Listen now (19 mins) | The criminal investigation undertaken by the federal government against hundreds of participants in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol is polarizing the country and shredding civil liberties.
Sorry Chris but you lose me with this one. You should know better. I correspond with several of the 2,500,000 prisoners in this country. One just emailed me today who has been imprisoned for over 20 years since he was a teen. This criminal justice system is rotten to its core and needs fundamental changes. I'm not prepared to start with those involved on January 6 no matter how they are treated. As far as I'm concerned they go to the back of the line. I have huge respect for your work with prisoners such as described in Our Class. But our time, resources, and efforts need to focus not so much on the recent arrivals in the system but on those who have been suffering for many many years, out of sight and mind of most people.
This article is sickening. I can’t believe this is the USA. How much wrong needs to happen before all these law breakers of the justice system are put in jail?
I presume that many are reading the title and forming an immediate opinion. Hedges is not creating a defense of any of the indefensible acts, he is warning of the creative sordid misuse of American justice which will affect all Americans in the manner which 'the others' considered 'terrorists' have been illegitimately targeted. Just look at The Forest Defenders under attack from militarized police and an unjust local judiciary. This will be America writ large.
I offer a rebuke to today's interview and commentary on the subject piece by Mr. Hedges, offered up at Democracy Now! by Juan Gonzalez, who misunderstood or misrepresented points made by Chris Hedges, and proceeded to invoke a pit-bull mauling from Mehdi Hasan who begins by assuring Juan Gonzalez that he has never read the piece.
I would hope that the following may help clear the misunderstandings posed perhaps by the title and subject matter;
A Comment on the Unfounded Attack on, and Request for Apology to, Chris Hedges
Prompted by Misrepresentation by Juan Gonzalez and Delivered by Mehdi Hasan on
Democracy Now! - March 7, 2023
As a donor/subscriber to Democracy Now!, there has been little to criticize the presentation of subject matter that is usually impossible to resource in corporate “mainstream” media outlets.
Yet, today’s unfounded attack on journalist Chris Hedges by Juan Gonzalez is an unequivocal hit-job from its misrepresented introduction to its conclusion-by-mauling that is conducted by author of “Win Every Argument”, Mehdi Hasan.
This is not to be expected or condoned from producers at Democracy Now!
Hasan denied reading the Chris Hedges piece just before baring his teeth at ‘former New York Times journalist” Chris Hedges.
Indeed, one can never “loose” and argument when one invents the issues for a subject he has never read, and then conducts oneself as an angered pit bull.
Hasan lost his validity in the subject the moment he accepted the misrepresented material of Juan Gonzalez after admitting having never read the article.
Did Juan Gonzalez read beyond the title of Hedges’ piece?
One must wonder, as his lead-in to the question to interviewee Mehdi Hasan is blindly misrepresented by a nonsensical claim framing Hedges’ title, “Lynching the Deplorables”, as a subject ‘defense’ for those conducting indefensible acts on January 6, 2021.
Hedges’ article does not offer a defense on anyone’s behalf, however Hedges makes an obvious point that the use of post-911 “justice”, which has in itself terrorized various ethnic and religious identities since 911, is now directed en-masse at politicized Americans for the first time, resulting in a truly dangerous extrusion of the ‘sordid justice’ practiced in America which bears consequences in an event of election in “The Retribution” candidate Donald J Trump or any of the lurking Republican Party dictator-candidates.
One must add that the allusion to any form of legitimate journalism from a media system in total complicity to their corporate masters is a regrettable abdication of reality.
The banished journalists of the American reporting wasteland are noted in a derogatory manner as “former journalist at (name the corporate news orifice…) in a manner to convey a sense of loss of legitimacy in the source. Chris Hedges evokes more truth in one column than the New York Times is capable of publishing on any day.
Hedges is fortunate to have cut ties to the lingering zombie of what was once responsible journalism, a species of journalism which no longer exists in the United States of America, except in the cases of ostracized and defunded journalists of excellence such as Chris Hedges, who possess little fear rebuke by status-quo publishers, a sort of rebuke exhibited by Democracy Now! and its co-host, Juan Gonzalez on March 7, 2023.
I must demand an honest review of the misrepresented piece by Chris Hedges and request an apology by Democracy Now! to Mr. Chris Hedges, on behalf of those who have actually read his column, avoided impressions from his title, but understood his warning to all Americans of the dangers being constructed by creations of sordid American justice which are being misused now and very soon by the subjects of future administrations in this economically tortured and journalistically deprived Nation.
Hedges raises valid concerns about how things could backfire on liberal protestors “next time” –whenever that is. But his account reads like a defense attorney desperately trying to cast his seriously guilty defendant in a more favorable light before sentencing.
Yes, the incarceration system of our country is abusive and inhumane. Was imprisoned for 5 years by the feds for far less. My stint included a brief time spent in the hole and another time in maximum security chained up and hobbling in shackles. Yet I did nothing to resist authority at any time during or after my arrest–for simply being a marijuana grower.
