A controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Bill that would “affirm” the President’s supposed power to wage perpetual war anywhere on Earth against undefined enemies — including Americans in the United States — is attracting fierce criticism from across the political spectrum.
The language was inserted into the bill by Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. It purports to cede “the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force” to the executive branch in its never-ending battle against unnamed countries, organizations, and people.
The military could even be used to go after Americans in America. So-called “belligerents,” Americans included, could be detained without trial until the end of hostilities. “.… 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.”
“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,’” a letter from oppositionists concludes. “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.”
Title: Congress Considers Endless War, Worldwide
Author: Alex Newman
Published in: The New American
Published on: May 16th, 2011
Student Researcher – Corey Savio, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator – James Joseph Dean, Sonoma State University