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A letter to my family and friends about the NDAA and me.


avatar.jpgDear friends and family,

I am reassured to know that you have my back, and that you have done everything to prevent the US Government from threatening to detain me indefinitely without charge for my work as a journalist and citizen.

I am not one for cultivating an exaggerated sense of self-importance. I think it takes more character and courage to live in reality. Anybody who knows me personally, knows that if this can happen to me, it can and will happen to you or someone you know.

Since January 2011, I have covered the WikiLeaks release of US State Department Cables, JTF memoranda known as the 'GTMO files', and revolutions across Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, and Yemen, as well as the legal proceedings against Manning and the US investigation into WikiLeaks. I have interviewed a preeminent US foreign policy expert on the Cambodia cables, and published hours of interviews with former GTMO guards, detainees, defense lawyers, and human rights activists, as well as WikiLeaks media partners: Andy Worthington, a GTMO historian and author, and Atanas Tchobanov, the Balkanleaks' spokesman and co-editor of

Why do I do this work? Because it moves me deeply. Because I am compelled to learn and to understand. The positive results of some of my work also grants me a sense of common purpose in service to my fellow man/woman.

When the US Government said in Federal Court that they would not guarantee that I would not be indefinitely detained without charge under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act FY2012 for articles I had written on the 'War on Terror', you set aside partisanship. You realized that what is as stake is more than an election. What was at stake is the safety of your friend, your daughter, a fellow citizen or journalist, as well as this nation and people across the globe. The NDAA, after all, was passed with bi-partisan support, and signed into law by President Obama.

Court: These people have real things they are saying. These are not speculative or hypotheticals. These are people who have actually written articles that we have here. [The Court then held up the articles written by O'Brien and marked as Court Ex. 3.] We are trying to figure out, are these articles going to subject Ms. O'Brien to risk under § 1021? . . . .

Government: Again, I'm not authorized to make specific representations regarding specific people. I'm saying that 'associated forces' cannot extend to groups that are not armed groups at all.

Court: So we don't know about the articles, it depends?

Government: Maybe they are an armed group.

Judge Forrest wrote:

"O'Brien has written a series of articles already--some of which relate to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or "associated forces" no matter how defined. The Government was unwilling to state at the hearing that O'Brien would not be detained under § 1021 for her expressive conduct in regard to those articles. Moreover, O'Brien testified that she has withheld at least two articles from publication because of her concerns regarding the potential for her expressive conduct in those articles to render her a "covered person" under §1021 and thereby subject her to military detention."

Section 1021 of the NDAA FY2012 allows for the indefinite detention without charges or trial of anyone, including American citizens, who are deemed by the US Government to be terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. The institutions of civil society - the press and civic square - are now what our military terms an information environment in a global theater of war. The 'War on Terror', our military says, is fought with intelligence and information. And, the US Government has already detained journalists at Guantanamo Bay under the AUMF seeking to gain intelligence on media organizations. The President has already played a personal role in the imprisonment of a journalist covering the US 'War on Terror' in Yemen.

When Government contractors falsely linked a group, which I helped found - whose only purpose is to support campaign finance reform in the United States - to Al Qaeda, you were outraged.

When I was sent messages by a Government contractor saying that I was now associated with Al Qaeda and so called 'cyber-terrorists', you spoke out.

When emails revealed that other private security contractors with ties to the US Government were "specifically asked to connect" the group that I helped found "to any Saudi or other fundamentalist Islamic movements," you took action.

When US Department of Homeland Security bulletins declared in error that a group that I helped found was linked to so called 'cyber-terrorists', you contacted your representative and presidential candidate and expressed that their support of Section 1021 of the NDAA FY2012 had the consequence of your lack of support for their candidacy.

I am especially grateful to those individuals, including a fellow journalist, who warned me privately that there were other unpublished US Government documents and that US Government agents were focusing their sights on me. They cautioned me to take special care. They understood the consequences for me.

[UPDATE: Subsequent to the publication of this letter, additional FBI documents were released in a FOIA request.]

Citizenship is a public office, but who among us can risk engaging in the body politic authentically, when we have families to provide for? Who can risk publishing about the workings of Government, our alliances, and wars when you might end up in my position?

