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Naomi Wolf writes, "One brave judge is all that lay between us and a law that would have given the president power to detain US citizens indefinitely."

Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)
Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)



The NDAA's Coup d'Etat Foiled

By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK

18 May 12

 

n Wednesday 16 May, at about 4pm, the republic of the United States of America was drawn back – at least for now – from a precipice that would have plunged our country into moral darkness. One brave and principled newly-appointed judge ruled against a law that would have brought the legal powers of the authorities of Guantánamo home to our own courthouses, streets and backyards.

US district judge Katherine Forrest, in New York City's eastern district, found that section 1021 – the key section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – which had been rushed into law amid secrecy and in haste on New Year's Eve 2011, bestowing on any president the power to detain US citizens indefinitely, without charge or trial, "facially unconstitutional". Forrest concluded that the law does indeed have, as the journalists and peaceful activists who brought the lawsuit against the president and Leon Panetta have argued, a "chilling impact on first amendment rights". Her ruling enjoins that section of the NDAA from becoming law.

In her written opinion, the judge noted that she had been persuaded by what the lead plaintiffs – who include Pulitzer prize-winner Chris Hedges of the Nation Institute, editor Jennifer Bolen of RevolutionTruth, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, co-founder of Occupy London Kai Wargalla, Days of Rage editor Alexa O'Brien, and the Icelandic parliamentarian and WikiLeaks activist Birgitta Jónsdóttir – had argued. In their testimonies (in court and by affidavit), these plaintiffs compiled a persuasive case that they had "standing" to sue because it was reasonable for them to worry that they could conceivably could be detained indefinitely under the section 1021 law because their work requires them to have contact with sources the US government might assert were "terrorists" or "associated forces" of al-Qaida.

The key claim made by the plaintiffs – of which Judge Forrest was persuaded – was that the language in section 1021 is so vague that it could sweep up anyone. The law fails to define or specify what "associated forces" or the concept of "substantial support" actually mean.

I attended the hearing as a journalist supporting the plaintiffs, providing by affidavit examples from my own experience of how the NDAA's section 1021 had already affected my reporting. (Princeton professor Dr Cornel West and I are also standing by to become plaintiffs, if called upon, in the next round.) I was also there to read in court Birgitta Jónsdóttir's disturbing testimony: she had been advised by her own government not to attend the hearing in person because the US government would not give Iceland a written assurance that it would not detain her under the NDAA if she did so. US federal agents have already confiscated her Twitter account and personal bank records.

The back-and-forth between Judge Forrest and Obama administration's lawyers that goes to the heart of the judge's ruling was stunning to behold. Forrest asked repeatedly, in a variety of different ways, for the government attorneys to give her some, any assurance that the wording of section 1021 could not be used to arrest and detain people like the plaintiffs. Finally she asked for assurance that it could not be used to sweep up a hypothetical peaceful best-selling nonfiction writer who had written a hypothetical book criticizing US foreign policy, along lines theater the Taliban might agree with. Again and again (the transcript from my notes is here), the two lawyers said directly that they could not, or would not, give her those assurances. In other words, this back-and-forth confirmed what people such as Glenn Greenwald, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the ACLU and others have been shouting about since January: the section was knowingly written in order to give the president these powers; and his lawyers were sent into that courtroom precisely to defeat the effort to challenge them. Forrest concluded:

"At the hearing on this motion, the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs would not be subject to indefinite detention under [section] 1021. Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty, potentially for many years."

The government's assertions become even more hellishly farcical. Forrest further observed:

"An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so. In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more."

This upholding of the US constitution and the rule of law is a triumphant moment, but a fragile one: Judge Forrest has asked Congress to clarify the language protecting America's right to trial and the first amendment's protections on speech and assembly. And now, Thursday, Representatives Adam Smith (Democrat, Washington) and Justin Amash (Republican, Michigan) have presented an amendment to Congress an amendment that does just that. Those who vote against it therefore will be voting clearly, and without any ambiguity, for stripping Americans of their constitutional rights and reducing them to the same potential status as "enemy combatants" and Guantánamo prisoners. The House thus votes for or against the power handed to the executive by the NDAA to hold any of us, anywhere, forever, for no reason. There can be no hiding from this; the lawyers defending the administration's position made that perfectly clear.

What truly disturbed me in that courtroom was the terrible fragility of all the checks to power that are supposed to be in place to protect us against such assaults on democracy. Many senators, including my own, Chuck Schumer, had sent out letters to their own worried constituents flat-out denying our fears about what section 1021 does. No major news media organisations attended the original hearing (except Paul Harris of the Guardian and Observer). The trial and the NDAA itself have been so inadequately reported by mainstream outlets that I keep running into senior editors and lawyers who have never heard of it. I recently cornered one southern Democratic senator at an event and asked him why he had voted to pass the NDAA. He asked what my objection was.

"It allows the president to detain Americans without charge or trial," I pointed out. His aides had assured him this was not the case, he replied. "Have you read the bill?" I asked. "It's 1,600 pages," he replied.

This darkness is so dangerous not least because a new Department of Homeland Security document trove, released in response to a FOIA request filed by Michael Moore and the National Lawyers' Guild, proves in exhaustive detail that the DHS and its "fusion centers" coordinated with local police (as I argued here, to initial disbelief), the violent crackdown against Occupy last fall. You have to put these pieces of evidence together: the government cannot be trusted with powers to detain indefinitely any US citizen – even though Obama promised he would not misuse these powers – because the United States government is already coordinating a surveillance and policing war against its citizens, designed to suppress their peaceful assembly and criticism of its corporate allies.

The lawyers for the government have endless funds (our tax dollars); the plaintiffs' lawyers all worked pro bono; the plaintiffs themselves paid their own way to make their case. Yet, by these slender means, what was essentially a coup in two paragraphs has been blocked from advancing under cover of ignorance and silence to becoming the supreme law of the land. But should our democracy hang by such a tenuous thread that it relies on the sheer luck that this case was heard by a courageous judge with a settled belief in the constitution of the United States?

 

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+108 # PGreen 2012-05-18 06:58
We The People needed some good news. Apparently there are still men of good will-- or at least women, as in the case of US district judge Katherine Forrest-- who believe in the constitution. Bravo!
I have a feeling that the administration isn't through yet, (And we can't relax vigilance) but we shouldn't forget to notice when ethical principles are honored, even if it takes a legal challenge to bring it about. Many thanks to Chomsky, Ellsberg, Hedges, Wargalla, Jónsdóttir, O'Brien, and others who challengedthe obscenity that is the NDAA.
 
 
+31 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 07:53
As a political observer, and complainer, for decades, I make this single observation.

1984 was regularly scoffed at as being a paranoid expellation. Bring it up, and it's brothers in arms, Brave New World, Metropolis amongst others, and you were put in the conspiracy theorists box never to be reconned with in many circles again.

