Thursday, May 12, 2011

Detainee Security Act

Lawrence O’Donnell mentioned the Detainee Security Act on his show, The Last Word, last night, but did not go into any real discussion of it other than to comment that, “One of the fascinating things in this business has been to watch as, over that last decade, Congress has gradually surrendered its control over this nation’s warmaking power to the executive branch.”

The deadline under which President Obama is required to report to Congress regarding the conflict in Libya under the War Powers Act has now passed. He has conspicuously not made the required report, and Congress has not only not required him to do so, but has said publicly that it has no intention of doing so. Obama initiated that military action and is continuing it, and Congress has played no role in it whatsoever.

Now Congress proposes to pass legislation to formalize that policy, a policy under which the president is accountable to no one in his initiation of military action anywhere in the world, in any nation, against any foe. It is in effect an amendment to our constitution, which reserves the ability to make war to Congress, but they want to avoid that responsibility and delegate that prerogative to the executive by calling it “military force” rather than “war.”

I normally do not support write in campaigns, as I believe they undermine the principle of representative democracy, which the founders created for some very good reasons. But on this one I urge that you write your Senators and your Representative. This bill, the Detainee Security Act, must not pass.

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