All over America, county sheriffs are standing up and promising to protect their citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. They are pledging that, not only will they not participate in any federal gun ban, but that they will aggressively oppose any federal agencies that attempt to confiscate the semi-automatic rifles from the people of their counties. Many are even saying that they will arrest any federal agent who attempts to confiscate guns in their counties–any federal law requiring it notwithstanding. To see a sample list of the hundreds of sheriffs who are boldly putting themselves on the front lines of protecting the Second Amendment, go to:


Now, it is time for pastors to take a stand!

Let me ask readers a question. Those of you who listen to TV and radio pastors, how many have you heard mention even one time the current effort underway in Washington, D.C., to outlaw semi-automatic rifles? How many? One? Two? How many? I dare say that the vast majority of preachers across America have not said one word about it from their pulpits. Not one word!

When the epitaph is written on the tombstone of America, it will read, “Here lies the United States of America: killed by the apathy and indifference of its pastors and churches.”

Think about it: what did the pastors and churches do in 1962 and 1963 when prayer and Bible reading were expelled from America’s public schools? The vast majority did nothing. What did the pastors and churches do in 1973 when abortion-on-demand was legalized in this country? The vast majority did nothing. What did the pastors and churches do in 2001 and forward when the federal government began turning America into a giant police state? The vast majority did, and continues to do, nothing.

Now here we are in 2013, and the primary attack against the liberties of the American people is the banning and confiscation of our primary defense weapon: the semi-automatic rifle. And what are the pastors and churches doing? The vast majority are doing nothing. They are like Sergeant Schultz of the old Hogan’s Heroes TV sitcom: “I hear nothing! I see nothing!”

At this point, the words of the father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, are in order. He said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

In the early 60s, the battlefield was prayer and Bible reading in school. Pastors and church abandoned the battlefield, and the enemy took the field. In the early 70s, abortion-on-demand was the battlefield. Pastors and churches abandoned the battlefield, and the enemy took the field. In the early 2000s, the creation of a police state was the battlefield (which is still raging), and the vast majority of pastors and churches are nowhere to be found. Now, the enemies of liberty are threatening to make outlaws out of millions of God-fearing, law-abiding citizens who believe in the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This is the point today where “the devil and the world are at the moment attacking.” And once again, most pastors and churches are abandoning the battlefield.

Pastor, please help us!

If every pastor who, in his heart, believes in the right to keep and bear arms would publically from the pulpit denounce Barack Obama and Dianne Feinstein’s attempted gun ban plan, it is almost certain that the politicians at both the State and federal levels would hear the message loud and clear. With apologies to Edmund Burke, the only way evil can triumph is when Christian people–especially pastors–do nothing.

Instead of being courageous prophets, as God’s men are commissioned to be, so many of them–especially the nationally renowned ones–are busy providing cover for the would-be tyrants in Washington, D.C. Case in point: during a pre-inauguration service for President Obama, nationally-renowned pastor Andy Stanley (son of the famous Charles Stanley) delivered a 12-minute address. During his “sermon,” he called Obama “America’s Pastor-in-Chief.”

Barack Obama is a man who believes in killing innocent unborn babies (How many babies have been murdered in the wombs of their mothers since Obama was first elected back in 2008?); he is a man who, on his own personal orders, has killed nearly 200 children in drone missile attacks (at least two of the children who were killed were Americans). No consent of Congress was ever given. On his word alone, Barack Obama has used drone missiles to kill many times more children than Adam Lanza killed at Sandy Hook.

See Judge Andrew Napolitano’s column on this subject at:

Guns And The President

Barack Obama is also the man who is in the process of attempting to take away the American people’s right to keep and bear arms and make us slaves of the state. And still, Andy Stanley has the audacity to call Obama “America’s Pastor-in-Chief.”

With all due respect, Andy, your statement borders on blasphemy!

Pray tell, how is this different from the way the spineless prophets of Old Testament Israel groveled before their wicked kings? And listen to what God inspired His true prophet, Isaiah, to say to these conniving cowards:

“This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because he despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant. And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.” (Isaiah 30: 9, 10, 12-14 KJV)

The famed Bible commentator, Albert Barnes, said the following regarding this passage: “The republic of Israel would be completely ruined, so that there should not be found a man of any description who could aid them.

“The prophecy was fulfilled in the invasion of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; it had a more signal and awful fulfillment in its destruction by the Romans.”

But the church has repeated the apostasy of ancient Israel numerous times. Over and over again, pathetic pastors have groveled before wicked rulers. In his book, Hitler’s Cross, Erwin Lutzer quotes a German pastor by the name of Julius Leutherser saying the following regarding Adolf Hitler: “Christ has come to us through Hitler. [T]hrough his honesty, his faith and his idealism, the Redeemer found us.”

