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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/19/11

Worldwide War Provision Makes Its Way Through Congress (and People Thought the Patriot Act Was Bad)

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Message Coleen Rowley

As the ACLU has noted,

Congress is going even further ... proposing handing permanent, world-wide war-making powers to the president - including the ability to make war within the United States:

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.

Those who do not want Congress to give the President this kind of unbridled war-making power, need to call their congresspersons immediately! And while you're on the phone to Congress, don't forget to tell them not to re-authorize these provisions of the Patriot Act.

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Retired FBI Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel.
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