NDAA: Hedges v. Obama: Did The Bill of Rights Die Today? by Jill Dalton

by Jill Dalton
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
February 9, 2013
Note: replaced and revised, February 11, 2013

StopNDAA NYC 2-6-2013-861

Image by pameladrew212 via Flickr

As I head west on Chambers Street toward the Court House I hear a huge roar followed by loud chanting ricocheting off the stone walls of the buildings and I’m elated. This is amazing, I think. There must be hundreds of people protesting the NDAA outside 40 Centre Street. But then I realize the protest is the transit workers’ school bus strike, now in its third week. I stop to take a few photos and give them a thumbs up before continuing along my route.

By the time I reach 40 Centre Street I’ve already missed Hedges, Ellsberg, Drake, Chomsky and the other notables who’ve already entered the Court House. What I find are 25 or so activists milling around and a huge group of photographers standing in a line on the opposite side of the sidewalk watching the proceedings along with several police cars and officers. So much for my dream of a large people’s presence protesting Obama’s signing the NDAA into law on December 31, 2011 as unsuspecting Americans sipped champagne and sang “Auld Lang Syne.” Perhaps Obama figured no one would notice — and most people didn’t — but Chris Hedges did and he filed a lawsuit against Obama and Panetta.

Whenever I mention the NDAA most people give me a quizzical look and ask, “What’s that?” To which I give them the ‘in a nutshell’ answer. The NDAA stands for the National Defense Authorization Act, which has provisions for the government to use the US military against US citizens and can throw us into prison without due process until the end of hostilities, which in our case of permanent war means forever! They then look at me and ask, “Are you making this up?” To which I reply, “Google it.” Let’s be honest: who could make this up? Well, besides some member of the SS.

This is why plaintiffs and supporters in the Hedges v. Obama lawsuit are challenging the controversial indefinite detention provision set forth in Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA and were back in court on February 6th. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, referred to as the Magnificent 7, or Freedom 7, are Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, NDAA Case Coordinator and founder of Revolution Truth Tangerine Bolen, author Noam Chomsky, Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, Occupy London activist Kai Wargalla and journalist and activist Alexa O’Brien. Bruce Afran & Carl Mayer serve as counsel for the plaintiffs.

Back in May US District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled Section 1021 of the NDAA was unconstitutional. Her ruling returned us to the country we were before Obama signed this act into law. Meaning the government cannot strip a US citizen of due process or use the military to arrest US citizens and hold them in a military prison indefinitely. Judge Forrest then granted a permanent injunction on the NDAA provision, which was appealed the next day by the Obama White House. The 2nd Circuit Court of appeals then placed Section 1021 of the NDAA back into effect.

Hedges describes the NDAA as, “The final battle between the restoration of due process and the imposition of a military state.”

They seek to subjugate us all.” Chris Hedges

The only thing more craven then Obama signing the NDAA into law is the total lack of any coverage by the corporate media, which has proven itself to be nothing more than the propaganda arm of the corporate state. There were no cameras from NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX or CNN in front of the courthouse. The reporters were from Democracy Now!, RT, WBAI and various other independent media outlets. But worse still is the complete denial on the part of the American public that anything out of the ordinary is going on. The willful ignorance of Americans’ is astounding to me. We’ve become a nation of zombies.

Obama is a brand, and I believe he was put into office to do what no Republican could ever get away with. He’s the kinder gentler face of corporate empire. Here we have a president who’s much worse than Bush in so many ways. Obama’s extended the wars, created new wars, extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, gave additional bail out money to the banks, allowed the health insurance industry to write the healthcare bill, extended the Patriot Act, escalated drone attacks (6 times as many as Bush) and prosecuted twice as many whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act of 1917 as all other presidents combined. Obama has assassinated three US citizens without due process and now wants to carry this draconian power out at home, and to that end signed the NDAA into law and amazingly still finds time to ruminate over his ‘kill list’ on ‘Terror Tuesdays.’

