Sunday, May 19, 2013

is WhiteWashPost manufacturing consent (content) (again)? #NDAA

The truth must out, can someone post this exchange between Tangerine Bolen and Washington (whitehouse) post on reddit and please do share for it does indeed show like one of the plaintiffs in the NDAA case Chomsky wrote a whole book about, that manufacturing consent (content) has to stop and the only ppl that can stop it are you my friends.

Here is the exchange i was referring to: "So, I (Tangerine) emailed the Washington Post this morning about a piece written by their editorial board this week that contains two critical errors. One is this ongoing tendency in the mainstream media to conflate the AUMF and NDAA - simply functioning as the administration's mouthpiece on this front. The other is even worse - a patently false claim that the "substantial support" interpretation has been "backed by the courts". As some of you may know, "substantial support" is one of the primary terms over which we are suing - and over which we WON. The courts had not even addressed "substantial support" prior to our case - much less supported Bush's or Obama's interpretations of this rarely applied or debated term until 2012. 

I thought I would share the exchange I just had with WashPost.

Here's the piece (which actually proves our point, about the AUMF being too narrow for the government's purposes, which we believe led them to write Section 1021 of the NDAA):

Here is the email exchange:

Subject: Serious misstatement of facts regarding AUMF in Editorial Board piece

Tangerine Bolen 
10:00 AM (2 hours ago)

to martin.baron 
Mr. Baron,

I'm a plaintiff in and coordinator for a case against the federal government over the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Yesterday I caught a flagrant mistake in a piece by your editorial board regarding the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The piece is here:

This piece has two very serious errors in it. Firstly, the authors conflate the AUMF and NDAA - something that has been an unfortunately common tendency in the media, and a seriously irresponsible one. (I will explain this further in a moment). The second glaring and even more disturbing error is found here:

"The law authorizes the president to use force against “those nations, organizations, or persons” responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. The Bush and Obama administrations have been backed by the courts in interpreting that language to allow attacks on the Taliban and al-Qaeda as well as “substantial supporters” and “associated forces.”

The latter sentence is patently false Mr. Baron. "Substantial support" and "associated forces" were first challenged in court in our court case, Hedges v. Obama. (You can read about it and access all of our court documents here: I am co-plaintiffs with former NYT war correspondent Chris Hedges, Dr. Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and others. Moreover, the term "substantial support" was first introduced into the law in Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA - the provision over which we are suing. It has no prior history and certainly has not been "backed by the courts" - not by a long shot.

In fact, the federal Judge in our case, Katherine Forrest, granted us first a temporary and then a permanent injunction against Section 1021, in part due to undefined language such as "substantial support" and "associated forces". We are currently awaiting the decision of the second-circuit court in Manhattan.

Throughout our lawsuit, the federal government has tried to claim that the powers of the AUMF and the NDAA are precisely the same. They are not. And a federal judge not only agreed that they are not, she excoriated the US government for its disturbing claims in court, its lack of a defense, and its very clear assault on both the first and fifth amendments with this provision. We were awarded a "facial" ruling - the strongest ruling any judge could have given us. I'm sorry, but this is completely contrary to the claim by your editorial board.

While the US government clearly appears to need to conflate the powers of the AUMF and NDAA, the AUMF provides for far narrower powers than what has suited their purposes - and the general thrust of your editorial supports that very fact. We have every reason to believe that the AUMF has been historically interpreted as the 2012 NDAA was written - over-broadly, and perhaps illegally, given what powers Congress actually granted the President in 2001. 

This constant conflation in the media of these two laws is egregious. It is supporting the US government's attempt to retroactively legalize and "codify" powers they were never, indeed, granted. Such lack of investigative reporting or simple discernment ensures that the pillars of our mainstream media function as mere mouthpieces to power. It contravenes everything you are supposed to be doing.

Disagreements over the thrust of that editorial aside (ie, how much power and precisely what kind should the President have to go after "emerging" terror groups), our lawsuit has threatened to expose the potentially illegal application of the AUMF, possibly for a decade. Not only has this fact gone unnoticed by your paper, but now your editorial board has inadvertently supported what I would call a very deliberate and strategic conflation of laws and terms. 