Well folks, fellow frogs in the pot, lemmings flying headlong into the Dung Pits of Glive (Zelazney Amber series), here it is Yogi, deja vu all over again.

Except now the deja vu is wearing black armour and weilding gizmos from some future gone mad.

I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!!!!!!
 
 
+5 # Interested Observer 2012-05-18 08:02
Do you mean "Metropolis", the Fritz Lang film?
 
 
+2 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 09:06
Yes...sorry, got excited.
 
 
+18 # Interested Observer 2012-05-18 08:11
Might this celebration be a bit pre-mature if there still room for an escalation to the Supreme Court where Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito can yet lead the charge to 1984? If these NDAA provisions, reminiscent of the Alien and Sedition acts of yore, were upheld in a subsequent Supreme Court ruling, even if only in the minority opinion, I wonder what arguments would be used to do so.
 
 
-31 # Robt Eagle 2012-05-18 08:44
This was part of Obama's over reach to be "Emperor Babama" if he gets re-elected, so that if anyone questioned his authiority he would have supreme ability to lock 'em up with no trial. Folks, you really need to wake up and see what Obama has set up for himself, including Eric Holder and the DoJ who refuses to prosecute anyone who supports Obama. On the other hand, Holder wants to allow any illegal alien the right to vote by defeating state's right to voter picture ID requirements. Get your heads into the sunshine and see that Obama is a threat to our freedom. He has done everything to destroy America, and not a single thing to correct the fiscal and economical disasters he created, or exaserbated in his almost four years in the White House. Another four years of Obama and we will be doomed.
 
 
+21 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 09:10
Your personalizing this decades long coup d'etas to o is ludicrous. o, the sock puppet is doing the bidding of those who orchestrate the 'big plan', the 'great game'...for example, how did the Patriot Act, in it's abundance of pages and warpings of law come into being within weeks of 911?

There is a plan and o is a mere fastener in this Titanic we are all riding.
 
 
+8 # PGreen 2012-05-19 12:59
I absolutely agree. To make a personal vendetta out of an institutional problem is foolish. It is smarter to separate the institutional roles of executives and politicians (anyone who yields considerable power according to their accepted duties) from their personal role. As Chomsky has said, in their institutional roles they may be monsters, but personally they can be anything-- even very nice. People who are unable to hold more than one perspective at a time have trouble with this notion.
In this case it is the political and economic system, more than Obama or even Bush (who I consider an even more willing tool) which is the problem.
 
 
-4 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:11
Obama doesn't seem to have one bit of common sense and his need to grab power is endless...class ic narcicist!
 
 
-2 # Max Demian 2012-05-21 23:07
That's "narcissist". But I completely agree.
 
 
+6 # Capn Canard 2012-05-19 16:05
Robt Eagle, afixing blame to Obama is lazy way to explain the crimes of Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2! All of them are effectively complicit in this hijacking of good sense and patriotism. I hated Bush 2, but I must say that in retrospect Bill Bubba Clinton is starting to smell a bit ripe. Obama has mostly been a tool. At this point I can't see anyone doing anything good without some serious retribution being returned, i.e. assassination? Remember such a person would be messing with the super elite 0.01%.
 
 
+4 # fishmother 2012-05-20 08:04
None of this is about fixing blame for me, nor am I, by any means, anti-Obama. I voted for him & will work on his current campaign in some way. And though I’m often thrilled at his choices, I give myself the right to be dismayed at certain aspects of the ideas he's willing to support in order to garner support from voters on the right, many of whom would rather do themselves bodily harm than vote for him. Also I’m unclear about what part of the concept or words "indefinite detention" you, President Obama or anyone else does not find objectionable, outright dangerous and un-American! Surly you can’t believe that there was much to be construed as patriotic about the patriot act…so let me ask which part of the idea of "indefinite detention" do you think would not set off alarm bells around the globe when spoken by someone referred to as the ‘leader of the free world’ and about the civil liberties we purport to hold dear? Remember, we wave the American flag around like it stands for “…liberty and justice for all.” Perhaps we need to include ourselves in that “all.”
 
 
0 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:13
What crap! To give Obama a pass because he would be 'assassinated' is crap. Apresident with no balls is useless and there is no arguement for re-electing it.
 
 
+12 # John Locke 2012-05-18 09:12
Money!
If you think for one minute the members of the Supreme Court are above being bribed, you're still asleep!
 
 
+2 # John Locke 2012-05-18 09:13
Also remember who wanted this law as it was written. Obama!

anyone awake yet?
 
 
-3 # paulrevere 2012-05-19 14:56
again...you give too much creedence to the idea that o has some room for his own volition...make s as much sense as the London Bridge being in the Arizona desert.
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-05-19 18:41
Excuse me, I thought Obama was supposed to be independent, I didn't realize he had to sign the NDAA and demand he have that power!
 
 
+1 # paulrevere 2012-05-20 09:22
...then you don't understand how the strings ar pulled there Mister Locke.
 
 
+3 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:16
You're turning back flips to excuse what no constitutional scholar needs to be told...that this law is unconstitutiona l. Obama maybe signed it for votes...but do we need to re-elect someone that will trade the constitution for votes???
 
 
+14 # AuntieTom 2012-05-18 08:44
The brutish are coming! The brutish are coming!
 
 
+3 # Max Demian 2012-05-19 06:05
Sadly, though, it's no laughing matter... And, interestingly, the "1984" that is now being setup in the U.S., does have British empire roots... but they go even further than that... all the way to the Vatican. The NWO, global government and mass-exterminat ion of most of the human species are their game and their goal(s), while fraudulently making it appear, and getting most of us to fall for and call for, that one-world governance and religion "will save the day". It's the very-soon-to-co me "Mark of the Beast" just as predicted two thousand years ago. "666", the number of a MAN, the Papacy. Totally sell your soul to Satan, or be murdered by the global government. "1984" on steroids. And most people will bow down to it to "save" themselves, thus losing their soul(s) for all eternity. The final choice between Good or Evil.

The "brutish are coming", to an extreme never before seen or experienced, indeed.
 
 
+1 # 666 2012-05-20 03:13
Sorry to inform you but "666" is my login name.
 
 
+1 # Max Demian 2012-05-20 13:44
And that's a great shame, too; because it is absolutely no joke either. [And I've been meanting to say something to you about it for a long time. It does you absolutely no credit to be calling yourself that, the number that represents the most evil political and religious office and power, and counterfeit "Christian" cult, in the entire world. Therefore, you really shouldn't represent yourself with such evil, especially if you are trying to be "funny", "ironic", "sarcastic", "facetious", etc., by doing so. To those, at least relatively "few", who know the real truth about it, and realize how very serious it is, it just makes you look evil as well. How about representing yourself with something, some nickname and/or moniker, that is the complete opposite of evil---or, newsflash(!), your real name because the government monitors can easily figure out who and where you are;... or, a "real" nom d'plume (aka penname) that does not represent evil... AT ALL?]
 
