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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Good News and Bad News for the National Defense Authorization Act 2013

Senator Tom Udall and Senator Jeff Bingaman released the following press statement "Udall, Bingaman Offer Amendments to Defense Authorization Act" highlighting amendments they introduced and passed to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2013.

These are very positive amendments for the state of New Mexico. Below are quotes from Udall and Bingaman.

"With these amendments, we are ensuring New Mexico is a leader in the 21st century clean energy economy, and at the forefront of the national security achievements being made at our national labs and within the defense community," Udall said. "Our biofuels amendment is especially important to national security and businesses in our state so I'm glad we were able to get one over the finish line today."

"The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the most important bills for New Mexico because it helps fund our national labs and our military installations. I am especially glad that the Senate adopted our amendment to allow the Pentagon to invest in all types of fuels - including biofuels -- for its fleets. The Defense Department is a major consumer of fuel, and the more homegrown, cleaner-burning fuel it purchases the better off we will be," said Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

However, there remains troubling language within NDAA 2013 regarding laws of Detention. The HuffPost has a good write up of this: Senators Make Bid To End Indefinite Detention In NDAA. An excerpt:

A bipartisan group of senators made a bid Wednesday to end the indefinite military detention of Americans in the United States.

Declaring that a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 put the country on a path to repeat the shame of World War II's internment camps, they argued the offending language should be stricken in this year's defense bill.

The authority to detain anyone on suspicions that they backed Al Qaeda was codified in law for the first time in the NDAA last winter, although the two most recent White House administrations have asserted since 2001 that the military has always had that authority, stemming from Congress' Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed after the 9/11 attacks.

Senator Rand Paul had this to say about the indefinite detention, "If we give up our rights, have not the terrorists won?" Paul said. "If we relinquish our rights because of fear, what is it exactly that we are fighting for?"

One last thing in this monster bill. The cost of this war machine bill does not seem to be in any dialog at all. Click on this link and go to page 597 to see the tables of what we are paying for within this bill. Make sure you are sitting down. One because it is 70 pages long and the other because it is billions and billions of dollars. Our tax dollars, line after line, page after page. Descriptions of who knows what. Who goes through these items? An example below, the numbers are in thousands of dollars.

MATERIAL HANDLING EQUIPMENT

172 ROUGH TERRAIN CONTAINER HANDLER (RTCH) ....... 0 0

173 FAMILY OF FORKLIFTS ................5,895

174 ALL TERRAIN LIFTING ARMY SYSTEM ......... 0 0

TRAINING EQUIPMENT

175 COMBAT TRAINING CENTERS SUPPORT ....... 104,649

176 TRAINING DEVICES, NONSYSTEM .................. 125,251

177 CLOSE COMBAT TACTICAL TRAINER ............ 19,984

178 AVIATION COMBINED ARMS TACTICAL TRAINER ........ 10,977

179 GAMING TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF ARMY TRAINING ... 4,056

What are these things and why do we need them? Why are'nt we as a nation screaming about this list of killing devices or training of killers. Meanwhile we judge the person on foodstamps? Or punish the people on unemployment. One word comes to mind, unsustainable.  

November 29, 2012 at 04:55 PM in Military Affairs, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Sen. Tom Udall | Permalink

Comments

This is one instance where we would fervently hope for a dysfunctional and constipated Federal Legislature. This is one power that requires continuous obstruction. Any party power in the majority could declare unconstitutional martial law.
Perhaps that power is in the executive as it is.
Who would you trust and why would the president put this power "on the table?"

"the two most recent White House administrations have asserted since 2001 that the military has always had that authority"

Congress also has given authority to the military to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely.
But, it seems that the two branches are jockeying each other for the power over civil military use.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/01/national-defense-authorization-act_n_1123167.html

Posted by: qofdisks | Dec 1, 2012 12:34:34 AM

BTW, all those billions of dollars of military crap listed is considered economic stimulus by Neo-Liberals.
The trouble is the incredible evil of waste in our priorities on a macro-level.

Posted by: qofdisks | Dec 1, 2012 12:42:03 AM