And now in 2013, Pastor Andy Stanley calls a man who has the blood of hundreds and thousands of innocents on his hands, “America’s Pastor-in-Chief.” Gag!

But where are the rest of America’s pastors? Will they allow their congregants to be turned into criminals by these would-be tyrants in Washington, D.C., who want to disarm them in the face of their enemies? President Barack Obama and his family have 24-hour armed protection, and he even wants that protection for the rest of his life. Senator Dianne Feinstein has armed protection. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has armed protection. But these same people want to strip you and me of the ability to protect and defend ourselves. And most pastors are content to say nothing?

Pastor, please help us!

I am issuing a clarion call to all pastors, regardless of denomination or theological persuasion, to stand in their pulpits and publicly denounce Obama’s gun ban plan and implore their congregations to NOT surrender their semi-automatic rifles LAW OR NO LAW. I am asking America’s pastors to join the hundreds of courageous sheriffs across the country who are vowing to refuse to participate with any gun ban. Pastor, will you join these sheriffs in protecting the Second Amendment liberties of the American people?

Accordingly, I have set up a web page where pastors are able to sign themselves up and go on record (as these sheriffs have done) as vowing to publicly repudiate Obama’s gun ban and to publicly implore their congregations to refuse to surrender their semi-automatic rifles.


I am providing the link below where pastors can follow the example of these brave sheriffs and go on record as being willing to oppose the unconstitutional banning of semi-automatic rifles. It is my prayer that there will be multiplied hundreds (even thousands) of patriotic, God-fearing, courageous pastors across America who will take a stand–and take it now!

Here is the link where pastors can join the list with their fellow patriot-preachers who are taking a stand for the Second Amendment and the liberties of their people:


Furthermore, I invite the men and women who attend church to make sure that your pastor knows about the webpage above and to be sure to encourage him to take his stand.

We lost the prayer and Bible reading battle in the early 60s; we lost the abortion battle in the early 70s; we are losing the police state battle of the 2000s; we simply cannot lose the battle to keep and bear arms without signing the death warrant of our country. And we cannot win this battle without the help of America’s pastors.

Ted Cruz Letter To Gun Makers, Their Banks, And Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

ON January 29, 2013 freshman US Senator Ted Cruz wrote the letter below regarding an earlier letter that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanue sentl to the Bank of America trying to intimidate them to not do business with Smith and Wesston and other gun manufactures. We wonder where our Senior Senator was…


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Official Lies

Let’s expose presidential prevarication. Earlier this year, President Barack Obama warned that Social Security checks will be delayed if Congress fails to increase the government’s borrowing authority by raising the debt ceiling. However, there’s an issue with this warning. According to the 2012 Social Security trustees report, assets in Social Security’s trust funds totaled $2.7 trillion, and Social Security expenditures totaled $773 billion. Therefore, regardless of what Congress does about the debt limit, Social Security recipients are guaranteed their checks. Just take the money from the $2.7 trillion assets held in trust.

Which is the lie, Social Security checks must be delayed if the debt ceiling is not raised or there’s $2.7 trillion in the Social Security trust funds? The fact of the matter is that they are both lies. The Social Security trust funds contain nothing more than IOUs, bonds that have absolutely no market value. In other words, they are worthless bookkeeping entries. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, meaning that the taxes paid by today’s workers are immediately sent out as payment to today’s retirees. Social Security is just another federal program funded out of general revenues.

If the congressional Republicans had one ounce of brains, they could easily thwart the president and his leftist allies’ attempt to frighten older Americans about not receiving their Social Security checks and thwart their attempt to frighten other Americans by saying “we are not a deadbeat nation” and suggesting the possibility of default if the debt ceiling is not raised. In 2012, monthly federal tax revenue was about $200 billion. Monthly Social Security expenditures were about $65 billion per month, and the monthly interest payment on our $16 trillion national debt was about $30 billion. The House could simply enact a bill prioritizing how federal tax revenues will be spent. It could mandate that Social Security recipients and interest payments on the national debt be the first priorities and then send the measure to the Senate and the president for concurrence.
It might not be a matter of brains as to why the Republican House wouldn’t enact such a measure; it likes spending just as the Democrats.

