December 22, 2012 by bfranklin2076
Mr. Speaker I rise to oppose what will be the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) I will face as a Member of the US House of Representatives. As many of my colleagues are aware, I have always voted against the NDAA regardless of what party controls the House. Far from simply providing an authorization for the money needed to defend this country, which I of course support, this authorization and its many predecessors have long been used to fuel militarization, enrich the military industrial complex, expand our empire overseas, and purchase military and other enormously expensive equipment that we do not need and in large part does not work anyway. They wrap all of this mess up in false patriotism, implying that Members who do not vote for these boondoggles do not love their country. The military industrial complex is a jigsaw puzzle of seemingly competing private companies; but they are in reality state-sponsored enterprises where well-connected lobbyists, usually after long and prosperous careers in the military or government, pressure Congress to fund pet projects regardless of whether we can afford them or whether they are needed to defend our country. This convenient arrangement is the welfare of the warfare state.
Because of the false perception that we must pass this military spending authorization each year or our men and women in uniform will go hungry, Congress has over the years taken the opportunity to pack it with other items that would have been difficult to pass on their own. This is nothing new on Capitol Hill. In the last few years, however, this practice has taken a sinister turn.
The now-infamous NDAA for fiscal year 2012, passed last year, granted the president the authority to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge, without access to an attorney, and without trial. It is difficult to imagine anything more un-American than this attack on our Constitutional protections. While we may not have yet seen the widespread use of this unspeakably evil measure, a wider application of this “authority” may only be a matter of time.