 
+3 # 666 2012-05-21 03:15
Thank you. Advice considered. I suspect if I used my real name, I would lose my job. It's not the govt I'm worried about (well, I'm very worried about the govt)...
 
 
+47 # NanFan 2012-05-18 09:30
Agreed, but I clicked on the link that Naomi gave that is the "amendment" proposed to "clarify" the language of this part of NDAA.

However, it is 1050 pages long in PDF! I'm willing to plow through it to find the salient information, because it's that important to me, but, BUT...we pay the congressional representatives to clearly and succinctly outline the law for the public.

What are the exact words (and where in this document/amendm ent are they) that further clarifies that section of the law in a way that does not infringe on Americans' first amendment rights? I cannot find it.

Thank you, again, to all, especially Judge Forrest for her wisdom, and those who are on the front lines fighting for the strike-down of this truly unconstitutiona l grab for power AGAINST the people.

WE WANT OUR DEMOCRACY BACK! Is that so much to ask?

N.
 
 
+34 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-18 09:59
Why 1600 pages...why are laws so drawn out and made almost incomprehensibl e...is this just for tthe sake of attorneys and giving them work? The bill of rights are mostly to the point (yes they can be argued regarding firm meaning...). You waht limited government...re duce the congressional staffs, make congress people write thier own bills, and then we will see how many 1600 page bills get introduced...pr obably will save a lot of trees...
 
 
+19 # fishmother 2012-05-18 10:54
It's not too much to ask & we all need to be asking our "people." I'm a progressive and have no intention of voting for anyone who think there's any merit to the idea of detention witout end or reasin. And I will write to all of those who actuallt believe in civil liberty, thank them, and keep plugging away as best I can.
 
 
+19 # phantomww 2012-05-18 07:59
IF NDAA is so bad and unconstitutiona l, then why was it passed by a Democratic led Senate and signed by Obama? Are people saying that not just "evil" repubs but dems and Obama are also taking away our freedoms? How can that be? Or maybe that is just more of the "Change" that Obama was talking about. Of course most of us have already given up the "Hope" part of his campaign. Didn't the WH press spokesman say that Obama was "due process" when asked about giving Obama the power to order the death of an American without even a trial? Ah peace and freedom under a dictator. Maybe Obama will just pass another one of his many dictates (oh meant to type executive order).
 
 
+24 # Noni77 2012-05-18 08:30
The Tea Party is trying to target Republicans who support UN-Constitution al laws for removal, why is the Democratic Party not doing the same? Head in the sand, "Duh, I thought only Reps were evil" ain't gonna cut it.
 
 
+48 # Kesyntre 2012-05-18 08:43
The key point to note, here, is this quote:
"Have you read the bill?" I asked. "It's 1,600 pages," he replied.
Fighteningly, it implies that few congressmen have actually read or tried to interpret the bill, and are simply led by their consituents to believe the potentially positive "gist" of the document. Party association means nothing if people aren't reading the damned things. This is how documents like that get to where they are.
 
 
+2 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-19 17:04
The short and stupid answer is and was...the pressure to insure military pay...something the Congress must always get through and the President as Commander in Chief needs. Don't pay th emilitary and we will have coup'!
Nat Def Auth Act pertians to money!
 
 
-3 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:23
This is over blown in my humble opinion. An American who is on the battlefield, on the wrong side of the line is a military combatant and subject to getting killed like anyone else on the battlefield. Would anyone suggest that if Patton went over a fought with the Nazis...that he could not be killed? Seems silly.
 
 
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-21 23:15
"PhantomWW" is being facetious, "RLF". And where did he or she, or anyone else replying in this sub-thread, even facetiously say any combatant isn't open to being killed?
 
 
+39 # Erdajean 2012-05-18 08:01
This piece ought to be writ large and framed like the Constitution in the home of every thinking American. Thank God and all the powers of Heaven for Judge Katherine Forrest. who refuses to fall for the ludicrous -- "Obama promised that he would not use these powers...." (what all ELSE has Mr. Obama promised?)-- and to ignore the reprehensible -- the Icelandic plaintiff reports her government warned her the US might detain her -- as the US has confiscated her twitter and bank records.
All evil seems to have come together in the NDAA -- one major problem throughout our system of lawmaking being the Democrat senator's excuse for voting for it because the bill was too long to read -- 1,600 pages. Right there is a prime reform -- no bill submitted should be over, say, three pages double-spaced and
NO riders allowed. And no vote allowed from ANYONE who cannot signed that he/she has read the whole thing.
We have watched this bed of nails we're lying on be created over the life of the US government. NOW it is time to tear down and start over. We'll do it or remain in this misery of outer dark forever.
 
 
+18 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 09:15
It is my contension that all elected officials at the federal level KNOW that a clamp down is emminent and they also know that their names and finger prints are indelible in that stink of legislation.

The French Revolution and it's blood in the streets period is a hallmark for how the masses respond when pushed to some limit.

These spineless fools are trying to fend off the inevitable ident of themselves as orchestrators.. .and liars in bold face.
 
 
+37 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-18 09:55
Any representative that admits he/she has not read a bill they have voted on should be removed from office for not doing thier job properlu and completely. Rather than read the bills, they are out collecting monies for the next election cycle.
 
 
+45 # Valleyboy 2012-05-18 08:01
Fantastic.

I've noticed that all over the world, it is the women who are leading the fightback :-)

(I'm male by the way).
 
 
+3 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:26
Women like Maggy thatcher and that German woman who wants to see poor greeks starve? There are plenty of women on both sides.
 
 
-3 # Max Demian 2012-05-21 23:37
Yah, like Madelaine Albright, Condoleeza Rice and "Hitlery" Clinton [one of our next (final?) totalitarian corporate fascist U.S. presidents (in 2016 or 2020---if we have that much time left before the complete demise of the U.S. as a sovereign, independent nation (thus, the next {since "al O'bomba-CIA-duh (!)" appears to be the first} president of the United Nations, of one-world global government and/or of the "New World Order (NWO)", promised on and being fulfilled from the One(-world government) Dollar bill ("Novus Ordo Seclorum" essentially equals New World Order; "New Order for the World="N.O.W."; or "N.ew O.rder of S.atan {N.O.S.}; so the "God" in "In God We Trust" is not the Almighty God, it is Satan {aka "In Satan We Trust", the "All-Seeing Eye" on top of the pyramid on the bill---the dominion of the 1% over the "peons" and "proles"---the "angel of light", Lucifer, the "Illumined Ones", the "Illuminati", the Satanists; that is, the government and its minions, and all those who do not have a true conversion experience to the One and ONLY True, Almighty God, trust in Lucifer or Satan as their god; thus, they flaunted it all right in front of our faces, along with the "fascii" and fascist eagle, and the cluster of five-pointed stars in the shape of a six-pointed star, both symbols of Satanism, on the right side of the One Dollar bill, and most of us still refused to recognize it or face it; absolutely diabolical!})], etc.
 
