Is perpetual war about to become law of the land?

Is perpetual war about to become law of the land? The House Armed Services Committee recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act – a bill that authorized funding to the Department of Defense. And deep within the bill – in Section 1034 – there’s a provision that affirms we are at war with Al-Qaeda and hands over war powers to the President until “the termination of hostilities.” In other words – it lets the President commit our nation to endless war until every single terrorist is dead.

The ACLU calls the provision the, “single biggest hand-over of unchecked war authority from Congress to the executive branch in modern American history." The provision was slipped in by Republican Congressman Buck McKeon – and only one member of the Armed Services Committee voted against the bill – Democrat John Garamendi. Garamendi offer an amendment to strike Section 1034 – but it was shot down – paving the way for endless war – and endless profits for defense contractors – who throw around huge campaign contributions. In Orwell's book 1984 – Big Brother famously said, “War is Peace.” And George W. Bush took this to heart when he started the War on Terror. But the truth is – there’s nothing worse for a nation than endless war.

As James Madison – one of the founders of our nation wrote, “No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of perpetual war.”


gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 2 weeks ago

The Anti-Christ is allowing permanent wars. I never want to hear that the Anti-Christ nation is good, holy, and saintly. The American psyche worships permanent wars.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 12 years 2 weeks ago

"a provision that affirms we are at war with Al-Qaeda"

If there was a provision that stated we are not at war with Al-Qaida or any other anti US militant organization or individual what you wind up with is an oxymoron and a bunch of bad guys laughing their arses off at us.

Semantics amounting to a big Duh ! IMO

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 2 weeks ago

Re: Why is John Edwards the worst man ever but Newt Gingrich gets to run for President.

Fundamentals vote republican, regardless of sexual morals because they are one issue voters; in a patriarchal society all that maters is denying a woman's right to choose abortion.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 2 weeks ago

Re: Obama's Made in America t-shirts & mugs.

Are the T-Shirts & mugs made in America?

GwynneYoung's picture
GwynneYoung 12 years 2 weeks ago

What would be alternative to Marbury Versus Madison?

Thom, you frequently say you think that the concept of judicial review that stems from Marbury Versus Madison is not something the Founding Fathers envisioned. In a future show, could you walk us through what the right course would be? Does this mean that someone couldn't challenge a law and take it all the way up to the Supreme Court? Or does it mean that it could still go to the Supreme Court and the Court could vote but then Congress would have to make the law conform to the Constitution? In other words, what would happen if you thought a law was unconstitutional if there hadn't been a Marbury Versus Madison?



Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 2 weeks ago

From Robert Scheer's article in today's Truthdig:

"One Lawman With the Guts to Go After Wall Street"

"All of the leading politicians and officials, federal and state, Republican and Democrat, were on board to complete the job of saving the banks while ignoring their victims ... until last week when the attorney general of New York (Eric Schneiderman) refused to go along."

"Despite a mountain of evidence of robo-signed mortgage contracts, deceitful mortgage-based securities and fraudulent foreclosures, the banks were going to be able to cut their potential losses to what was, for them, a minuscule amount.

In a deal that had the blessing of the White House and many federal regulators and state attorneys general—a settlement probably for not much more than the $5 billion pittance the top financial institutions found acceptable—the banks would be freed of any further claims by federal and state officials over their shady mortgage packaging and servicing practices and deceptive foreclosure proceedings.

At the same time, the SEC and other federal regulatory bodies are making sweetheart deals with the bankers to close off accountability for creating and collecting on more than a trillion dollars’ worth of toxic mortgage-based securities at the heart of the nation’s economic meltdown..."

"The financial crisis occurred only because Republicans and Democrats passed the laws that Wall Street lobbyists wrote ending reasonable banking industry regulation installed in the 1930s in response to the Depression. And when the greed they enabled threatened the foundations of our economy, under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it was the bankers who were assisted into lifeboats that had no room for ordinary people."

