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Kucinich on Defense Authorization Act: It “Authorizes Permanent Warfare Anywhere In the World.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 14) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today outlined his opposition to H.R. 1540, the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a speech on the House floor.  The NDAA contains unprecedented language that would authorize the military to indefinitely detain individuals without charge or trial – including U.S. citizens and those captured on U.S. soil.  It also “affirms” that the U.S. is in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda, the Taliban and “associated forces” (that are undefined), setting the stage for permanent global warfare. 

“This bill authorizes permanent warfare anywhere in the world. It gives the president unchecked power to pursue war. It diminishes the role of this Congress. The founders saw Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which places in the hands of Congress the war power, as essential to a check and balance against the executive abuse of power. This legislation diminishes Congress' role in that regard.”

“This legislation authorizes the military to indefinitely detain individuals without charge or trial, including the detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. In short, what this bill does is it takes a wrecking ball to the United States Constitution and gives enormous power to the government or the state. I want friends on both sides of the aisle to understand this; we are giving the state more power over individuals with this bill. It’s the wrong direction.”

“Our children deserve a world without end, not a war without end. Our children deserve a world where they know the government will protect them, that it is not going to rule over them by invading their very thoughts and going, as the PATRIOT Act does, going into their banking records or into their educational records. We have to keep the government out of people's lives and stop the government from getting more into war which gives the government more control over people. This is the time we take a stand for the Constitution and a stand for a government which is smaller when it comes on matters of war.” 

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