Apr 2, 2014

Time for Obama to Acclaim Rights over Militarism

Someone close to me traveled to Poland in 1979 and her most enduring memory is the papers of legitimacy that Poland demanded each foreigner carry at all times, under threat of immediate arrest.

In a classical liberal democracy organized upon human rights, the proper response to a militaristic demand for papers is: Fuck off.

But human rights and Poland were never close, and one can state the United States is happily skipping down the same road.

I mention the experience of one American a few decades past the totalitarian, anti-Semitic hell of 1940s Poland because the United States does not require even a demand for papers to "arrest U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and indefinitely detain them," as Chris Hedges notes in his widely ignored, must-read piece on the federal case,  Hedges, Chomsky, Ellsberg, O’Brien, Bolen, Jonsdottir and Wargalla v. Obama.

Notes Hedges: "The lawsuit, Hedges v. Obama, challenges Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It was signed into law the last day of 2011" as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

'The administration’s unstated goal appears to be to get court to agree that [the administration] has the authority to use the military to detain U.S. citizens,' Bruce Afran, one of two attorneys handling the case, said when I spoke with him Sunday. 'It appears to be asking the court to go against nearly 150 years of repeated decisions in which the court has refused to give the military such power. No court in U.S. history has ever recognized the right of the government to use the military to detain citizens. It would be very easy for the government to state in the brief that citizens and permanent residents are not within the scope of this law. But once again, it will not do this. It says the opposite. It argues that the activities of the plaintiffs do not fall within the scope of the law, but it clearly is reserving for itself the right to use the statute to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely.'"

What's up with this, Mr, President? Will you defend this nonsensical position in a public address?

I ask, in part because I maintain that many Americans would have a serious problem with this totalitarian position, redolent of Poland, 1940s. On a more uplifting note, check out today's The Dimming Prospects for Human Survival by Noam Chomsky.

No comments:

Post a Comment