Sunday, February 10, 2013

NDAA: Hedges v. Obama: Did the Bill of Rights die today?

Jill Dalton
Activist Post

As I head west on Chambers Street toward the Court House I hear a huge roar followed by loud chanting ricocheting off the stonewalls of the buildings and I’m elated.  This is amazing, I think.  There must be hundreds of people protesting the NDAA outside 40 Centre Street. But then I realize the protest is the transit workers school bus strike now in its third week.  I stop to take a few photos and give them a thumbs up before continuing along my route.

By the time I reach the 40 Centre Street I’ve already missed Hedges, Ellsberg, Drake, Chomsky and the other notables who’ve already entered the Court House.  What I find are 25 or so activists milling around and a huge group of photographers standing in a line on the opposite side of the sidewalk watching the proceedings along with several police cars and officers.  So much for my dream of a large peoples presence to protest Obama signing the NDAA into law on December 31, 2011 as unsuspecting Americans sipped champagne and sang “Auld Lang Syne.”  Perhaps Obama figured no one would notice; and most people didn’t, but Chris Hedges did and he filed a lawsuit against Obama and Panetta.

Whenever I mention the NDAA most people give me a quizzical look and ask, “What’s that?”  To which I give them the ‘in a nutshell’ answer.  The NDAA stands for the National Defense Authorization Act, which has provisions for the government to use the US military against US citizens and can throw us into prison without due process until the end of hostilities, which in our case of permanent war means forever!  They then look at me and ask, “Are you making this up?”  To which reply, “Google it.”  Let’s be honest: who could make this up?  Well, besides some member of the SS.

This is why plaintiffs and supporters in the Hedges v. Obama lawsuit are challenging the controversial indefinite detention provision set forth in Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA and were back in court on February 6th. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, referred to as the Magnificent or Freedom 7, are:  Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, NDAA Case Coordinator and founder of Revolution Truth Tangerine Bolen, author Noam Chomsky, Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, Occupy London activist Kai Wargalla and journalist and activist Alexa O’Brien.  Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer serve as counsel for the plaintiffs.

Back in May US District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled Section 1021 of the NDAA was unconstitutional.  Her ruling returned us to the country we were before Obama signed this act into law.  Meaning the government cannot strip a US citizen of due process or use the military to arrest US citizens and hold them in a military prison indefinitely.  Judge Forrest then granted a permanent injunction on the NDAA provision, which was appealed the next day by the Obama White House.  The 2nd Circuit Court of appeals then placed Section 1021 of the NDAA back into effect.

Hedges describes the NDAA as, “The final battle between the restoration of due process and the imposition of a military state.” 

“They seek to subjugate us all.”  Chris Hedges

The only thing more craven then Obama signing the NDAA into law is the total lack of any coverage by the corporate media, which has proven itself to be nothing more than the propaganda arm of the corporate state.  There were no cameras from NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX or CNN in front of the courthouse.  The reporters were from Democracy Now!, RT, WBAI and various other independent media outlets.  But worse still is the complete denial on the part of the American public that anything out of the ordinary is going on.  The willful ignorance of American’s is astounding to me.  We’ve become a nation of zombies.

Obama is a brand and I believe he was put into office to do what no Republican could ever get away with.  He’s the kindlier gentler face of corporate empire. Here we have a president who’s much worse than Bush in so many ways. Obama’s extended the wars, created new wars, extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, gave additional bail out money to the banks, allowed the health insurance industry to write the healthcare bill, extended the PATRIOT Act, escalated drone attacks (6 times more frequently than Bush) and prosecuted twice as many whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act of 1917 as all other presidents combined. Obama has assassinated three US citizens without due process and now wants to carry this draconian power out at home and to that end signed the NDAA into law and amazingly still finds time to ruminate over his ‘kill list’ on ‘Terror Tuesdays.’

Under his watch not one member of the Bush Administration has been held accountable for leading us into wars built on false evidence and lies; not one banker's been held accountable for the fraud and corruption that brought down the global economy.  Obama is every corporatist’s wet dream.

