Monday, June 12, 2017
Afghanistan, Several Sane Politicians, & Perpetual War
Years ago, Elites (public and private) co-opted the Congressional powers to start a war, issue assassination orders, & make rules concerning captured enemies... and gave them to the Executive Branch. The Powers-That-Be then announced that the entire world is a battlefield, and that the people we're fighting are neither soldiers or criminals. Instead, they are "enemy combatants". In this new Orwellian world, that means---according to most politicians---those enemies have no rights of any kind. Furthermore, those people even suspected of being such an enemy also have no rights. They can be kidnapped, rendered to allies with no ethics, tortured, held incommunicado, and even imprisoned indefinitely. This is not only unethical, immoral, & unconstitutional, it's insane as well.
All of the above has resulted in Perpetual War...which is both Machiavellian and Orwellian. It's also a very good thing for Mega Bankers and the War Industry...commonly referred to as the Defense Industry.
For ten years, I've been pointing out here on this blog that the Constitution is crystal clear on this whole issue. Only Congress has the delegated power to start a war. [Article I, Section 8] The Executive Branch, with the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces [Article II, Section 2], manages the war after it has been started by Congress. The Supreme Law of the Land is so clear on this matter that one doesn't even have to be an attorney, much less a Supreme Court Justice, to understand it. The Constitution also assigns Congress the power and duty to "...make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water". [Article I, Section 8] The CIA and the Military (i.e., Executive Branch) are not given that power. Finally, only Congress has the power to issue "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" (assassination orders). [Article I, Section 8] The President does not have that power.
Imagine my joy when finally I heard on the News last night these words from Representative John Garamendi of California: "Congress has the only power to declare war. It's in the Constitution. And yet, in all the seven and a half years I've been in Congress, we have never taken up the issue of war.". He's one of ten Congress people who are co-sponsoring a legislative bill to de-fund the Afghan War... a war that's been ongoing for over sixteen years, and has no end in sight. Three of the co-sponsors of the bill are Republicans and seven are Democrats. At least it's a start. From what I've heard so far, it doesn't return the powers (described above) stolen from Congress, but it's a start.
Those politicians in DC who believe that Laws passed by Congress and/or Executive Orders can over-ride the U.S. Constitution by transferring Congressional powers to the Executive Branch are violating their oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend" that document. The same is true of those who believe because the President is Commander-in-Chief, he/she has the power to decide when a war begins, who is to be assassinated, and which rules apply to captured enemies. Being Commander-in-Chief does not mean one is allowed to ignore or bypass other parts of the Constitution. Those powers have been seized by the Executive in an unconstitutional manner. The President never had those powers, and still doesn't...at least, not legally.
Critics in office say the Supreme Law of the Land is out-of-date. So...change it. There are ways to do that...legally. Critics then say, it's too difficult. Yes, and purposely so, but it's not impossible. It has been done over two dozen times. Instead of violating your oath of office, get off your lazy butts and try to change it. I suspect the reason none of you do is because then you also would have to deal with an Amendment for Term Limits...which would be the best change for this country in a good long while.
Not only my opinion. Be Well