No matter what your party affiliation, Section 1021 of the NDAA FY 2012 violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the US constitution, the principles that safeguard the independence of our republic and any real freedom or lasting security for our citizens and all peoples.

If this could happen to someone like me, it can and will happen to someone like you or someone you know. None of us can afford that risk. Do something now.

Best regards,

Alexa O'Brien



Thank you for putting yourself on the line by covering these important stories and for standing for all of us in the courts. You are inspiring!

Obama's "hope" poster needs updating:

im not old enough to know real fascism first hand, but my grandparents are. they lived through the nazi occupation in europe and they have recounted many stories to me on the subject. no one realizes how close we are to see that same sort of fascism take hold in america. but as the days go by, and as stories like this one come to surface. surely, we must know that without corrective action. each one of us will be a prisoner in our own country. on the bright side, you're obviously having an impact if they are coming after you under the pretense of ndaa. hopefully your story garnishes some national attention because this sort of thing just shouldn't be occurring in our country. best of wishes to you and yours!

Thank you for your courageous work.

If you can use this to help stay free, feel free:

THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT ("The City of New Orleans"—Steve Goodman)

Passage of the National Defense Act
Authorizes State authority.
Ninety-three to seven in the Senate,
And it passed the House with two-thirds majority.
If you think it won't refer t' you,
Sections ten-thirty-one and -thirty-two
Say we all can be held forever without trial.
Ignoring posse comitatus
Means where they've wanted us, they've got us,
And the standards for "terrorist" have grown too wide for denial.

Rest in peace, America, they killed you—
Untimely at two hundred thirty-five.
With the Passage of the National Defense Act,
The Bill of Rights that defined you can't sta-ay alive.

Now we can't say we didn't see this coming:
The government's done as it's pleased for years,
Despite town halls, and letters, and petitions,
And taxes, statutes, blood, sweat, toil, and tears.
When "public servant" means your master—
You're headed for disaster.
When justice is unequally applied;
When they don't obey the laws they make;
You're forced to give, but they just take—
Then there's no real law that you're obligated to abide.

Rest in peace, America, they killed you—
Untimely at two hundred thirty-five.
With the Passage of the National Defense Act,
The Bill of Rights that defined you can't sta-ay alive.

We CAN defy the National Defense Act,
If we start now, take some risks, and organize;
Disrupt the lives of those who'd do that to us,
Using guts and guile and the element of surprise—
Or knuckle under to their threats,
Burn with what-ifs and regrets,
Cling to what little you have left to lose.
Get smart, get real, get up, get tough
Or all they'll leave you, soon enough
Is the "disappearing freedom of the red-white-and-blue" blues.

Restore America to freedom!
We've got the spirit—it's ours to revive.
Put your faith in people, not in politicians,
And the love of Lady Liberty may yet survive.

COPYRIGHT D 2011 by Sam A. Robrin. Creative Commons, blah, blah, woof, woof.


Thank you for your courage. Your determination to expose the NDAA for the needlessly oppressive legislation it is is a fine example to us all. If it was really necessary to have legislation like this we would have seen it emerge in 2001-2002 under the regime of GW Bush and his odious team. How did we manage for a whole decade and after the needless lynching of Osama bin Laden still the War on Terror continues to be reinvented and intensified?

The truth is, of course, that this law is completely superfluous and irrelevant. It is intended to have a chilling effect on the free expression of genuine journalism - and it is happening. Nothing will make thinking people want to watch the substandard infotainment of the US corporate media.

All this is being done by a so-called liberal Democrat President with degrees in Constitutional Law in readiness for a descent into the darkest and most sinister reaches of whatever Mitt Romney and his associates can imagine. We should not forget that Romney's wealth includes funds invested by the families behind El Salvador death squads. This is a man without scruple. President Obama has not protected the US Constitution as he pledged, but has delivered us all into a downward spiral of oppression.

Fortunately, by accident of birth I am not a US citizen. But I am a citizen of two obedient acolyte nations that do the bidding of the US whatever level of aggression and war-making the US chooses. Around the world you will find those of us who are with you as seekers of an authentic narrative.

Do not give way.

Willy Bach

Usually I don't read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.