Again...both the Republicans and the Democrats (some of them...especially Obama) are not your friends! They have all committed economic treason against the majority of Americans. So go ahead and vote for your favorite parasite this next election but it really amounts to folly and a waste of time.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 2 weeks ago

Someone on this blog, a few days ago, said that "Obama is not a dictator!" But it sure looks more and more like a reincarnation of one stunted, mustachioed dictator back in the 30s and early 40s. Remember Obama (or whomever will be President in the future) now has the power to arrest anyone in America he wants, then torture them, then kill them. They already use the Muslim terrorists as an excuse to spy on any/or all American citizens for things absolutely not related to Muslim terrorism...or any kind of terrorism.

And with the new NDAA Section 1034, and the precedence that Bush set of illegally invading other countries and Obama's continuation of that behavior (we illegally invaded Pakistan many times killing civilians even during, before and after we got OBL), Obama can get the US in one hell of a lot of trouble with the rest of the world...but that prospect didn't bother Hitler either because he thought he was invincible and could do anything he wanted. Maybe what the rest of the world needs is to set up a War Crimes Nuremberg Trial....or setup high-level Americans in a juicy sex-scandal claiming rape charges against hotel maids when the Americans visit their countries. I believe this was done to Julian Assange...a setup...and it wasn't the first nor will it be the last.

I suspect that the Republicans, who voted for this, probably were looking forward to the next Dictator to be Republican..which may very well be, unfortunately....but as I have said in previous really doesn't matter much...Republican...Democrat...they are really two wings of The Party as Winston would have known Big Brother in "1984"

In "V for Vendetta" the character V (the leading protagonist, hero, and anarchist portraying Guy Fawkes) long past realized that democracy was dead and that the corporations had gotten so strong and unified that they controlled...or was..the government. The only thing left was to physically rebel against the corrupt system.

Today's heroes (Wikileaks, Anonymous, etal) use the weapon of truth and exposure of corrupt officials and corporate crimes and war crimes.

In "V for Vendetta" the detective (Stephen Rea), in trying to stop V (Hugo Weaving) from fomenting a revolution, discovered that the corporate criminal/government he worked for was in fact committing really horrible crimes against humanity and murdering hundreds of thousands of people in their medical experimentation camps (it's been a while since I watched the movie so the exact method of these mass murders I am not clear on).

It is not the terrorism from without that scares the ruling elite...although that gives the MIC the excuse to bully other countries into is the potential for terrorism from within...when the people finally say: "enough is enough and your crooked, corrupt political gaming system is no longer fooling us...instead of voting with worthless ballots...we'll overwhelm you with our numbers of mass dissenters!"

DrRichard 12 years 2 weeks ago

Effectively we've been on a war footing since 1939, which has been a big factor in keeping the economy going. This provision just "legalizes" the process. Whether it was fighting the Axis, Communists, or Terrorists, there always seemed to be an enemy to justify payouts and repression. Sometimes the conflicts were justified, sometimes they weren't, except maybe in the minds of those on the front line. Perhaps the only difference is that the process isn't even being kept half-hidden anymore, having moved from overseas to right here. Orwell thought military spending was used to absorb resouces that otherwise would help the people become more independent. That might not be the intention here, Thom, but the effect is the same. Endless war is just another way this country is drifting further into being a feudally stratified society. If this continues I do not believe America can survive in recognizeable form; "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" is already a mockery.

LarsMac's picture
LarsMac 12 years 2 weeks ago

What the heck are you talking about?

There is no section 1034 in that bill, and there is no bill in the House that would grant the Pres "perpetual war powers"

Read it for yourself. Go to

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 2 weeks ago

Ending our endless wars would certainly be possible if the Department of Defense was forced to raise revenue in the same manner many Public Schools have to - with property tax. At the same time we could switch the funding of all public education to federal income tax. Think about it, instead of everyone pissing and moaning about unions and overpaid teachers, the high cost of war would become the righteous focus.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 1 week ago

page 440 line 16 Section's there.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 1 week ago

I just hope they don't use a loose definition of "belligerent" because then anyone questioning the US Government in the war crimes they committed might be sorry they believed in freedom of speech. It has happened before, of course, being imprisoned merely for saying something to the effect that "our sons are being used by the Government as cannon fodder".