This is not at all ok. Please talk to my attorneys and issue a reprint of that piece with corrections. I would be happy to put you in touch with them, and also to give you a basic rundown of the incredulous things the government has claimed throughout our case (ie, even "war correspondents" can be indefinitely detained and that only advocacy and journalism efforts that are "independent" enough will be safe. "Independent" advocacy and journalism is undefined). I joined this case and organized all of our co-plaintiffs save for Mr. Hedges due to my work with WikiLeaks, as well as my hosting panel discussions and doing interviews with people and groups my government might consider unsavory.

We need your newspaper of record to report the actual facts - not the confusion that has been perpetuated by the administration, the DOJ or others intent on conflating terms and powers. This is absolutely critical if we are to restore and preserve a functioning democratic republic while we work to ensure our national security.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon.

Tangerine Bolen
Plaintiff and Coordinator, Hedges v. Obama


Baron, Martin D
10:17 AM (2 hours ago)

to Fred, me 
I'll forward this to our editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt. I oversee our news and features coverage, and have nothing to do with editorials.


Martin Baron
Executive Editor
The Washington Post


Tangerine Bolen 
10:22 AM (2 hours ago)

to Martin 
Apologies for sending it in the wrong direction. Appreciate your forwarding it.

From: Hiatt, Fred 
Sent: Friday, May 17, 2013 2:26 PM
To: Diehl, Jackson K
Subject: Fwd: Serious misstatement of facts regarding AUMF in Editorial Board piece

Over to you. I express no opinion on whether Tangerine Bolen could be a real person. 

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Baron, Martin D"
Date: May 17, 2013, 1:17:31 PM EDT
To: Tangerine Bolen
Cc: "Hiatt, Fred"
Subject: Re: Serious misstatement of facts regarding AUMF in Editorial Board piece

Diehl, Jackson K
11:32 AM (1 hour ago)

Mr. Bolen,

Your allegation of factual errors in our editorial depends on the claim you are making in your lawsuit, which we, the Justice Department and other legal experts disagree with. In other words, what we have is a difference of opinion, not a factual error.


Jackson Diehl


Tangerine Bolen 
12:20 PM (16 minutes ago)

Mr. Diehl,

Actually, no, this is not centered on a difference of opinion here, it is regarding a very specific factual error in that piece, claiming that the Bush and Obama administrations have been "backed by the courts" in the "substantial support" standard. That is patently false. The substantial support standard comes up for the first time in Hedges v. Obama, and we won. The court did NOT, in fact, back either administration on this front. Your piece is incorrect in both an historic and substantive nature with regard to "substantial" support being argued in court.

Per the difference of opinion regarding powers of the AUMF and NDAA, it is irresponsible for your paper to report it as anything but opinion, given that this is being argued in federal court and the government lost on the first round. To make any kind of authoritative claims alluding to the AUMF and NDAA as providing the same exact powers is not only contradictory, by your own admission in that editorial, but irresponsibly false reporting.

I am surprised by your response and dismayed by the snarky forwarding email from Mr. Hiatt. Of course I am a real person. Tangerine has been my nickname for 24 years and it is the name I go by. 

On all fronts, your paper's handling of this is inadequate. Your editorial is factually incorrect in the "backed by the courts" comment, and it needs to be addressed.

Is there someone else with whom I should speak about this? 

Please let me know.


Tangerine Bolen 

Ms. Bolen,

You are welcome to submit a letter to the editor. The address is The letters editor is Michael Larabee.

I apologize for inadvertently forwarding you Mr. Hiatt’s light-hearted comment, which was not directed at you.

Jackson Diehl

To: Jackson Diehl

Thanks, I appreciate the apology. While it's easy to make fun of a nickname, we are of course dealing with very serious matters here. Neither differences of opinion nor nicknames should obscure what I am sure is a mutual desire to report things factually and see a functioning balance of constitutional rights and national security.

I appreciate your time,