Under his watch not one member of the Bush Administration has been held accountable for leading us into wars built on false evidence and lies; not one banker’s been held accountable for the fraud and corruption that brought down the global economy. Obama is every corporatist’s wet dream.

Is the American public willfully ignorant or just ignorant? Or as a friend of mine told me when we were arguing over Mr. O and his policies. “Well, I don’t want to know. I’m happy with my little life and if I know I’ll just be depressed.” Perhaps that’s the same logic the Germans used as Hitler came to power and began systematically stripping away civil liberties and silencing all descent. I used to wonder how the Germans could remain silent with all that transpired, but now see it happening here in the US, and I’m truly amazed and pissed off by our complicity in this corruption.

Glenn Ford refers to Obama as the “more effective evil” and I have to agree with his assessment. I mean give me a break. Don’t listen to what Obama says. Talk is cheap. Look at his actions. It’s not that difficult. Obama’s completely charmed and neutered the African American community. And the hypocritical liberals are so full of crap. They’re a bunch of crybabies who under Bush raised holy hell and now under Obama remain silent sycophants to his reign of terror. These so-called liberals are enabling cowards. Defending their murderer in chief at every turn. The lily-livered, hypocritical liberals lay prostate and impotent at Obama’s feet pleading to be stomped on. They beg for their enslavement. Jesus, are they truly that deaf, dumb and blind?

The corporate takeover of our government and the erosion of our civil liberties continue, and if it’s allowed to continue unabated then we are truly done for. We will be a full-blown corporate police state with no rights and no jobs. We’ll be a penal colony. A third world country filled with serfs and warlords. Hedges affirms, “All these laws are being put through by design.”

The sooner Americans figure out there’s no two-party system, the better. There is only one party and that, my friends, is a corporate party that serves the 1% and the corporations. Our government has been taken over by corporate forces that have no loyalty to any nation, but only to profit and they will exploit all humanity and the planet until both collapse. Because, like Chris Hedges says, “The only word they know is, “More!”

But here’s the rub: we live on a finite planet with finite resources. As corporate forces continue to rape and pillage mother earth we’ll all be fighting for scraps. The so-called elites and the 1% believe their money will save them, and for a time it probably will. But rest assured when there’s no clean water or clean air, and the planet’s completely radioactive from all the nuclear spills, and the oceans are polluted by the oil spills, and only used as a dumping ground for plastic and chemical wastes then no amount of money will save these greedy bastards. They’re going down just like the rest of us. The only difference is they’ll be shocked, as they believe their own hype.

But alas, we have to keep bearing witness to these atrocities even when nobody else does. It’s no time to get discouraged because my dream is one-day the 100th monkey will figure out what’s really going on and then we’ll all be washing our coconuts. Until then one must keep the faith, keep showing up, standing up and speaking truth to power.

On my way home I again pass by the transit workers and this time stop to listen to their grievances. They get it. Our 29 billion dollar mayor is trying to break their union. I encourage them, “Don’t let them do it. Stay strong.”

Throughout history all totalitarian regimes have eventually turned on their own citizens. The violence always comes home to roost but like Gandhi said,

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.”

Chris Hedges: NDAA Update 2.7.13. [7th video]


Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the HBO film, “Too Big To Fail.” Her articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, RSN, OpEdNews & Progressive Activists Voice. She is currently writing a screenplay. Read Ms. Dalton’s new ebook, Is It Fascism Yet?

From the archives:

The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State by Chris Hedges

The American Manifest Destiny by Clive Hambidge

Chris Hedges: NDAA: This Is The Final Battle Between The Restoration Of Due Process and The Imposition Of A Military State (updated)

Chris Hedges: NDAA: All These Laws Are Being Put Through By Design

Daniel Ellsberg: NDAA Indefinite Detention Provision is Part of Systematic Assault on Constitution + Kill List Exposed

Chris Hedges: They Seek To Subjugate Us All

Chris Hedges: NDAA: All These Laws Are Being Put Through By Design

Go Back To Sleep America At Your Own Peril by Jill Dalton

Is Obama the Trojan Horse, A Psychopath, A Bad Boyfriend or all Three? by Jill Dalton