I believe our nation is rapidly approaching our last chance to do something about runaway government before we face the type of economic turmoil seen in Greece and other European nations. Tax revenue has remained constant for the past 50 years, averaging about 18 percent of gross domestic product. During that interval, federal spending has risen from less than 20 percent to more than 25 percent of GDP. What accounts for this growth in federal spending? The liberals like to blame national defense, but in 1962, national defense expenditures were 50 percent of the federal budget; today they are 19 percent. What accounts for most federal spending is the set of programs euphemistically called entitlements. In 1962, entitlement spending was 31 percent of the federal budget; today it is 62 percent. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security alone take up 44 percent of the federal budget, and worse than that, it’s those expenditures that are the most rapidly growing spending areas.

Our federal debt and deficits are unsustainable and are driven by programs under which Congress takes the earnings of one American to give to another, or entitlements. How long can Congress take in $200 billion in revenue per month and spend $360 billion per month? That means roughly 40 cents of every federal dollar spent has to be borrowed. The undeniable fact of business is that a greater number of people are living off government welfare programs than are paying taxes. That’s what’s driving Europe’s economic problems, and it’s what’s driving ours. The true tragedy is that just to acknowledge that fact is political suicide, as presidential contender Mitt Romney found out. We can’t blame politicians. It’s the American people who will crucify a politician who even talks about cutting their favorite handout.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

“Marxism in America” by Lt. Gen. (Ret.) W.G. Boykin

In this video General Boykin discusses his background and training in understanding Marxist insurgencies and how current government actions parallel Marxist tactics.


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Foreboding Warnings from Forgotten Inaugurals

The 20th Amendment changed the date of Presidential Inaugurations to JANUARY 20th. Prior to 1933, March 4th was Inauguration Day.



“I too well understand the dangerous temptations…

Limited as are the powers which have been granted, still enough have been granted to constitute a despotism if concentrated in one of the departments….particularly…the Executive branch…

The tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when exercised by a single individual…would terminate in virtual monarchy…

As long as the love of power is a dominant passion of the human bosom, and as long as the understanding of men can be warped and their affections changed by operations upon their passions and prejudices,

so long will the liberties of a people depend on their constant attention to its preservation…

The tendencies of all such governments in their decline is to monarchy, and the antagonist principle to liberty there is the spirit of faction –

a spirit which assumes the character and in times of great excitement imposes itself upon the people as the genuine spirit of freedom,

and, like the false christs whose coming was foretold by the Savior, seeks to, and were it possible would, impose upon the true and most faithful disciples of liberty.

It is in periods like this that it behooves the people to be most watchful of those to whom they have intrusted power.”


“It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty.

Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.

The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin.”


“The dangers of a concentration of all power in the General government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded.

You have a right…to expect your agents in every department to regard strictly the limits imposed upon them by the Constitution…

Liberty rests upon a proper distribution of power between the State and Federal authorities.”


“The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made…

the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of the eminent tribunal.”


“If we fail, the cause of free self-government throughout the world will rock to its foundations…therefore our responsibility is heavy, to ourselves…and to the generations yet unborn.”


“The same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe – The belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”


“Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain.”


“As long as our Government…secures to us the rights of person and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending.”


“We have no promise from God that our greatness will endure…

If we fail now, we shall have forgotten…that the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored.”


“As was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the Judgments of the Lord are true and righteous.’”


“The best institution may be abused by human depravity;

and that they may even, in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes.

Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the supineness or venality of their constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity:

it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable…

that no wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” & Presidents – Inspiring Faith from Leaders of the Past

APRIL 30, 1789,

“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

MARCH 4, 1805,

“I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old.”

Liberalism Versus Blacks

There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?

San Francisco is a classic example of a city unexcelled in its liberalism. But the black population of San Francisco today is less than half of what it was back in 1970, even though the city’s total population has grown.

Severe restrictions on building housing in San Francisco have driven rents and home prices so high that blacks and other people with low or moderate incomes have been driven out of the city. The same thing has happened in a number of other California communities dominated by liberals.

Liberals try to show their concern for the poor by raising the level of minimum wage laws. Yet they show no interest in hard evidence that minimum wage laws create disastrous levels of unemployment among young blacks in this country, as such laws created high unemployment rates among young people in general in European countries.

The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state. Most black children grew up in homes with two parents during all that time but most grow up with only one parent today.

Liberals have pushed affirmative action, supposedly for the benefit of blacks and other minorities. But two recent factual studies show that affirmative action in college admissions has led to black students with every qualification for success being artificially turned into failures by being mismatched with colleges for the sake of racial body count.

The two most recent books that show this with hard facts are “Mismatch” by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., and “Wounds That Will Not Heal” by Russell K. Nieli. My own book “Affirmative Action Around the World” shows the same thing with different evidence.

In all these cases, and many others, liberals take positions that make them look good and feel good — and show very little interest in the actual consequences for others, even when liberal policies are leaving havoc in their wake.