Is the American public willfully ignorant or just ignorant?  Or as a friend of mine told me when we were arguing over Mr. O and his policies. “Well, I don’t want to know.  I’m happy with my little life and if I know I’ll just be depressed.”  Perhaps that’s the same logic the Germans used as Hitler came to power and began systematically stripping away civil liberties and silencing all dissent.  I used to wonder how the Germans could remain silent with all that transpired but now see it happening here in the US and I’m truly amazed and pissed off by our complicity in this corruption.

Glenn Ford refers to Obama as the “more effective evil” and I have to agree with his assessment.  I mean give me a break.  Don’t listen to what Obama says. Talk is cheap.  Look at his actions.  It’s not that difficult.  Obama’s completely charmed and neutered the African American community.  And the hypocritical liberals are so full of crap.  They’re a bunch of crybabies who under Bush raised holy hell and now under Obama remain silent sycophants to his reign of terror.  These so-called liberals are enabling cowards.  Defending their murderer-in-chief at every turn.  The liver lilied, hypocritical liberals lay prostate and impotent at Obama’s feet pleading to be stomped on.  They beg for their enslavement.  Jesus, are they truly that deaf, dumb and blind?

The corporate takeover of our government and the erosion of our civil liberties continue and if it’s allowed to continue unabated then we are truly done for.  We will be a full-blown corporate police state with no rights and no jobs.  We’ll be a penal colony.  A third world country filled with serfs and warlords.  Hedges affirms, “All these laws are being put through by design.”

The sooner Americans figure out there’s no two-party system the better.  There is only one party and that my friends is a corporate party that serves the 1% and the corporations.  Our government has been taken over by corporate forces that have no loyalty to any nation but only to profit and they will exploit all humanity and the planet until collapse.  Because like Chris Hedges says, “The only word they know is, “More!”

But here’s the rub we live on a finite planet with finite resources.  As corporate forces continue to rape and pillage mother earth we’ll all be fighting for scraps.  The so-called elites and the 1% believe their money will save them and for a time it probably will but rest assured when there’s no clean water or clean air and the planet's completely radioactive from all the nuclear spills and the oceans are polluted by the oil spills and only used as a dumping ground for plastic and chemical wastes no amount of money will save these greedy bastards.  They’re going down just like the rest of us.  The only difference is they’ll be shocked, as they believe their own hype.

But, alas, we have to keep bearing witness to these atrocities even when nobody else does.  It’s no time to get discouraged because my dream is one day the 100th monkey will figure out what’s really going on and then we’ll all be washing our coconuts.  Until then one must keep the faith, keep showing up, standing up and speaking truth to power.

On my way home I again pass by the transit workers and this time stop to listen to their grievances. They get it.  Our 29 billion dollar mayor is trying to break their union.  I encourage them, “Don’t let them do it.  Stay strong.”

Throughout history all totalitarian regimes have eventually turned on their own citizens.  The violence always comes home to roost but like Gandhi said,
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win. 
Chris Hedges: NDAA Update 2.7.13.

Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the HBO film, “Too Big To Fail.” Her articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, RSN, OpEdNews Progressive Activists Voice & NationofChange. Her book, Is It Fascism Yet? is available on


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Hide Behind said...

and then you win¿
What will we win¿
We will win some!
Some of us will win the lottery while 100,000,000. Or more will lose
Some of us will win a battle fought over the same piece of earth others fought over 20 years ago.
Somw will win a soccormstch,football, baseball,orbasletball game even though we had no part in the outcome.
Some will win the privilege to get stoned on marijuana as we die from.poisoned air. and water.
A soldier will win a chance to live an almost normal life because modern medicines make his mind believe he never did commit arrocitys.
A military contractor will win a huge contract to build another warship,plane,tank or a hundred thousand guns to replace or add too the old ones.
A group of the best minds in the land where Gandhl won will win another contrat or govrrnment grant because they foind a wsy to improve the destructiveness of nuclear weapons..
MOnsanto wins the rights to be sole owner of Gandhls plants trees fish and fowl that live today and farmers who owned their land eill get a new plot of land or have their ashes spreadupon yhe land.
Oh yes Gandhi one he was a man shot down, which is good because he died a winner in a fight he fought, unlike the losers of the world who only fight for their pocket books, crotches right to screw and then to sit in the sun in a purple haze that hides the coffin once called earth.

Anonymous said...

Did the Bill of Rights die today?

No, Dorothy. Everything our country stood for died on 9-11.

