom is just a temporary problem, not
a fundamental concern for themselves and their futures. Economic and legal
structures tend to shift too slowly for most of us to keep an eye on them.

I know the Obama Administration will not arrest any Americans under this act. I
doubt the next administration, even a Republican one, will either. But I also am
sure that future re-authorizations of the bill will come with more stringent
language, not a removal of the offending sections on internment of Americans
by the military - as a few comments have suggested. Any one car bomb -
horrific though that would be/whether thwarted or not - will cause people to
scurry to their protectors to demand ever greater surveillance and intervention
by the military-industrial-Congressional complex.

I know this because by the time the act is reauthorized (even assuming not one
terrorist threat comes to light) most of us who are even aware of ‘Title X,
Subtitle D’ will be doing what we long to do: lead our descent lives of family,
work, play, reflection, entertainment, community… While we are doing that, the
professional political elite will reword, tighten, expand authority, and praise
their bold steps to ‘protect American freedom.’ Not because of any cabalistic
desire to enslave, but because their lobbyists and donors have a vested interest
in getting their companies the contracts that will come out enforcement.

So I laud Chris Hedges and his legal team (typos excluded) for speaking truth-
to-power and taking on this issue. I am admittedly pessimistic of the likelihood
of overturning the offensive Title X, much less the whole Act. But hopefully
Hedges will continue to pursue the case and keep up the call for us to pay
attention. I have long enjoyed his commentary and his investigative journalism,
and I look forward to further stories on this issue.

Martin Luther King, Jr: “In the end, we will not remember the words of our
enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Martin Niemöller: “When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent;
I was not a communist…

“When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade

“When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew.

“When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”

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By greenmanharper, January 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

I stand with Okasis—let’s make this a Class Action lawsuit with the more the merrier. I have been protesting the war machine since the 1960’s and this is the most dire legislation I have yet seen.
And a link to allow those of us who could donate a few dollars would be most appreciated.

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By Okasis, January 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Can we make this a Class Action Lawsuit? I am certainly a member of the class this law aims at. And, since once upon a time, the Constitution protected demonstrators etc, there is plenty of info kicking around to prove it, from FBI films of protests, to letters to the editor concerning various abuses of the Bill of Rights by Government. Then there is the little matter of Cuba etc., which has long been branded a supporter of Terrorism [God help the Cuban 5!].

So, let’s make it a Class Action, and allow all us scofflaws to sign on too…

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By Dr_Snooz, January 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

God bless you Chris! I’ll be praying for you and
everyone else being oppressed and persecuted by the
corporate state.

May God have mercy on us all.

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By William Lee, January 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

Bravo, Chris! You do this in the name of all of us. I only hope your suit isn’t thrown out of court because it misspells the President’s first name—twice!

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By jzjoynt, January 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Whether or not Mr Hedges dotted his i’s, crossed his t’s, spelled potato,
or played donkey kong- well those things and many others are non-

The fact that he has the balls to stand up to fascism is admirable.  As is
his disdain for NDAA.

There are many things wrong with the US.  Ask 300,000,000 and you’ll
narrow it down to 2,000,000 wrong things…. [OK, my math is purely
hyperbole, but I’m following the FoxNews modus operandi..]

To dissent and disagree, verbally, via protest, whatever, does not make
one a terrorist, it makes one a patriot of the highest degree.
Those who extol there patriotism as better than yours are lemmings,
manipulators or both.

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By Donna Fritz, January 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

“If Hedges was actually interested in civil
disobedience, as he has written in numerous other
articles, he could make a cash donation to Al qaeda,
present evidence of doing so to the Secretary of
Defense, which then, according to him, would result
in him being indefinetly detained. Then he would
actually have a legitimate case to take to court.” -

Chris Hedges isn’t only interested in civil
disobedience - he’s taken part in it and has been
arrested for it. However, he would never make a cash
donation to AQ because he doesn’t support AQ.
Besides, that would qualify as deliberately giving
material support to international murderers. What
Hedges and others object to is that the language of
the bill opens the door to indefinite detention of
American citizens whose intentions were never to give
material support to international criminals.

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By Android B, January 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Though I share Mr. Hedges extreme distaste for the Homeland Battlefield Bill, this case will likely not survive.  The reason for this is the federal standing requirement.  Standing acts as a barrier to brining a suit in federal court, and requires a plaintiff to show that they were injured in a concrete, specific, non-conjectural fashion, that the injury was caused by the defendant, and that the court can redress the injury through the requested relief. 

The injury alleged in the complaint will likely be held to be too tenuous, speculative, and hypothetical to get the case past the pleading stage.  A motion to dismiss from the DOJ is almost certainly forthcoming, and I strongly suspect that motion will be granted, brining a quick end to this lawsuit.

Still, I applaud the effort.