In apparent truth, it’s very hard to have much sympathy for a sap like Ryan Nichols. First, he swallowed Trump’s lies. Then he aggressively acted on them.
As reported in a link Hedges provides:
“Other photos and videos show the pair standing first in front of a smashed window and then, inside the building, …
…Video shows both men on the ledge of the window, with Nichols holding a bullhorn and a crowbar.
“If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon!” Nichols can be heard yelling into the bullhorn. “This is the second revolution right here folks! … This is not a peaceful protest,” he yells.
Nichols was also caught on video spraying what appears to be pepper spray at an unknown agent guarding the Capitol building, the criminal complaint said.
The two men were recorded with other rioters chanting “Heave! Ho!” as the crowd “rocks back and forth in the direction of the entrance,” the complaint said.”
“Investigators also discovered a second Facebook page allegedly operated by Nichols. One post was a picture of a bullet and said, “By Bullet or Ballot, Restoration of the Republic is Coming.”
On Dec. 28, 2020, Nichols posted on the same Facebook page that “Pence better do the right thing, or we’re going to MAKE you do the right thing,” the criminal complaint said.”
Well, if you screw with the police the way Nichols did, then you can expect to be screwed back, especially when cops die in performance of their duties to actually protect the Constitution. Nichols was not protecting the Constitution he had once sworn to uphold when he helped storm the Capitol, or allegedly assaulted cops trying to stop him. His actions were mega-MAGA STUPID!
I also wonder if he resisted and complained once he was captive. Just try that and see how well it works. It’s sad but not surprising that he got treated that way.
If the January 6th "visitors" to the capitol were BLM and the NFAC encouraged by Barack Obama, the federal response would have looked very different. The surviving black "terrorists" would probably be languishing in Guantonimo to this very day with no legal rights.
Hi Chris I read the article last week and it was spot on. I got a copy of Harper's magazine for the article by Andrew Cockburn about Julian Assange what a scathing indictment on supposed democracy's and the medias collusion. But what I wanted to ask was the article "see no evil" on page 15 about Guantanamo Bay torture. And Ron DeSantis as a Jag lawyer and fellow torturer. He was hated by the prisoners because of his conniving weasel like way of interrogation. He would present himself as their friend and would ask about any grievances. Only to double down and increase them. He would smile and laugh at them while being tortured with his slick good looks. The prisoners hated him the most, some would direct their force fed Ensure at him when they vomited, some reserved the worst for him by spraying feces at him. Now a governor and a potential president scares the crap out of me to say the least. The question is why no MSM reporting about it? Maybe a show with Mike Prysner the author and Mansoor Adayfi the prisoner victim could be arranged?
I get the point of the article and I agree with the terrible conditions of the jails and prisons. I don't think prison should exist, except for rapists and white collar criminals. Those can rot.
I do have issue with Chris Hedges comparing what happened on January 6 to what disabled and environmentalists did in the Capitol. They didn't break windows, invaded rooms and destroyed property. They entered the Capitol by going through metal detectors and did a sit in with singing. Unless Chris wants to raise the alarm that it is a slippery slope to give harsh sentences - including not allowing bail. I agree with that because, like with everything else, people who fight for human rights and humanity get the worst of those policies. Mostly, that's what the real left does, and has always done. Similar things happened to Howard Zinn, for example
Those who are now suffering are likely entitled and disgruntled people. I don't think they deserve any punishment but they do deserve more than sympathy and a slap on the wrist (even if the system we have is so amoral). Disabled people got hurt for singing and clapping hands, some wheelchairs got broken. The people Chris describes walked out of the Capitol thinking that they accomplished something. Two very different situations.
What the system is getting is revenge and it is a symptom. It shouldn't happen. But they were not just activists trying to get attention for a cause. They were part of a mob. A destructive one.
Chris Hedges could have written about this in a much better, clear and nuanced way. The way it is written does sound like those thugs are too special, and receiving something that is not really the status quo in this country.
Important to watch Tucker Carlson's showing of the tapes of January 6th demonstration and hear
the other side of the story. Nancy Pelosi and others deliberately denied having an adequate police force for the occasion. Also certain participants who were leading in the violent entrance to the building were ignored by the investigating committee and are said to be connected to the FBI.
This is Star Chamber stuff. At this point we have lost most of the Bill of Rights and if you have a problem with that you are a racist.
The country is - effectively- gone.
The US of A did it. Iz Bezos in on the cover up story WaPo lies
Sy Hersch already broke this story…
The navy divers and the Norwegians did this
The Washington Post is running a story about Ukrainians are behind the sabotage of Nord Stream.... a bit late for this counter Intelligence cover story...
I hear, noticeably, zero about this group of people. I had no idea they were going through all this. It’s so important to know what is going on. Great essay, and I’m enjoying the narration.