49 thoughts on “NDAA: Hedges v. Obama: Did The Bill of Rights Die Today? by Jill Dalton

  1. Pingback: The USA: The Human Rights and Civil Rights Hypocrite by Paul Street – Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Hedges: They Seek To Subjugate Us All – Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Establishing Dictatorships: Lessons from History by Steven Jonas | Dandelion Salad

  4. Pingback: Chris Hedges: The Democratic Party Would Be a Far-Right Party in Europe | Dandelion Salad

  5. Pingback: Tangerine Bolen: #StopNDAA Lawsuit Update + Alexa O’Brien: Mainstream Still Silent on #NDAA | Dandelion Salad

  6. Pingback: Chris Hedges: Obama Has Carried On All the Policies of Bush in Terms of Imperial War and Worse on Civil Liberties (#NDAA) | Dandelion Salad

  7. Pingback: Jill Dalton: NDAA, The Kill List, A Corporate-Military-Complex-Mafia. Yes, It Is Fascism! « Dandelion Salad

  8. Pingback: Civil Disobedience: The Only “Weapon” We Have Remaining? By Camillo “Mac” Bica (#NDAA) « Dandelion Salad

  9. I wanted to post an update as I heard from Tangerine Bolen, one of the plaintiffs in the case, yesterday.

    “Hey Jill, I think I left you a message on your article. Nice piece. Had one correction, which ought to make you feel better – we had 3 overflowing courtrooms last week. Main room had 64 people, overflow had 150 packed in, and there was a third, not sure how many it held yet, but it was packed as well. There were lines of people trying to get in to court, and just a few who gave up and just stayed outside. By our counts there were probably 350 there that day, so, not too shabby.” Tangerine Bolen

  10. Pingback: President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address + transcript (2.12.13) « Dandelion Salad

  11. Please take the 15 minutes to watch this video report from The Corbett Report and pass it on to others, post it to your respective websites and blogs, and discuss it amongst yourselves and your memberships.

    The Corbett Report | Calling Out The Hypocritical, War-Loving Left

    Until the spokespeople for the “left-only-need-apply” antiwar groups who publicly called for impeaching the Republican Bush for the same wars of aggression, rendition, torture, and other crimes committed by Obama over the past 4 years (VFP’s leadership, CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin, World Can’t Wait’s Debra Sweet, Mr. Impeachment himself David Swanson, Margerie Cohn, Elizabeth Holtzman, Chris Hedges, the various black activists who called for Bush’s impeachment, etc.) actually exert all of the “resources and effort” of a few breaths of air to vibrate their vocal chords and simply publicly call for impeaching the Democrat Obama for the very same crimes, the general public will continue to see the spokespeople of the antiwar groups mentioned above … and thus the organizations as well … as partisan hypocrites and a bunch of foolish lefties acting up and/or covering their asses in whatever opposition that they might present that is short of a public call for impeachment.

    The left must apply the same standard to the Democrat of a public call for impeachment for the same crimes cited in its very public and precedent setting call for impeaching the Republican in order to take the partisanship out of the people’s remedy of impeachment. A public call for impeachment from the “left-only-need-apply” antiwar groups for the Democrat Obama takes the partisanship out of it … nowhere to pass the political football, and then wars of aggression, rendition, torture, targeted assassinations, etc. will actually have to be dealt with. But it must begin with VFP and the other “left-only-need-apply” antiwar groups and spokespeople … the ones who set the precedent in their “case for impeachment” for the Republican Bush … before others in the general public will join in.

    The spokespeople and national leadership for our own VFP and the other groups mentioned above know quite well that before members of Congress will stick their neck out with a call for impeachment they first need the political cover provided by a call for impeachment from the people … not the other way around.

    Peace everybody,

    Phil Restino
    Chapter Co-Chair, VFP Chapter 136
    Central Florida Veterans For Peace
    ph/fax: (386) 788-2918

    War Crimes are War Crimes: Prosecute Bush, Impeach Obama!

