A hugely important provision for Congress to authorize a new worldwide war has been tucked away inside the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill was marked up by members of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) last Wednesday that poured into Thursday morning (2:45 a.m. to be exact).
A couple of minutes past midnight, Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to strike Sec. 1034 — the new authorization for worldwide war provision — from the NDAA. Visibly angry that such a large sweeping provision had not yet had any public hearing whatsoever, he vigorously characterized it as a very broad declaration of war.
Rep. Garamendi was very concerned by the limitless geographic boundaries of the provision. Essentially, it would enable the U.S. to use military force anywhere in the world (including within the U.S.) in search of terrorists.
While a new authorization for worldwide war has had its first public debate, it unfortunately only lasted a hair over 10 minutes and occurred after midnight.
Though it is a very troubling expansion of war authority, it has been lingering for more than three years as a “sleeper provision,” and it is finally getting the attention of some members of Congress. We hope that further debate in Congress in the weeks ahead will allow for a more in-depth examination of unchecked authority to wage worldwide war, and what the outcomes of such a provision will yield.
As I noted in 2008:
An article in the Army Times reveals that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will be redeployed from Iraq to domestic operations within the United States.
The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with "civil unrest" and "crowd control".
The soldiers are learning to use so-called "nonlethal weapons" designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.
This violates posse comitatus and the Constitution. But, hey, we're in a "national emergency", so who cares, right?
(We're still in a declared state of national emergency).
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