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Writing a Blank Check on War for the President
How the United States Became a Prisoner of War and Congress Went MIA
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Let’s face it: in times of war, the Constitution tends to take a beating. With the safety or survival of the nation said to be at risk, the basic law of the land — otherwise considered sacrosanct — becomes nonbinding, subject to being waived at the whim of government authorities who are impatient, scared, panicky, or just plain pissed off.

The examples are legion. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln arbitrarily suspended the writ of habeas corpus and ignored court orders that took issue with his authority to do so. After U.S. entry into World War I, the administration of Woodrow Wilson mounted a comprehensive effort to crush dissent, shutting down anti-war publications in complete disregard of the First Amendment. Amid the hysteria triggered by Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order consigning to concentration camps more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans, many of them native-born citizens. Asked in 1944 to review this gross violation of due process, the Supreme Court endorsed the government’s action by a 6-3 vote.

More often than not, the passing of the emergency induces second thoughts and even remorse. The further into the past a particular war recedes, the more dubious the wartime arguments for violating the Constitution appear. Americans thereby take comfort in the “lessons learned” that will presumably prohibit any future recurrence of such folly.

Even so, the onset of the next war finds the Constitution once more being ill-treated. We don’t repeat past transgressions, of course. Instead, we devise new ones. So it has been during the ongoing post-9/11 period of protracted war.

During the presidency of George W. Bush, the United States embraced torture as an instrument of policy in clear violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, ordered the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen, a death by drone that was visibly in disregard of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Both administrations — Bush’s with gusto, Obama’s with evident regret — imprisoned individuals for years on end without charge and without anything remotely approximating the “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury” guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. Should the present state of hostilities ever end, we can no doubt expect Guantánamo to become yet another source of “lessons learned” for future generations of rueful Americans.

Congress on the Sidelines

Yet one particular check-and-balance constitutional proviso now appears exempt from this recurring phenomenon of disregard followed by professions of dismay, embarrassment, and “never again-ism” once the military emergency passes. I mean, of course, Article I, section 8 of the Constitution, which assigns to Congress the authority “to declare war” and still stands as testimony to the genius of those who drafted it. There can be no question that the responsibility for deciding when and whether the United States should fight resides with the legislative branch, not the executive, and that this was manifestly the intent of the Framers.

On parchment at least, the division of labor appears straightforward. The president’s designation as commander-in-chief of the armed forces in no way implies a blanket authorization to employ those forces however he sees fit or anything faintly like it. Quite the contrary: legitimizing presidential command requires explicit congressional sanction.

Actual practice has evolved into something altogether different. The portion of Article I, Section 8, cited above has become a dead letter, about as operative as blue laws still on the books in some American cities and towns that purport to regulate Sabbath day activities. Superseding the written text is an unwritten counterpart that goes something like this: with legislators largely consigned to the status of observers, presidents pretty much wage war whenever, wherever, and however they see fit. Whether the result qualifies as usurpation or forfeiture is one of those chicken-and-egg questions that’s interesting but practically speaking beside the point.

This is by no means a recent development. It has a history. In the summer of 1950, when President Harry Truman decided that a U.N. Security Council resolution provided sufficient warrant for him to order U.S. forces to fight in Korea, congressional war powers took a hit from which they would never recover.

Congress soon thereafter bought into the notion, fashionable during the Cold War, that formal declarations of hostilities had become passé. Waging the “long twilight struggle” ostensibly required deference to the commander-in-chief on all matters related to national security. To sustain the pretense that it still retained some relevance, Congress took to issuing what were essentially permission slips, granting presidents maximum freedom of action to do whatever they might decide needed to be done in response to the latest perceived crisis.

The Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964 offers a notable example. With near unanimity, legislators urged President Lyndon Johnson “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression” across the length and breadth of Southeast Asia. Through the magic of presidential interpretation, a mandate to prevent aggression provided legal cover for an astonishingly brutal and aggressive war in Vietnam, as well as Cambodia and Laos. Under the guise of repelling attacks on U.S. forces, Johnson and his successor, Richard Nixon, thrust millions of American troops into a war they could not win, even if more than 58,000 died trying.

To leap almost four decades ahead, think of the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that was passed by Congress in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 as the grandchild of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. This document required (directed, called upon, requested, invited, urged) President George W. Bush “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.” In plain language: here’s a blank check; feel free to fill it in any way you like.