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By Synfinity, January 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

At least American has a constitution and a citizen can challenge unjust laws in court (if he has the necessary money…) In the UK, where we long ago lost any form of democracy for an elective dictatorship currently inhabited by a bunch of neo liberal crypto fascist millionaires (not SO different from the US then…,) who are determined to have the whole country run by private corporations which they will use the police and “intelligence” services as draconian methods of control and there is no way in which any citizen can challenge the “justice” or “legal” systems and in which all who dissent or are in any way different or eccentric are increasingly demonised by the media, who are uniformly of the hard right and simnply mouth government / corporate propoganda. Freedom and free thought and expression are increasingly dangerous to the powers that be and their corporate sponsors in all countries, and even in relatively liberal “Western” counties the fear of Arab Spring type uprisings is considered a clear and present danger due to the Banker induced financial crisis. In this climate the law Obama disgracefully passed is no surprise, and I am sure that similar ones will be bought forward in many other countries soon. We live in dark times and anything that can be done to try to hold back the tide of control and fascism has to be good, well done Chris.

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By Jordan, January 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s a shame your lawsuit will be thrown out because you failed to actually read it:

1021(e) - “Nothing in this section shall be construed
to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of
United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States,
or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United

Section 1022 is entirely dependent on section 1021:

Here’s the important bit, section 1022(a)2:

“(2) COVERED PERSONS.—The requirement in paragraph (1)
shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under
section 1021 who is determined—”

Section 1021 doesn’t apply to US Citizens and 1022 is dependent on 1021 so it doesn’t
apply to US citizens EITHER.

In case you’re unclear, 1022 says it again:

1022(b) 1:


(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain
a person in military custody under this section does not extend
to citizens of the United States.

Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money, anyone can sue anyone for any
reason they want, but it just seems obvious to me you’ll be wasting the courts time on

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By bd6951, January 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

“The threat and reach of al-Qaida—which I spent a year covering for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East—are marginal, despite the attacks of 9/11. The terrorist group poses no existential threat to the nation. It has been so disrupted and broken that it can barely function. Osama bin Laden was gunned down by commandos and his body dumped into the sea….”

Chris Hedges, with all the respect due him, is the embodiment of the notion that there is no such thing as perfect.  Every part of the above quote is wrong.  That such a bright and experienced man continues to regard the Cheney/Bush junta explanation of 9/11 as fact is sad, alarming and dispiriting.  9/11 was the impetus for the implementation of all the draconian measures against which Mr. Hedges is filing suit.  Without 9/11 none of what has brought Mr. Hedge’s suit would have been possible.

Until the truth about 9/11 is finally exposed and that the way money “works” is fundamentally changed this sad country will continue to careen toward the cliff off of which the empire will fall to its death.

I any of you are wondering what a Peak Oil world looks like open your eyes.  We are there.

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By faith, January 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges, yours is excellent news concerning the law suit.  If your attorneys need
help from some of the local lawyers with time on their hands please indicate a
person or email they may contact.  To the preservation of Justice - may you prevail
in your suit, sir.

I am emailing your article and analysis to friends who should know of your action.
Thank you again -

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ssupak's avatar

By ssupak, January 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Why don’t you sue the veto-proof majorities in
congress that passed this bill?

Do you know that Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team
is a who’s who of Dick Cheney’s psychopathic

I’m reminded of the 50,000 liberals in Florida who
said there was no difference between Al Gore and GW
Bush in 2000 when they voted for Nader. We all know
how that turned out.

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, January 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

(This letter concerning the NDAA was sent to Sen. Casey again, asking him to address the specific concerns outlined in this letter, which he failed to do the first time in his reply to it.)

Sen. Bob Casey,

This constituent is writing to you with valid concern.

Upon taking your elected seat in our U.S. government, you took the following Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

But you recently voted “Yea” for the S1867 National Defense Authorization Act.

And now this constituent, among others, wonders why?

> Under Title X - General Provisions / Subtitle D - Detainee Matters / Section 1032 (b) (1), (b) (2):


(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS. - The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

(((*** This requirement definition is not an occurrence restriction. ***)))

(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS. - The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States. 

(((*** This requirement definition is not an occurrence restriction. ***)))

> Under Title X - General Provisions / Subtitle D - Detainee Matters / Section 1031 (c) (1):

(c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR. - The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

(((*** But indefinite detention without trial violates the U.S. Constitution - Amendments 5, 6, 14. ***)))

> Under Title X - General Provisions / Subtitle D - Detainee Matters / Section 1031 (b) (2):

(b) COVERED PERSONS. - A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

(2) 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.

(((*** Is the vagueness that’s contained in the above, obscure enough to include certain CIA tie-ins and such too? ***)))

So now, how can you conscientiously pledge to support and defend our U.S. Constitution on one hand?

And then vote for a bill which contains a portion that violates a section of the Constitution on the other hand?

And how can you, in full conscientious earnestness, vote for a bill where too few are given too much loose authority?

And where the text itself is too vaguely worded, and not distinct enough for viable justice?

And where not enough checks and balances are put into place to determine truthfulness and justness, and prevent abuses of power etc.?

And, how can these questionable areas, seen by We-the-People, go too unnoticed by You, who represents us?


Sally Kline


His reply the first time:

(Sen. Casey’s response brings to mind a car salesman promising a customer that the car runs great! 

And the reason that the car runs great, has nothing to do with the condition of the vehicle itself, it’s just because the dealership says it does!)

