Sep 28, 2012 by TheRealNews
Chris Hedges: We filed our lawsuit because this legislation threatens basic democratic rights allowing for indefinite military detention to repress domestic protest.
The Real News Network
JAY: And what do you make of the timing of this legislation? You know, we’re, you know, more than ten years now from 9/11. You know, by all security analysts who follow this kind of stuff, the threat level’s lower than it’s ever been, certainly lower than it was in the years, you know, just near or after 9/11. Yet now it comes.
HEDGES: Because I don’t think that it’s aimed at Islamic radicals. It’s aimed at domestic dissidents. That’s the point. And that threat is rising as we watch the collapse of globalization, the long-term political paralysis on the part of our corporate state, its inability to deal with fundamental issues that are ravaging American families, whether that’s poverty, chronic underemployment, unemployment. All of those issues, coupled, of course, with the effects of climate change, are leading to a world, both within our borders and outside our borders, of tremendous instability. And you are watching the state accrue to itself through the legal system the powers to essentially keep people in check. And I think that’s the real reason for the NDAA.
JAY: Do you think there’s also possibly another rationale to this, without them saying so? Is this part of preparations for war with Iran?
HEDGES: I don’t think so. I don’t think this has to do with Iran. I think this has to do with internal dissent. I think that, you know, both the lawyers and myself feel that because they issued an emergency appeal, they reacted so aggressively once Judge Forrest declared this section unconstitutional, they are probably already using the NDAA. This is supposition, but probably they are holding dual Pakistan-U.S. nationals in military facilities like Bagram, because if they weren’t using it, they could have just filed an appeal.
The problem is that once the judge declared the law unconstitutional, if they continue to hold American citizens and deny them access to due process, then they would be in contempt of court. And so the rapid response, the—and it was interesting that it was the Pentagon lawyers that filed this emergency appeal. And the issuance of an emergency stay or temporary stay until the appeal is heard I think essentially is to cover them legally for already putting the NDAA into use. Internally, I really think it has less to do with Iran and a lot more to do with controlling the American public.
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.