You have my support. In late August a complaint was submitted to a federal grand jury regarding the unconstitutional NDAA/ & "Obama Kill List." (Remember Nixon/Watergate.... it was the federal grand jury that took down "All the President's Men."

I was intimately involved in preparing the August complaint.

It is fundamentally important that if you need further protection that you friend me on facebook (Kelly Z. Mordecai).

The book I wrote "The Hidden 4th Branch" is about the power of the grand jury. To 1st require an indictment to incarcerate you. (5th Amendment), Then if a government agent commits a crime against a citizen, that a complaint can go to a federal grand jury for indicting the oppressor. There is U.S. Supreme Court case law supporting this + 8 centuries of history. See 18 USC sec. 3332.

You are in my prayers,

Kelly Z. Mordecai - Author, "The Hidden 4th Branch"

How many countries can you count that have more freedom than the US:

Thank you Alexa! You have been doing some great work and I will share this widely.

Thank you Alexa,

This Soviet Style Totalitarianism in the USA today is not an accident... It is our shared reality!!! But this, is in fact the current Orwellian reality we all live in today. Anything and everything that you see, hear or read on Corporate Media TV, Radio, Print & internet ~ ABC,CBS,NBC,CNN,FOX, MSNBC,CNBC, BBC, PBS & NPR has been twisted, modified and, sanitized. So that the populations views and perceptions of the world around all of us ~ are all based on fabrications and, disinformation...

Our Media and our Government are both financed, owned and controlled by these same corrupt corporate industrialist entities. These people controlling these entities are by definition "Fascists"! Fascists who have corrupted our Government Officials and who have taken over our Media in order to fill the citizens ears with "distortions & lies". These fascists have bribed our Judges and Politicians into committing acts of corruption and double-talk and delays, and stalling tactics…

They have Corrupted or Elections and destroyed our democratic process. They have militarized our Police against the population. These acts have been committed in order to continue to allow criminal corporate industrialists to continue their pillage and plunder of the world around us .


What we are seeing today, is a war waged against the truth... A War targeted against the Citizens and the majority of the Population by the minority of the population.

This corruption is unacceptable... history has shown us.... That All fascists all felt they were all invincible!!! But as history has also shown us clearly.... That in the end... all Fascists met a very similar abrupt and violent fate...

We are the voice of the voiceless... the eyes and ears of virtue ~ we are the tiny spark of light and truth in a world filled with lies. We alone direct the light that exposes corruption in a tunnel of darkness....

It is all about the truth and doing what is right for all people... History will plot our course.


its all about the perception of the individual. we all know that people are terrible to each other, but to keep the flow of negative energy flowing is only instigating that which is a huge part of the man made life we have created for ourselves as a whole...its depressing. change comes from within

I am sorry for you but you cannot question current actions taken by the US, as they are preventing an all out war in the US in case the dollar(petrodollar) crashed, of course the media like fox and cnn do false reports to support the gvmnt. You as an American should also fully support current actions taken to preserve your world domination in consumption and military. 2000 when Sadam Hussein decided to sell oil in another currency (euro) your country's leader's and financial institutes went berserk in panic at that point a plan was made to secure the petrodollar in 7 country's in 5 day's. Everything happening from that day until now is the consequence of the effort to preserve the petrodollar and you US citizen an easy life where you consume 25% of the world's whole resources while you only make up a little of the whole world population.

7 country's in 5 years pardon

The USA has made war somewhere in the world every year since 1776. Sixty percent of its federal budget is earmarked military expenditure. Its prison population is largely male, non-white: more than 1/2 its states disenfranchise a person forever if s/he has ever done hard time.

In 1985, according to a UN report, with 17% of the world's land mass, it was consuming 75% (not 25%) of the world's resources. I don't recall this year's figure, but the fact is that it thinks it is entitled to oil - no matter the cost in human lives and/or the well-being of the global ecosystem.


On the issue of right and wrong, some recognize it, others stand by it and yet others actually live by it. It is a matter of conscience and personal integrity which is the igniting factor as to which way we deal with the issue - and how far we will venture in.

I don't need to fill a page with words which all mean the same thing - I sense and feel the agony of wrestling with a monolith which has veered so far off critical center into the deep end of darkness as to become robotic in its behavior, seemingly forgetting it's initial mandate.

