The Nation's John Nichols wrote this about a little known proposal by House Republicans to once again work against the Constitution by giving the president the ability to go to war. I originally heard this story last night as interpreted by talk host Mike Malloy, which was wonderfully descriptive. I sadly don't have the audio here.
House Republicans (proposed) a backdoor plan to commit the United States to a course of permanent war making, they are affronting the most basic premises of a Constitution that requires congressional declarations of all wars and direct and engaged oversight of military missions. The House Republican leadership, working in conjunction with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-California, has included in the 2012 defense authorization bill language (borrowed from the sweeping Detainee Security Act) that would effectively declare a state of permanent war against unnamed and ill-defined foreign forces "associated" with the Taliban and al Qaeda.
(The language included in the spending bill) would appear to grant the President near unfettered authority to initiate military action around the world without further congressional approval," argues Congressman John Conyers, D-Michigan. James Madison, the essential author of Constitution. Madison observed in the founding years of the American experiment that: "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.