FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
read more of todays top articles

Hedges writes: "The fate of the nation, we understood, could be decided by the three judges who will rule on our lawsuit against President Barack Obama for signing into law Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)."

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. (photo: Truthdig)

go to original article

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+21 # Robert Cohen 2013-02-11 08:42
You;re struggling against ONE of the manifestations that this supposed democracy is becoming a fascist state, caused by money-in-politics.

One way that could remove the legalized corruption is by filing multiple lawsuits challenging the Santa Clara (corporate personhood) and Buckley (“money is speech”) Supreme Court decisions, but stopping short of challenging Citizens United.

Chief Justice Roberts recently voted to preserve Obamneycare. Similarly, in ruling on the proposed lawsuits, one of the five conservative Justices may “pull a Roberts” and be recognized in history as a great American patriot for saving the nation from continuing to go down the tubes because of the legalized corruption and bribery of our elected leaders.

Polls indicate that about 80% of the citizenry are disgusted with the obscene amounts of money-in-politi cs, hence I infer that there will be widespread public support for these lawsuits as they wend their way to the Supreme Court for consolidation and resolution.

The dysfunctional Congress, no longer corrupted by money-in-politi cs, would be enabled to enact urgently needed legislation in the public interest. Such as to pave the way for public financing of elections, free airtime for congressional candidates, universal health care, raising essential revenue from those who can best afford to supply it, and exerting world leadership in preventing and mitigating global warming.

Contact me at r.cohen@ieee.org
 
 
+13 # moafu@yahoo.com 2013-02-11 08:43
Dear Chris,

I hope you win. It's urgent. By the same token, the abuse of the NDAA is precisely the reason why we need an armed citizenry.
 
 
+9 # engelbach 2013-02-11 14:20
Don't be silly. The government is not afraid of individuals with guns at home.

What are you going to do if the military tries to detain you under NDAA? Shoot at Blackhawk helicopters with a deer rifle?
 
 
+7 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2013-02-11 16:09
You understate greatly the absurdity of the position of moafu@yahoo.com.

Even if a hundred concerted arrest-resister s wielded automatic assault weapons, the military would crush them with a fleet of Blackhawks & drones & platoons of tanks & other on-ground machines the assault weapons could not penetrate & cluster bombs & soon even death rays (see, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2214523/U-S-Army-soon-using-laser-guns-battlefield.html AND http://rense.com/general40/usmil.htm ).

No resistance could prevail against the US military.

The 2nd amendment is a creature of the musket-and-sabe r age. Its drafters could not anticipate the military might of the Third World U.S.'s corporate state.

If the Supreme Court does not hold the NDAA invalid, our frail, trembling democracy will be doomed.

I, a 72-year-old, cling to a wish that I die naturally, in freedom, before no-trial, non-court-order ed military detentions & government-wrou ght assassinations become normal "process."
 
 
-1 # RLF 2013-02-12 05:00
You are the silly one. Why do you think there is a problem in Iraq, afganistan, and else where? People with small arms who are unpredictable.. .it is called guerilla warfare and is the only way to fight an out of control military like ours. Better wake up or Obama and Feinstein will come get you with NDAA.
 
 
-1 # mdhome 2013-02-12 09:34
The "small arms" being used against our troops are not really that small.
 
 
0 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2013-02-12 13:25
To RLF 2013-02-12 05:00

Guerrilla war occurs in Afghanistan. But the Taliban remains ousted & has not wrought any change. Afghanistan remains hopelessly poor & undemocratic & corrupt. A few U.S & NATO forces are killed or wounded. But the bloodbaths & huge sufferings are the plights of ordinary folks & resisters. The same happened, and still happens, in Iraq.

The U.S. did not lose militarily in Vietnam. It lost the Vietnam war politically in the U.S. The Vietnamese --- not Americans --- suffered stunningly monumental numbers of casualties.

You seem to imply you would encourage, perhaps join in, a guerrilla campaign of ordinary U.S. folks fighting a war of attrition against far the greatest military might ever --- a war of assault-gun-wie lding, IED-planting common folks & Pollyanna Kamikazes hiding in basements & skulking in alleys. Millions would die. Millions would be maimed.

Rather than injure physical plant & other buildings & infrastructure the corporate state deems valuable, the military would use weaponry that destroys people but not structures. Eventually the slaughter's vast enormousness & enormity would quench rebellion. Infrastructure & business structures & the 1%'s estates would be intact. The remaining ordinary folk would submit to being used as the corporate state wishes.

