Stratfor Asks What Happened To The American Declaration of War?

Tyler Durden's picture

From George Friedman of Stratfor

What Happened to the American Declaration of War?

In my book “The Next Decade,”
I spend a good deal of time considering the relation of the American
Empire to the American Republic and the threat the empire poses to the
republic. If there is a single point where these matters converge, it is
in the constitutional requirement that Congress approve wars through a
declaration of war and in the abandonment of this requirement since
World War II. This is the point where the burdens and interests of the
United States as a global empire collide with the principles and rights
of the United States as a republic.

World War II was the last war the United States fought with a formal
declaration of war. The wars fought since have had congressional
approval, both in the sense that resolutions were passed and that
Congress appropriated funds, but the Constitution is explicit in
requiring a formal declaration. It does so for two reasons, I think. The
first is to prevent the president from taking the country to war
without the consent of the governed, as represented by Congress. Second,
by providing for a specific path to war, it provides the president
power and legitimacy he would not have without that declaration; it both
restrains the president and empowers him. Not only does it make his
position as commander in chief unassailable by authorizing military
action, it creates shared responsibility for war. A declaration of war
informs the public of the burdens they will have to bear by leaving no
doubt that Congress has decided on a new order — war — with how each
member of Congress voted made known to the public.

Almost all Americans have heard Franklin Roosevelt’s speech to
Congress on Dec. 8, 1941: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will
live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and
deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan … I
ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly
attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between
the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

It was a moment of majesty and sobriety, and with Congress’
affirmation, represented the unquestioned will of the republic. There
was no going back, and there was no question that the burden would be
borne. True, the Japanese had attacked the United States, making getting
the declaration easier. But that’s what the founders intended: Going to
war should be difficult; once at war, the commander in chief’s
authority should be unquestionable.

Forgoing the Declaration

It is odd, therefore, that presidents who need that authorization
badly should forgo pursuing it. Not doing so has led to seriously failed
presidencies: Harry Truman in Korea, unable to seek another term;
Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam, also unable to seek a new term; George W.
Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq,
completing his terms but enormously unpopular. There was more to this
than undeclared wars, but that the legitimacy of each war was questioned
and became a contentious political issue certainly is rooted in the
failure to follow constitutional pathways.

In understanding how war and constitutional norms became separated,
we must begin with the first major undeclared war in American history
(the Civil War was not a foreign war), Korea. When North Korea invaded
South Korea, Truman took recourse to the new U.N. Security Council. He
wanted international sanction for the war and was able to get it because
the Soviet representatives happened to be boycotting the Security
Council over other issues at the time.

Truman’s view was that U.N. sanction for the war superseded the
requirement for a declaration of war in two ways. First, it was not a
war in the strict sense, he argued, but a “police action” under the U.N.
Charter. Second, the U.N. Charter constituted a treaty, therefore
implicitly binding the United States to go to war if the United Nations
so ordered. Whether Congress’ authorization to join the United Nations
both obligated the United States to wage war at U.N. behest, obviating
the need for declarations of war because Congress had already authorized
police actions, is an interesting question. Whatever the answer, Truman
set a precedent that wars could be waged without congressional
declarations of war and that other actions — from treaties to
resolutions to budgetary authorizations — mooted declarations of war.

If this was the founding precedent, the deepest argument for the
irrelevancy of the declaration of war is to be found in nuclear weapons.
Starting in the 1950s, paralleling the Korean War, was the increasing
risk of nuclear war. It was understood that if nuclear war occurred,
either through an attack by the Soviets or a first strike by the United
States, time and secrecy made a prior declaration of war by Congress
impossible. In the expected scenario of a Soviet first strike, there
would be only minutes for the president to authorize counterstrikes and
no time for constitutional niceties. In that sense, it was argued fairly
persuasively that the Constitution had become irrelevant to the
military realities facing the republic.

