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Military Industrial Complex: Merchants of Death. Who Runs the World? -Part 4

July 8, 2019

Military Industrial Complex: Merchants of Death. Who Runs the World? -Part 4

Congress Power to Declare War

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Preamble to the Constitution

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his notorious farewell address on January 17, 1961, about the dangers of the military industrial complex, and the potential for a private war seeking industry to control the federal government and manipulate the social and political system for their private financial gain- at the expense of global military destruction, societal destabilization, and systemic economic inequality across the planet from unchecked and misplaced power- he understood that the likelihood of Congress in allowing this military power to expand represented a key factor in preventing it from reaching epidemic proportions, as Congress and the federal legislature act as the safety valve for laws, power, and profit. The final draft of his speech called out the Military Industrial Congressional Complex, before members of Eisenhower’s administration, likely through the demands of members of Congress, removed the word Congressional prior to the final delivery of the speech to both American and global citizens, who now stand at the will of the military defense industry.

Under our current corrupt system of government, private corporations manipulate and exploit the political system for their private profit through an endless stream of political bribes to politicians reelection campaigns, and through federal lobbying, essentially blank checks written to members of Congress in order for them to pass favorable laws for the corporations that write them, laws that harm people and the planet, yet laws that enrich corporations, the federal government, and members of Congress, so they continue without the necessary oversight, as most members of Congress with any power lack the moral integrity, proper judgement, responsibility and courage to stand up and fight back against the systemic corruption that rules their lives to protect their voters wishes over the demands of powerful corporations.

To sacrifice a soul for a little bit of wealth in this free American society, encompasses the standard operating procedure for many that pursue the rugged and ruthless capitalism under our current system of government. Yet, those that subscribe to the superficial acquisition of monetary and material wealth in and of itself, lack the moral principles, but possess the hypocrisy, of railing against socialism for the poor, while protecting, and even promoting, the socialism for the wealthy and powerful that thrives under our current political and economic system. Corporations and the wealthy class seek taxpayer funded subsidies, write-offs, and bail-outs whenever their greed destroys the very system that brought them their wealth and power, as was the case after the global economic collapse of 2008, where the government used $700 billion dollars of taxpayer money to reward the banks that crashed the world economy, knowing that the federal government would step in with taxpayer money to provide a bailout.

This vicious cycle of corporate-government corruption followed by American taxpayer funded protection comes with the added side effect of racist and nationalistic fervor, sociopolitical polarization and, with the assistance of mainstream media propaganda, hatred and resentment directed away from politicians, corporations and the federal government, who allow the corporate and political bribes and deceit to continue, and towards fellow American citizens, stricken by poverty, but occupying different ends of the political spectrum, so liable and ripe for blame, anger, and ridicule. Whether you subscribe to left wing liberal and progressive policies, or right-wing conservative policies, the political game is rigged by the wealthy and the powerful decision makers within the corporate media, corporate business, and corporate political sector, to stifle social and political dissent; squash rebellions brought on by drastic economic inequality; and prevent a united base of American citizens from all sides of the political spectrum joining together and recognizing that their common struggle exists and is exacerbated by a corporate ruling class that governs through lies, deceit, divisiveness, and propaganda.

Understanding the common struggle and suffering among fellow American citizens- our fellow human beings on this organic space rock- with different, arbitrary, political and social ideologies, requires a higher level of conscious awareness, an understanding of, and confrontation with, our own unconscious shadow of the thing that we fear most about ourselves, so we project our fear onto others through judgement and negativity as a means abandoning and excusing our own actions and behaviors by neglecting them in ourselves but heightening them in others. This represents a convenient, but ignorant, mechanism of social control of others and, for ourselves, cohesion within a specific group, the adopted political or social tribe that we identify with as a form of protection from the harsh elements and reality of life in the United States. When Americans takes conscious control of their actions, emotions, and behaviors, rather than leave them up to the rhetoric of corrupt politicians, or the greedy and arrogant voices of corporate mainstream media puppets, they begin to see through the deceit, propaganda, and the totalitarian methods of control and government sanctioned ignorance.