In that Section 1034 of that HR 1540 bill one could almost substitute "Hitler" or "the Furor" in for "the President"...and "the Jews" (who the Germans believed were committing economic terrorism) or the "communists".

The Germans had their false flag burning of the Reichstag building that led to Hitler's ascension to dictatorship...and we had our false flag 911 attacks. Like the Reichstag fire (the building was pre-planted with incendiaries by the Nazis before) and the WTC buildings were pre-planted with explosives including nano-thermite used in the demolition of the buildings made to look like the crashing planes guided by Muslim terrorists. I think the Muslims are like the German's Jews and used as scape goats to elicit the history that ultra-nationalism and jingoist misguided patriotism. This was needed by the ruling elite because of the Ponzi scheme capitalism that was crashing in on the high-rollers who rolled the dice with everyone else's money.

We have had a "war economy" for quite a while and some saw a new war on terrorism as the detractor of the criminal actions the ruling elite had been waging against us. The illegal invasions of these middle east countries sacrificed hundreds of thousands of Muslim patsies so that the war economy would prosper and help keep the country from collapsing economically. But the war economy and printing more money to create more bubbles won't save it either.

It is such a shame that in order for rich people, or any of us for that matter, to maintain a certain consumerist lifestyle that our country continues to murder people that don't deserve to die. Women, children....I shutter to think if that ever happened us...and most people would not even imagine that it would be possible. And so it is so easy to shut off the atrocities our military commits against people... Vietnamese..Iraqis...Afghanis...Yemenis...Pakistanis...and most of them are Muslims...But many Americans have not even been outside of America and are grossly misinformed and misled about so many things. Many are too myopic and shallow and their minds have been forged in Hollywood movies and propaganda.

It is not an accident that Americans have been dumbed down...for one gives our corporations the excuse to seek more highly trained and less paid workers in other countries. If you are not will be too dumb to fight back and see how you are being is only too easy to be manipulated into thinking that legions of evil Muslim terrorists are out to destroy America and that they were totally behind 911. Well, I imagine that was not the case before we invaded and killed so many of them.

How would you feel if our country was invaded and occupied and almost daily murders killed some of your family? I would bet that more than a handful of Americans would be pissed off enough to take revenge against the invaders and their country even many years into the future. If they killed your children or you wife or brother or sister you'd be classified as a terrorist too by that evil invading force.

SueN's picture
SueN 12 years 1 week ago

LarsMac, if you go to and search on National Defense Authorization, select the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (H.R. 1540), and select what is currently the second version (Reported in House - RH), it is there.

(1) the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad;

(2) the President has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note);

(3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who—
(A) are part of, or are substantially supporting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
(B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A); and

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

netwerkjim's picture
netwerkjim 12 years 1 week ago

The way I see it when need to have a peaceful revolution NOW before we have to have a bloody one later!

John Defalque's picture
John Defalque 12 years 1 week ago

67 cents of every dollar in the US is spent on the military, Canada under Bush's biggest surviving backer, Theivin' Harper, is quickly propelling Canada into a similiar situation.

Politico 2's picture
Politico 2 12 years 1 week ago

And George W. Bush took this to heart when he started the War on Terror. But the truth is – there’s nothing worse for a nation than endless war.

Were you asleep Thom on 9/11? Were you in a closet in 1996 when Bin Laden declared war on the United States? What followed after that declaration? USS Cole, Kohbar Towers, Two U.S. Embassies and 9/11. And you have the guts to say that "Bush declared a War on Terror"? Have you ever thought Bush's declaration was in 'response to' the above mentioned atrocities. Afterall, Clinton didn't do anything following the attacks on his watch.

Politico 2's picture
Politico 2 12 years 1 week ago

Nobody in my corner was supporting Newt anyway. Secondly, abortion is about 'another' body. The one inside, that is unless you feel that 'thing' in a woman's body is nothing more than just a glob of flesh, by the way has: a nose, hands, eyes, a heartbeat, its own DNA etc., etc., etc.,

But I know, you've never considered that.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 1 week ago

"Beware the military-industrial complex." 1/17/1961, by someone who we can be sure knew for sure..