Nuclear war was seen as the most realistic war-fighting scenario,
with all other forms of war trivial in comparison. Just as nuclear
weapons came to be called “strategic weapons” with other weapons of war
occupying a lesser space, nuclear war became identical with war in
general. If that was so, then constitutional procedures that could not
be applied to nuclear war were simply no longer relevant.

Paradoxically, if nuclear warfare represented the highest level of
warfare, there developed at the lowest level covert operations. Apart
from the nuclear confrontation with the Soviets, there was an intense
covert war, from back alleys in Europe to the Congo, Indochina to Latin
America. Indeed, it was waged everywhere precisely because the threat of
nuclear war was so terrible: Covert warfare became a prudent
alternative. All of these operations had to be deniable. An attempt to
assassinate a Soviet agent or raise a secret army to face a Soviet
secret army could not be validated with a declaration of war. The Cold
War was a series of interconnected but discrete operations, fought with
secret forces whose very principle was deniability. How could
declarations of war be expected in operations so small in size that had
to be kept secret from Congress anyway?

There was then the need to support allies, particularly in sending
advisers to train their armies. These advisers were not there to engage
in combat but to advise those who did. In many cases, this became an
artificial distinction: The advisers accompanied their students on
missions, and some died. But this was not war in any conventional sense
of the term. And therefore, the declaration of war didn’t apply.

By the time Vietnam came up, the transition from military assistance
to advisers to advisers in combat to U.S. forces at war was so subtle
that there was no moment to which you could point that said that we were
now in a state of war where previously we weren’t. Rather than ask for a
declaration of war, Johnson used an incident in the Tonkin Gulf to get a
congressional resolution that he interpreted as being the equivalent of
war. The problem here was that it was not clear that had he asked for a
formal declaration of war he would have gotten one. Johnson didn’t take
that chance.

What Johnson did was use Cold War precedents, from the Korean War, to
nuclear warfare, to covert operations to the subtle distinctions of
contemporary warfare in order to wage a substantial and extended war
based on the Tonkin Gulf resolution — which Congress clearly didn’t see
as a declaration of war — instead of asking for a formal declaration.
And this represented the breakpoint. In Vietnam, the issue was not some
legal or practical justification for not asking for a declaration.
Rather, it was a political consideration.

Johnson did not know that he could get a declaration; the public
might not be prepared to go to war. For this reason, rather than ask for
a declaration, he used all the prior precedents to simply go to war
without a declaration. In my view, that was the moment the declaration
of war as a constitutional imperative collapsed. And in my view, so did
the Johnson presidency. In hindsight, he needed a declaration badly, and
if he could not get it, Vietnam would have been lost, and so may have
been his presidency. Since Vietnam was lost anyway from lack of public
consensus, his decision was a mistake. But it set the stage for
everything that came after — war by resolution rather than by formal
constitutional process.

After the war, Congress created the War Powers Act in recognition
that wars might commence before congressional approval could be given.
However, rather than returning to the constitutional method of the
Declaration of War, which can be given after the commencement of war if
necessary (consider World War II) Congress chose to bypass declarations
of war in favor of resolutions allowing wars. Their reason was the same
as the president’s: It was politically safer to authorize a war already
under way than to invoke declarations of war.

All of this arose within the assertion that the president’s powers as
commander in chief authorized him to engage in warfare without a
congressional declaration of war, an idea that came in full force in the
context of nuclear war and then was extended to the broader idea that
all wars were at the discretion of the president. From my simple
reading, the Constitution is fairly clear on the subject: Congress is
given the power to declare war. At that moment, the president as
commander in chief is free to prosecute the war as he thinks best. But
constitutional law and the language of the Constitution seem to have
diverged. It is a complex field of study, obviously.

An Increasing Tempo of Operations

All of this came just before the United States emerged as the world’s
single global power — a global empire — that by definition would be
waging war at an increased tempo, from Kuwait, to Haiti, to Kosovo, to Afghanistan, to Iraq, and so on in an ever-increasing number of operations. And now in Libya, we have reached the point that even resolutions are no longer needed.