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By John Poole, January 16, 2012 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ten years ago I said if one were to lift the visor on Lucas’s storm troopers one
would see the demonic face of an American GI.  I was wrong. I hadn’t counted on
the empire going the mercenary route.  My FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH 2012 update on
YouTube hints at the dark days to come.

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By gerard, January 16, 2012 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

(My just previous comment got snatched by the Internet pixies, so I repeat.)  “Extraordinary rendition” must be legally challenged in any way possible. Otherwise the Constitution becomes meaningless.  Thanks to Chris Hedges for taking on this huge responsibility and acting for the benefit of us all.

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By gerard, January 16, 2012 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

NDAA must be challenged in any way possible. If the legal toothpicks underpinning “extraordinary rendition” are not destroyed and strong rights guaranteed to the people by our Constitution are not reinstated, the nation is doomed. Congratulations and thanks to Chris Hedges for taking the first steps for all of us on the long road ahead.

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By Ralph Kramden, January 16, 2012 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The court will probably reject your suit because you misspelled District. Then they’ll find other more arcane reasons. Thanks for trying.

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dkenneth's avatar

By dkenneth, January 16, 2012 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Mine isn’t an attempt to candy-coat, prettify, or downplay the seriousness of Chris
Hedges’s excellent lawsuit, but I want to suggest one listen to “Wake Up Everybody,” by
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (available at on-line music stores).

Thanks, Chris. So much.


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By Sabrina, January 16, 2012 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Beautifully said. I’m eager for a follow-up. You just sued the president. Awesome. And only in America. Well, maybe not for long if things keep going as they have been.

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By redteddy, January 16, 2012 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

I love it.  Obama has been president for a whole one term and still Americans
cannot get spell his last name. I think Hedges should sue the Department of
Education instead.

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By Lumpenproletarier, January 16, 2012 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Hedges writes “...I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can.”

President Nixon sent the National Guard to Kent State in 1970. Four students were shot and killed; nine were injured.

120,000 United States citizens and legal residents were “indefinitely detained” in 1942 by President Roosevelt.

Hedges implication that NDAA represents something new simply does not square with the historical record of these and other examples of Federal repression of human rights.

NDAA specifically states that the list of individuals, and the evidence against them, must be reviewed periodically by Congress; this is actually an improvement for the existing prisoners at Gauntanamo.

The fear mongering over this legislation has largely come from the Left. Those on the right who have opposed it, have largely done so to discredit President Obama amongst his liberal base.

Hedges attempt at a legal fight is admirable, however, it will likely be dismissed. To truly test this law for constitutionality, a case will have to be brought against the United States Government where a United States Citizen is apprehended and detained in compliance with this law.

If Hedges was actually interested in civil disobedience, as he has written in numerous other articles, he could make a cash donation to Al qaeda, present evidence of doing so to the Secretary of Defense, which then, according to him, would result in him being indefinetly detained. Then he would actually have a legitimate case to take to court.

His current legal case is, at best, self-promotion amongst his Liberal followers.

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By Be Careful of Lawyers, January 16, 2012 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawyers can throw a case on behalf of those who come to them with deeper pockets than you have. Watch out for them!

Don’t learn the expensive and hard lesson that Jesse Ventura learned after he spent a bundle of money and time to sue the TSA only to find out his lawyers filed with the wrong court.

Too bad Ralph Nader can’t take the case. He is one sharp cookie and one of the few I would trust with my life.

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By annenigma, January 16, 2012 at 9:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why did the attorneys consistently misspell Barack Obama’s name as Barak in the lawsuit? If that is any indication of their attention to detail, it could be a lost cause.

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By Uncle Herniation, January 16, 2012 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your lawyers spelled Barack wrong on the first page. That must be embarrassing.

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By Rhode Island Liberty Coalition, January 16, 2012 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Rhode Island Liberty Coalition has posted on its website model local and state? legislation nullifying the NDAA in any town, county or state legislature IN THE USA. It prevents local officials from cooperting with military investigations and detainments AND goes one step further to render it illegal for the military to investigate or detain a citizen within the jurisdiction. Download a copy and submit it to your local government today!

Facebook: Rhode Island Liberty Coalition

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By Rabble Realist, January 16, 2012 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges: you refer to sec 1031 but its really sec 1021 and that section clearly
provides protections for US citizens. Look at sec 1021(e) in the bill. This would have
required two minutes worth of research but you failed to do it in your rush to grab
onto the apocalyptic fervor currently invading the Internet. This whole “lawsuit” is
based on silly, sensationalist headlines and has made you a joke.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, January 16, 2012 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

All politics are local.

I am proud to have been born in Montana.

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By olenska, January 16, 2012 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

we can and must unelect all reps who voted yea on the NDAA. and let’s be careful to keep sanders, ron paul, jerry nadler, dianne feinstein, mark udall and the few others who fought against it. the due process guarantee act has several sponsors in both houses, but not enough votes to pass yet. we need to make it the number one issue in this election. I call on all here to keep it in the national conversation, to hound your reps about it, and to alert your contacts to what has just happened.

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