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Forum Post: Chris Hedges files suit against Barack Obama

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 16, 2012, 12:22 p.m. EST by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The complaint challenges the constitutionality of Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act and seeks a permanent injunction against its enforcement.

"This demented “war on terror” is as undefined and vague as such a conflict is in any totalitarian state. Dissent is increasingly equated in this country with treason. Enemies supposedly lurk in every organization that does not chant the patriotic mantras provided to it by the state. And this bill feeds a mounting state paranoia. It expands our permanent war to every spot on the globe. It erases fundamental constitutional liberties. It means we can no longer use the word “democracy” to describe our political system.

The supine and gutless Democratic Party, which would have feigned outrage if George W. Bush had put this into law, appears willing, once again, to grant Obama a pass. But I won’t. What he has done is unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_im_suing_barack_obama_20120116/

30 Comments

30 Comments


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[-] 4 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

I wish Chris Hedges luck.

[-] 3 points by Skippy2 (485) 2 years ago

I will NOT vote for Obama or any congressman currently in office. Between this an SOPA we are now under a totalitarian gov't.

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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

the vote to go war on Iraq was near anonymous

[-] 1 points by infonomics (393) 2 years ago

Uranium capital of the world...even now? Or just an old motto in need of a replacement? Batter up.

[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 2 years ago

Obama, post-Constitutional authoritarian leading America's single-minded Congressional duopoly into the 21st century.

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[-] -3 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

well that's nice. Blame the President.

Here is what is so lame-brained about about blaming the President:

The United States Constitution

  • Article II, section 8

    • The Congress shall have the power;

    • . . .

    • To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:

The Congress has the Constitutional authority to make rules concerning captures on land and water.

That is what they did. They made rules. They attached those rules to a spending bill - on the heels of deadline for passage of said spending bill.

Blame the President if you like - that is your right. But it is counter productive in this instance.

Blame Congress.

Blame the authors of this bill.

Blame John McCain and Carl Levin.

[-] 3 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

I blame everyone who voted for it, and I suspect Hedges does too. The complaint names the president and the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, because by virtue of their positions, they are the people who would be ordering detentions under this law. Implementation of the law is not a power of congress.

[-] 3 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Obama has responsibility here too. He failed to veto the bill.

[+] -5 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Pay Attention

  • On November 17, 2011 the Obama administration released a policy statement noting that it opposed the detainee matters legislation in the NDAA and that if it was not changed, then the President would veto the legislation.

The house and senate then held up ultimate passage of the bill until the very last moment - when a veto would have resulted in many functions of government going unfunded until such time as the Congress rewrote the legislation.

[-] 2 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Obama did indeed object to some provisions in the original bill and threatened a veto if these were not remedied. Unfortunately, his objections were not based on civil liberties or due process grounds. He objected because he wanted even more power. After congress gave him the powers he wanted, he was happy to sign it. Glenn Greenwald explains it well:

"Obama’s objections to this bill had nothing to do with civil liberties, due process or the Constitution. It had everything to do with Executive power. The White House’s complaint was that Congress had no business tying the hands of the President when deciding who should go into military detention, who should be denied a trial, which agencies should interrogate suspects (the FBI or the CIA). Such decisions, insisted the White House, are for the President, not Congress, to make. In other words, his veto threat was not grounded in the premise that indefinite military detention is wrong; it was grounded in the premise that it should be the President who decides who goes into military detention and why, not Congress.

Even the one substantive objection the White House expressed to the bill — mandatory military detention for accused American Terrorists captured on U.S. soil — was about Executive power, not due process or core liberties. The proof of that — the definitive, conclusive proof — is that Sen. Carl Levin has several times disclosed that it was the White House which demanded removal of a provision in his original draft that would have exempted U.S. citizens from military detention (see the clip of Levin explaining this in the video below). In other words, this was an example of the White House demanding greater detention powers in the bill by insisting on the removal of one of its few constraints (the prohibition on military detention for Americans captured on U.S. soil). That’s because the White House’s North Star on this bill — as they repeatedly made clear — was Presidential discretion: they were going to veto the bill if it contained any limits on the President’s detention powers, regardless of whether those limits forced him to put people in military prison or barred him from doing so.

Any doubt that this was the White House’s only concern with the bill is now dispelled by virtue of the President’s willingness to sign it after certain changes were made in Conference between the House and Senate. Those changes were almost entirely about removing the parts of the bill that constrained his power, and had nothing to do with improving the bill from a civil liberties perspective. Once the sole concern of the White House was addressed — eliminating limits on the President’s power — they were happy to sign the bill even though (rather: because) none of the civil liberties assaults were fixed. "

http://www.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/page/4/

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

Yea, Greenwald's still OK.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

interesting

this suggests the president didn't have the power during that time

the president would have foreseen this instance

a find the excuse suspect

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

So you admit the President negotiated with terrorists and got cock-blocked for NO REASON!!!