The current liberal crusade for more so-called “gun control” laws is more of the same.

Factual studies over the years, both in the United States and in other countries, repeatedly show that “gun control” laws do not in fact reduce crimes committed with guns.

Cities with some of the tightest gun control laws in the nation have murder rates far above the national average. In the middle of the 20th century, New York had far more restrictive gun control laws than London, but London had far less gun crime. Yet gun crimes in London skyrocketed after severe gun control laws were imposed over the next several decades.

Although gun control is not usually considered a racial issue, a wholly disproportionate number of Americans killed by guns are black. But here, as elsewhere, liberals’ devotion to their ideology greatly exceeds their concern about what actually happens to flesh and blood human beings as a result of their ideology.

One of the most polarizing and counterproductive liberal crusades of the 20th century has been the decades-long busing crusade to send black children to predominantly white schools. The idea behind this goes back to the pronouncement by Chief Justice Earl Warren that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Yet within walking distance of the Supreme Court where this pronouncement was made was an all-black high school that had scored higher than two-thirds of the city’s white high schools taking the same test — way back in 1899! But who cares about facts, when you are on a liberal crusade that makes you feel morally superior?

To challenge government-imposed racial segregation and discrimination is one thing. But to claim that blacks get a better education if they sit next to whites in school is something very different. And it is something that goes counter to the facts.

Many liberal ideas about race sound plausible, and it is understandable that these ideas might have been attractive 50 years ago. What is not understandable is how so many liberals can blindly ignore 50 years of evidence to the contrary since then.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

House Speaker Boehner Votes for Obama’s Marxism

Mostly with Democratic votes, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday voted for what the Obama Administration said was “the most progressive income tax code in decades.” It was Karl Marx who called for a “heavy progressive or graduated income tax” system in order to redistribute the wealth and establish a socialist state.


The bill was brought to the floor by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who voted for it, without a spending cut amendment. Hesays he will seek “entitlement reform and pro-growth tax reform” sometime later this year.


The vote in favor of passage of the tax increase bill was 257-167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in the affirmative. A total of 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats voted against.


The liberal media will scoff at the idea that the House voted for Marxism. But a classic John Chamberlain article in The Freeman notes that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, in the Communist Manifesto, had advocated a heavy progressive tax as a means of despoiling the “bourgeoisie” and “softening middle class society up for the dictatorship of the proletariat.” Marx understood how class envy and jealousy could serve as the basis for the seizure and maintenance of political power.


Scottish economist Ramsay McCulloch said in 1845: “The moment you abandon . . . the cardinal principle of exacting from all individuals the same proportion of their income or their property, you are at sea without rudder or compass and there is no amount of injustice or folly you may not commit.”


That principle is tax equity. As noted by Chamberlain, “a rich man would pay more taxes than a poor man, naturally. But every dollar of assessed property value, or of income, or of spending, would be taxed in equal amount, at flat percentage rates. Dollars would be treated equally, no matter who owned them, or spent them. Thus the citizens would be accorded the ‘equal protection of the laws’ — and their ‘privileges and immunities’ would be equal, as provided for in the United States Constitution. Any other way of treating taxation was regarded as discriminatory, or as putting penalties on ability, ambition, and success.”


Obama and his administration understand precisely what they have achieved and, more importantly, what they forced 85 House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, to accept. An Obama administration “fact sheet” declared, “for the first time in 20 years, Congress will have acted on a bipartisan basis to vote for significant new revenue.” The left-leaning Politico trumpets the news: “GOP anti-tax policy goes over the cliff.”


Not only do we now have “the most progressive income tax code in decades,” but the bill that is now law does not include an extension of the payroll tax “holiday.”  This means about $1,000 a year for an average worker.


In a story headlined, “Bigger Tax Bite for Most Under Fiscal Pact,” the New York Times  confirms that about 77 percent of households would pay a larger share of income to the federal government this year, and that the legislation is expected to reduce economic growth by as much as 1 percent in the first quarter of 2013.


Zubi Diamond, author of Wizards of Wall Street, tells AIM, “If you are unemployed, or behind in your mortgage, or struggling to pay your bills, or your home is underwater, this is not going to change your situation for the better. If anything, it will make it worse.”


Diamond, a successful businessman and stock market investor and trader, came from Africa to the U.S. to seek the American dream. He says Obama’s attacks on the capitalist system are succeeding because people do not realize that Obama’s allies in the hedge fund industry were behind the economic collapse in 2008 that led to his election and that they continue to rig and “loot” the system.