    • The silver lining, if ever there was one, is that as a result of all of this there will be more and more waking up to the complete charade of party politics and realizing that a true, honest anti-war movement will have to be built from scratch, completely outside of the two-party duopoly.
      From the Corbett Report

      The term Two Party Duopoly proves out to be one of the best. The term truly defines that the power brokers on the top of the pyramid of power have just about rigged all in their favor.

      But this is not the first time in history that such power rigging has been done, and I dare to say that this will NOT be the last time.

      So as James said “We did not resist when requested that we take off our shoes now look at what is done when boarding a plane”

      So resistance comes little by little then the trickle down effect becomes public knowledge thus many others do the same thing – after all that is what defines sovereignty we must ever demand our innate freedoms.

  12. Thanks again, clubbers10. The article has been corrected and a new revised one is now posted.

    It’s my fault as I took the article from Jill Dalton’s blog in the morning and she revised it since that time and I didn’t go back to her blog as I didn’t know it was changed.

  13. Pingback: Chris Hedges, Michael Moore on Challenging NDAA Indefinite Detention and the “Corporate Coup d’etat” « Dandelion Salad

  14. Pingback: The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State by Chris Hedges « Dandelion Salad

  15. There is only one way to stop the NDAA — the left and the right that oppose it must get together and sound off TOGETHER in a broad based coalition . this has to be a grass roots organized thing . there are alot of right wingers who hate this thing , along with the leftys .

    it matters not if we disagree on everything else . on this we must unite . crossing the left/right divide is what will get the countrys attention …enough to say ”what is this NDAA ?” –and the country will make it clear to its elected representatives to bury this despotic legislation.

      • Horse sense! Could be the greatest thing to come out of all this. Who knows, if there was real common ground, you might have the seed-bed for a more wholesome third way. I wish you all best luck.

        • Thanks, David. It’s not going to be easy, but it is one of our only hopes left. See Hedges’ latest article:

          “Democrat or Republican. Occupy activist or libertarian. Socialist or tea party stalwart. It does not matter. This is not a partisan fight. Once the state seizes this unchecked power, it will inevitably create a secret, lawless world of indiscriminate violence, terror and gulags.”


        • Who is the bad guy and who is the good bad guy?

          And what could be the intent of putting these burs under our saddles. As a cynical skeptic I must think and chew on things for a while before I think I can see the Why’s.

          What is the next scar in the scare planned for us? We must agree that these things have taken years to go through the stinking Think Tanks before being placed on a time frame to be put in action. Again we must agree these sorry speech-writing thugs thieves of men’s minds have more in the sadistic undercurrent than what we are seeing now.

          So what could be next —- maybe it is the unknown that controls our minds and if allowed sets us back from being as effective as we could and should be.

          I have more on my working plate than I can chew on at this time, and I seldom get off the track that I have set in motion, I have an entire industry to take to task and that is underway at this time. But without a doubt in my quite times I try to reflect on what the old thugs have planned for us in the slimy undercurrent they have created.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. Many conservatives are against the NDAA and are much more vocal about our civil liberties been stripped away. A united front is always better. Label are just that — labels.

  16. Pingback: The American Manifest Destiny by Clive Hambidge « Dandelion Salad

  17. Greatly appreciate the supplemental posting of ‘The Armor of God’: it very substantially expands the readers’ comprehension of the scope, meaning, special significance of Dr. King’s reference to this passage!

  18. Pingback: Thomas Drake: Corporations and the US Government–It’s An Unholy Alliance « Dandelion Salad

  19. One does not have to be a Bible scholar, or even ‘religious’ (Nazi’s had their ‘German Christians – called ‘stormtroopers of Jesus’ – led by Rev. Joachim Hossenfelder) to find it worthwhile in these days to remember MLK’s reference on many occasions to guidance in Eph 6 -12 thru 18:- “For we wrestle not against flesh & blood, but principalities, powers & rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take on the whole armor of God…” etc. It begins with Unity, & bottomline seems to be an accurate take on corporate-government!