Arsenic in the chicken. Spermicide in the corn. We're not in America. We're in Oz. It's time to click our heels.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not! The Bill of Rights hasn't died, nor will it! The B of R is only the written acknowledgement of Birthrights of the Humans. Something that the leaders of a particular country FINALLY saw, after MILLENNIA.

THe fact that the Feds don't want to acknowledge it, while the 95% of THE People are fighting for it, should give you a clue.

Anonymous said...

America The Prostrate

In a simplistic sort of way,
across a desert lit by the moon.
America lay prostrate,
lulled by prosperity’s tune.

Beautiful thing in a world gone mad,
everyone knows the lies being spoke.
They spill from the mouths of bankrupt souls,
leaderless people, morally broke.

The globe spins on, a compact disc,
television soothes the planet.
Hard drives quietly think away,
politicians run the gamut.

Prostrate pricks, sucking away,
at America’s aging tit.
Pay up now, or go to jail,
they care less, how you take the hit.

They act as if it will never end,
The Nazis felt much the same.
Fortify your home, your town,
these criminals have no real shame.

The knock on the door will surely come,
midnight terror of the state.
Theft, lies, fraud and deceit,
social incubators of pure hate.

Hang from a rope, they surely will,
these prophets of civic duty.
After the riots, the death, the trials,
before these pirates split the booty.

RJ O’Guillory
Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

Hide Behind said...

It has always been the poets that inspired me,even though I lack the abilty to become one.
In their words and phrases I have found more visions both of the worlds reality and of the greatness it may become

I look for the poetry within this reality find its beauty wether in metric or free verse

Ilook for the poetry of a nations people and find the character of those people. Hopes,dreams, crys of fear and delusions some tomes carry more truths than illutions of what one sees only with their eyes.
I studied Yemens hidtory of poetry. And found it in their everday life being expressed from within governments leaders to the commonest tssk of buying grocerys.
And then it began to die when americanns came and killed the flames of creativity of Yemens poetic culture and turned their minds for life into the dirges spoken of deathI but hope that the last man left has a poets heart so that he can write his own and maybe ours as well epitaph.

Jeremy Lynesw said...

9/11 Truth could go a long way toward overturning this slide into Orwellian statehood. Too bad these plaintiffs don't go there.

Anonymous said...

We won't even have a chance if we're disarmed...oh wait, I guess that's the point. Our impatient enemies are chomping at the bit waiting for our government to completely incapacitate us. Then they can skip on in.

Anonymous said...

Nobody dare question dear leader obama. He will lead us into the arms of the enemy but it is best for the people. Some people.

Dr. Goldstein said...

The Bill of Rights died in 1990. I was a "card carrying member" of the ACLU, the only organization dedicated to preserving the Bill of Rights at the time. Strangely, most Americans hated the ACLU because it was "a bunch of bleeding-heart liberals" or something like that.

The outgoing President of the ACLU said that "the Bill of Rights is dead." The courts have "whittled away our basic rights, like peeling a carrot down where nothing remains. The words are still on paper, but they no longer apply." "Tools for law enforcement" are the main reasons given for one law after another being permanently gutted. "Our new mission is not to preserve our rights, but to get them back."

That was 23 years ago in Atlanta, GA. It was the year my family and me made a decision to immigrate to Canada, and dump our American Citizenship. It was a tough decision at the time, but now we happy Canadians, living self-sufficient in remote NW BC. No regrets. We used to come on trips to enjoy the Texas and Florida beaches, but never again since Deepwater Horizon and the toxic Correxit nightmare.

We are happy living remote, and well provisioned for WW3 - it will be here soon. Are you prepared?

Newsrider said...

I agree with all Jill wrote except for her far leftist liberal dribble about "rape of the planet." She needs to learn how to spell too, just like "hide behind."

wishbone said...

there seems to be a growing new type of comment writer, they generally tend to go against those who protest in their comments about any government crime, and it seems the only thing they can add to any conversation is to critisize peoples ability to spell.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jill for the great article. So many of us that have awoken are frustated, not being able to wake up family and friends. With your talent to put pen to paper, we can then share it with our surrounding spere of influence. Time is short people. We need to go all out. Get Charlie Daniel's video Behold a pale horse. Put it into your public library. Have neighborhood showings.