[-] 2 points by buphiloman (840) 2 years ago

Try reading the text of the complaint first. They are seeking:

1) that the Section 1031 of NDAA 2012 be declared unconstitutional.

and

2) An injunction against executive enforcement of the bill for the duration of the suit.

The whole point is that, if NDAA 2012 stands with Section 1031, Hedges and other journalists will not be able to do their jobs, and thus their free speech is curtailed, and their ability to earn a living (legal actions have to be tied to actionable damages).

Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense also named.

[+] -5 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Leon Panetta on NDAA Section 1032 of the original Senate Version:

  • Section 1032. We recognize your efforts to address some of our objections to section 1032. However, it continues to be the case that any advantages to the Department of Defense in particular and our national security in general in section 1032 of requiring that certain individuals be held by the military are, at best, unclear. This provision restrains the Executive Branch's options to utilize, in a swift and flexible fashion, all the counterterrorism tools that are now legally available.

  • Moreover, the failure of the revised text to clarify that section 1032 applies to individuals captured abroad, as we have urged, may needlessly complicate efforts by frontline law enforcement professionals to collect critical intelligence concerning operations and activities within the United States.

  • Next, the revised language adds a new qualifier to associated force''--that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda.'' In our view, this new language unnecessarily complicates our ability to interpret and implement this section.

  • Further, the new version of section 1032 makes it more apparent that there is an intent to extend the certification requirements of section 1033 to those covered by section 1032 that we may want to transfer to a third country. In other words, the certification requirement that currently applies only to Guantanamo detainees would permanently extend to a whole new category of future captures. This imposes a whole new restraint on the flexibility we need to continue to pursue our counterterrorism efforts. From letter by Penetta sent to Carl Levin

Presidential Signing states

  • On December 31, 2011 President Obama signed the 2012 NDAA into law. When he signed the law, he also issued a signing statement on how he would interpret the law. In that signing statement, President Obama clarifies that the law does indeed allow for the arrest and indefinite detention of US citizens.

  • The President then asserts that he will not use the law for these purposes and that the inclusion of the language is counter to the Constitution and US traditions. This declaration is counter to Senator Levin's statements that the Obama administration requested that language which would have prevented the law from applying to US citizens be removed.

I wish you fuckers would pay attention.

[-] 2 points by LetsGetReal (1420) from Grants, NM 2 years ago

Differences of opinion, even heated debate, do not justify a lack of civility such as calling those who disagree with you vulgar names.

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

Get with the program, mate. It's this or Lithium for many of us!!! [sic] lol!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

section 1032. is a terrorism tool

people fear that they can be disappeared by the government

[+] -6 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

I haven't been disappeared yet

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

when I grow up,

terrorism was associated with government

that ruled it's people through fear

south american dictatorships would "disappear" dissenter

[+] -6 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Yes, it has happened in countries where we helped destabilize elected governments and supported dictatorships.

Yes, the provisions in NDAA are not good news - and both the President and members of his administration have made clear they oppose portions of the final bill.

Let me repeat that - because I see this is a point that many don't quite understand:

  • both the President and members of his administration have made clear they oppose portions of the final bill.

Blame those responsible - Carl Levin and John McCain for writing it, Congress as a whole for passing it.

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[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

ZenDog, they may as well be against gravity!!!

When you ask me to understand and accept the absurd notion that crib notes mean ANYTHING then you are asking me to be JUST AS CORRUPT as the system I hate watching come to fruition!!!

No matter how many CORRUPTED lawyers you get on your side of this issue, I will still revolt against a system of laws AND CHICKEN SCRATCHES!

For god's sake what the hell are you doing here!?!

[+] -5 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Obviously on this particular issue I'm pissing in the wind.

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

I hope, but props all the same :)

Did you happen to catch Bill Maher last Fri? That Debbie Wiesman, who I normally would give the time-of-day to, was genuinely surprised when she was not allowed to make the exact same claim you made here. Maher and Riner (Rob) shot her down before she could finish saying "signing statement".

There is real lib anger over this, not just whack-a-doodle Libertarians.

Keep typing! :) Peace

[+] -4 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Yeah - I get it. I also get that there is a bit of spin over it as a result - and because it pertains to terrorists I haven't examined it as closely as the issue itself merits.

I keep pointing out that I haven't been arrested yet - I take that as a positive sign.

I think if you really want to create change on this issue, you have to accept that the provisions in the final version of NDAA section 1021 simply reaffirms authority the President already has, going back to 2001, and extends that authority to the U.S.

Ultimately the problem is in treating terrorism as an act of war. That is the root from which all of this grows.

Terrorists aren't warriors and I greatly resent the notion that they are. They are common criminals. No more. No less.

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

Life in America has been reduced to a Peanut's strip. All hail Chuck!

[+] -5 points by ZenDog (13541) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

how's that?

I get that the comics often reflect on and mock various aspects of American culture -

take Boopsie and her alien breeding farms - forgotten which strip that's from, Dunesbury maybe.

there are no aliens

it's just another lie

told by actors on a stage

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago
[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

I wish you fuckers would pay attention. Said King George!