Friday, May 13, 2011

New Worldwide War Authority?

They have to be kidding. Congress is about to vote on worldwide war authority. This was long on the Bush administration's wish list. Now, a few top congressional insiders see an opportunity to sneak it in to a "must pass" piece of legislation: the Defense Authorization bill.

This expanded war authority would give the president — any president — the power to use military force, whenever and however he or she sees fit. It would essentially declare a worldwide war without end.

It is shocking that Congress is entertaining such legislation at a time when many are looking to see an end to escalating conflict and abuses of power in the name of fighting terrorism.

Tell your representative to oppose any new and expanded war authority that would give the president unfettered powers to involve the United States in more military conflicts without any checks or balances.

This new legislation could commit the United States to a worldwide war without clear enemies, without any geographical boundaries, and without any boundary relating to time or specific objective to be achieved.

Unlike the legislation that authorized the Afghanistan War and the pursuit of Osama bin Laden, the proposed new and expanded authorization to go to war does not require a specific threat of harm to the United States.

With the bill moving through the House this week and a potential vote later this month, we must make our opposition known today. Tell Congress that a blank check on war isn't just unnecessary — it's truly dangerous.

This greater war authority first surfaced when George Bush was president. With your help, we opposed it then. And we're opposing the more expansive version of it circulating in Congress right now — because no president should have the power to single-handedly commit America to war without any checks or balances.

The time is now to restore respect for the Constitution. We must put an end to the notion that we can't be safe without sacrificing our freedom.

Don't let Congress give the executive branch a virtual blank check when it comes to committing our country to armed conflict. Oppose the new worldwide war authority.

Thank you for standing with us.


Laura W. Murphy
Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Offic

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