Do you encourage THAT?

Leave me out of it. I wish to live my remaining few years in humble peace.
 
 
+8 # Allen 23 2013-02-11 08:47
Democracy was never intended to empower the people. It's history dates back to the Greeks and it's founding principles were to create elite and quite controlled social and political arrangements.

The understanding of the "State" as growing directly out of the "Police" and the army, and intended for no other purpose than to enforce property dates back much, much farther. The original organization of Athens is based on military districts which not only yield a fixed quota of troops but also revenues to fund mounted archers who are slaves - the first police force. The rule of the demos, i.e. "democracy", grows directly from this. The innovation here, is not the "fairness" of the Athenian democracy. In fact it is a huge step backward from the Greek Tribes which were based on consensus and one vote for each adult. In place of that, the "Democracy" recognizes only one out of every 32 people as citizens. It's key is not its incorporation of the people (except for those formally so defined), but in its organization of the state, and through it, the guarantee of personal property, most importantly in slaves.

This is yet another example of a thing we see through a thick fog, whereas those who came before us had a much clearer view.

Twenty five hundred years after inception of democracy, we still do not understand that we were ruled by Pentacosiomedim ni, Solon's aristocracy who could generate 500 bushels of goods annualy. Nothing has changed in the meantime.
 
 
+1 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2013-02-12 15:00
To Allen 23 2013-02-11 08:47

Your account is accurate & applicable near-universall y back-and forth through time & geography.

Except joining one of the few remaining Kalahari Bushman bands (if it were foolish enough to accept civilized humans), just one solution obtains: Small, uninteresting, agrarian Kropotkinian-an archist communities set where non-agrarian natural resources do not feed greed.

The trouble is: most folks are too scared or lazy & sutured to "smart phones" & empty fun (or worse) & dreams of wealth.

But see Leonard R. Jaffee, "Empathic Adjustment--An Alternative to Rules, Policies, and Politics," 58 University of Cincinnati Law Review 1161 (1990).
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2013-02-14 15:12
Quoting Allen 23:
Democracy was never intended to empower the people. It's history dates back to the Greeks and it's founding principles were to create elite and quite controlled social and political arrangements.

..... The original organization of Athens is based on military districts which not only yield a fixed quota of troops but also revenues to fund mounted archers who are slaves - the first police force. The rule of the demos, i.e. "democracy", grows directly from this. The innovation here, is not the "fairness" of the Athenian democracy........ Nothing has changed in the meantime.


Thank you for that cogent, coherent, and erudite contribution !

In Plato's "Republic" the imagined "perfect" society run by "Philosopher Kings" only allowed the vote, and the chance to hold public office, to men who owned land. Plato concluded that the only way we could vote for trustworthy men to take office was to have the offices open ONLY to those who could prove that they DID NOT WANT the office, because they could make more farming. This, of course, stayed in the realm of Plato's fancy !

Similarly, when this country was famously founded in favor of "We The People...", the legal definition of "people" at the time included ONLY Free, White, Male Landowners, over 21.

*NO ONE else was a legally-defined person at that time.
We were founded as an Oligarchy, and such we remain.

"Fair", sadly, is a concept valid only in the world of children.
 
 
+27 # intheEPZ 2013-02-11 08:56
WHO IS RUNNING THIS SHOW? What happened to Constitutional Lawyer Obama to turn him into Cheney on steroids? Who is the puppeteer? Is there not one (except Bernie Sanders) who dares to stand up to them, who dares to uphold their oath to the Constitution (not the corporations) of the US of A? Drones, spying on civilians, indefinite detention, torture, rendition, guantanamo--any another nation doing all this (unless they are friendly with our big oil companies) would be on the "Axis of Evil" list. I guess that makes America the APEX OF EVIL. And the HYPER HYPOCRITE.
 
 
+2 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-02-14 00:51
Sad (and then some) to say, but say I do:

ASHAMED TO BE AN AMERICAN !!!
 
