Noting that the national security establishment such as the NSA and FBI lobbied against the newly-signed National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA,) also known as the Homeland Battlefield Bill, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama in Federal District Court for egregiously violating the U.S. Constitution. Count I of the official complaint states:
The Homeland Battlefield Bill, -1031(C)(1) authorizes the indefinite detention, imprisonment and incarceration of U.S. citizens and other "covered persons" in the United States, including persons such as Plaintiff, without trial or judicial recourse in violation of the U.S. Constitution, Amendment V.- Advertisement -
In the below interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Hedges speculates that since the national security establishment charged with protecting the country against terrorists was against the bill, the true impetus for its passage was the fear among corporate elites of an expanding Occupy Wall Street movement this summer, in which police could not be relied upon to suppress legitimate dissent and elites desired the power to "call out the military." Today Occupy DC pressed the message of getting the influence of money out of politics by descending on Congress. The protesters carried signs saying: "Face it liberals, the Dems sold us out," "Congress for sale" and "Banksters of America."
Hedges wrote extensively on his action in Truthdig.com in "Why I am Suing President Obama". The interview features footage of the NDAA issue being raised in a recent Republican presidential debate in SC, in which Romney draws boos for affirming that he too would have signed the NDAA.
Hedges writes in Truthdig.com:
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.
Hedges takes special pains to point out the potential in the NDAA's language to subject American citizens to extraordinary rendition, the same as foreign nationals under the Bush administration were, to avoid American law regarding prisoners of war. Combined with the new HR 3166 "Enemy Expatriation Act" winding its way through Congress, which seeks to strip U.S. citizens of their citizenship upon accusation by the Executive Branch, the law raises the specter that US dissidents will know treatments long perfected by branches of the military and intelligence in order to produce, not information, but false confessions.
The "reverse engineering" of SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) tactics under the Bush administration, covered extensively by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker and referred to in the article which went viral in these pages "Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld, You Are Under Arrest," are the very same tactics which could be used in the extraordinary rendition of Americans.
According to a report adopted in June by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, titled "Secret Detentions and Illegal Transfers of Detainees," detainees were "taken to their cells by strong people who wore black outfits, masks that covered their whole faces, and dark visors over their eyes."...A former member of a C.I.A. transport team has described the "takeout" of prisoners as a carefully choreographed twenty-minute routine, during which a suspect was hog-tied, stripped naked, photographed, hooded, sedated with anal suppositories, placed in diapers, and transported by plane to a secret location.- Advertisement -
The C.I.A.'s interrogation program is remarkable for its mechanistic aura. "It's one of the most sophisticated, refined programs of torture ever," an outside expert familiar with the protocol said. "At every stage, there was a rigid attention to detail. Procedure was adhered to almost to the letter. There was top-down quality control, and such a set routine that you get to the point where you know what each detainee is going to say, because you've heard it before. It was almost automated. People were utterly dehumanized. People fell apart. It was the intentional and systematic infliction of great suffering masquerading as a legal process. It is just chilling."
Thus far journalist Hedges is one of the highest-profile figures to step forward as one of the "good Germans," to the continuing shame of the law profession, especially those in the halls of academe who remain silent.