21/1 Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

by Chris Hedges

Global Research, January 21, 2012
Truthdig – 2012-02-16

Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties.

I spent many years in countries where the military had the power to arrest and detain citizens without charge. I have been in some of these jails. I have friends and colleagues who have “disappeared” into military gulags. I know the consequences of granting sweeping and unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation. And while my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be fought if we are to have any hope of pulling this country back from corporate fascism.

Section 1031 of the bill defines a “covered person”—one subject to detention—as “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

The bill, however, does not define the terms “substantially supported,” “directly supported” or “associated forces.”

I met regularly with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. I used to visit Palestine Liberation Organization leaders, including Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad, in Tunis when they were branded international terrorists. I have spent time with the Revolutionary Guard in Iran and was in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey with fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. All these entities were or are labeled as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. What would this bill have meant if it had been in place when I and other Americans traveled in the 1980s with armed units of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua or the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front guerrillas in El Salvador? What would it have meant for those of us who were with the southern insurgents during the civil war in Yemen or the rebels in the southern Sudan? I have had dinner more times than I can count with people whom this country brands as terrorists. But that does not make me one.

Once a group is deemed to be a terrorist organization, whether it is a Palestinian charity or an element of the Uighur independence movement, the military can under this bill pick up a U.S. citizen who supported charities associated with the group or unwittingly sent money or medical supplies to front groups. We have already seen the persecution and closure of Islamic charity organizations in the United States that supported the Palestinians. Now the members of these organizations can be treated like card-carrying “terrorists” and sent to Guantanamo.

But I suspect the real purpose of this bill is to thwart internal, domestic movements that threaten the corporate state. The definition of a terrorist is already so amorphous under the Patriot Act that there are probably a few million Americans who qualify to be investigated if not locked up. Consider the arcane criteria that can make you a suspect in our new military-corporate state. The Department of Justice considers you worth investigating if you are missing a few fingers, if you have weatherproof ammunition, if you own guns or if you have hoarded more than seven days of food in your house. Adding a few of the obstructionist tactics of the Occupy movement to this list would be a seamless process. On the whim of the military, a suspected “terrorist” who also happens to be a U.S. citizen can suffer extraordinary rendition—being kidnapped and then left to rot in one of our black sites “until the end of hostilities.” Since this is an endless war that will be a very long stay.

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. The threat and reach of al-Qaida—which I spent a year covering for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East—are marginal, despite the attacks of 9/11. The terrorist group poses no existential threat to the nation. It has been so disrupted and broken that it can barely function. Osama bin Laden was gunned down by commandos and his body dumped into the sea. Even the Pentagon says the organization is crippled. So why, a decade after the start of the so-called war on terror, do these draconian measures need to be implemented? Why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens, as he did in the killing of the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen? Why is this bill necessary when the government routinely ignores our Fifth Amendment rights—“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”—as well as our First Amendment right of free speech? How much more power do they need to fight “terrorism”?

Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from any sordid military dictatorship. Its implementation will be a huge leap forward for the corporate oligarchs who plan to continue to plunder the nation and use state and military security to cow the population into submission.

The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.

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

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com

Chris Hedges is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Chris Hedges

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28789

Please God, No Revolution in America….their aim I suspect!

3 responses to “21/1 Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

  1. This war mongering rat,laughs that America will do what we want! Ha do not worry about the US> The bare faced cheek of the Israeli Prime C@nt, the sad thing is you all know it is because of these zionist c@nts that Ron Paul will not win!! and the war with IRAN is a dead cert to happen! Enough America wake up to this!

    bollox679 18 hours ago

    I lost my sympathy towards Americans long time ago, look how they treat an angel like Ron Paul. The stupid if only they knew what did Jews do the Ukrainians when they gained total control! Just ask a Ukrainian.

    cancer19850624 1 day ago

    majority in the West have no idea…their Governments have lied and lied some more!

    well practised in their past- they do it today!

    91177info on 17 Jul 2010

    3:15 Please read English Transcript HERE:►
    Bibi:…The Arabs are currently focusing on a war of terror and they think it will break us. The main thing, first of all, is to hit them. Not just one blow, but blows that are so painful that the price will be too heavy to be borne. The price is not too heavy to be borne, now. A broad attack on the Palestinian Authority. To bring them to the point of being afraid that everything is collapsing…

    Woman: Wait a moment, but then the world will say “how come you’re conquering again?”

    Netanyahu: the world won’t say a thing. The world will say we’re defending.