Forever War

As a practical matter, one specific individual — Osama bin Laden — had hatched the 9/11 plot. A single organization — al-Qaeda — had conspired to pull it off. And just one nation — backward, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan — had provided assistance, offering sanctuary to bin Laden and his henchmen. Yet nearly 15 years later, the AUMF remains operative and has become the basis for military actions against innumerable individuals, organizations, and nations with no involvement whatsoever in the murderous events of September 11, 2001.

Consider the following less than comprehensive list of four developments, all of which occurred just within the last month and a half:

*In Yemen, a U.S. airstrike killed at least 50 individuals, said to be members of an Islamist organization that did not exist on 9/11.

*In Somalia, another U.S. airstrike killed a reported 150 militants, reputedly members of al-Shabab, a very nasty outfit, even if one with no real agenda beyond Somalia itself.

*In Syria, pursuant to the campaign of assassination that is the latest spin-off of the Iraq War, U.S. special operations forces bumped off the reputed “finance minister” of the Islamic State, another terror group that didn’t even exist in September 2001.

*In Libya, according to press reports, the Pentagon is again gearing up for “decisive military action” — that is, a new round of air strikes and special operations attacks to quell the disorder resulting from the U.S.-orchestrated air campaign that in 2011 destabilized that country. An airstrike conducted in late February gave a hint of what is to come: it killed approximately 50 Islamic State militants (and possibly two Serbian diplomatic captives).

Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Libya share at least this in common: none of them, nor any of the groups targeted, had a hand in the 9/11 attacks.

Imagine if, within a matter of weeks, China were to launch raids into Vietnam, Thailand, and Taiwan, with punitive action against the Philippines in the offing. Or if Russia, having given a swift kick to Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, leaked its plans to teach Poland a lesson for mismanaging its internal affairs. Were Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin to order such actions, the halls of Congress would ring with fierce denunciations. Members of both houses would jostle for places in front of the TV cameras to condemn the perpetrators for recklessly violating international law and undermining the prospects for world peace. Having no jurisdiction over the actions of other sovereign states, senators and representatives would break down the doors to seize the opportunity to get in their two cents worth. No one would be able to stop them. Who does Xi think he is! How dare Putin!

Yet when an American president undertakes analogous actions over which the legislative branch does have jurisdiction, members of Congress either yawn or avert their eyes.

In this regard, Republicans are especially egregious offenders. On matters where President Obama is clearly acting in accordance with the Constitution — for example, in nominating someone to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court — they spare no effort to thwart him, concocting bizarre arguments nowhere found in the Constitution to justify their obstructionism. Yet when this same president cites the 2001 AUMF as the basis for initiating hostilities hither and yon, something that is on the face of it not legal but ludicrous, they passively assent.

Indeed, when Obama in 2015 went so far as to ask Congress to pass a new AUMF addressing the specific threat posed by the Islamic State — that is, essentially rubberstamping the war he had already launched on his own in Syria and Iraq — the Republican leadership took no action. Looking forward to the day when Obama departs office, Senator Mitch McConnell with his trademark hypocrisy worried aloud that a new AUMF might constrain his successor. The next president will “have to clean up this mess, created by all of this passivity over the last eight years,” the majority leader remarked. In that regard, “an authorization to use military force that ties the president’s hands behind his back is not something I would want to do.” The proper role of Congress was to get out of the way and give this commander-in-chief carte blanche so that the next one would enjoy comparably unlimited prerogatives.

Collaborating with a president they roundly despise — implicitly concurring in Obama’s questionable claim that “existing statutes [already] provide me with the authority I need” to make war on ISIS — the GOP-controlled Congress thereby transformed the post-9/11 AUMF into what has now become, in effect, a writ of permanent and limitless armed conflict. In Iraq and Syria, for instance, what began as a limited but open-ended campaign of air strikes authorized by President Obama in August 2014 has expanded to include an ever-larger contingent of U.S. trainers and advisers for the Iraqi military, special operations forces conducting raids in both Iraq and Syria, the first new all-U.S. forward fire base in Iraq, and at least 5,000 U.S. military personnel now on the ground, a number that continues to grow incrementally.

Remember Barack Obama campaigning back in 2008 and solemnly pledging to end the Iraq War? What he neglected to mention at the time was that he was retaining the prerogative to plunge the country into another Iraq War on his own ticket. So has he now done, with members of Congress passively assenting and the country essentially a prisoner of war.

