The United States Congress is set to vote on legislation that authorizes the official start of World War 3.The legislation authorizes the President of the United States to take unilateral military action against all nations, organizations, and persons, both domestically and abroad, who are alleged to be currently or who have in the past supported or engaged in hostilities or who have provided aid in support of hostilities against the United States or any of its coalition allies.
The legislation removes the requirement of congressional approval for the use of military force and instead gives the President totalitarian dictatorial authority to engage in any and all military actions for an indefinite period of time.
It even gives the President the authority to launch attacks against American Citizens inside the United States with no congressional oversight whatsoever.
Just to recap, because that was a mouthful:
- Endless War – The war will continue until all hostilities are terminated, which will never happen.
- No Borders – The president will have the full authority to launch military strikes against any country, organization or person, including against U.S citizens on U.S soil.
- Unilateral Military Action – Full authority to invade any nation at any time with no congressional approval required.
- No Clearly Defined Enemy – The US can declare or allege anyone a terrorist or allege they are or have been supporting “hostilities” against the US and attack at will.
- Authorization To Invade Several Countries – The president would have full authority to invade Iran, Syria, North Korea, along with several other nations in Africa and the Middle East and even Russia and China under the legislation all of which are “know” to have supported and aided hostilities against the United States.
The America Civil Liberties Union writes:
House Dems protest GOP’s plans for permanent war against terrorNearly three dozen House Democrats are calling on Republicans to withdraw a section of the 2012 defense authorization bill that they say would effectively declare a state of permanent war against unnamed Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.
A Tuesday letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and 32 other Democrats argues that affirming continued war against terrorist forces goes too far, giving too much authority to the president without debate in Congress.
Their letter cites language in the authorization bill that incorporates the Detainee Security Act, which affirms continued armed conflict against terrorists overseas.
“By declaring a global war against nameless individuals, organizations and nations ‘associated’ with the Taliban and al Qaeda, as well as those playing a supporting role in their efforts, the Detainee Security Act would appear to grant the president near unfettered authority to initiate military action around the world without further congressional approval,” Democrats wrote. “Such authority must not be ceded to the president without careful deliberation from Congress.”
The specific language in the bill is found in section 1034 of H.R. 1540, which affirms that the U.S. is “engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces.” It also affirms that the president has the authority to detain “certain belligerents” until the armed conflict is over.
“Al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces still pose a grave threat to U.S. national security,” the bill says. “The Authorization for Use of Military Force necessarily includes the authority to address the continuing and evolving threat posed by these groups.”
The offending text (Here In The Full Text Of H.R. 1540 – section 1034) uses doublespeak to declare World War 3. Specifically, the text uses the phrase “affirms” “armed conflict” which is the terminology used by congress declare war in every war since World War 2.
New Authorization of Worldwide War Without End?Congress may soon vote on a new declaration of worldwide war without end, and without clear enemies. A “sleeper provision” deep inside defense bills pending before Congress could become the single biggest hand-over of unchecked war authority from Congress to the executive branch in modern American history.
President Obama has not sought new war authority. In fact, his administration has made clear that it believes it already has all of the authority that it needs to fight terrorism.
But Congress is considering monumental new legislation that would grant the president – and all presidents after him – sweeping new power to make war almost anywhere and everywhere. Unlike previous grants of authority for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the proposed legislation would allow a president to use military force wherever terrorism suspects are present in the world, regardless of whether there has been any harm to U.S. citizens, or any attack on the United States, or any imminent threat of an attack. The legislation is broad enough to permit a president to use military force within the United States and against American citizens. The legislation contains no expiration date, and no criteria to determine when a president’s authority to use military force would end.
Of all of the powers that the Constitution assigns to Congress, no power is more fundamental or important than the power “to declare War.” That is why, in 2002, when Congress was considering whether to authorize war in Iraq, it held fifteen hearings, and passed legislation that cited specific harms, set limits, and defined a clear objective. Now, Congress is poised to give unchecked authority to the executive branch to use military force worldwide, with profoundly negative consequences for our fundamental democratic system of checks and balances. Once Congress expands the president’s war power, it will be nearly impossible to rein it back in. The ACLU strongly opposes a wholesale turnover of war power from Congress to the president – and all of his successors.
Congress affirms that —
(1) the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad;
(2) the President has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note);
(3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who—
(A) are part of, or are substantially supporting, al‐Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or(B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A); and(4) the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority to detain belligerents, including persons described in paragraph (3), until the termination of hostilities.