CONTINENTAL BANK Number: C0408144 Date Filed: 1/17/1961 Status: merged out Jurisdiction: California

aka Wells Fargo

1/1/1870 Institution established. Original name: Crocker-Citizens National Bank (FDIC#3511)

NIC History:

1959-12-31 UNITED STATES NATIONAL BANK OF SAN DIEGO located at 202 BROADWAY, SAN DIEGO, CA was established as a National Bank.

1961-07-31 CONTINENTAL BANK located at 8730 SUNSET BOULEVARD, LOS ANGELES, CA was established as a Non-member Bank.




1968-08-31 CONTINENTAL BANK was renamed to BEVERLY HILLS OFF and changed from Non-member Bank to Domestic Branch of a Domestic Bank. 1973-01-19 Institution is closed

7/1/1971 Changed name to Crocker National Bank (FDIC#3511)

5/19/1972 Acquired The First National Bank Of Upland (#3536) in Upland, California.

1973-10-19 UNITED STATES NATIONAL BANK failed. CROCKER NATIONAL BANK acquired the remaining assets

10/19/1973 Acquired United States National Bank (#3506) in San Diego, California.

12/31/1973 Acquired Imperial Valley National Bank (19518) in El Centro, California.

5/30/1986 Changed name to Wells Fargo Bank, National Association (#3511).


dnarnadem 12 years 1 week ago

Why would the REPUBLICANS slip this in when we have a Democratic President??

Do they know something that that Democrats don't? Are they planning something?

Someone needs to look into this Congressman Buck McKeon! Ties with Big Oil? The Kock Brothers? Big Corporations? Big Banks? Foreign Nations?

What IS HIS and the Republicans ultimate AGENDA? Maybe that is the BIG question we all should be asking!!!!

dnarnadem 12 years 1 week ago

"Nobody in my corner was

Nobody in my corner was supporting Newt anyway. Secondly, abortion is about 'another' body. The one inside, that is unless you feel that 'thing' in a woman's body is nothing more than just a glob of flesh, by the way has: a nose, hands, eyes, a heartbeat, its own DNA etc., etc., etc.,"

Yes and some even grow up to become Republicans! Also, OBL was not aborted. Nor was Hitler. Nor was Stalin. Nor was Lenin. Nor were any of the Khmer Rouge. Nor were the countless other Dictators who murdered their people by the MILLIONS and practiced Genocide. They were not aborted so that they could live to murder and gas MILLIONS later on! The Millions they killed also had noses, hands, eyes, heartbeats, and own DNA - and also one thing that aborted babies do not - the awareness that they were being killed and murdered; cognizant that their loved ones were also being murdered; and aware of and feeling pain!

And what about those who were also not aborted and who are now “Soldiers in Christ” and who’s main mission in life is to KILL abortion doctors??

And you sir - What if you would of had the Power to Abort OBL knowing what he would do? Would you have done it? And if not, would you then be guilty of the 3000 he murdered on Sept 11? You can't have it both ways. If you say it is all God's will, then you are stuck with the fact that it is also God's will that some babies be aborted. If you then state not so, then it is God's will that 3000 died on Sept 11 because God is all knowing and all powerful and he knew what OBL would do. Under your logic no one is guilty - not you, not OBL, not God!! But if GOD knew, that means he allowed it to happen. That means he has to take responsibility. If he is All Knowing, and All Powerful, that means he is very much aware that abortions do happen, and that means that he does allow them to take place. If you say no to that, then that means that he is NOT All- Knowing and All-Powerful: if that is the case, he is not much of a god.

LarsMac's picture
LarsMac 12 years 1 week ago

I see that, now.

When I was looking on Thomas before my post, that copy was NOT there.

Went back the next day and found it.

This clause could be opening the door for WAY too much free hand for the Pres.

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