By now, through its inaction, the legislative branch has, in fact, surrendered the final remnant of authority it retained on matters relating to whether, when, against whom, and for what purpose the United States should go to war. Nothing now remains but to pay the bills, which Congress routinely does, citing a solemn obligation to “support the troops.” In this way does the performance of lesser duties provide an excuse for shirking far greater ones.

In military circles, there is a term to describe this type of behavior. It’s called cowardice.

Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, which has just been published by Random House.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Dr. X says:

    This is a brilliant essay by Prof. Bacevich.

    I’m troubled that the observations made here have not often been mentioned in the mainstream media or in the 2016 campaign, and on the rare occasions that they are mentioned, practically nobody gives a flying leap. These issues should be front and center. But the public-at-large cares more about football, porn, American Idol, and who Kim Kardashian slept with than it cares about presidents fighting illegal, unconstitutional wars. Congress, as the “representatives of the people” who could care less about foreign wars is more than happy to abdicate responsibility to the imperial president. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va) made a half-hearted effort to criticize Obama’s warmaking, but it fizzled. Ditto for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) whose efforts gained practically no traction.

    My kid is in the military. I admire military fitness, discipline, teamwork, and the gung-ho, “hooah” attitude very much. That being said, our military has practically become a mercenary corps for presidential adventurism, and the possibility that my kid could pay the price for some executive order that no one in Congress, or the football stadium, or the mall really gives a damn about troubles me.

    The (sad) lack of comments on this article pretty much buttress my argument.

  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Dr. X

    My friend I understand your concerns. However, keep in mind, we are pretty much desensitized to this constant, ongoing “war on terror!” Much of the populace don’t read newspapers, MSM massage the truth so those of us who do read and want to keep abreast to the happenings in the world accept anything said or done. If the media folks challenged the policymakers I have no doubt you would see a diferent respond from the general populace.

    The general populace don’t understand they “why of terrorism” other than terrors hate us. Policymakers are in the middle east and they have chosen manipulate governments over there for their own selfish gains. One thing I understand, terrorists didn’t simply decide kill a bunch of folks because they didn’t have anything else to do.

    Any so, yes, our kids pay the price with their lives. Many join the military for the love of their country, but few understand why or how all this mess started. We kill terrorists, they kill us. Hate is the rule of day!!

    TJ

  3. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other… No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

    — James Madison, 1795

    Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

    Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?

    — George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

  4. utu says:

    I listened to Mr. Bacevich being interviewed by Harry Shearer today. Very disappointing. Mr. Bacevich either does not understands or pretends to not understand. E.g.: he still seems to believe that American wars like the one in Iraq were about spreading democracy.

    • Replies: @Pat Gilligan
  5. bondo says:

    osama bin laden, alQ? dogdeadtired

    can we say paul pussywitz and co for israel and pet snake, cheney because he is pure evil and stupid and will serve his master well at the same time acting as the big cheese when he is nothing but a 2 bit holloween punk

  6. You lost me Andy when I read about OBL being the ‘one’ who ‘hatched’ 9/11. No wonder this pestilence is so hard to root out with such an abundance of useful idiots providing cover.

  7. The constitution (rule of law) is stone cold dead. RIP

  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This article is too sympathetic to Mr. Obama. I have often returned to his answers to several questions in December 2007 at boston.com. Here’s the one most pertinent to this article, showing that the differences between the last two Presidents are more stylistic than substantive.

    “2. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

    As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”

    • Replies: @anonymous
  9. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    I might have illustrated my point about the Obama-sympathetic tone of this article:

    “Both administrations — Bush’s with gusto, Obama’s with evident regret — imprisoned individuals for years on end without charge and without anything remotely approximating the “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury” guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.”

    Ask those held at Guantanamo if they feel any better about their circumstances since 2009. This tendency to distinguish one from the other may explain how so many voted TWICE for Mr. Obama.

  10. Rehmat says:

    Dear Dr. Basevitch – Israel’s veteran journalist and former member of a Jewish terrorist militia, Uri Avnery solved this puzzle over a decade ago. “If Israeli government sponsor a bill in US Congress claiming that the Ten Commandment is a forgery – their will be 300 Congressmen and 70 Senators to support the bill.

