Tuesday, February 19, 2013 • 2:27 PM Comments (9)

Someone who's actually fighting tyranny: Chris Hedges

posted by James Heflin

Chris Hedges, like Chris Hitchens, can be a bit of a self-aggrandizing mule. Still and all, he's doing a fine thing for the lot of us, clueless and clued-in alike, by suing President Obama over Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Saith Hedges:

The section permits the military to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, who “substantially support”—an undefined legal term—al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces,” again a term that is legally undefined. Those detained can be imprisoned indefinitely by the military and denied due process until “the end of hostilities.” In an age of permanent war this is probably a lifetime. Anyone detained under the NDAA can be sent, according to Section (c)(4), to any “foreign country or entity.” This is, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.

Hedges is, rightly, personally and particularly concerned about the status of journalists like him who talk to and write about some pretty unsavory characters. When the legal definitions are mushy--and they are certainly that in the NDAA--it doesn't take much to imagine that a journalist covering terrorists could get defined as lending "support" to their cause. And there they go, carted off to be extraordinarily rendered. Bit problematic in a democracy.

Here comes the melodramatic pen-flourish section from Hedges:

...the global corporatists—who have created a new species of totalitarianism—demand, during our decay, total power to extract the last vestiges of profit from a degraded ecosystem and disempowered citizenry. The looming dystopia is visible in the skies of blighted postindustrial cities such as Flint, Mich., where drones circle like mechanical vultures. And in an era where the executive branch can draw up secret kill lists that include U.S. citizens, it would be naive to believe these domestic drones will remain unarmed.

Probably true, but talk about style overshadowing substance!

Most interesting aspect of Hedges' suit is that it was successful (so far). The Obama administration appealed it. Stay tuned for an important, and probably under-heralded, saga with this one.

And, in keeping with recent posts, it bears repeating: this is how we're forced to fight tyranny in the contemporary world--boring lawsuits, the written word, and politics.

Gun ownership is the Maginot Line of tyranny prevention.


Q: Are we not men?

A: We are our ilk.

Comments (9)
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Somebody should tell the North Koreans to sue the dear leader for freedom. Why didn't the United States just sue Britain to avoid the Revolutionary War??

But in all seriousness, let me get this straight.... our gov't has twisted the legal system to suit their needs and your answer is to fight them with the legal system already under their control? [...]

If that approach was logical, guns would never have been invented. [...]

Ironically, healthy first amendment rights are only possible with strong second amendment rights. Guns secured your right to say silly things and guns continue to allow you to do so. You really need to come to peace with that.

Posted by k on 2.19.13 at 16:51

I think it was NRA officer Wayne LaPierre who recently defended Second Amendment rights as a hedge against a tyrannical government thusly:

"It's quite easy to imagine scenarios in which the government's framework for ordering the killing of Americans, even Americans who they claim have aligned themselves with enemies, produces mistakes. And that's not even getting into the potential to abuse such vaguely defined terms for this or a future administration. Government by "trust us" is not what democracy's about."

Well put, sir. Well said.

Posted by Ironic no? on 2.19.13 at 19:38

JH - Half of your blog titles contain a form of ad hominem jab so it's hypocritical to ask something different from commenters. FYI

I would explain how a gun can "change this" but the framers of our consitution did a fine job in the second amendment.

Posted by k on 2.20.13 at 6:38

JH - Do you acknowledge that part of the intent of the second amendment was to protect against gov't tyranny?

Posted by k on 2.20.13 at 6:51

What I'd like you to admit is that you do not support the second amendment as written. It's OK ... just be honest. Do you acknowledge that one of the primary reasons for the second amendment was to prevent tyranny by our own government? You clearly do not. Because if you did - based on your assertion that we currently have nowhere near the firepower to resist our gov't - you would have to argue for semi-automatic and other efficient weapons to be owned by citizens.

You and your ilk continually say you support the 2nd amendment but you in fact do not.

Posted by k on 2.20.13 at 9:27

JH - Does that mean you don't believe the second amendment was meant as a safeguard against government tyranny?

Posted by k on 2.20.13 at 14:57

"Just as I support the French right to defend the Maginot Line while Germany invades through Belgium."

It's funny you mention this because your position is about as wise. Past mass shootings were done with "assault" weapons so you wish to ban them. Will you be confused when a mass shooting is done with some combination of hand guns and shot guns?

Speaking of strawmen though, no one said we can't both pursue liberty through the legal system while also reserving a healthy second amendment.

Still waiting to hear if you support the second amendment as written, which covers protection from tyranny.

Posted by k on 2.20.13 at 15:29

K, chill out, please.

First of all, nobody's going to water down 2A rights. Even Harry Reid is afraid to bring up legislation because it will hurt Red-state Democrats. This is all a big show of moral vanity and self-regard. Congress will pass some nonsense law and declare victory.

Don't try to get Heflin to answer your questions. Waste of time.

Posted by C. Heston on 2.20.13 at 17:52
N.Y. bill would force gun owners to buy at least $1M in insurance


Sen. Feinstein rolls out gun ban measure


This one is just funny. Good ole Joe. Point being... doesn't think anyone should have a semi-automatic weapon.

Joe Biden's Shotgun Advice Could Land Jill Biden in Jail


The point is they are trying very hard and history tells us that the erosion of these rights happens in very small increments over time (best intentions not withstanding). And back to my point, JH and his ilk don't support the second amendment.

Posted by k on 2.21.13 at 6:39



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