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Tue Mar 27, 2012, 01:16 AM

Chris Hedges VS HOMELAND BATTLEFIELD BILL

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/304-justice/10646-the-polite-conference-rooms-where-liberties-are-saved-and-lost


The deposition was, as these things go, conducted civilly. Afran and Mayer, the attorneys bringing the suit on my behalf, were present. I was asked detailed questions by Torrance about my interpretation of Section 1021 and Section 1022 of the NDAA. I was asked about my relationships and contacts with groups on the U.S. State Department terrorism list. I was asked about my specific conflicts with the U.S. government when I was a foreign correspondent, a period in which I reported from El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Middle East, the Balkans and other places. And I was asked how the NDAA law had impeded my work.

It is in conference rooms like this one, where attorneys speak in the arcane and formal language of legal statutes, that we lose or save our civil liberties. The 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act, the employment of the Espionage Act by the Obama White House against six suspected whistle-blowers and leakers, and the Homeland Battlefield Bill have crippled the work of investigative reporters in every major newsroom in the country. Government sources that once provided information to counter official narratives and lies have largely severed contact with the press. They are acutely aware that there is no longer any legal protection for those who dissent or who expose the crimes of state. The NDAA threw in a new and dangerous component that permits the government not only to silence journalists but imprison them and deny them due process because they "substantially supported" terrorist groups or "associated forces."

Those of us who reach out to groups opposed to the U.S. in order to explain them to the American public will not be differentiated from terrorists under this law. I know how vicious the government can be when it feels challenged by the press. I covered the wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua from 1983 to 1988. Press members who reported on the massacres and atrocities committed by the Salvadoran military, as well as atrocities committed by the U.S.-backed Contra forces in Nicaragua, were repeatedly denounced by senior officials in the Reagan administration as fellow travelers and supporters of El Salvador's Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) rebels or the leftist Sandinista government in Managua, Nicaragua.

The Reagan White House, in one example, set up an internal program to distort information and intimidate and attack those of us in the region who wrote articles that countered the official narrative. The program was called "public diplomacy." Walter Raymond Jr., a veteran CIA propagandist, ran it. The goal of the program was to manage "perceptions" about the wars in Central America among the public. That management included aggressive efforts to destroy the careers of reporters who were not compliant by branding them as communists or communist sympathizers. If the power to lock us up indefinitely without legal representation had been in the hands of Elliott Abrams or Oliver North or Raymond, he surely would have used it.

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 04:19 AM

1. Thank you for this article. I facebooked it and sent to Portland's Occupy community. nt

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 10:01 AM

2. The process is interesting and hopefully will allow this challenge to move forward, otherwise we

at D.U. and other news sites will possibly be looking at fox as the standard of news.

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Response to midnight (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 07:54 PM

5. On another scary note, viewers are stampeding away from CNN & MSNBC

to FOX and/or the internet for their "news"
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/business/media/30cnn.html

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 11:49 AM

3. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, midnight.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 11:55 AM

4. Thanks for the K&R, I'm hoping Chris Hedges gets his day in court....

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