    But since Avnery quit his membership at Israeli Knesset, he has been making some very political wrong statements. For example, last month, Avnery claimed that Lebanese Islamic Resistance group, Hizbullah, was not a ‘terrorist organization’.

    “So is Hizbullah a terrorist organization? Of course not. So why the Arab League decided they are?,” asks Avnery.

    “Because most of the League’s member states are Sunni Muslims while Hizbullah is a Shi’ite organization supporting Shi’ite Iran, and Alawite (quasi-Shi’ite) Bashar al-Assad in Syria,” said Avnery.

    So you see Dr. Basevich, Israel’s proxy wars in the region must be funded by the US taxpayers through the Zionist-occupied Congress.

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/03/20/uri-avnery-hizbullah-is-not-a-terrorist-organization/

  11. @utu

    I listened to Mr. Bacevich being interviewed by Harry Shearer today. Very disappointing. Mr. Bacevich either does not understands or pretends to not understand. E.g.: he still seems to believe that American wars like the one in Iraq were about spreading democracy.

    Bacevich is dead to me after he came out with a bizarre diatribe against Trump. Trump has the best, least bellicose, foreign policy, yet Bacevich attacked him for bizarre armchair-psychology reasons. Alas, Bacevich doesn’t have the balls to be honest on this subject, after all, does he want to jeopardize his cushy BU gig??

  12. Rurik says:

    The purpose of the ‘war on terror’ is that it never ends (you can’t kill ‘terror’). We’re now in a perpetual state of war – what they wanted, with the consequent subversion of our rights.

    When Israel did 911 (with a lot of help from elements high up in our government and media) their intention was to create the exact same kind of society in the US that Israel enjoys. The threat of constant terror attack, total surveillance, routine torture, targeted assassinations, police state murderous unaccountability, check points, and a perpetual state of war between the disgruntled members of society (the Palestinians in the case of Israel and the American patriots in the case of the USA. Men like Michael Hastings, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, and all the rest of them coming down the pike).

    When things start to quiet down, Israel sends in a team to shoot some harmless rockets from the occupied territories into some empty parking lot somewhere in Israel, and >pop< they have their pretext to "defend themselves!" and go slaughter some more Palestinians. Here in the states, they foist another one of their by now all too predictable "terrorist" attacks, where the victim is never, ever an actual person responsible for all the treasons and crimes against humanity, but just some random Americans who the “terrorist” wanted to kill because they were “free”, and we all know that’s why they hate us.

    Here’s a man to explain why Americans will never against be allowed to travel (or email or have private phone conversations) without being treated like dangerous sheep.

    from 5:00 to 5:52

    all the handwringing over our lost rights and all these illegal wars and all the mindless slaughter and suffering and destroyed countries and millions of refugees and the moral question of running a torture camp- where men are not allowed to starve themselves to death- and all the drones terrorizing entire regions (including soon to be on US soil), all of it. ~ All of it is a direct consequence of 911.

    And anyone with a brain the size of a peanut knows that we were lied to about what happened on 911. And if your brain is say, the size of a walnut, you know Israel did 911 to get Americans to destroy all of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East so that they could steal more land.

    And until Americans are willing to look at the problem with clear eyes and see what’s in front of their faces; that America is an occupied country and the criminals in Washington DC are traitors to our nation and working on behalf of a enemy regime against our collective interests for the benefit of Israel, then nothing will change. It’s all just handwringing and window dressing.

    And, I’ll add, they’re not all that powerful. It’s all a Wizard of Oz type of mind control. They’re just some pathetic, hate-filled little men and women pulling levers behind the curtain.

    Sure, they control the media and a few hundred traitors in Washington DC, but that is a far cry from controlling some 300 million people. ; )

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  13. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:
    @Dr. X

    Dr X

    The jock sniffers don’t care if your son dies a horrible death in Afghanistan. The White Male Jock Sniffers can’t believe how much fun going to war can be:drink buds…stuff your face with hotdogs…fart…..yell “WHAT A STUD!!!!!!!..I SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!!”

    Former NY Giants head coach Tom Caughlin who supports the Troops and likes going to war was a draft dodging Syracuse University running-back in the Csonka-Floyd Little backfield once said:”The young men of my generation went to Vietnam so that I could play football at Syracuse”…Tom Caughlin is considered to be a MAN’S MAN by his adoring NY Giants jock sniffing fans.