A joint letter regarding the proposed legislation has been sent to congress condemning the proposed legislation.
The bill has many other shocking elements as well, such as the requirement that all arrests related to terrorism be treated as military arrests (section 4), thus circumventing the constitution. Furthermore, legislation introduce under the McCain bill would make it illegal for military prisoners in US overseas torture prisons to be returned to US Facilities.
The undersigned organizations strongly oppose the new Declaration of War, which is in Section 1034 of the Chairman’s mark for the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”). We urge you to oppose the provision and any other similar new Declaration of War or new Authorization for Use of Military Force (“AUMF”) in the NDAA.
All Members of the House Committee on Armed Services
American Civil Liberties Union
Appeal for Justice
Brave New Foundation
Center for Constitutional Rights
Defending Dissent Foundation
High Road for Human Rights
Human Rights First
International Justice Network
Just Foreign Policy
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Muslim Public Affairs Council
New Security Action
Pax Christi USA
Physicians for Human Rights
Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
Win Without War
May 9th, 2010
Oppose Section 1034 and Any Similar New Declaration of War or New Authorization for Use of Military Force in the National Defense Authorization Act
While we have written separately, and met with many of you and your military legislative assistants, on our concerns with other provisions of the Chairman’s mark, we are writing on this new Declaration of War specifically because it is a provision that has received almost no review, despite its likely tremendous effect on almost every facet of United States national security policy. At minimum, Congress should hold hearings andfollow regular order before even considering such sweeping legislation.
This monumental legislation–with a large-scale and practically irrevocable delegation of war power from Congress to the President–could commit the United States to a worldwide war without clear enemies, without any geographical boundaries (the use of military force within the United States could be permitted), and without any boundary relating to time or specific objective to be achieved. Unlike the AUMF that authorized the Afghanistan War and the pursuit of Osama bin Laden, the proposed new Declaration of War does not cite any specific harm, such as the 9/11 attacks, or specific threat of harm to the United States. It appears to be stating that the United States is at war wherever terrorism suspects reside, regardless of whether there is any danger to the United States.
Under the guise of a “reaffirmation” of authority, Section 1034 of the Chairman’s mark for the NDAA would give the President unchecked authority–and if the section constitutes a declared “war,”1 possibly the unchecked duty2 –to use military force worldwide against or within any country in which terrorism suspects reside. The proposed new Declaration of War would be without precedent in the scope of war authority or duties transferred by Congress to the President:
To be clear, President Obama has not sought enactment of the proposed new Declaration of War. To the contrary, his Administration has made clear its position that it believes it already has all of the authority that it needs to fight terrorism. But if the proposed new Declaration of War becomes law, President Obama and all of his successors, until and unless a future Congress and future President repeal it, will have the sweeping new power to make war almost anywhere and everywhere.
- The President would be able to use this authority–or might be required to use this authority–regardless of whether there has been any harm to United States citizens, or any attack on the United States or any imminent threat of any attack. There is not even any requirement of any threat whatsoever to the national security of the United States.
- There is no geographical limitation–the new Declaration of War has no specification of countries against which military force could be used, and no specification of countries where U.S. armed forces could be deployed with or without the permission of the host country. Military force could even be used within the United States and against American citizens.
- There is no specific objective for the new Declaration of War, which means that there is no clear criteria after which the President’s authority to use military force would expire. Although the proposed new Declaration of War lists “al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces” as the “threat,” there is no definition for any of these entities, which historically have been amorphous, with shifting names, memberships, and organizational relationships.
- If Congress broadly turns over to the President the power that Article I of the Constitution provides to Congress to declare war, it very likely will never get the power back. The broad terms of the proposed new Declaration of War could last for decades.
- Whether Congress realizes it or not, the proposed new Declaration of War would authorize the President to use the United States military against countries such as Somalia, Iran, or Yemen, or send the American military into any of the scores of countries where suspected terrorists reside, which include not only nearly all Middle East, African, and Asian countries, but also European countries and Canada–and of course, the United States itself. Under the expansive terms used for organizations in the proposed new Declaration of War, targets could include suspects having no connection to the 9/11 attacks or to any other specific harm or threat to the United States. The President would have the power to go to war almost anywhere, at any time, and based on the presence of suspects who do not have to pose any threat to the national security of the United States.
- If Section 1034 of the Chairman’s mark for the NDAA constitutes a declaration of war–which Congress has not declared since 1942–the declaration would trigger various exemptions from federal statutes and even broader authority for the President to control more aspects of both government and private businesses. The March 17, 2011 report from the Congressional Research Service, “Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications,” lists all of the statutory provisions, ranging from exemptions from budgetary limitations to new government claims over oil and mineral resources, that are triggered by a declaration of war.
