Leave it to either party not to get in the way of the military industrial complex, expanding the scope and power of the government, and trample all over the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Yes, once again, the National Defense Authorization Act was easily passed without most people paying much attention.
NDAA was passed by the Senate 92-7 after leaving the House where it passed 375-24. Not a whole lot of debate went into it, but ladies – don’t worry – you still aren’t eligible for the draft. That burden is still laid solely upon men between 18 and 25 years old. (So much for moving in the direction of equality.)
The bill is good news for ISIS and radical Islam, however, as it allows the President (be it Obama or Trump) to transfer missiles to Syrian “rebels”, who in many cases turn out not to be “moderate” and often times are ISIS themselves. The region will remain in tip-top shape though, with an additional $50 million in aid to Ukraine. (Paul Manafort, anyone?)
To keep things in order, in section 1261-65 the President is given authority to sanction ANYONE who is deemed responsible for “extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals in any foreign country.” That’ll teach em!
The President can also seize property any of their property that is in the United States, and guess what – this isn’t limited to foreigners. It applies to American citizens too. The NDAA allows the Federal government to use military force on its own people, authorizing the President to activate the National Guard within a state without that state’s governor’s permission.
The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other :means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it–`(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United Stateswithin the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, :privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and :the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that :right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or`(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes :the course of justice under those laws.In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have :denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.
Much of the 2017 NDAA is unchanged from previous years. The spending went up a little, and is more than what President Obama had proposed, at $618.7 billion. The attacks on civil liberties, states’ rights, and expansion of executive power isn’t really anything new, which explains why no legislator actually read it.
Maybe if they had, they would have voted ‘nay’ alongside the 7 Senators who did: Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).