    In 2016, AMUURICA!!!!!!!!! sends young undersized women and transgender sickos out to do battle against ISIS and Conservative Christian Russians in the Eastern Ukraine….while big strapping young White Males who can bench press 600 pounds are down in Florida at the NFL free agent camp hoping to realize their NFL Dreams(my neighbors son).

    Tom Caughlin was acting effectively as a US Army Recruiter towards the end of last season when he and his coaching staff wore US Army jackets and caps during the Sunday night game.

    The US Military does not promote democracy…this is bold faced lie. The US Military is attempting to homo norm Western-Eastern Ukraine…then on to the big prize:Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia.

    Fatso chickenhawk Mike Francessa said on his WFAN show a year ago:”the young men and women who join the US Military are making a career choice to protect our freedoms…while other people made other career choices”.

    I have violent hatred of ESPN…THE FAN….MIKE FRANCESSA…..Sports Entertainment in general.

    The youngest member of my Family just spent the weekend at Fort Drum NY for ROTC…..while off-the-boat-Jamaican Legal Immigrants get full-tuition waivers to study engineering a SUNY Farmingdale…and later…off to affirmative action jobs for nonwhites.

    • Agree: edNels
  14. A perceptive article by Mr. Bacevich, illustrating the statement from James Madison that Buzz Mohawk cites and that bears repeating: “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” It is highly significant that even presidential power-grabbers like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt felt completed to turn to Congress to authorize their wars. It remained for Harry Truman to break with the tradition and plunge us into war in Korea on his say-so–just as he claimed the authority to seize the nation’s steel mills, a move that was only thwarted by a 6-3 negative vote of the Supreme Court. Truman’s “police action” in Korea was notably condemned by the great Senator Robert Taft, “Mr. Republican,” when the Republican Party stood for something besides perpetual war and obeisance to the New York banks.

  15. mtn cur says:

    War and any other good clean violence is porn for the masses, so what if “in bed” reporters clean it up for the forever election. Good comments on this piece; I note with respect to AUMF that none of the Wackistans have used a nuke thus far, but the USA popped a defeated enemy not once but twice.

  16. woodNfish says:

    Andrew Bacevich incorrectly calls the american war of secession, the “american civil war”. It was not a civil war. The Confederacy was not trying remove or take over the government of the US, those states were trying to secede from the union. They were sovereign states and had a constitutional right to secede. Lincoln threw away the constitution and started an illegal war with the confederacy by resupplying Ft. Sumpter as a provocation to the Confederacy to get them to shoot first. Lincoln used that as an excuse to go to war. Lincoln was a butcher, and a war criminal. His monument in DC should be torn down and we should all piss on his grave. John Wilkes Booth was a hero and a martyr.

  17. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website

    US is full of crap when it comes to war.

    How long has it been said… ‘democracies don’t go go war with one another’?

    Well, if true, one reason is that so many democracies were created under American Empire. Thus, the new democracies are really just puppet nations. Why would puppets fight their master?

    But there are different kinds of wars. There is COVERT WAR as well as Overt War, and US has waged Covert Wars on democracies.

    Guatemala. Its democracy was destroyed in a covert war backed by US.

    Iran. Its democratic government overthrown by covert war led by CIA.

    Chile. Allende removed by CIA-supported covert war.

    Ukraine. Recently, democratic government toppled by US-backed covert coup engineered by Jewish-Homo Neocons.

    Some would say this is not war. But imagine of Chinese government spent $5 billion to topple the democratically elected government of Japan or Taiwan and replaced it with puppet regime. Wouldn’t it be considered an act of war?

    Egypt. US backed military removal of democratically elected Morsi regime.

    When communists threatened to win free election in Italy in the 50s, Eisenhower planned a military occupation of Italy just like USSR sent tanks into Hungary in 1956.

    So, when it comes to covert wars, US democracy will attack and destroy other democracies.

  18. gruff says:

    The last country the US Congress legally declared war on in accordance with the Constitution was Romania in 1943.

    I’d take self-proclaimed defenders of the Constitution such as the Malheur occupiers seriously if they were consistent and opposed unconstitutional warmaking, supported the Post Office, and so forth.

  19. Excellent piece! The final sentence hits the nail squarely on the head.

    Rand Paul campaigned on a promise to put the brakes on American adventurism abroad featuring Ivy-educated “chicken hawks” sending other people’s sons (and daughters) overseas to serve as cannon fodder in order to fulfill grandiose dreams of global hegemony. With Mr. Paul out of the money nothing will change, regardless of who wins in November.

