http-equiv='refresh'/> Consfearacynewz: MUST READ: Unchecked Executive War Power Could Slip Through the House

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MUST READ: Unchecked Executive War Power Could Slip Through the House
Amanda Simon

Tucked inside the National Defense Authorization Act, being marked up by the House Armed Services Committee this week, is a hugely important provision that hasn't been getting a lot of attention — a brand new authorization for a worldwide war.

This stealth provision was added to the bill by the committee's chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), but has a bit of a history. It was first proposed by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2008 after the Bush administration lost the Boumediene v. Bush case, in which the Supreme Court decided that federal courts would subject the administration's asserted law of war basis to hold Guantanamo detainees to searching review. An idea that may have originally been intended to bolster the Bush administration's basis for holding Guantanamo detainees is now being promoted as an authorization of a worldwide war — and could become the single biggest ceding of unchecked war authority to the executive branch in modern American history.

The current authorization of war provided the constitutional authority for the executive branch to go to war in Afghanistan. Subsequently, it has reportedly been invoked by the executive branch much more broadly to also use military force in Yemen and elsewhere, to justify torture and abuse of detainees, to eavesdrop and spy on American citizens without warrants, and to imprison people captured far from any battlefield without charge or trial.

Before Congress this week, the proposed authorization of a worldwide war goes much further, however, allowing war wherever there are terrorism suspects in any country around the world without an expiration date, geographical boundaries or connection to the 9/11 attacks or any other specific harm or threat to the United States. There have been no hearings on the provision, nor has its necessity been explained by Rep. McKeon or anyone else in Congress.

The idea that Congress is about to pass new authority for a worldwide war as we're trying to ramp down our efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan is starting to get attention. We're hoping that the House Armed Serviced Committee, and the full House, will reconsider this troubling and dangerous provision. We'll keep you updated as this troubling provision progresses, but you can help now by telling your representative to oppose any new and expanded war authority.

1 comment:

    4 Congress affirms that—
    5 (1) the United States is engaged in an armed
    6 conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated
    7 forces and that those entities continue to pose a
    8 threat to the United States and its citizens, both do-
    9 mestically and abroad;
    10 (2) the President has the authority to use all
    11 necessary and appropriate force during the current
    12 armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and asso-
    13 ciated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use
    14 of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C.
    15 1541 note);
    16 (3) the current armed conflict includes nations,
    17 organization, and persons who—
    18 (A) are part of, or are substantially sup-
    19 porting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated
    20 forces that are engaged in hostilities against the
    21 United States or its coalition partners; or
    22 (B) have engaged in hostilities or have di0
    23 rectly supported hostilities in aid of a nation,
    24 organization, or person described in subpara25
    graph (A); and

    1 (4) the President’s authority pursuant to the
    2 Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law
    3 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority
    4 to detain belligerents, including persons described in
    5 paragraph (3), until the termination of hostilities.

    What exactly is "associated forces"?

    I've been looking for a legal definition specifically in this context, everything I find seems to lead me to the definition of "Enemy combatant" which is so broad it is almost undefinable.

    Does it mean associated with al Qaeda & the Taliban?


    Does it means people deemed hostile by association?

    Such as maybe:
    Campaign for Liberty
    local church group
    or whatever group the ABC's put on a list?

    Considering all the hoopla over domestic "tewwowist". --->wing extwemists, etc.....

    What the hell does "associated forces" really mean?


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