- Of course, if Congress believes that there is a significant new threat to the national security of the United States that requires significant military force as a response, it can declare war or enact a new AUMF, but Congress should, at minimum, follow what it did in 2002 with the AUMF for the Iraq War, where it held fifteen hearings on the proposed war and passed an AUMF that cited specific harms, set limits, and defined a clear objective that, if met, would effectively terminate the AUMF. A specific declaration of war or a specific AUMF would better preserve the system of checks and balances and make an endless, worldwide war less likely.
Of all of the powers that Article I of the Constitution assigns to Congress, no power is more fundamental or important than the power “to declare War.” We urge you to use this power carefully, and to oppose this wholesale turnover of war power, without any checks–and without even holding a single hearing. Thank you for your attention to this issue, and we would be pleased to meet with you or your staff to discuss our concerns further.
1 The most critical sentence of section 1034 of the Chairman’s mark for the NDAA is “Congress affirms that the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad.” If “affirms” is replaced with the synonym “declares” and “armed conflict” is replaced with the synonym “war,” the result is “Congress declares that the United States is in a war with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces . . . “, which is very similar to the declaration of war clauses of the eleven declarations of war made by Congress, from the War of 1812 through World War II. Since 1942, Congress has passed several authorizations for use of military force, but has not made any declarations of war.
2 Although the question of whether a declaration of war imposes a duty on the President to carry out the war has only rarely come up in court decisions, at least one federal court, in comparing the legal consequences of a declaration of war with an authorization for use of military force, stated, “If war existed why empower the President to apprehend foreign enemies? War itself placed that duty upon him as a necessary and inherent incident of military command.” Gray v. United States, 21 Ct. Cl. 340, 373 (1886) (emphasis added).
Indeed, the moment we all feared has come before us as the Congress meddles giving the President absolute power over the military, including the authority to launch military strikes within the United States against U.S. Citizens. With the assassination of Osama Bin Laden on Pakistan soil many of were naïve in believing that the War on Terror would come to an end.
Instead, the reported success of the raid is being used as a crutch to push through new legislation in the defense bills up for vote before congress which literally authorize World War 3, which will be declared as an endless war with no defined enemies and no borders. Short of committing genocide the termination of the hostilities will never come and as such the war will never come to end.
We have already learned that officials falsified reports that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq for the “prize” of oil. If a whole government of top officials can not be trusted then surely a single president cannot be trusted either.
We have seen the U.S Government turn Nazi and buy and burn every copy of a book that had evidence of a 9/11 coverup. The Department of Justice has already published a memo calling constitutionalists and survivalist as potential terrorists.
Is it not bad enough that the U.S courts have already legalized the abduction of U.S Citizens along with their indefinite detention and torture in overseas prison camps? Or that the U.S Government openly admits to gunning down, kidnapping and torturing American college students?
Under the definition of the legislation, the President could authorize the military to attack the ACLU building because they have supported the “terrorists” by arguing for their civil rights.
It will not be long before they are assassinating activists. The have already labeled conspiracy theories as “dangerous thoughts that could lead to violence” and have even specifically called The Intel Hub, which routinely publishes my articles, as an echo chamber pushing out these “dangerous thoughts that could lead to violence”.
Uncle Sam openly admits to turning its multi-billion dollar espionage network against U.S Citizens which has produced such great fruits as innocent activists exercising their first amendment rights being placed on the terrorist watch list by the FBI and DHS.
Seriously, this is so out of control and it is only a time that the World War 3 is being fought against you and me. Just remember as long as we are in a state of war your civil liberties and constitutional rights are pretty much null and void, only enforceable if the Government allows you to have them. Even then, they can declare you as a terrorist, enemy combatant or a threat to national security to revoke your constitutional rights anyway. Then they can play the national security card when they are asked to explain their allegations.
All around this is rotten and the first step to getting our rights back is to end the perpetual wars.
Contact your congressman and tell them No Way To this egregious bill!
Update – Here is some corporate media coverage of this story, since some people like to see it in the mainstream media to believe it.
