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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:00 AM

Noam Chomsky: Obama's Attack on Civil Liberties Has Gone Way Beyond Imagination

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/noam-chomsky-obamas-attack-civil-liberties-has-gone-way-beyond-imagination



Mike Stivers: Anyone following issues of civil liberties under Obama knows that his administration's policies have been disastrous. The signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which effectively legalizes indefinite detention of US citizens, the prosecution of more whistleblowers than any previous president, the refusal to close Guantanamo, and the adoption of ruthless positions in trials such as Hedges vs. Obama and Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project don't even encapsulate the full extent of the flagrant violations of civil, political and constitutional rights. One basic question that a lot of people seem to be asking is, why? What's the rationale?

Noam Chomsky: That's a very interesting question. I personally never expected anything of Obama, and wrote about it before the 2008 primaries. I thought it was smoke and mirrors. The one thing that did surprise me is his attack on civil liberties. They go well beyond anything I would have anticipated, and they don't seem easy to explain. In many ways the worst is what you mention, Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project. That's an Obama initiative and it's a very serious attack on civil liberties. He doesn't gain anything from it he doesn't get any political mileage out of it. In fact, most people don't even know about it, but what it does is extend the concept of "material assistance to terror" to speech.

The case in question was a law group that was giving legal advice to groups on the terrorist list, which in itself has no moral or legal justification; it's an abomination. But if you look at the way it's been used, it becomes even more abhorrent ( Nelson Mandela was on it until a couple of years ago.) And the wording of the colloquy is broad enough that it could very well mean that if, say, you meet with someone in a terrorist group and advise them to turn to nonviolent means, then that's material assistance to terrorism. I've met with people who are on the list and will continue to do so, and Obama wants to criminalize that, which is a plain attack on freedom of speech. I just don't understand why he's doing it.

The NDAA suit, of which I'm a plaintiff - it mostly codifies existing practice. While there has been some protest over the indefinite detention clause, there's one aspect of it that I'm not entirely happy with. The only protest that's being raised is in response to detention of American citizens, but I don't see why we should have the right to detain anyone without trial. The provision of the NDAA that allows for this should not be tolerated. It was banned almost eight centuries ago in the Magna Carta.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Noam Chomsky: Obama's Attack on Civil Liberties Has Gone Way Beyond Imagination (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2013 OP
KG Apr 2013 #1
ananda Apr 2013 #13
bigtree Apr 2013 #2
Civilization2 Apr 2013 #5
morningfog Apr 2013 #6
marmar Apr 2013 #3
Civilization2 Apr 2013 #4
Demo_Chris Apr 2013 #7
reformist2 Apr 2013 #8
byeya Apr 2013 #9
Logical Apr 2013 #16
n2doc Apr 2013 #10
zeeland Apr 2013 #11
jsr Apr 2013 #12
woo me with science Apr 2013 #14
smirkymonkey Apr 2013 #15

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:12 AM

1. AutoChomskyDURec

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Response to KG (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:25 AM

13. Ditto.

Thank you, Mr. Chomsky.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 06:44 AM

2. so he gets up in the morning and decides that he feels worse

. . . about everything he already knows about Obama and civil liberties.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:59 AM

5. he answers a direct question about it,.

 

are you attempting to imply he is commenting on these issues frivolously? Do you support the expansions of military/secrete-police state powers?!?

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Response to bigtree (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 08:39 AM

6. Everyday that it continues is worse.

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:54 AM

3. k/r

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:57 AM

4. The war-of-terror is the lame "justification" of so much evil,.

 

"It's the same with the drone killings. There was some protest over the Anwar Al-Awlaki killing because he was an American citizen. But what about someone who isn't an American citizen? Do we have a right to murder them if the president feels like it?"

The corporate-government war-of-terror, waged through their media, and paid for politicos, is a transparent use of fear and miss-direction to expand the police state, and grab at power and funding of useless military and police-state power while the people are told to eat austerity.

The greed of the few knows no bounds.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 09:01 AM

7. rec

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 09:03 AM

8. I'm glad Obama was re-elected, but in my opinion he's been a disappointment.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 09:37 AM

9. That sums it up for me too

 

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:33 AM

16. Same here! So disappointing! n-t

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:00 AM

10. but but...Obama has no say over what Holder does!

Holder is the most powerful man in DC, totally unbeholden to anyone!


If that excuse doesn't work, then, Hater!


Obama is free now to be the centrist Republican he has aspired to be. With a mean streak when it comes to civil liberties. His closest example seems to be GHW Bush.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:00 AM

11. K&R

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:01 AM

12. Obama has anointed the War On Terra industry as our new third rail

to replace the useless and wasteful Social Security program.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:29 AM

14. The growing surveilance state, the private prison industry, the shredding of our liberties.

Thank you, Noam Chomsky.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:31 AM

15. K&R, Thank You!

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