Written by: Jill Heagerty
Chris Hedges, a well-established and accomplished journalist, is suing President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta over the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. His questioning over the legality comes from the section of the bill that allows the military the right to indefinitely detain without trial U.S. citizens suspected to be terrorists or associated with any terrorist activities.
2012’s NDAA is a major blow to the Constitution and Bill of Rights that guarantees every citizen the right to due process. Terrorism is terrifying, but so is the American government stripping away the country’s core beliefs in democracy and liberty.
According to Hedges’s blog, he believes the purpose of this bill is to “thwart internal, domestic movements that threaten the corporate state.” It is not hard to be considered as a terroristic suspect in our country, acts such as hoarding more than seven days of food, paying cash for a hotel, and trying to conceal a private text message in a public place are suspicious to the government. Mostly everyone I know is suspected of terrorist activity with that in mind. Hedges suspects that the Occupy movement will be added to this list for its treacherous behavior to question the motive behind corporations and the government, which is not a far off thought as Biden has already compared the actions of tea partiers to that of terrorists.
The government is afraid of anyone who questions its motives, so laws that hinder our rights are being put in place to keep us complacent and afraid. The NDAA of 2012 does not explicitly state what it considers necessary to hold citizens indefinitely. Could it include anyone speaking freely against public actions? Will the right of freedom of speech be considered treason if the speech is anti-government? Could freedom of the press go out the window with free speech?
Hedges’s lawsuit is the right step to protecting our rights. America invades foreign countries under the pretense of promoting peace and democracy, yet democracy is not even being promoted at home anymore. The country is on the road to a dictator form of government if this continues. Already we have seen police brutality with Occupy protestors, demoting the right to assembly. Now the right to a trial no matter what is extinguished, and it would not be shocking to see other Amendments be taken away with the guise of protecting ourselves from terrorists. If Hedges and other fighters for liberty fail, America could be the country writers such as George Orwell and Aldous Huxley only dreamed of years ago.