 
0 # God Dont Like Ugly 2012-05-22 02:00
Quoting Max Demian:
and/or of the "New World Order (NWO)", promised on and being fulfilled from the One(-world government) Dollar bill ("Novus Ordo Seclorum" essentially equals New World Order; "New Order for the World="N.O.W."; or "N.ew O.rder of S.atan {N.O.S.};

Mr. Demian, Would I be too forward in asking if it is your intent to distort the truth? Or are you simply disseminating false information without checking for accuracy first?

"Novus Ordo Seclorum" was adapted in 1782 by Charles Thomson, a Latin teacher, from the Roman writer Virgil's poem Eclogue IV. "Magnus ab integro seclorum nascitur ordo" is more accurately translated to: "the majestic roll of circling centuries begins anew" or "the great order of the ages is born afresh".

The motto signifies "the beginning of the new American Era," which commenced from the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

I find it exceptionally ironic that while you seem to be trying to instill fear, Virgil's poem continues "Thou, trampling out what prints our crimes have left, Shalt free the nations from perpetual fear."

Also at odds with your interpretation is the fact that Medieval Christians considered Virgil's poem a prophecy of the coming of Christ.

Quite a far cry from "Satan is coming! Satan is coming!" would you not agree?
 
 
-3 # Max Demian 2012-05-22 22:21
I have absolutely NO desire for people to live in fear. On the contrary, I want them to face ALL of the facts; and, regardless of your claims, what I said before is truly what the sayings and symbolism on the One Dollar bill mean. So, please feel free to be fooled, like most "Amerikans" are, by the distractions from what such things really mean, through using apparently benign "sources" for them. The evil people at the top in the U.S., have long used all kinds of misrepresentati ons of things, in order to "cover" for their evil(s), and most "Amerikans" fall for it. Why? Because most of them are Godless and therefore don't truly believe in righteousness. Thus, they are easily fooled into believing in much unrighteousness as being "righteous".

Look at the fascii on both sides of dais of the Speaker of the House, in the Congressional building known as the Capital Building. Zoom in on the following picture of those fascii:

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/Obama_Health_Care_Speech_to_Joint_Session_of_Congress.jpg

No doubt some people, like yourself, have supposedly "benign explanations" for these symbols of fascism in plain site and flaunted right in front of our faces, in the one country in this world that is ONLY supposed to represent the exact opposite of fascism.

Look up what these fascii symbols REALLY MEAN AND STAND FOR, and then stop living in typical avoidance and denial of the true facts right in front of your nose.
 
 
0 # God Dont Like Ugly 2012-05-23 20:03
Mr. Demian,

I attempted to access the link you provided, but it is incorrect.

Also, I see that your mind is completely closed, so with regret, I will also close this conversation.
 
 
-2 # Max Demian 2012-05-24 10:04
No, it is your mind that is closed. The correct link for the picture in question is as follows:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Obama_Health_Care_Speech_to_Joint_Session_of_Congress.jpg

This link should work. Once you get to the picture, click on the "Full Resolution" link and then click on the picture itself to get it to its largest format. Look closely, and then go research what the bundles sticks and the hatchet or axe head really mean. But, be careful, as there are probably false claims for what they mean mixed in with the search results.
 
 
+32 # Milarepa 2012-05-18 08:04
Thank you, Naomi. A handful of men and women got together to (temporarily?) halt the juggernaut. Ellsberg and Chomsky clearly will fight as long as they breathe. The younger warriors - Hedges, Moore et al - are already there with them. That's our history, isn't it? And all Goliaths are felled by Davids with slingshots. That's how the world is constituted! Makes me feel good.
 
 
+17 # Doubter 2012-05-18 10:07
I don't "feel good."
As far as I can make out this is ALREADY a "National Security State" and it is going to be made to look legitimate by applying lipstick to the pigs face if not one way, then in another.
 
 
+45 # rtacy 2012-05-18 08:15
The judge didn't delve into section 1022, which says that if an imprisoned person is released from confinement, they have no legal recourse for false imprisonment. AND if they talk about their case, they can be imprisoned under terms of the so-called "Patriot Act".
How could a "constitutional scholar" sign such a bill? WHO is pulling his strings?
 
 
+16 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-18 09:53
The bigger question is how can the "representative s of the people" even present this to the presiden?
 
 
+15 # Peace Anonymous 2012-05-18 10:22
Quoting Bodiotoo:
The bigger question is how can the "representatives of the people" even present this to the presiden?


Easy - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 
 
+2 # slow_learner 2012-05-20 12:19
And that money comes from the wealthiest from all over the globe -- many former US citizens included. This is not America for Americans.
 
 
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-20 17:53
And from those with dual citizenship in "Is(unrea)l", who love corporate-fasci sm, authoritarianis m, oppression, apartheid, totalitarianism , repression, endless war, "national '(in)security'" dictatorial militarized police states [and turning the U.S. and the entire world into one under one-world government and religion, aka the "New World 'Order' (NWO)"], no True Human Rights and Civil Liberties, no True Liberty and Freedom, etc., such as so-called "Independent", Joe LIEberman, out of the "al-CIA-duh(!)" U.S. state of Connecticut, where "al O'bombaKON's", 'al-CIA-duh(!)' -issued Social Security number is from (though he and his family never LEGALLY lived there---and they had to have LEGALLY lived there for him to LEGALLY get a Social Security from that state), and others like Bush neocon, neolib former Secretary of "Homeland '(In)Security'" , Michael Chertoff, et cetera.

So, you're VERY, and COMPLETELY, right; this is no longer America for Americans, but "Amerika" for globalist corporate fascist authoritarians and totalitarians who want to, and are very successfully so far, completely subjugate(ing) all of us, not only in the U.S. but globally under international, world government, and totally control(ing) everyone and everything.
 
 
+2 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:28
Right! Follow the bouncing dollar...bounci ng right into the pockets of the rich! The three arrested in Chicago are a good example of what will be done with this law
 
 
+1 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:31
This bill is all about Occupy and being able to put it down with the army if it gets too popular. And any other 'domestic terrorism' demonstration that demands to be heard. It 'terrorises' the rich and powerful.
 
 
+5 # RobertMStahl 2012-05-18 08:19
Thank you. The myths of this society rather than the justice so fallen, perhaps, into a shriveling planet for the wholesale redistribution of fresh water, apparently, have dominated the landscape to the point of distraction. There is an epistemology unification (i.e. that given by Gregory Bateson in Steps to an Ecology of Mind) tends toward, but that would take dedication to evidence by a collective, whatever that means, certainly not a means to an end, or even a black and white solution. Again, thank you, nevertheless, and thank the Hedges, Chomskys, even the Moores for, at least, this delay. They say that the music is the space between the notes instead of the notes themselves. I am not sure which category this is in, so that should tell us something. Ripples, y'all. Chaos math says there is never just one ripple in a truly chaotic occurrence. With the Bush and Cheney connection feeding the B Obama (i.e. Chicago) connection (Saul Bellow's murder after More Die of Heartbreak?) how could we not see the ripple. William Binney, Indira Singh, James Bamford, Joe Vialls. The Old Guard must be transformed into a SWAT that goes after the cells rather than the reverse.