  20. Of course, impeachment might snag a star spangled serpentine head, but it will not dissolve its corporate Hydra, the earthly demon of our culture’s manufacture.

    I believe deprivation torments people into an artificially induced craven hunger for symbolic luxuries; but in particular it is our culturally contrived consumer appetites in the West, that animate and perpetuate these spectral instrumentalist processes, that are slave engines controlled by a centralized cybernetic logic, heavily invested in by war-dependent industrial interests.

    We need to rethink and redesign our ethical “design philosophy” completely; together with our socially agreed interpretations of security, of political health and supremacy; in fact all our wealth-values and concepts of “success.”

    The machine products of coordinated extraction, manufacture and distribution should benefit “planetary” life itself, metabolically, holistically and spiritually; rather than undermining our free-fall into well-being by the profit-driven deployment of ever more proliferating artifacts of ecocidal and genocidal “growth.”

    That means re-inventing our models of governmental jurisprudence and social organization, that anticipate emergent biosphere contexts; prioritizing indigenous protocols and empirical sciences, that will restore and enhance an increased understanding of our inter-species relations…and, that may, eventually, even extend to (inter-)galactic planes, presently beyond our conceptual cosmic understanding.

    • David you raised several points that I would like to defend.

      You stated that the west is into making war, and that our economy sinks or swim because of that. And that again we in the west depends on that bogus economy to fuel our needs for things we don’t need but want, because our minds have been so taking over by propaganda power bosses.

      I believe you are right on by those assessments but because of those things being done to the majority of those in the west, now those prolific agendas are sinking very fast. WHY, the last big push for people to spend their money came when cell phones and all the other associated not-needed electronic gadgets got a severe foothold.

      Some call it the information age — I do not agree.

      I am an inventor, so I go in my mind cave and set for hours at a time puzzled how to solve another problem. Not so for many today they have their mind caves where they go to avoid being a human. And to that end yes we are a craven diabolical bunch of misfits that need constant fixes to keep our sense raised to the highest pitch on the semi- humanoid scale.

      And if that is the truth then we in west are on a path of self-destruction — with no one to get the blame but the one staring back at us in the mirror.

  21. REPLY to the heading

    The Bill of Rights is written in the hearts of free men and women

    We need to do nothing more than work the work of exercising our freedom. When we submit to mind control the worst of the worst things to come along in the last 100 years or more, then we claim we are powerless by our inactions. I know many where I live that are my age a few some older and some vets that come home from our recent wars and many that have worked for the USA government on the border patrol ICE and many others agencies that are still here today, and what I have found that many speak with tongue in check afraid that some big boss in the sky is listening in.


    So thinking back to my big extended family most are dead now, I set and stare trying to get a fix on how these folks got the idea that the big boss is listening in.

  22. What we need is a global movement to oust the 1% and confiscate their wealth to be used in reparations, job creation, food, sanitation, water systems, and all kinds of programs that will make life better for people on this planet. And it needs to start in the U.S.

    Martin Luther King gave us the key to social change, demonstrations and protest, coupled with economic boycott. It helps to have charismatic leaders who give great speeches and apply their spirituality to their communities. We need dreams and vision, not cynicism and surrender.

    We need to fight for our future, for the future that we want for ourselves, for all the people in the world, for the planet, and for the generations to come. Women must step up their involvement in their communities and raise their voices. Only this will bring in the element that’s missing, which will bring balance and sanity to our society again, leading to harmony and peace.

    The place to start is with teach-ins at universities. Let’s start planning now for Labor Day 2013, a work stoppage all across the nation for a week to flex our muscles as the common people DO have power. We can stop our passive complicity and come together to make demands. It is possible.

    This monstrous government is doing a psych job on Americans. We need to stop them and recognize the evil that they are doing, not only to us, but to many people in other countries. Resistance is effective, large numbers engaged in resistance can be massively effective.

  23. Oh my gosh! She has written exactly how I feel. If America never reads anything else about Obama and government they should read this. How could America have known about NDAA if no news source is going to report it? I am thankful that there are people with ethics that are trying to do things for the greater good.

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