  20. Wally says: • Website

    We go to war because Israel says we should go to war. Only a Zionist would deny that.

    Gentile blood means nothing to supremacist Jews.

  21. Agent76 says:

    General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

    05/14/2015 Former ‘NATO’ Commander, Presidential Candidate Makes Millions Pushing Penny Stocks

    Plato-quoting, West Point valedictorian, Rhodes scholar, former NATO Supreme allied commander, and one-time Presidential hopeful Gen. Wesley Clark had a carefully laid, three-point plan for life after public service.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-14/former-nato-commander-presidential-candidate-makes-millions-pushing-penny-stocks

  22. Agent76 says:

    D.C is drunk on power and ruled by Generals.

    October 23, 2014 Special report: America’s perpetual state of emergency

    The United States is in a perpetual state of national emergency. Thirty separate emergencies, in fact. An emergency declared by President Jimmy Carter on the 10th day of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 remains in effect almost 35 years later. A post-9/11 state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush — and renewed six times by President Obama — forms the legal basis for much of the war on terror.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/22/president-obama-states-of-emergency/16851775/

  23. Bernie Sanders says Israel’s response re Gaza was “disproportionate.”

    Are dead Palestinians like prunes — is one enough? are three too many?
    What number of dead Palestinians would have been more “proportionate?”

    “In the United States . . . of course we are going to support Israel.”

  24. Rehmat says:
    @Rurik

    “Barry Chamish is one of the most radical, out-of-control Zionists you’ll ever meet. Chamish is so extreme right-wing pro-settler, pro-Greater-Israel, pro-Jabotinsky, pro-Zio-terrorist, he makes Netanyahu look like a peace-loving statesman,” says Kevin Barrett PhD, an academic, author and talk-show host.

    Barry Chamish currently lives in self-exile in United States.

    In an interview published at Salem-News on August 14, 2012 – Barry Chamish admitted that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack was an ‘in-house’ job executed by Bush administration with the help of local Zionists and Israeli Mossad. However, he said that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not behind the 9/11. Chamish claimed that Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were behind the assassination of former prime Robin, President John F. Kennedy and 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    “Peres organized the murders of Rabin, Sharon, Eitan, Zeevi, all right wing politicians who stood in his way of “peace.” His “peace” center, as its first order of business in the 90s was to fund nanotechnology. Barak arrived in Washington to oversee the murder of JFK Jr., the publisher exposing the real Rabin murder to America. And Olmert’s co-Treasurer of the Likud Party of the late 80s, Menachem Atzmon was too close to 9-11 for any degree of comfort. He apparently was rewarded for taking the rap for Olmert,” said Chamish.

    “I had further confirmation that the planes couldn’t have brought down the WTC from one of its architects, Aaron Swirki, of Netanya. I know 9-11 was an inside job. The most blatant clues are sheer giveaways. WTC leasee Larry Silverstein signed his takeover of the property in July 2001 with a double indemnity clause that gave him seven billion dollars if the buildings were felled by terrorism. Lucky Larry,” Chamish added.

    Chamish claims that Bibi could not have masterminded the 9/11 plot because he was selling furniture at the RIM company in 1980. Chamish also called professors Israel Shahak and Noam Chomsky “Jewish turncoats”. Personally, I admire Israel Shahak for being an honest and outspoken Israeli Jew. However, I along with many others believe that Noam Chomsky is a Crypto Zionist.

    Christopher Bollyn, who is under Chamish’s attack in this interview, has written book and several articals on 9/11. One of them can be read here. Interestingly, Chamish did not mention that Bollyn’s first wife, Bosmat Merimsky was allegedly a Jew from an Israeli Kibbutz. They were divorced after two year.

    https://rehmat1.com/2012/08/22/israeli-jew-author-zionists-did-911/

  25. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Dr. X

    America the republic was lost with the “civil war” . The 13th and 14 th ammendments are contrary to the spirit of the declaration of independence .

    Allows for VOLUNTARY servitude to the US regime .
    military rule is what america has now . There was NO PEACE TREATY between the north and south .

    The contsitution has MANY back doors as it was written by LAWYERS who 95% of lawyers are vipers . One word means one thing for a some while the true meaning is hidden from the masses

    Just as the word person is NOT the same meaning for a MAN

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