I'm with you in mind and spirit - and I have empathy for the pain. Bless you.


Thank you for your courage and commitment, Alexa!

Keep up the good work!

Feel free to check out my NDAA protest song:

David Porteous

Thank you for your courage. We need more Americans to LOVE America, and not love all of the STUFF that America claims that will make us happy. There is no better happiness than having your freedoms and liberties.

if its alright with you, i may just perform this version... well done!

Dearest Alexa,

Thank you for your courage. I will be meeting with Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR) next week to discuss this issue. I will be posting the video of the interview on my website. I am praying for you.


I did do something, like I always few listen though.
Now you do something.

The justice system of the United States has been transformed into a State Crime Organization. jz
Invalid Electronic Record Systems of the State and Federal US Courts –
Enablers of Human Rights Abuse and the Financial Crisis - paper submitted
for peer-review in an international law and technology conference

Conditions, which have been established in the state and federal courts in
the United States transformed the courts into State Crime Organizations,
are serious violation of fundamental Human Rights of the People of the
United States, and are central to the current socio-economic crisis.

Abstract— Recent peer-reviewed papers, detailed the invalidity and lack of
integrity in the design and operation of the electronic record systems of
the California and federal courts in the United States, primarily from
system perspective. According to experts, today fraud in the state and
federal courts is at unprecedented levels. The current report presents
records from a series of cases, conducted under the electronic record
systems, currently implemented in a) the Superior Court of California,
County of Los Angeles (LASC) - Sustain, and b) the US courts - PACER and
CM/ECF. The cases document the propagation of simulated (mock) electronic
legal public records by the courts to deprive the liberty and property of
individuals with no due process of law. Other cases document conduct of
simulated litigation and the publication of simulated court judgments on
matters of high national public policy significance. In no case, where a
court was noticed of the simulated nature of the proceedings and the
records, up to the Supreme Court of the United States, did a court cease
such conduct, or correct its false electronic public records. Such conduct
is enabled through undermined authority and integrity of the offices of
the clerks of the courts in the aftermath of implementation of the
electronic record systems in the courts. Such conditions are serious
violation of fundamental Human Rights of the People of the United States,
and are central to the current socio-economic crisis. In civilized
societies, where separation of the powers of the branches of government is
established by law, and where no court is permitted to enact its own rules
of operation, no court should be permitted to institute its own electronic
record system.

Keywords-Information Systems;e-government; e-court; State of California;
United States; Sustain; PACER; CM/ECF; e-Fraud; e-Law; Human Rights

Joseph Zernik, PhD
[email protected]
sent from "1984", Iceland-based Internet Service Provider.
Human Rights Alert (NGO)


Thank you for your work, which is vital to American "democracy" (if it can be recovered).

I am deeply angered that US Justice Department and other "security apparatus" representatives, and contractors and subcontractors, are making mafia-like threats to you, and by extension, to anyone who dares to speak up and research the reality of "WikiLeaks" and the immoral detention and prosecution of Bradley Manning.

As someone who has researched and written in this area, in an academic context, I can say that I wish you the best.

Do not fear these fascist thugs, "the Emperor has no clothes" despite all the surveillance gear, and TrapWires, and the Utah "Data Center".

Time to cut the wires, and smash the cameras (metaphorically speaking of course ;-).

Dr. Christian William Erickson, Ph.D.

This is a video that the Morristown Teaparty had me do. I teamed
up with one of the members and put this together.
GRASS ROOTS!!! at it's finest.

Prayer and action is all I can do, which is what leads me to YOU.

If George Washington and his men could cross an ice filled
river, during a Nor'easter on Christmas Morning.
With many of his soldiers not even having shoes on their feet,
marching 9 miles in the snow, to win a deciding battle that
helped lead to the winning of the American Revolution.

If the men and woman who have died throughout our history having
paid the highest sacrifice for freedom.
On the beaches of normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan.
The least we can do as American's, who enjoy the safety and
freedoms everyday, is to go and vote and get as many as we can
to also do the same.

Continue to Pray and intercede for the Nation.

Send this video everywhere!!!

Jamie Rodgerson