Journalist, author, activist and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges returns to our program to discuss his lawsuit challenging NDAA’s detention provisions, and his new book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. We open the conversation with Hedges’ comments on the National Defense Authorization Act, which permits Americans to be held indefinitely, without trial or charge, at a military base–if they are accused of almost any connection to terrorists. As a plaintiff in the lawsuit we discussed with his attorney Carl Mayer in podcast 476, federal judge Katherine Forrest put the law on hold and rebuffed the first appeal from the Obama lawyers.
Then we turn to his powerful new book, a collaboration with illustrator/narrator (or cartoonist, if you prefer) Joe Sacco. They profile 4 of America’s “sacrifice zones”, areas that have the highest rates of poverty and social pathology in the country. We talk about Camden, New Jersey, where poverty profiteers who don’t even live there run the show; the Oglala Sioux reservation at Pine Ridge, S.D. where desperate Native Americans live in deep poverty; the ravages of mountain top mining in West Virginia, and the modern slavery imposed on Florida farmworkers. Hedges ties these communities to Occupy Wall Street and the battle against corporate power. I highly recommend the book, part of which is excerpted at Truthdig.com, where Hedges is a featured columnist.