It is said that there is no precedent for fighting al Qaeda, for
example, because it is not a nation but a subnational group. Therefore,
Bush could not reasonably have been expected to ask for a declaration of
war. But there is precedent: Thomas Jefferson asked for and received a
declaration of war against the Barbary pirates. This authorized
Jefferson to wage war against a subnational group of pirates as if they
were a nation.

Had Bush requested a declaration of war on al Qaeda
on Sept. 12, 2001, I suspect it would have been granted overwhelmingly,
and the public would have understood that the United States was now at
war for as long as the president thought wise. The president would have
been free to carry out operations as he saw fit. Roosevelt did not have
to ask for special permission to invade Guadalcanal, send troops to
India, or invade North Africa. In the course of fighting Japan, Germany
and Italy, it was understood that he was free to wage war as he thought
fit. In the same sense, a declaration of war on Sept. 12 would have
freed him to fight al Qaeda wherever they were or to move to block them
wherever the president saw fit.

Leaving aside the military wisdom of Afghanistan or Iraq, the legal
and moral foundations would have been clear — so long as the president
as commander in chief saw an action as needed to defeat al Qaeda, it
could be taken. Similarly, as commander in chief, Roosevelt usurped
constitutional rights for citizens in many ways, from censorship to
internment camps for Japanese-Americans. Prisoners of war not adhering
to the Geneva Conventions were shot by military tribunal — or without.
In a state of war, different laws and expectations exist than during
peace. Many of the arguments against Bush-era intrusions on privacy also
could have been made against Roosevelt. But Roosevelt had a declaration
of war and full authority as commander in chief during war. Bush did
not. He worked in twilight between war and peace.

One of the dilemmas that could have been avoided was the massive
confusion of whether the United States was engaged in hunting down a
criminal conspiracy or waging war on a foreign enemy. If the former,
then the goal is to punish the guilty. If the latter, then the goal is
to destroy the enemy. Imagine that after Pearl Harbor, FDR had promised
to hunt down every pilot who attacked Pearl Harbor and bring them to
justice, rather than calling for a declaration of war against a hostile
nation and all who bore arms on its behalf regardless of what they had
done. The goal in war is to prevent the other side from acting, not to
punish the actors.

The Importance of the Declaration

A declaration of war, I am arguing, is an essential aspect of war
fighting particularly for the republic when engaged in frequent wars. It
achieves a number of things. First, it holds both Congress and the
president equally responsible for the decision, and does so
unambiguously. Second, it affirms to the people that their lives have
now changed and that they will be bearing burdens. Third, it gives the
president the political and moral authority he needs to wage war on
their behalf and forces everyone to share in the moral responsibility of
war. And finally, by submitting it to a political process, many wars
might be avoided. When we look at some of our wars after World War II it
is not clear they had to be fought in the national interest, nor is it
clear that the presidents would not have been better remembered if they
had been restrained. A declaration of war both frees and restrains the
president, as it was meant to do.

I began by talking about the American empire. I won’t make the
argument on that here, but simply assert it. What is most important is
that the republic not be overwhelmed in the course of pursuing imperial
goals. The declaration of war is precisely the point at which imperial
interests can overwhelm republican prerogatives.

There are enormous complexities here. Nuclear war has not been
abolished. The United States has treaty obligations to the United
Nations and other countries. Covert operations are essential, as is
military assistance, both of which can lead to war. I am not making the
argument that constant accommodation to reality does not have to be
made. I am making the argument that the suspension of Section 8 of
Article I as if it is possible to amend the Constitution with a wink and
nod represents a mortal threat to the republic. If this can be done,
what can’t be done?