    Woman: Aren’t you afraid of the world, Bibi?

    Netanyahu: Especially today, with America. I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction.

    Child: They say they’re for us, but, it’s like…

    Netanyahu: They won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way.

    Child: On the other hand, if we do some something, then they…

    Netanyahu: So let’s say they say something. So they said it! They said it! 80% of the Americans support us. It’s absurd. We have that kind of support and we say “what will we do with the…” Look. That administration [Clinton] was extremely pro-Palestinian. I wasn’t afraid to maneuver there. I was not afraid to clash with Clinton. I was not afraid to clash with the United Nations. I was paying the price anyway, I preferred to receive the value. Value for the price.

    In the following segment, Bibi boasts about how he emptied the Oslo Accords of meaning by an interpretation that made a mockery of them:

    Woman: The Oslo Accords are a disaster.

    Netanyahu: Yes. You know that and I knew that…The people [nation] has to know…

    What were the Oslo Accords? The Oslo Accords, which the Knesset signed, I was asked, before the elections: “Will you act according to them?” and I answered: “yes, subject to mutuality and limiting the retreats.” “But how do you intend to limit the retreats?” “I’ll give such interpretation to the Accords that will make it possible for me to stop this galloping to the ’67 [armistice] lines. How did we do it?

    Narrator: The Oslo Accords stated at the time that Israel would gradually hand over territories to the Palestinians in three different pulses, unless the territories in question had settlements or military sites. This is where Netanyahu found a loophole.

    Netanyahu: No one said what defined military sites. Defined military sites, I said, were security zones. As far as I’m concerned, the Jordan Valley is a defined military site.

    Woman: Right [laughs]…The Beit She’an Valley.

    Netanyahu: How can you tell. How can you tell? But then the question came up of just who would define what Defined Military Sites were. I received a letter — to me and to Arafat, at the same time — which said that Israel, and only Israel, would be the one to define what those are, the location of those military sites and their size. Now, they did not want to give me that letter, so I did not give the Hebron Agreement. I stopped the government meeting, I said: “I’m not signing.” Only when the letter came, in the course of the meeting, to me and to Arafat, only then did I sign the Hebron Agreement. Or rather, ratify it, it had already been signed. Why does this matter? Because at that moment I actually stopped the Oslo Accord.

    Woman: And despite that, one of our own people, excuse me, who knew it was a swindle, and that we were going to commit suicide with the Oslo Accord, gives them — for example — Hebron…

    Netanyahu: Indeed, Hebron hurts. It hurts. It’s the thing that hurts. One of the famous rabbis, whom I very much respect, a rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, he said to me: “What would your father say?” I went to my father. Do you know a little about my father’s position?

    …He’s not exactly a lily-white dove, as they say. So my father heard the question and said: “Tell the rabbi that your grandfather, Rabbi Natan Milikowski, was a smart Jew. Tell him it would be better to give two percent than to give a hundred percent. And that’s the choice here. You gave two percent and in that way you stopped the withdrawal. Instead of a hundred percent.” The trick is not to be there and be broken. The trick is to be there and pay a minimal price.”

    At a point in the middle of the video Netanayhu asks the camera man to stop taping, but he continues…
    Netanyahu says what he really thinks for the first time:
    He brags about how easy is to manipulate the USA and he proudly explains how he sabotaged the Oslo process.

    Transcript reverence here- http://www.politicaltheatrics.net/2010/07/netanyahu-brags-about-how-easy-it-i

    Thankyou to djonesowens1-
    http://www.youtube.com/user/djonesowens1

    Category:
    News & Politics

    Russian kharzia’s can never have a home in Palestine..LET THEM GO BACK TO RUSSIA!

    @Shaliaj7 The orthodox Rabbi’s will tell you how the Zionist so-called ‘State of Israel’ is a hoax. According to the Torah, the Jews are not suppose to have a country. They are to live among other nations as a punishment for their disobedience to God. That’s why the Khazar ‘fake’ Jews (Zionists) follow the Talmud. If there is anything biblical about the State of Israel it is that it can certainly be referred to ‘The Synagogue of Satan’ where those who call themselves ‘Jews’ are not Jews at all.

    nododon 11 hours ago

    IT IS RACIST- REED GAVE THE QUESTION A THREE YEAR STUDY- IT STEMMED FROM THE TALMUD….RACISM IS PLAIN TO READ IN THE TALMUD.

  2. Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from BOLSHAVIK RUSSIA!!

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