Boland Amendment Redux
Ron Paul bill to prevent war on Syria.
by Stephen Lendman
In 1982, the House passed the Boland Amendment. It was attached as a rider to the 1983 Defense Appropriations Act.
It cut off CIA and other covert Contra funding. Washington backed them against Daniel Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). He led a popular uprising against the hated US-backed Somoza dictatorship.
Bipartisan support backed Boland. Party leaders were outraged about waging covert war without notifying congressional oversight committees as required.
Nonetheless, Reagan ordered the National Security Council to "keep the Contras together, body and soul." Oliver North got operational responsibility. He established a secret network to keep arms flowing.
Dozens of former CIA operatives and retired military personnel were recruited. Evading congressional oversight was planned. CIA head William Casey organized an "off the shelf" scheme. Congress got wind of it. The Iran/Contra scandal followed.
Boland had the right idea. It's again deja vu. Ron Paul is today's Boland. This time it's with little congressional backing.
On June 21, he introduced HR 5993: The Syria Non-Intervention Act of 2012.
"Blockquote>It "prohibit(s) the use of funds available to the Department of Defense or an element of the intelligence community for the purpose or which would have the effect of supporting, directly or indirectly, military or paramilitary operations in Syria by any nation, group, organization, movement, or individual."
Rep. John Campbell (R. CA) is his only co-sponsor. The measure was referred to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Armed Services Committee. No further action so far was taken.
Addressing House members, Paul said:
"The Administration is marching toward another war in the Middle East, this time against Syria. As with the president's war against Libya, Congress has been frozen out of the process."
"The Constitution, which grants Congress and only Congress the authority to declare war, is once again being completely ignored."
Attacking Syria "makes no sense. (It's) not in our interest. (It'll) make matters worse."