“The perceived unfairness or imperfection associated with capitalism in America today is because of the parasitic anti-capitalist hedge fund short sellers on Wall Street, who are members of the Managed Funds Association,” he argues. “They hide in the body of our capitalist society, and suck the life and liquidity out of our economy by fraud and manipulation.”


Diamond predicts a “double dip” recession that he sees as part of a strategy “to cut America down to size, in order to achieve a global balance of power” that will diminish America’s economic and military clout.


Some experts, however, think that more printing of money by the Federal Reserve will keep the appearance of an economic recovery going.


Christopher T. Mahoney, who retired from Moody’s in 2007 after 30 years on Wall Street, expects to see the Dow around 15,000 by next Christmas. He says the Fed’s balance sheet should grow by $1 trillion next year, a 36% increase over where it is now.


In his “Capitalism and Freedom” blog, he says, “The money supply (M2) has grown by almost $3 trillion since the crash, for a total growth of 40%. Since the crash, nominal GDP has grown from $14 trillion to $16 trillion, an increase of 14%. The Fed’s plan is that by growing the monetary base by about a third in 2013, nominal growth will accelerate to a level that would allow unemployment to decline from its current 7.8% to a targeted 6.5%.”


For his part, Obama said the legislation which passed the Senate and then the House “enshrines, I think, a principle into law that will remain in place as long as I am President: The deficit needs to be reduced in a way that’s balanced. Everyone pays their fair share. Everyone does their part. That’s how our economy works best. That’s how we grow.”


Commonly accepted definitions of “enshrine” include “to enclose in or as if in a shrine” and “to cherish as sacred.”


Neil Munro of the conservative Daily Caller wrote an article interpreting these remarks to mean that Obama will demand another tax increase for 2013. But Obama did not say how much more “heavy” or “graduated” the progressive income tax should be.

In France, where they have an explicitly socialist government, a proposed 75 percent income tax rate on the rich was struck down as “a breach of equality of taxes” and ruled to be unconstitutional.

By Cliff Kincaid

Rutherford Institute Challenges NDAA’s Indefinite Detention Provision. Calls on Second Circuit to Protect Americans from Habeas Corpus Violations

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Hedges v. Obama, a case which challenges the indefinite detention of Americans by the armed forces under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA).

In challenging the NDAA’s indefinite detention provision as a violation of Americans’ habeas corpus rights, Rutherford Institute attorneys are asking the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm a lower court decision which found the NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions to be unconstitutionally vague. The lawsuit was filed in January 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York by journalists and activists who are concerned that, under the NDAA’s provisions, they may be subject to indefinite detention for various constitutionally protected activities such as interviewing alleged terrorists or working to put an end to wars in countries viewed by the U.S. as harboring terrorists. The plaintiffs represented in the lawsuit include former New York Times war correspondent Christopher Hedges, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and writer Noam Chomsky, among others.

“As Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges rightly observed, the appellate court is all that separates us and a state that is no different than any other military dictatorship,” said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. “The NDAA is a threat to anybody causing trouble, and in our world today, anyone exercising their rights is more often than not seen as a troublemaker. This should be a cause of concern for anyone exercising their First Amendment rights, especially.”

President Obama signed the mammoth defense bill, NDAA 2012, into law on December 31, 2011, followed a year later by NDAA 2013. Adopted by Congress in late 2011, the NDAA contains a provision allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens by the armed forces. By its own terms, the NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of any person whom the government deems to be a part of or to have “substantially supported” al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces.” However, because these terms are not defined in the statute, they are open to wide-ranging interpretations, including interpretations which could threaten those engaging in legitimate First Amendment activities.

One group of writers, academics, journalists, and activists, including former New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and writer Noam Chomsky, is challenging any attempt by the government to use the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA to limit constitutionally protected activity. For example, it is conceivable that those protesting American foreign policy, or those who interview suspected terrorists for journalistic purposes, may be considered in violation of the NDAA.

As Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize winner, explained, “I, as a foreign correspondent, had had direct contact with 17 organizations that are on [the US government’s list of terrorist organizations], from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah to the PKK, and there’s no provision within that particular section [of the NDAA] to exempt journalists.”

On September 12, 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District Court of New York ruled in favor of Hedges, placing a permanent injunction on the indefinite detention provision. That ruling has since been overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals pending its assessment of the provision’s constitutionality.

In filing an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Hedges et. al., Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the NDAA provision represents an extreme violation of the First Amendment and that the indefinite detention of any American citizen, regardless of his or her alleged crime, is a direct violation of the constitutional right of habeas corpus, the right to have one’s case reviewed in a court of law so as to avoid unlawful detention.

Click Here to read The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Hedges v. Obama

Founded in 1982 by constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.