U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 8, clauses 11–16

“The Congress shall have Power . . . To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules conquering Captures on Land and Water;

“To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

“To provide and maintain a Navy;

“To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”

Article II, Section 2, provides that:

The president shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States

Conflict arises in the Constitution when the executive powers of Commander in Chief go against the legislative powers of Congress in declaring war. The role of Congress in declaring war against foreign nations grew from the inception of the United States of America, through its Constitution, in order to limit the singular powers of the President, as an omnipotent King or Monarch, in declaring all out war without the consent of others. The founders of America experienced the relentless domination of King’s and religious leaders in old Europe and sought a new form of government to prevent the concentration of power in too few hands. Through the diffusion of power, the President of the United States, with the consent of Congress, may declare and wage war to protect the nation; but over time, from the executive powers of the President and through the corporate governments greed and lust for war- and the profits that war, death, and destruction brings- the Constitutional authority of Congress continues to wither in favor of the demands of the military industrial complex, of which, Congress now belongs to appease their corporate donors.

War Powers Resolution of November 1973

To limit the growing executive dominance of the President during the Cold War years- after two major World Wars that saw the Constitutional authority of Congress diminish in the face of the fascism and communism- Congress drafted the War Powers Resolution Act in 1973, a federal law meant to check the Presidents power in declaring war and armed conflict, illegally, without the consent of Congress.

The first draft of the Bill was vetoed, unsurprisingly, by President Richard Nixon, before being overridden by two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, on November 7, 1973. The War Powers Resolution Act permits the President to dispatch U.S. armed forces abroad, but requires him/her to report to Congress within 48 hours of the action. Congress then has 60 days to accept or reject the Presidents request for war. Congress created the War Powers Act to curb the Presidents powerful authority in waging wars without addressing or notifying Congress, as was the case with previous Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Nixon during the Vietnam War, where they invaded without a proper plan of action and were bogged down by North Vietnamese forces. There have been over 125 occasions where the President has ordered military action without the consent of Congress.

In the 243 years as an independent nation, there have been just five formal declarations of war: the War of 1812 against Great Britain; Mexican-American War of 1846; the Spanish-American War of 1898; World War 1 of 1917 against Germany and Austria-Hungary; World War 2 against Japan, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania. Five different wars in total. A formal declaration of war has not been declared since World War 2, which means that every war since that time- including the Korean War; the war in Vietnam; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq- fall under the governments convenient monikers and arrogant euphemisms of advanced actions, strategic campaigns, countering violent extremism, not wars. Technically, the longest war in American history, from 2001-Present, against terrorist forces in Afghanistan, does not fall under the category of war, as a declaration of war was never signed.

Every President since the passage of the War Powers Resolution in 1973 says the Act subverts their Constitutional and executive authority in declaring war. Presidents often cite the U.S. involvement in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)- an alliance between North American and European countries against Soviet Union aggression (the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991)- as well as U.S. membership in the United Nations to justify American military engagement in war without the consent of Congress, as this would lengthen the bureaucratic process and potentially put American soldiers and citizens at greater danger should a foreign nation threaten the United States. U.S. military involvement in the Korean War of 1950, the Persian Gulf War of 1991, the Bosnian War of 1992, and the War in Libya of 2011, were fought due to U.S. membership in the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, which requires military or economic aid to member countries within the United Nations.

Authorization for the use of Military Force (AUMF)

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Within just three days of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress drafted a Bill called the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which allows the President of the United States to use the American armed forces to track down, capture, and retaliate against any terrorist organization responsible for, or any group working with terrorist forces. The broad language within the AUMF allows the President to engage in endless wars without a specific geographical location, nor a particular enemy to fight against, as the potential ambiguous interpretation of the law grants the President with vast powers that escape from Congressional oversight and Constitutional authority. The law grants the President authority to use the armed forces to fight against Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization responsible for crashing into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon, which expanded to include the Taliban. The language within the law has been manipulated and interpreted to include ISIS, a terrorist organization which was not an original target of the United States and did not become a direct threat until 2014, after thirteen years of direct American military involvement in the Middle East.

The AUMF is considered by many legal scholars and members of Congress as a blank check for declaring war- without actually declaring a formal declaration of war- against any one, any thing, in any location on the planet harboring and protecting individuals and organizations with interests that go against the demands of the United States government. A formal declaration of war grants the President with the power to: take over businesses and transportation to support the war effort; ability to detain foreign nationals; power to conduct spying without warrants domestically; power to use natural resources on public lands. An AUMF does not trigger any of these executive powers by law, yet Presidents and the federal government conduct these operations against American citizens on a daily basis, regardless of declaring war or not.

