I don’t watch Democracy Now, but this interview with Daniel Ellsberg is an eye opener.
In the interview, he says that, as an American citizen, he’s “whipsawed” by what he is doing but understands it must be done.
“On the one hand, I’m here to attend the court hearing at the circuit court…at the federal court building where I expect to see the Obama administration cover itself with shame in arguing that an American citizen can be detained indefinitely in military custody without charges, indefinitely, violating really, the core principles of law that go back to the [13th century English] Magna Carta,” he said.
“On the other hand, I was up late last night reading the 112-page document of Katherine B. Forrest, and I have to say at the end of that…the judgment granting an injunction saying that these provisions of the law that will be argued and defended by – shamefully, by the Obama administration and by three U.S. senators, who will be claiming that the detention is constitutional and legal – her argument was that it was facially unconstitutional.”
An impeachable offense
Ellsberg said after he read her detailed ruling and the government’s tortured argument attempting to justify said indefinite detention as constitutional, “I felt pride as an American.”
“I thought, this is the American citizen that I fought for as a Marine. This is a constitutional order, a rule of law, a judge, appointed by Obama, who’s willing to say that her boss was mistaken in claiming that this rule is compatible with our rule of law,” he told his interviewers.
The veteran whistleblower said Obama, like Prof. John Yoo of Berkeley, who authored memos during the Bush administration authorizing torture of some terrorist suspects, “has to be seen as either a rotten constitutional lawyer or a man who, like Yoo, believes that the Constitution simply does not bound an American prisoner in any way in an indefinite law of torture.”
“And either way, I believe we have here impeachable offenses by all of the people arguing this case, including the three senators – McCain, others – who will be arguing today on this,” Ellsberg said. “We should be looking at [John] Brennan [Obama’s nominee to head the CIA] and the other people connected with the torture program not in terms of confirmation hearings, but in terms of impeachment hearings and convictions.”
Ellsberg said the NDAA provision is merely an extension of unconstitutional government behavior stemming from the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. global war on terror.(He is exactly right there. It started with the unconstitutional Patriot Act under Bush and continues today, plus much more as Ellsberg explains)
As a law, the provision is “unprecedented, but as a practice – what we’ve seen for the last 10 years is a systematic assault on the Constitution of the United States in every aspect – in the aspects of the illegal surveillance, the warrantless surveillance, which was conducted against me 40 years ago by President Nixon and then led to his impeachment proceedings, but is now regarded as legal. That’s the way the law has changed.”