Again, thanks for the respite.
 
 
+3 # goodsensecynic 2012-05-19 09:23
Well, if nothing else, it's nice to be reminded of my old mentor Bateson.

More than once he complained of two "hideous ideologies," communism (by which he meant the USSR) and capitalism (by which he meant the USA).

Of course, the USSR was never close to being communist (as Karl Marx imagined it) and the USA has long since abandoned capitalism (as Adam Smith imagined it).

Instead, we have one overarching authoritarian corporate system - accepted by Russia, China, the EU and the USA.

One aspect of Bateson's agenda was the promotion of Taoist thought in terms of the surrendering of the "will to control."

Good luck with that!
 
 
+18 # Rossi 2012-05-18 08:37
Reply to phantomww: Regarding your comment about Obama and the Dems on passing this issue.

And why have no GOP members objected? Seems like THAT's the platform they could have run on in 2012...Freedom and taking back our democracy....Ye t not a peep from the entire lot of them. Could it be, they agree with the NDAA??? Hmmmm!
 
 
+17 # phantomww 2012-05-18 09:17
Rossi, First we are a republic and not a democracry. NDAA only had 7 Senators who voted against it, 3 R's, 3 D's and 1 I. So this was a truly bi-partisian bill. My point in the first comment is that on these RSN posts, the mostly liberal crowd here constantly attack Republican and conservatives about being anti-freedom. As if only liberals and dems want freedom. Yet here is a case where the "freedom loving" dems have stomped all over our freedoms. Those of us who also think Obama care is unconstitutions l think so for the same reason. It takes away our freedoms. It has nothing to do with "compassion" or healthcare but loss of freedom. If I was posting on a conservative link, I would have condemned those who voted for NDAA and called out the repubs. I was just posting for the majority audience.
I am tired of being grouped/scanned at airports, stopped at drunk driver checkpoints etc all for the sake of "safety". I WANT MY FREEDOM BACK from the statist (those who believe in large powerful government)(bot h dem and repbu statist). Hope I have answered your ost.
 
 
+17 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-18 09:51
I concur, this problen is from both sides of the aisle...because these "Reprtesentativ es" live in a bubble world, influenced by the .1%...what are there 100-200 lobbyist per elected official...that is a lot of coin to influence people. Single individuals have to wait 3-6 months to get an appointment with thier representative. ..if they are lucky and interference is not run on them.
 
 
+16 # cordleycoit 2012-05-18 08:39
Ms. Wolf sums it up very clearly.Our government is at war with the people. She and her brave associates have moved white Ford sedan off my block for a while. They'll be back, the people hating politicians do not forget. The cannibals in suits who are paid to represent the people fear the people.
 
 
+23 # Peace Anonymous 2012-05-18 08:46
"But should our democracy hang by such a tenuous thread that it relies on the sheer luck that this case was heard by a courageous judge with a settled belief in the constitution of the United States?"

This quote must be taken to heart by the American people. How can the people rely on a few courageous people to protect them from losing their democracy? Elected officials must understand in no uncertain terms what the will of the people is. This is an election year and to allow Romney and Obama to determine what the issues are is putting the cart before the horse. It is up to the people to determine, in a peaceful manner, the course their democracy takes.
 
 
+10 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-18 09:49
Seems there are forces at work here that will not be happy until they provoke a bloody revolution to "retian our rights".
 
 
+27 # walt 2012-05-18 09:21
Still amazing that the Obama administration actually fought against these folks! As amazing as his signing the bill rather than vetoing it. But, he never closed Guantanamo either!

The USA is on the wrong track and we need good people to take it back. Thanks to Chris Hedges and all for the courage to take on the challenge.

No Americans should ever face the possibility of having our military used against them and be detained indefinitely. That is totally against every right we have and it is good this judge saw that.
 
 
+26 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-18 09:48
It is using our police department against us...Homeland security is turning local PD's into military units.
 
 
+1 # Noni77 2012-05-20 15:35
You are 100% right. In Maryland, in the counties around the Bational Security Agency, the NSA has coopted the police forces. They provide them oodles if toys, like GPS devices to place secretly on people's vehicles so those people can be not only followed illegally, but harassed. The NSA started this with ACLU members (the ACLU is all but dead in this police state) but expanded to journalists, and even Federal employees who dared to believe the "No Fear Act" that "guaranteed" that Federal employees who reported fraud, waste, and abuse (and much worse). The NSA has subverted their Security group "Q", under L. Kemp Ensor III (a known psychopath) into a private army of intimidators, augmented by contractors, and at the very least, ignored by local police if not augmented by local police. The Fusion Centers play a role in enlisting and militarizing neighborhood watch or "Neighborhood Nazis" in the intended victim's area as well. Could include a neighbor who'll help harass because he wants new carpetibg, to a local drug addict who agrees to vandaluze the house in lieu of charges being dropped for his last crime. They have been know to viciously harass employees they can't theaten or blackmail due to the person's courage and/or uncompromising honesty. They very closely follow the booklet "Cause Stalking" written by Lawson. Plenty evil, plenty creepy.... heart-stopping evil.
 
 
+26 # jwb110 2012-05-18 09:54
I was in the Soviet Union in 1981 on an Artists Exchange Program. I wonder how many of the supposed congressional patriots know how much this NDAA looks like the old SOviet State and how America is being bamboozled into being moved even farther in that direction. Wake up America, there are Gulags in the US and they lay in wait for any or all of us.
 
 
+17 # James Marcus 2012-05-18 10:08
Read 'Foiled', but not 'Failed'. This 'delay', or challenge, to the Horrendous NDAA was expected. (& overdue)
My thought (unfortunately) :
The Lackeys on the Supreme Court ...are 'waiting', and they will overturn this Judge, and 'Seal' the demise of our Constitution :-(
'Ducks-in-a-Row '; Congressional Majorities, President, Majority of the Supreme Court. All Nicely 'in-the-pocket'
The 'Owners' of all these folks (our 'Representative s', have also bought most of the Media)
 
 
-4 # ShamanX 2012-05-18 10:26
No one is mentioning the one presidential candidate that sticks out like a sore thumb in the face of the Repub/Dem establishment against laws like this and government intrusion into individual freedom...

I supported Obama in 2008. My biggest take-away since then is that there is no substantive difference between Repubs and Dems when it comes to colluding with titanic banks and their corporate ecosystems.

NDAA was a prime example of how dangerous it is when the two parties quietly put aside the fake acrimony when there's a significant opportunity to curtail freedom and advance the interests of the elite ruling class.