Anonymous said...

Seeing the conduct of the so-called powers that be over the last few decades.I have come to the conclusion that they will do whatever they want to whomever they want and the sheeple will say,"Baah."The delusion and denial that laws still apply to all is why the world is dieing.Its not really alive is it?History was a waste of time and mankind was a mistake.You can trust your enemy to hate you and try to destroy you but with friends like sheeple,you've got bigger problems.Its your life or its not and once those idots in the high chairs say its not?You should salt the earth and poison everything,because life here is a waste of time too.If you don't get where I'm coming from with this.I don't care.You probably couldn't tell hell from disneyland anyway.

madranger said...

Don't forget Clinton being very alone in the Dem. party when N.A.F.T.A.
first became a congressional topic. It's been a while sense "A HIGHER POWER" established itself above The Constitution of the U.S.A.
remember THE LIBERTY!!

Anonymous said...

The reason they are called God-given, inalienable rights is because they are universal rights/truths that can not be taken away. Any government that attempts to strip citizens of these rights will always be in perpetual discordance with its population. Slaves were eventually freed. Indians were eventually left alone. The poor in the Depression were eventually fed. If these things had not come to pass, there would have been many more violent revolutions.

What we are seeing today with NDAA 2013 is nothing more than laying a legal foundation for the near future incarceration or murder any American citizen who has a different opinion than the 1% global plutocracy.

First they claim Arabs are the enemy, so they can enact sweeping powers and pre-emptive strikes. Ironically the Patriot Act was written well before 9/11, but wow did it miraculously get voted in favor of 3 days later! Then 11 years later, they claim Arabs are not the threat, it is domestic extremists who believe that they have rights and that their treasonous, corrupt government should follow the Constitution. And these were the targets they had in mind all along. This is a version of a Patriot Act salesman upselling, baiting and switching the American public via a corrupt propaganda machine known as the MSM. Who will be next? The people who speak up about their uncles, fathers, brothers and sisters being thrown into internment camps. After that anyone else who even thinks about stepping out of line. All that will be left are cowards, co-conspirators,"sit down don't rock the boat" type people and ignorant, low IQ people, who will serve the plutocracy as slaves and science experiments.

They have taken power by controlling three main spheres of influence; military power masquerading as patriotism (no mattter how it behaves), political influence federal to municipal, and most importantly, corporate and financial influence, which of course extends to the media by definition.

Once they cornered these three spheres of influence they were able to transform our culture, our ideals, our morals, how we thought about history, how we spend our money and time, who we love and who we hate etc. Notice that GOD, universal truths, the Constitution, equlity, justice etc. do not fit into the model which is currently leading our nation today. That is why we have zero accountability, tremendous ineqaulity in our courts and in our wallets, a faltering economy, a 9% approval rating in Congress, and millions of Americans suffering and out of work.

Anonymous said...

My God. There are some deeply disturbed people in the world...

Anonymous said...

My comments will be visible after approval??? So,in other ords, if I don't write comments that reinforce your agenda then they will not be posted. What a joke. All you ultra-radical environmentalist are the same, complete hypocrits. What really cracks me up is you people are whining about obama, and YOU helped put him there.

Jonathan Mark said...

Great article.. and I hope we all unite to expose the distortion of truth into a fascist-feudal system. I produced versions of a film compilation, Dark Legacy - JFK & 9-11, a short version 58 minutes and original version 1 hour and 28 minutes. This film covers major conspiracies that brought us into our current crises situation.

Can the activist community expand and expose the connection to two key conspiracies? 2013 marks the 50th year since President Kennedy's assassination, Nov. 22nd, and Dec. 23rd for the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve. My film compilation shows a connection to those events. The main inspiration for my film is from John Hankey's film, "Dark Legacy - George Bush and the Murder of John F. Kennedy." And it also support a direct democracy initiative to amend the US Constitution by the voice of the governed, we, the people. More details at my site

Anonymous said...

Mark this date on your calendar truthers feb25/2013 in the UK a case goes before the court , the BBC is being sued on the grounds it supports terrorists and lied to the people about what happened on 9/11 , google this , Tony Ferrell the UK cop who was fired for questioning the london 7/7 bombings google that , tony is also part of the court case , this could get interesting . Stay free all .

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