Ivan Eland: Unfortunately, even if the law is not changed, civil liberties groups already have a perpetual war on their hands–despite the decimation of the main al Qaeda group.
The Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower warned against the dangers of developing a military industrial complex. It appears that when all you have in your toolbox is hammers, everything looks like a nail. The articles below give a sense of the many ways we use all of the hammers we've invested in.
William Blum: What is it that makes young men, reasonably well educated, in good health and nice looking, with long lives ahead of them, use powerful explosives to murder complete strangers because of political beliefs? I’m speaking about American military personnel of course, on the ground, in the air, or directing drones from an office in Nevada.
Joseph Palermo: In U.S.-occupied Iraq, every car bomb, every I.E.D., every suicide bomber, and every sectarian killing that followed that sunny day in May off the San Diego coast made a mockery of Bush’s premature spiking of the proverbial football and brought deserved derision from the rest of the world.
Joseph Palermo: And after throwing away so many lives and so much money we’re now being told (by many of the same people who sold us the Iraq War) that we have no resources left to ensure that our children get a good education, or that our elderly can retire in dignity, or our poor people are given hope for a better future.
Lauren Windsor: Why wasn’t there more support for our Constitutional rights from senators from BOTH sides of the aisle? Civil liberties should be a non-partisan issue. The erosion of rights to privacy, probable cause, due process, and trial by jury did not begin with President Obama, but he has done little to abate it.
Dick Price: I have thought, at least at times, that my life has been better for having served in combat in Vietnam, that what I learned about myself eventually made me a better person, clearer about what to believe and what not to believe, surer about my own moral compass. But what if the luck of the draw had gone the other way?
Norman Solomon: But unlike the horrific war in Southeast Asia, the ongoing and open-ended “war on terror” is not confined by geography or, apparently, by calendar. The search for enemies to smite (and create) is availing itself of a bottomless pit, while bottom-feeding military contractors keep making a killing.
Nick Turse: Chuck Hagel’s views on the Vietnam War underwent a fundamental shift following the release of audio tapes of President Lyndon Johnson admitting, in 1964, that the war was unwinnable. That “cold political calculation” caused Hagel to vow that he would “never, ever remain silent when that kind of thinking put more American lives at risk in any conflict.”