Love him or hate him... Ron Paul's movement doesn't end in November... And, if you look harder at his consistent principled message you might find you had a lot more common ground with his positions and desired outcomes for this country than you originally thought.
 
 
-3 # paulrevere 2012-05-21 11:50
Pashaw...RP is naive...RP is for anarchy...RP is for the same 'principles' that the Randian Greenspan assvocated which brought us to this complete crash of the world economy...get a grip.
 
 
0 # Max Demian 2012-05-21 17:13
Quoting paulrevere:
Pashaw...RP is naive...RP is for anarchy...RP is for the same 'principles' that the Randian Greenspan assvocated which brought us to this complete crash of the world economy...get a grip.


I'm not for Ron Paul myself, but what you said doesn't make any sense. Rhetorically- speaking and/or questioning, how could he be "for" the Federal Reserve system when he's seriously trying to abolish it?
 
 
+17 # motamanx 2012-05-18 11:39
I am regretfully pissed off at Obama for signing this bill. The Obama we thought we voted for would have thrown it out summarily. Come to think of it, the Obama we thought we voted for would have thrown out the PATRIOT Act on day one of his administration. Alas, he wanted bipartisanship and the "loyal" opposition will never grant him anything like it.
 
 
+2 # RLF 2012-05-21 03:37
The Obama we thought we voted for NEVER showed up...a republican did just like during the Clinton administration.
 
 
+2 # Noni77 2012-05-21 07:18
Quoting James Marcus:
Read 'Foiled', but not 'Failed'. This 'delay', or challenge, to the Horrendous NDAA was expected. (& overdue)
My thought (unfortunately):
The Lackeys on the Supreme Court ...are 'waiting', and they will overturn this Judge, and 'Seal' the demise of our Constitution :-(
'Ducks-in-a-Row'; Congressional Majorities, President, Majority of the Supreme Court. All Nicely 'in-the-pocket'
The 'Owners' of all these folks (our 'Representatives', have also bought most of the Media)

Did he rven TRY to throw out the Fascist Patriot Act? NO! Exlain why he is going FURTHER down the road Bush began taking us down?
 
 
+4 # DikBala 2012-05-18 13:10
While I appreciate the spirit and most of the content of this essay, it appears to me that Ms. Wolf may have misread the dynamics. Specifically, she states that the President's "lawyers were sent into that courtroom precisely to defeat the effort to challenge" the powers this law has given him. Yet their rather blunt concession that the act does give the President essentially unconstitutiona l powers seems rather to invite the presiding judge to rule as she did. If they had truly been trying to maintain this law, I think they would have been much more circumspect in their language in an attempt to defuse rather than aggravate the concerns of the court and the plaintiffs.

Obama stated clearly when he signed the bill that he did not approve of this section and it would not be implemented in his administration. He signed the bill because he wanted the other elements that he thought desirable enacted into law. Sending his justice department lawyers to "tell it like it is" and present what is essentially a non-defense of the offending section may have been his best option for throwing out the bath water while yet keeping the baby.
 
 
+2 # PGreen 2012-05-18 19:41
I rather doubt that the Obama justice department instructed their attorneys to lose this case, even indirectly, as I see no evidence in support of that assumption. In fact, the administration pointed to the president's signing statement as an excuse to keep the law, which they probably wouldn't argue if they wanted those clauses omitted or the law rejected. As Glenn Greenwald reports, "The court also decisively rejected the argument that President Obama’s signing statement – expressing limits on how he intends to exercise the NDAA’s detention powers — solves any of these problems." If the court had accepted that argument, they might well have allowed the bill to stand. Fortunately, judge Katherine Forrest rejected the argument, and I believe she is the one who deserves the credit in this instance.
I've heard this sort of fantasy about Obama elsewhere, that he is secretly more progressive than he appears to be, but I continue to see no reason to reach that conclusion. His record on civil rights (whistleblowers and secrecy in particular, but also the open assassination of American citizens) is horrible, and certainly suggests that this isn't the case with regard to the NDAA.
 
 
+1 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-19 17:28
I find making the argument that the signing statement would justify a bad law!
If anything a signing statement raises questions about the law and would make a review more likely.
 
 
+3 # PGreen 2012-05-20 13:02
It's possible-- one never knows for sure unless it happens, and much depends on the individual judge. But by mentioning the signing statement, government attorneys argued that there was no need for the judge to rule against any clause in the bill, because the president had already promised to ignore the bad parts to it. Of course it isn't required of him-- or future presidents-- to abide by a mere signing statement. Fortunately the judge rejected their argument.
 
 
0 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-19 17:27
A very interesting read...and now it can procede towards a review in terms of the Constitution...
 
 
+3 # 666 2012-05-20 03:53
I was waiting for this type of reply....

Your defense of Obama is a fallacy & contradictory: 1st you say he really doesn't support NDAA so he signs it into law(!), then he "lets" it be challenged and takes a possum defense because he secretly "wants" it to be overturned.
2nd it imputes his "faith" in a system so corrupt & stacked even against him, that such a plan would be an ultra long-shot at best. It requires that obama "knew" the 1st challenge would be in a friendly court-not before a "hanging judge" in response to a detention. There are thousands of judges who would and could (in a different federal district) uphold this law; & it may still be upheld if appealed. Who among us really believes the supremes would overturn the NDAA??! The congressional rewrite may be even worse (if it ever materializes before the law is used to detain someone); I can't see any rewrite happening before the election.
3rd it implies obama also had faith that a future POTUS would never use this law in an unconstitutiona l manner.
- this is exactly the type of "doublethink" that prevents obama-lovers from seeing the truth: The only "change" has been change for the worse. Many believe that if elected obama will peel off his corporatist/sta tist chameleon skin & become a true champion of the people, saving the day from the forces of evil....
- wake up! Stop lying to yourself. Obama IS the system.
 
 
+2 # paulrevere 2012-05-20 09:26
very astute breakdown and in my hopey dopey reality, I wish I could have said 'keen sense of the obvious there 666'.

But alas, the Echo Chamber is mighty and the Hall of Mirrors reigns.
 
 
+12 # Buddha 2012-05-18 14:16
Foiled? No. Delayed, yes. This will be challenged up to the Supremes, and we all know how THAT will go down.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2012-05-19 15:36
THANK YOU for that comment. I would have said the same thing. Many liberals celebrate too early.
 
 
0 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-19 17:32
And if it went down that way, and WE THE PEOPLE, don't like it, is it not incumbant upon to take up actions that bring about a peaceful change.
National Cause Marches are our right. Our Representative NEED TO TAKE NOTICE!
It will always come down to the people.
 
 
+14 # tabonsell 2012-05-18 15:14
One minor problem kept cropping up throughout this fine article.