Senate Armed Services Committee

The Senate Armed Services Committee, the most powerful group within Congress, provides legislative oversight over the nations military, including: Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy as pertaining to national security, benefits for members of the military, selective services (draft). The committee was created under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 following World War 2, which combined the Committee on Naval affairs (1816) and the Committee on Military Affairs (1816). Like all members and committees with Congress, the Senate Armed Services Committee is open and accepting to bribes, manipulation, and exploitation from the military industrial complex, which, together, form a symbiotic, war-seeking and profiteering relationship.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has the following jurisdiction:

  1. Aeronautical and space activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations.
  2. Common defense.
  3. Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally.
  4. Maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone.
  5. Military research and development.
  6. National security aspects of nuclear energy.
  7. Naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska.
  8. Pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents.
  9. Selective service system.
  10. Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.

Congress Accepting Money/Lobbying from Military Industrial Complex

Together, the American military, politicians, and the defense industry- which supplies the weapons and, through its greed, paves the way for greater levels of destruction- form what is called the Iron Triangle, less ominously known as the Military Industrial Complex. Like all endeavors in a predatory capitalist society, war is a for-profit business, the most financially lucrative business on the planet; and for the war-seeking profiteers within Congress, the corporate mainstream media, the American military, and the arms industry, the global War on Terror- the War on Fear- represents the greatest economic and geopolitical payday in the history of warfare.

While the climate destroying fossil fuel industry; the community destroying prison industrial complex; the society destroying, government sanctioned, and sickness promoting pharmaceutical industry; the consciousness destroying war on drugs; the intelligence and curiosity destroying education system; the health deteriorating agricultural industry; the ignorance promoting mainstream media; the government imposed inequality within our economic system; and the partisan hatred and fear within our social and political system, seek profit through human sickness, disease, suffering, and ignorance; while the military industrial complex seeks profit through death and destruction; and the more bullets shot and bombs dropped through American and world governments greed and lust for power, the greater the global destruction and social instability, and the larger the profits for the weapons industry.

The defense industry receive a majority of their profits from taxpayer funded, government contracts, which means that regular American citizens provide the money used by the military industrial complex to bribe politicians, change laws, increase military spending. The United States government and the private corporations that own the political and economic system seek their profits and power by bankrupting regular American citizens for the benefit of private military corporations. The vicious cycle come full circle to encompass and entangle American citizens in the web of global military destruction at the hands of corrupt and deceitful governments wielding the economic will of population for the benefit of private industry, the height of corporate socialism and government hypocrisy.

Those that declare endless, for-profit wars sit behind piles of wealth and taxpayer funded wooden desks in cozy offices far removed from the wars that they demand poor and middle class Americans to fight and die in- not to enrich private corporations, not to protect government kleptocracy and line the pockets of publicly elected representatives with taxpayer dollars and corporate cash, politicians say- but to protect and defend the United States of America against foreign terrorists, while ignoring the corporate and political terrorists that own and run the government.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae

Lobbying: $1.337 billion since 2009:

  1. 2010: $148 million
  2. 2011: $138 million
  3. 2012: $136 million. 900 lobbyists representing 266 companies in the Military Industrial Complex in 2012.
  4. 2013: $138 million
  5. 2014: $129 milion
  6. 2015: $129 million
  7. 2016: $127 milion
  8. 2017: $126 million
  9. 2018: $126 million

Lobbying spending increase before 9/11:

  1. 1998: $55 million
  2. 1999: $58.5 million
  3. 2000: $66 million
  4. 2001: $70 million
  5. 2002: $72 million
  6. 2003: $84.5 million
  7. 2004: $98 million
  8. 2005: $104 million
  9. 2006: $118 million
  10. 2007: $126 million
  11. 2008: $153 million
  12. 2009: $140 million

Direct campaign bribes to Candidates and Super Pacs:

-Total: $200 million to candidates since 1990 (57% going to Republicans).

  1. 2000: $15.4 million
  2. 2002: $16.7 million
  3. 2004: $19.2 million
  4. 2006: $19.2 million
  5. 2008: $26.4 million
  6. 2010: $24.3 million
  7. 2012: $29.7 million.
  8. 2014: $26.7 million
  9. 2016: $30.9 million
  10. 2018: $30 million

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