 
+14 # reiverpacific 2013-02-11 09:27
Sounds like government politico-double talk to me.
They have, as I'm sure Mr. Hedges is aware, an almost bottomless pit of lawyers and funds that they just use to wear down, ruin and eventually prosecute anyone "They don't Like".
Hell, when I married my first wife and applied for a Green Card so I could work here, they grilled the shit out of me, called me an "Ex-Communist" told me things about my lefty-UK Labor, CND and anti-war activism and arrests that I'd long forgotten about. They even accused me of getting married so I could stay here (My reply was "what makes you think I want to stay here?) then tried link me with my late ex-wife's activism on behalf of Denis Banks and the American Indian Movement post "Wounded Knee 11" BEFORE WE EVER MET!
I very much doubt I'd be allowed in as a resident in these ever more paranoid times, married or not.
If they want you, they'll get you somehow and I salute Hedge's courage in going after them, exposing even by his persistence, their attempts at rationalization of what is really a totalitarian-in spired act against dissidents at home and abroad.
"Todo para la Patria" indeed!
 
 
+21 # walt 2013-02-11 09:53
Is anyone who supported Obama troubled by all this?

The President sanctions remote-control killing by drone attacks and the arrest of American civilians by the US military, something long held as a definite prohibition.

In the Senate too a vast majority voted for the NDAA despite appeals from millions of Americans to reject indefinite detention.

The only logical reason for all this has to be that they are compelled by a lobby that is determined to keep us in a state of perpetual war.
 
 
+3 # Vardoz 2013-02-11 17:45
Now he has given himself the right to Kill Americans with no checks or balances, no clear evidence, no oversight and no rule of law! They killed truck loads of innocent women and children in Afghanistan and Iraq and now after throwing all of our civil liberties out the window, now they also want to be allowed to kill us and every president after even if some twisted maniac steals the vote will have the power to decids that 47% of Americans are not worth anything! Our we angry? As Reich said - we are beyond rage! This is a hideous act that we shoud ALL call our reps and strongly protest and tell Obama too. - for reps call - 202-224-3121 for Obam call 202-456-1111. Things have gone too far. We have already let our reps know - this is unacceptable.
 
 
+11 # cordleycoit 2013-02-11 10:04
Thousands of us are at risk of pick up by the government, where are the reporters? They think they would never get pulled in for telling the truth? No they are the lazy dogs feeding off the gifts of their Masters.
 
 
+1 # SOF 2013-02-12 01:31
cordleycoit. Chris Hedges IS a reporter. Did you read his report? He's been informing us for a long time in deadly difficult places. He's suing the Prez over NDAA and it's threat to investigative reporting. !!! It's you apparently who has not been paying attention.. That's ok. Now you know. Have you considered becoming a reporter yourself?
 
 
-1 # reiverpacific 2013-02-13 16:47
Quoting SOF:
cordleycoit. Chris Hedges IS a reporter. Did you read his report? He's been informing us for a long time in deadly difficult places. He's suing the Prez over NDAA and it's threat to investigative reporting. !!! It's you apparently who has not been paying attention.. That's ok. Now you know. Have you considered becoming a reporter yourself?

For Gawd's sake, 'cordleycoit" is obviously talking about (where are) the corporate punditocracy that makes up the what the owner-media calls reporters. Hedges is reporter indeed -a true reporter who isn't afraid to stand behind his reporting, which puts real emphasis on the difference that 'cc' is simply and rightly pointing out.
Save your criticism for the owner media.
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2013-02-14 15:30
Quoting reiverpacific:
Quoting SOF:
cordleycoit. Chris Hedges IS a reporter. Did you read his report? He's been informing us for a long time in deadly difficult places. He's suing the Prez over NDAA and it's threat to investigative reporting. !!! It's you apparently who has not been paying attention.. That's ok. Now you know. Have you considered becoming a reporter yourself?

For Gawd's sake, 'cordleycoit" is obviously talking about (where are) the corporate punditocracy that makes up the what the owner-media calls reporters. Hedges is reporter indeed -a true reporter who isn't afraid to stand behind his reporting, which puts real emphasis on the difference that 'cc' is simply and rightly pointing out.
Save your criticism for the owner media.


If cordleycoit means everything you attribute to him/her, Then cordleycoit needs to be the one to say so. Writing without clarity, if that *is* the case, is clatter and noise.

cordleycoit needs to be able to state his/her position without the benefit of a benevolent and self-appointed interpreter.

SOF has a valid point. From all that "cc" actually *did* say, SOF's response is entirely germane to the comment.
SOF has the right to speak in any way of his/her choice.

If 'cc" needs "saving" s/he can ask for it.''
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2013-02-14 15:17
Quoting cordleycoit:
Thousands of us are at risk of pick up by the government, where are the reporters? They think they would never get pulled in for telling the truth? No they are the lazy dogs feeding off the gifts of their Masters.