Naomi kept referring to rights of "citizens" or "Americans". That is misreading the Bill of Rights for nowhere does it state that rights only apply to Americans. It says in the 1st Amendment "the right of the People; the 2nd Amendment "the right of the people"; the 3rd Amendment "consent of the owner"; 4th Amendment "right of the people"; the fifth Amendment "No person"; 6th Amendment "the accused"; amendments 7 and 8 don't mention people, citizens or anything about humans; the 9th Amendment "retained by the people". The 10th Amendment only says powers of federal and state governments come from the people, who retain for themselves what powers they haven't given to governments.

This means the rights we see in the Constitution belong to all people regardless of who they are, where the live, what they believe or what nationality they are.

The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are entitled to the same protections from government arbitrary overreach as are any American; and they haven't gotten it; especially the 6th Amendment requirement for a speedy and public trial in the state and district in which the crimes occurred (New York City area or Northern Virginia). They are also denied protection of the Supreme Court decision of Ex parte Milligan (cannot try a civilian in a military tribunal when civilian courts are open and operating.)
 
 
+8 # Max Demian 2012-05-18 17:49
That's right, and that's why I've long been saying that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights APPLY TO NON-CITIZENS AS WELL. That's why the Declaration of Independence says, "All PEOPLE are created EQUAL [because they are ALL supposed to have equal rights under the (rule of) law]..."! And that's why France and the people of France so admired what our budding nation, or soon-to-exist nation, stood for; and is why they came to our defense in Boston Harbor (in fact, if they had not battled the British in that harbor then, none of us would probably be here right now). [Not that they handled their own revolution right, since they allowed it be turned into a bloodbath, meeting out the same abuse of human rights against the elitists that the latter had meeted out against them.]
 
 
+4 # Max Demian 2012-05-19 06:27
Pardon me, I should have put the word, "...PEOPLE..." in parenthesis, since the Founders used the word, "men" [meaning, in my belief, all people---whethe r they believed in equal rights for women, native Americans, dark-skinned peoples, etc., or not, they certainly were for women at least not being terrorized and tortured, etc., and being treated with nothing but love and respect---but, to their great discredit, they did not believe anyone but "civilized" people were men or human beings; and, unfortunately, most "civilized" people were anything but civilized, and were just as savage, if not more so (obviously more so, because they were the "victors" over the other "savages", having mass-murdered and exterminated most of the latter)].
 
 
+1 # Max Demian 2012-05-19 07:51
Another correction (this time of my last correction): "...(T)hey (the Founders) certainly were for women at least not being terrorized and tortured, etc., and being treated with nothing but love and respect (or at least believed in "civilized" women being so-treated anyway)..."!
 
 
0 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-19 17:35
So this begs the questions,...
When we will have a National Refendment vote on several issues...legali zation of private use marijuana, no different than alcohol.
Pardons by a swipe of the pen by the sitting POTUS to give all non-violent affenders immediate release. All those gurads who would suddenly have to be let go, no pensions, no great benefits anymore...huge savings to the tax paer.
 
 
+11 # Max Demian 2012-05-18 17:01
Wonderful article, Naomi Wolf! Bravo to the rooftops for all those involved in standing up for True Liberty and Freedom! Right-on! Power to The People!

Right-on to Ms. O'brien as well in what she so succinctly said! And to all those who took such a courageous stand in filing this lawsuit against the government in the first place!

And thank God a federal judge had the "cajones" to take the completely correct stand on this matter!

May even the federal Court of Appeals that next hears this matter uphold the U.S. District Judge's ruling; and may this case wind all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and be properly decided by them, too; though I don't at all hold my breath that either the federal appeals court or the SCOTUS will do so. In fact, if anything, I think the Court of Appeals as well as the "Supremes" will very likely overturn Judge Forrest's ruling and rule in favor of unconstitutiona lity, and in favor of the government; since the Supreme Court's tendency(ies) of late, and the tendency(ies) of many U.S. federal courts, have been to eviscerate the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

God protect all of us from this increasingly corporate-fasci st, totalitarian militarized police state that is now being erected all around us in the United States.
 
 
+5 # Gevurah 2012-05-18 23:05
Thank you, Judge Forrest, for staving off for at least a while, the near-inevitable slide of this (former)democra cy into a plutocracy fueled by our greedy arrogant, amoral corporate masters and their sinister billionaire backers.

One of the biggest reasons why we have to vote for the lesser of two evils in the next Presidential election is that he will have the power to appoint judges and -- with luck -- Supreme Court justices to redress the cold-blooded "bad" capitalist balance of the Roberts Court. Note that I said "bad" capitalism, which is what we have now.
There is -- or was -- such a thing as capitalism with a social conscience.

There are already very few judges with the guts and integrity to rule as Judge Forrest did. If the Mad Dogs succeed in placing one of theirs in the White House, look out! -- the judges he appoints will carry out his dictates.
 
 
+4 # goodsensecynic 2012-05-19 14:05
Much as it pains me to say so, President Obama must be supported. With a Congress that is owned and operated by the Koch Bros., likeminded Pleistocene billionaires, T-Party no-nothings and "religious" fundamentalists , and with a White House occupied by a (possibly) well-meaning but too-pragmatic-f or-his-own-or anyone-else's-g ood president, the judiciary is the last creaky bastion of civil rights and commitment to due process of law.

Mr. Obama's choices for the Supreme Court haven't been the best, but they are certainly better than the likes of Scalia, Roberts, Alito and the execrable Thomas.

Just imagine who Romney would insert into the mix when given the chance. For that reason alone, hold you noses, purse your lips, cover your ears and with your "free" hand, vote for Obama.
 
 
+2 # Gevurah 2012-05-18 23:10
I don't know that "God" has a whole lot to do with the mess we are in. It is these ultra-religious types that bear a huge share of the responsibility - it is they who elect their own religious nuts to positions of power.

It will take hard, dogged, persistent work by citizens to send to Congress decent representatives who actually believe they are elected to serve the people.

So if you don't know who your Congressperson and Senators are, shame on you. Find out, and bombard them with (polite but firm) demands that they do good instead of pandering to Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and so forth.

And when elections roll around, don't just focus on the President -- educate yourself about the candidates running for Congress.
 
 
+2 # DoctorDemocracy 2012-05-18 20:50
Naomi, I used the link you provided in your article under this language: "an amendment that does just that."

Section 1021, which you reference, is about Naval vessels in the document you linked us to and not about the terms of detention nor about Habeus Corpus. That was Section 1021 in last year's NDAA. This year, Sections 1031-1033 are about detention and Habeus Corpus. These appear to affirm existing laws and rulings supporting a citizen's right to protection from indefinite detention.

For example, Section 1031 states: "(3) The Court reaffirmed the long-standing principle of American law that a United States citizen may not be detained in the United States pursuant to the AUMF without due process of law...."

If there is still a problem with the law, please link us to the right place so we can read it.

TIP FOR ALL. Most legislative language is not actual content, but contents, references to prior law, so on. Plus, law conforms to format requirements that use much space for few words.

The point: 1600 pages is not much actual information to review.