The Daily Paul:
Critics: GOP bill a declaration of constant war
House Republicans want to reaffirm war against al-Qaida, the Taliban — and anyone else — with controversial billRepublican chair of the Armed Services Committee, Howard McKeon, R-Calif., revealed The National Defense Authorization Act on Monday, which includes a bill renewing an act passed just days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). AUMF gave then-President George W. Bush carte blanche to hunt down the 9/11 perpetrators and their allies. The renewed bill, however, makes no reference to the 9/11 attackers and some critics have called it “the first full-scale declaration of war by the U.S. since World War II,” since it makes no reference to the capturing of parties guilty of a specific act. Indeed, the section of The National Defense Authorization Act under question here is called the Declaration of War.
According to POLITICO:
The new language drops any reference to 9/11 and “affirms” a state of “armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces.” The measure also explicitly gives the president the right to take prisoners “until the termination of hostilities” – something the courts have found to be implicit in the current version of the AUMF, though the new proposal could be seen to extend that power.The argument from proponents of the Republican-backed bill is that, in the decade since AUMF was enacted, terror groups with no connection to 9/11 have come into the picture. Critics say such terror suspects should be dealt with using law enforcement and that we should not be affirming a commitment to war without specific aims or boundaries. The bill would also give the president the ability to attack an individual, group, or nation without Congressional approval.
ALERT: Congress is About to Vote on Worldwide War AuthorityThe time is now to restore respect for the Constitution. Tell Congress that a blank check on war isn’t just unnecessary — it’s truly dangerous.
They have to be kidding. Congress is about to vote on worldwide war authority. This was long on the Bush administration’s wish list. Now, a few top congressional insiders see an opportunity to sneak it in to a “must pass” piece of legislation: the Defense Authorization bill.
This expanded war authority would give the president — any president — the power to use military force, whenever and however he or she sees fit. It would essentially declare a worldwide war without end.
It is shocking that Congress is entertaining such legislation at a time when many are looking to see an end to escalating conflict and abuses of power in the name of fighting terrorism.
Oppose New Worldwide War AuthorityA few top congressional insiders are aiming to sneak new worldwide war authority in to a “must pass” piece of legislation: the Defense Authorization bill.
This new war authority would give the president — any president — the power to unilaterally take our country to war wherever, whenever and however he or she sees fit. It would essentially declare a worldwide war without end.
It is shocking that Congress is entertaining such legislation at a time when many are looking to see an end to escalating conflict and abuses of power in the name of fighting terrorism.
Take action! Tell your representative to oppose new worldwide war authority.
The Wall Street Journal.
GOP seeks to redefine war on terrorA little over a week after the United States finally succeeded in its long-sought goal of killing Osama bin Laden, Congress is set to engage in a debate over whether to extend the war on terror indefinitely or leave in place legislation that could eventually wind it down.
Enacted over a lone dissenting vote just three days after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force,” or AUMF, authorized President George W. Bush to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those involved in the 9/11 attacks as well as anyone who harbored the perpetrators.
The new language drops any reference to 9/11 and “affirms” a state of “armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces.” The measure also explicitly gives the president the right to take prisoners “until the termination of hostilities” – something the courts have found to be implicit in the current version of the AUMF, though the new proposal could be seen to extend that power.
But critics say the Republican-sponsored measure amounts to the first full-scale declaration of war by the U.S. since World War II – at a moment when counter-terrorism efforts are succeeding, the U.S. is withdrawing from Iraq, and about to begin a withdrawal from Afghanistan. And, they say, it gives Obama and any successor carte blanche to attack any individual or any nation without further approval from Congress.
Defense Bill Would ‘Affirm’ War With al QaedaEven though Osama bin Laden is dead, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.) wants to remind Washington: The war on terror ain’t over.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard McKeon (R., Calif.) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
And with that in mind, Rep. McKeon, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, is pushing for Congress to renew the 2001 authorization to use military force against terrorists.
The chairman on Monday revealed his version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2012, and his mark of the bill includes a provision that “would affirm that the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces.”
Critics say provisions in the bill are tantamount to a congressional declaration of war that could give the president broad new powers over private business and government spending.
One provision seeks to bolster the Authorization for Military Force, passed by Congress in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, which the Bush and Obama administration have used as legal authority to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan and other countries where al Qaeda affiliates have sprung up.
The American Civil Liberties Union and more than a dozen mostly left leaning groups wrote a letter to members of the House Armed Services Committee to oppose the “reaffirmation” saying that it essentially declares war and gives broad powers to the president that normally belong to Congress.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Now sign the ACLU Petition and share this post to get the word out so we can stop this before it happens.
Source: Alexander Higgins - May 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm - Permalink - Source via Alexander Higgins Blog