The reporters not Corporately owned, like Hedges himself, are doing all they can to stay out of GITMO !
 
 
+5 # Vardoz 2013-02-11 10:40
We have already told our senator who voted for the reauthorization that we would not vote for him again. Our other senator didn't vote to it. We also emailed our state DNC and told them about this and our reasons for making this choice. We will vote for a Progressive on the ballot. Also we posted on our facebook page a list of all senators who voted for and against section 1021Band ssaid we would not support any rep who voted for this and called the white house comment line 202 456 1111 and told them aout our intensions and that we will never vote for a Democratic prosident who supports taking away American Citizens right to due process or any rep. You can find out how your rep voted online http://www.ibtimes.com/ndaa-bill-how-did-your-senator-vote-386198
 
 
-12 # wwway 2013-02-11 10:51
The NDAA is an appropriations bill that funds the Pentagon. this provision was nserted by Republicans. Obama sent the bill back several times asking that this provision be taken out but congress and the senate would not.
If citizens are concerned about this then they need to complain to their representatives.
This provision in the NDAA does not represent the death of our democracy. Democracy is a process that ensures the people get the government they deserve. Without even thinking and considering the consequences, many Americnas voted for those who made perfectly clear that perpetual war was their goal.
Blaming Obama is cry baby nonsense.
 
 
+7 # nice2blucky 2013-02-11 13:18
Quoting wwway:
this provision was nserted by Republicans. Obama sent the bill back several times asking that this provision be taken out but congress and the senate would not.


This is a little vague to be taken seriously. One can only guess at what you are referring to.

However, as the facts of history show changes to the NDAA make by Congress were after demands by the Obama Administration.

Your assertion that "Blaming Obama is cry baby nonsense," is itself nonsense.
 
 
-3 # David Heizer 2013-02-13 15:41
The changes demanded by Obama (since he couldn't realistically refuse to fund the military) were that the decision whether to hold Americans in military detention or try them civilly be his and his alone. Then he wrote a signing statement stating his intentions not to detain Americans.

The fault lies with those Congressional hardliners who insisted on the provisions in the first place. wwway is correct; they need to be voted out by everyone who values due process.
 
 
+2 # Jack Gibson 2013-02-14 16:34
Obama insisted on those provisions, NOT Congress. The latter tried to remove it and Obama told them to put it back. For God's sake, stop believing ANY of the mainstream false propaganda, please!
 
 
+5 # engelbach 2013-02-11 14:24
People don't get the government they deserve. They get the government bought and paid for by the corporations.

Both major presidential candidates favored perpetual war. I'm sure many people weighed the consequences, but went for the lesser of two evils.

Did you vote for an anti-war third party candidate?

Labor Party 2016.
 
 
+6 # futhark 2013-02-11 17:00
In the last election, there were only two serious anti-war candidates: Gary Johnson for the Libertarians and Dr. Jill Stein for the Green Party. The Republican and Democratic Candidates were both lackeys for the military-indust rial complex and the surveillance state apparatus. I voted for Dr. Stein.
 
 
0 # noitall 2013-02-12 11:11
But still, Americans ignore the process until it is time to vote for candidates that they had no knowledge of until election time; no participation in recruiting and campaigning for. Democracy is a participatory process. Without the 4th estate to guide these lemmings into a positive direction, we're doomed.
 
 
+2 # Leonard R. Jaffee 2013-02-12 15:34
True: Obama "sent the bill back." But his reason was NOT that it was unconstitutiona l (as it was) & NOT that it was totalitarian. He claimed the bill would deny him options respecting treatment of those whom he would call "terrorists" because they expose or protest & work against his & his government's corruption & criminal acts.
 
 
0 # MidwestTom 2013-02-11 15:42
The NDAA is another result of uninformed voters blindly voting. I doubt if 10% of the population even knows what NDAA stands for. Democracy depends on an engaged citizenry, and we do not have it. Until the people get involved, and they unfortunately won't, unless and until their benefits are cut. Politicians love to give benefits, they basically put the voters to sleep cut all benefit programs by 10%, and the citizens might get involved.
 
 
+1 # mdhome 2013-02-12 09:40
The largest group of potential voters are too busy watching crap on the TV to be bothered with making an informed decision. And well they should, considering the lack of high quality candidates to vote for.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN