Tag Archives: act of war

Ten Questions for John Brennan, and his Senatorial Confirmers.

Ten Questions for John Brennan, and his Senatorial Confirmers.

1.  How effective has congressional oversight functioned with the CIA? <br>
2. The Church Commission required an FBI Director be confirmed every decade, and this was not done with FBI Director Mueller.  Why?  Is periodic confirmation of ANY spy/surveillance/investigative agency a good idea in light of the Church Commission findings? <br>
3.According to Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and Wm Arkin in their Top Secret America report, there are 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies engaged in security work similar or associated with the CIA.   Who has oversight?  Who confirms their directors and directions and budgets, and how frequently?   What is the aggregate cost… and why is this budget “black”?
4. Senator Ron Wyden’s question as I roughly recall:  If our government decides to kill a citizen, does it supply a courtesy call as to why?   And who, apart from the President and those in his chain of command selects and approves these assassinations?
5. Is there concern about assassinations in other countries by US agents without the constitutionally required letter of Marque and Reprisal granted by the Congress (not the executive branch)?  If not, why?
6.Who, if anyone in government, is concerned about going to war without a declaration, as required by the constitution?   What is the significance of the oath or affirmation that office holders and service personnel take to preserve and protect the constitution?    Does that refer to the physical object, or the  meaning of the words contained in it?  (trying to keep my questions light, like Sn. Wyden.)
7. What has been the cost to the United States of fighting famous CIA alumnus such as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Manuel Noriega, in lives and money, not to mention opportunity cost?   What has been the cost of conflicts with lesser known alums.   Any idea of ongoing and future costs?   Who monitors the fallout of the 1,271 government, and 1,931 private agencies?…. or is this as I fear, divided between numerous Congressional committees fighting for turf.  Who gains by this disorganization?
8. The drone boom is currently a lucrative area of development when there are few opportunities in this post crash economy.   How long before drones will, as all inventions do, return upon the United States, both government and civil society.   How long will these new threats harm our country?     Is our collective investment in this in the long term security interest of the US, or like the H bomb, a moral albatross which will fester in time?   Is this the security job equivalent to a self licking ice cream cone?
9. If a declaration of war were to be written,  to  provide an outline of what victory might look like, is short, what we want….. what would it say?
10. Since this is the intelligence committee, and while great expense is proffered surveilling the wide world, and yet because of our disjointed economy, banks and hedge funds are selling great swaths of America overseas.    Is this intelligent?  In the national interest?

What Constitution?

The beauty of the constitution is that 99% of it is written in plain English. “[Only] The Congress shall have the power  to declare war…”.   or  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”   and that is the law of the land, superseding all other laws.

Yet in how many countries are we bombing targets with our drones? Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and perhaps more.   I ask you.   Is bombing an act of war?  Of course.   Is it an act of war if is a missile  is shot from a drone?   Same answer.   Have we declared war?  We have not been asked.

On seemingly another subject, there has been a trade show that recurred for five years called the Wiretappers Ball. It is by invitation only and the FBI, the Secret Service and many  other US agencies which are invited and purchase huge contracts from private wiretapping corporations.  These firms also sell their wares to Syrians who are using the internet  to tweet for freedom from repression.  This too is in abject contravention of the constitution quoted above.

But these two items make the same point.   We are accostomed to living in violation of the US Constitution.   There are hundreds if not thousands of other examples, but two  are sufficient. One affects your personal security, the other your national security.  We are paying into a lawless government.

How can we the people be secure in our houses, email and effects when our own government is funding the wiretapping industry?    How can we say No to war when we are not asked, when war has not been declared, or denied in 65 years?  Is war so informal?   Does no one think: ‘I wonder whose bombs are those blowing up my neighbors house and family?’

This is profoundly disingenuous. How do we get out of this, when the candidates running for President do not discuss this, or when the congress does not require simply this:   Follow the Constitution.

All our public servants have sworn an oath to do just that.