My readers will know that I am far from squeamish about war. I have questions about Libya,
for example, but I am open to the idea that it is a low-cost,
politically appropriate measure. But I am not open to the possibility
that quickly after the commencement of hostilities the president need
not receive authority to wage war from Congress. And I am arguing that
neither the Congress nor the president have the authority to substitute
resolutions for declarations of war. Nor should either want to.
Politically, this has too often led to disaster for presidents. Morally,
committing the lives of citizens to waging war requires meticulous
attention to the law and proprieties.

As our international power and interests surge, it would seem
reasonable that our commitment to republican principles would surge.
These commitments appear inconvenient. They are meant to be. War is a
serious matter, and presidents and particularly Congresses should be
inconvenienced on the road to war. Members of Congress should not be
able to hide behind ambiguous resolutions only to turn on the president
during difficult times, claiming that they did not mean what they voted
for. A vote on a declaration of war ends that. It also prevents a
president from acting as king by default. Above all, it prevents the
public from pretending to be victims when their leaders take them to
war. The possibility of war will concentrate the mind of a distracted
public like nothing else. It turns voting into a life-or-death matter, a
tonic for our adolescent body politic.

Happened to the American Declaration of War? is republished with permission of STRATFOR."

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bob_dabolina's picture

The American declaration of war went down the same shit tubes the US constitution went albeit on a different flush.

Harlequin001's picture

Not sure you need to appropriate for war any more, which makes congress largely moot...

So, if you don't need to appropriate for war, you don't need to appropriate for domestic spending and you've delegated your ability to print money to the banks, seems to me that US politicians have a very easy life...

So if congress's only reason to exist is to transfer the rights of the many to the few and to 'look busy', because that's what an easy life is, what's the point is US democracy?

TuffsNotEnuff's picture

The Empire is running at $ 1,219,000,000,000-a-year. Military-plus-spying.

Do a traditional Zero Based Budget process on what the U.S. needs for military-plus-spying and the justification totes out around $ 400-billion. That's allowing for global presense and enough firepower to support the likes of Libya and the Drug War in Afghanistan. ("Heroin drought" doing the clamp down in Europe/Russia and the U.S. these days.)

The Overhead Industry.

And this twit thinks that killing Flight_103_Gaddafi on the 90-day emergency authorization is a big deal ??? I can't tell whether he's a PC_tool or a Cheney_sucker.

Sudden Debt's picture

WOW!!! It only took you 4 minutes to read the entire article and post a comment!


bob_dabolina's picture

Wow. I never said I read the article.

I was commenting on the title.

The US constitution (rule of law) is not followed/enforced by our governing officials anymore. They have even stated they don't even consider it anymore while making law. That's really what I was commenting on.

Harlequin001's picture

and that was about all there was to it anyway...

Arthor Bearing's picture

Hahaha SD.

Gotta love the "Oh shit an article just got posted" quick-comment. Can't say I've never done it. But really it would be more honest for the commenter to just say "first" like the whoring bastard he is :)

In Fed We Trust's picture

Would Julian Assange please send over the next "punch list" for the globalists please.

It seems the plan is working much faster than we anticpated and we figured we mighth as well use the momentum to take advantage.

Thanks again Facebook and Google(Cia) for bringing the world together.

Just like the At&t commercial, "Reach out and touch somebody."

And Julian, dont forget we have rehersals next week, for your court appearence in the states. 


Just Observing's picture

Yep....started almost as soon as the ink dried on it, accelerated in 1860-65, and today, barely a hollow shell of the dusty document remains.

Joni Mitchell sang it best "Don't it always seem as though, you don't know what you've got til it's gone...."

SilverTech's picture

"Had Bush requested a declaration of war on al Qaeda on Sept. 12, 2001"

Wow, that would have been really Orwellian. Declare war on a mythical organization for a crime that they have never been convicted of committing.

Anyone who thinks al Qaeda exists should watch the following.

al Qaeda is an American invention, like tv and the atom bomb.

ebworthen's picture


Constitution was flushed by Supine Court so municipalities can confiscate your home or other property to simply increase tax revenues.

Constitution flushed by Supine's again to sanction corporate and union campaign contributions (vote buying).

Congress?  Declaration of War? Hah!  The military-industrial complex needs no approval for blowing a munitions wad and increasing production demand.

YouBetYourLife's picture

Yes, the title is Commander-in-Chief, not King or Emperor.

Gully Foyle's picture


I much prefer the Benevolent Monarch myself. At least you know where you stand unlike the pretend "freedom" we know and love.

Harlequin001's picture

Yes at least a monarch had some incentive to leave something behind for his successor.

Politicians evidently don't... because it's always someone else's fault anyway.

Patriotism or should I say the long term benefit of a country has now been reduced to little more than a blame game...

Golden monkey's picture

I don't think we should blame anybody. Better remain silent, like most dumb sheeple.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Tyler should definitely stop posting this "political stuff" on his financial forum, otherwise Mr. Anonymous and Chet might get angry again thinking about the good old days when we had something that at least resembled a market. 

by Mr. Anonymous
on Mon, 03/28/2011 - 16:16

What does this have to do with today's market action?  Take your fucktard political shite somewhere else.


by chet
on Mon, 03/28/2011 - 17:59

For the record, I agree with you Mr. Anon.  There is a lot of hijacking the comment thread with politics around here. 

PS:  GM is down again!  GM really does suck.  Ultimate support is zero, AGAIN.  You are welcome, cdad.

Clampit's picture

Yes, if only our financial system were separate from the state...

What I'd like to know is what name do I write in for the market anarchy approach?

Golden monkey's picture

It's a very sad thing that overweight pigs like you performed computers intrusion/unauthorized access.

Maybe some sucks, but how come she doesn't anymore?

There's no need for us to tell you to go fuck yourself; cause the grand jury will.

Clampit's picture

In parsing your Engrish I do see at least one correct assertation; "There's no need for [you]...", well said.

Diogenes's picture

Or as Louis XIV put it "apres moi, le deluge" or "after me, the shit hits the fan". It is hard to find an example of a king who cared what happened after he died, and in most cases they did whatever the hell they felt like even if it screwed the country while they were alive.

Prime example is King Charles while at war with Holland, taking the Navy appropriations and blowing the money on clothes, jewelry, liquor and whores. Finally Parliament took away his authority to spend money.

Natasha Fatale's picture

ObaMao is a modern-day Leviathan (à la Thomas Hobbes) saving us from ourselves. Without him, the life of man would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short".


TuffsNotEnuff's picture

King Obama. Just like "King Lincoln."

John Wilkes Boothe drank himself into a frenzy over that one.

Gully Foyle's picture

Was there a Declaration of War for Iraq? I know IWR pissed people off because Congress essentially gave up the power to declare war.

Which is kind of silly, power to declare war, sounds like a card game statement.

YouBetYourLife's picture

Congress was consulted, in advance, which passed a joint resolution (Public Law 107-243) which authorized President Bush to use the U.S. armed forces "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" in order to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."

The military action was authorized by Congress. That's the constitutional requirement.   


Harlequin001's picture

Does it not strike you as somewhat strange that all these terrorists seem to come from oil producing states thus requiring invasion and liberation?

I mean how many knife wielding, gun totting bomb chuckers come from North Korea for example?

Just asking, perhaps it's just me...

Dapper Dan's picture

** WARNING**   Please prepare your self for the worlds longest sentence.

Arthor Bearing's picture

Yemen wants democracy so they started drilling for oil. "Obama! We have oil! Now tell them to stop slaughtering us!"

Gully Foyle's picture


It is time to set the record straight. The United States Congress never voted for the Iraq war. Rather, Congress voted for a resolution in October 2002 which unlawfully transferred to the president the decision-making power of whether to launch a first-strike invasion of Iraq. The United States Constitution vests the awesome power of deciding whether to send the nation into war solely in the United States Congress. Those members of Congress -- including certain Democratic presidential candidates -- who voted for that October resolution cannot now claim that they were deceived, as some of them do. By unlawfully ceding the war-declaring power to the president, they allowed the president to start a war against Iraq based on whatever evidence or whatever lies he chose. The members of Congress who voted for that October resolution are as complicit in this illegal war as is the president himself. Imagine this: The United States Congress passes a resolution which states: "The President is authorized to levy an income tax on the people of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to pay for subsidies to U.S. oil companies." No amount of legal wrangling could make such a resolution constitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants the power to levy taxes exclusively to the United States Congress. Now let us turn to reality. In October 2002, Congress passed a resolution which stated: "The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to 1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and 2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." As he determines to be necessary and appropriate. Congress cannot transfer to the president its exclusive power to declare war any more than it can transfer its exclusive power to levy taxes. Such a transfer is illegal. These are non-delegable powers held only by the United States Congress. In drafting the War Powers Clause of Article I, Section 8, the framers of the Constitution set out to create a nation that would be nothing like the model established by European monarchies. They knew the dangers of empowering a single individual to decide whether to send the nation into war. They had sought to make a clean break from the kings and queens of Europe, those rulers who could, of their own accord, send their subjects into battle. That is why the framers wisely decided that only the people, through their elected representatives in Congress, should be entrusted with the power to start a war. The wars of kings and queens of Europe had brought not only havoc and destruction to the lives of those forced into battle and those left to suffer their loss. They had also brought poverty. They were stark symbols that the subjects living under such monarchies lacked any voice or any control over their destiny. The War Powers Clause of the Constitution emerged from that collective memory: "Congress shall have power...To declare war... " No other language in the Constitution is as simple and clear. Thomas Jefferson called it "an effectual check to the Dog of war." George Mason said that he was "for clogging rather than facilitating war." James Wilson stated: "This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large." Several years after the adoption of the Constitution, James Madison would write: "In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war and peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department." Some might ask how George W. Bush's war against Iraq is different from other U.S wars. Congress has not declared war since World War II. While some of the U.S. military actions since that time have received the equivalent of a congressional declaration, others have not. There have been other violations of the War Powers Clause of the Constitution. But today we face an extraordinary moment in United States history. The president of the United States launched a premeditated, first-strike invasion of another country, the likes of which this nation has never before seen. This massive military operation sought to conquer and occupy Iraq for an indefinite period of time. This was not a random act of raw power. It was the first salvo of a new and dangerous U.S. doctrine, a doctrine which advocates the unprovoked invasion and occupation of sovereign nations. This new doctrine threatens to destabilize the world, creating a new world order of chaos and lawlessness. Now more than ever, the Constitution and the rule of law must apply. And, now more than ever, the truth must be told. The first lie about the Iraq war was not that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or ties to Al Qaeda. The first lie told to the American people is that Congress voted for this war. In the midst of the rushed congressional debate in October 2002, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Virginia) warned that the resolution under consideration was unconstitutional. "We are handing this over to the President of the United States," Byrd said. "When we do that, we can put up a sign on the top of this Capitol, and we can say: 'Gone home. Gone fishing. Out of business.'" Byrd added: "I never thought I would see the day in these forty-four years I have been in this body... when we would cede this kind of power to any president." The Iraq war is in direct violation of the United States Constitution. The president and the members of Congress who voted for that October resolution should be held accountable for sending this nation into an illegal war.
Harlequin001's picture

fuck me that's a big one, as the actress said to the bishop...

jimijon's picture

Paragraphs exist for a reason.

Harlequin001's picture

Yes Gully, good effort but I get about a third of the way down and keep reading the same line again and again and again and well.. I'm off for a cup of tea...

Oh regional Indian's picture

Perhaps it will be good to see and decide for yourself the truth of otherwise of Trafficant's speech on the floor?

The US is the ultimate Chimera in it's current state. A blood (for Oil)-sucking vampire of a nation-state, lawless to the outside and a law unto itself within.


ReeferMac's picture

We got the UN. Don't need no stinkin Congress...


Careless Whisper's picture

i didnt vote for anyone at the UN. why are we taking orders from them?

Harlequin001's picture

I didn't vote for anyone in the US but they still fucked up our banks...

cossack55's picture

If you voted for a piece of shit dem or piece of shit repub, you voted for the UN, baby. Get used to it.

X. Kurt OSis's picture

Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

A bunch of Americans (myself included) sitting around complaining about American bloodlust is an absurdity. We are all complicit in this. The language of the constitution is irrelevant. Whether or not millitary actions of the post WWII variety are properly authorized by a document written hundreds of years ago is not the question we should be asking. We should be asking whether that document should be abandoned all together if any mechanism exists to authorize imperial wars waged on the lesser humans our government designates.

We sit here and debate while the greatest killing machine in human history is unleashed at will. Our wealth is stolen and handed to TBTF's and our votes our thrown in the garbage.

Keep voting for change, everyone. I'm sure we'll get it someday.

X. Kurt OSis's picture

Not a cynic, just a realist.  I don't vote anymore.  There is too much blood on my hands to operate the lever.

In Fed We Trust's picture

Birth Certificate.


It's just a piece of paper. Soon all will be electronic, and there, data could be "changed" of the fly to fit the new situation. 

Paper records just make it more difficult to change things. 

As soon as it all goes electronic, they will probably even change our name from USA, tothe  United Corporations of the America.

In Fed We Trust's picture

Forget about Congress! Is there anyone in the military, with at least half a brain, and with the will power to overcome, their progandist education at West point, that has the balls to come forward and handle situation on their own?

Where are you Bruce Willis or Tom Cruise when we need you the most?

Is the Air Force even allowed to view Zerohedge?  I knew they blocked their network from the Wikileaks, ironic, seeing how Wikileaks is a CIA funded, propaganda shop. Guess you dont want the master plan to back fire because you had one airforce pilot gone renegade suicide style on the WH. 

Really, does anyone know some one in the Airforce we could chat with, bring some clarity too?

Ace Ventura's picture

Fifty years ago, perhaps. Today's military leadership consists of a gaggle of Washington Cocktail Circuit military careerist insiders, fluent in Powerpoint and skilled at attending multitudes of 'defense symposiums/conferences' at major resorts around the world.

Many have political amibitions beyond their military careers, which is why they are the ones usually promoted to the highest levels in the chain of command. If someone becomes an outspoken critic, or worse, refuses to tote the line regarding our various 'recreational military operations' around the world...they are summarily reassigned to a position where they will have no real influence whatsoever, until they are forced into quiet retirement.

So no, to answer your question, there are no members of current military leadership with the stones to do what is right. Those that know better will remain silent and just do their time until retirement.

Cloud9.5's picture

Congress is rife with moral turpitude. It is motivated by the base instincts of a common street walker.  It has abdicated responsibility at every turn.  It will not make the hard decisions.

Manthong's picture

Thank God we’ve got the France and the UN to fill the void.

We need an effective no-fly zone. It worked so well for throughout the 1990’s in Iraq and solved the Saddam Hussein problem for us.

Wait! I’ve got it! We can establish a program to make sure that hungry Libyans and impoverished UN officials get what they need. We can call it “Oil For Food”.

It’s a slam dunk to get oil back to $80 a barrel and restore manageable corruption to the region.

Manthong's picture

Thank God we’ve got the France and the UN to fill the void.

We need an effective no-fly zone. It worked so well for throughout the 1990’s in Iraq and solved the Saddam Hussein problem for us.

Wait! I’ve got it! We can establish a program to make sure that hungry Libyans and impoverished UN officials get what they need. We can call it “Oil For Food”.

It’s a slam dunk to get oil back to $80 a barrel and restore manageable corruption to the region.