Here's how to do it efficiently. Save the PDF, reopen it, then Find the terms you want to read about. If you know what you want to learn about, you can read all relevant content in a 1600 page law in an hour or less. Not much to ask to be informed about our future freedoms.

Good Luck to Us All!
 
 
+2 # infohiway 2012-05-19 02:31
Good work.
Contemporaneous proof.
One brave judge.

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/archive/index.php/t-10782.html?s=29ecd216c1cd7e514d2f302350dd6f48

http://drkatesview.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/cover-up-by-false-flags/

http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=11260546#page:showThread,11260546
 
 
+3 # goodsensecynic 2012-05-19 13:38
In light of recent arrests in Chicago at the NATO meetings (G-20 to come), the urgency of this decision becomes clear ... not that it will help when and if the matter goes to the Supreme Court where Cheneyism prevails.
 
 
+1 # independentmind 2012-05-19 14:20
Both our laws and our tax system have become so complicated and convoluted maybe it is time to scrap the lot and start all over. We could start with only the constitution. The fact that neither the members of Congress and the Senate are equipped to read or understand the laws that THEY are supposed to be writing is shameful and tells us that something is seriously wrong with the system. One of the issues is that our Washington representatives are spending all their time fundraising instead of doing their jobs.

To blame the President, any President, for this mess is not appropriate or fair. It has taken years of accumulated idiocy by many people to get to this point. Term limits should be limited to two and strictly enforced. Every potential politician gets $1,000 to run and has to make do with that. Income and benefits should be limited to the median income in the US and no Pension or Medical benefits offered. Transportation expenses are paid by our taxes. Accountability - lets measure their success by how few good laws they pass that need no amendments and meet the criterion of being beneficial to all. Lets see how many people would be willing to serve under those conditions.
 
 
0 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-19 17:16
The argument over the health care issue is just political nonsense on both sides. We supposely are in the richest "greatest" country in the world and that the world has ever seen...
...but we can not afford good health care centers in our communitites... Really? I think you prevent all those poor people using up benefits (and we have a country crawling with ill people...rememb er Reagan closing health facilties)...wo uld YOU get better service or your rates go down...I would not bet on it...but CEO's earnings will go up.
If anything, health provider employees would be laid off if the brass determined they were not patients to justify thier positions...bin go, more unemployment.
Health field should have more schools, lets do a bit better in the sciences, and health care should be a growth industry as we baby boomers age...but noooo, what are we doing, filling the hospitals with injured young people from stupid empire wars...just saying.
 
 
+1 # Hot Doggie 2012-05-19 18:45
Naiomi's got it wrong. She said, "One brave and principled newly-appointed judge ruled against a law that would have brought the legal powers of the authorities of Guantánamo home to our own courthouses, streets and backyards".

She speaks as if the judge was the only person who could save us. Not so. We-The-People are the only ones who can save us. We have law making power. We can override laws that the politicians enact. Rmemeber, all power is vested in We-The-People. Politicians have no power except we give it to them. Judges have no power except we give ti to them. We retain all power delegated to the politicians and we can initiate laws like the legislature can.
Our problem is that WTP don't know this.We think that we have to run to a politician in order to get anything done. Wrong! Our next problem is trying to get enough WTP's to agree on a specific law we could enact. How about vacating and nullifying the NDAA.
 
 
+1 # Nobody Special 2012-05-23 22:21
Part 2

We the People don't make the laws and we never have. If you dont believe it then look at The patriot act 1 and patriot act 2 Act and of course this new Law NDAA.
Do you think if WTP had known about these laws beforehand they would of agreed to these laws?

Like when the first Patriot Act was signed in the middle of the night. How many members of congress were even there when they voted on it. Of course you won't find that on the net now. Most Congress members don't even read the bills or laws that they sign. Like one Congressman said That's a lot of reading and we have so little time.

It's a shame that Congress and the Senate stopped working for the people a long time ago. Its also a shame that there are those that go on the net and distort the truth. I have read a lot and then go back a few months later to see that a different version has been inserted then had been there originally.
 
 
+1 # Nobody Special 2012-05-23 22:22
Part 1

Naiomi didn't get it wronge, the judge was right and that is the way a Judge should judge something. In this day and age most Judges are influnced by many things, money, elite, politicans or a lot of other factors.
In this case she wasn't affraid of ruling against the Govt. If she had been then she would of ruled in favor with the Govt.

The people make the laws.
Do you mean Like WTP when George was appointed by the Supreme Court even tho he lost the popular vote... When Al Gore had won and it was announced on CNN that Al Gore had won, then a few minutes later Fox News announced that Bush had won.
 
 
+5 # photoguy 2012-05-19 23:51
The problem with all of these laws and the mentality behind them is that they ignore what made us strong to begin with and why we stood out from the rest of the nations of the world. We are great because we don't all agree but we do all work together every day. We are strong because we are diverse especially in thought and action. This mentality is no different than Joe McCarthy's that chose to rip apart the country with paranoia than to stand up and directly compete with the idea which he railed against.
We are acting like a team that is ahead in the game that is changing its game plan to not loose instead of pushing through to the end with the plan that promised to make them the winner.
We do so much intrinsically better than so much of the world but we don't know it and as a result we are getting more and more like the others we look down on.
Ignorance and fear pave the road to demise.
 
 
-4 # richmiles 2012-05-20 08:21
Naomi Wolf sure is beautiful, isn't she? I've enjoyed her writing for a long time, but this is the first time I've ever seen a photo of her. Those lips, those eyes!!

And this article is most informative and easy to read.
 
 
0 # Zagreus 2012-05-20 12:49
This defeat is why Obama has loosed the attack helicopters.

He hasn't given up yet on his dream of a police state
 
 
+1 # Nobody Special 2012-05-23 21:16
Pres. Obama worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Now he signs NDAA into law.

He should have known better then anyone else what the ramifications of this Law would do and the abuses it would or could cause. To say that he would not abuse it, maybe holds some truth to what he said, but he cannot guarantee that others would not abuse it.

Now to support this Law. I believe that every person in the land should be held accountible with this law, including Lawyers Congress, Senators, Fox News CNN, ABC, CBS and a lot of news reportors also. To include past presidents and their staff,Bankers and so on...

But thankfully we have one Judge out of the thousands that that listened and ruled to at lease this one point.

Maybe just maybe if we put a lot of these people in prison forever then maybe someone might think just for one moment the next time they decide to trample on the rights of others and sign or vote into Law a Law that futhers the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
 
 
0 # restore2america 2012-05-24 18:06
Obama, Bush, Cheney - all cut from the same cloth. Dictators. Organized criminals. So are most of the naive, disinterested or bought-off bone heads in congress and the judiciary. It is time for a revolution in America to restore rule of law and our Constitution. Overthrow the corporate greed and religious right. Pray that this can be accomplished peacefully and within the framework of law. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were right.
 

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