House Committee Passes Defense Bill Containing Authorization Of Worldwide War

Bill Also Contains Troubling “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Amendments WASHINGTON – The House Armed Services Committee late last night finished marking up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains a dangerous provision that authorizes a worldwide war against terrorism. The bill was also amended to include a troubling provision delaying the implementation of the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly opposes both of these NDAA provisions. The war authorization provision was added to the bill by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), and goes much further than the current authorization of war. It has no expiration date and would allow a president to use military force in any country around the world where there are terrorism suspects, even when there are no connections to the 9/11 attacks other specific harms threats to the United States. “At a time when the majority of Americans want to see limits on U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts, the House Armed Services Committee just passed a blank check for executive war authority,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Amazingly, this provision has had zero hearings and was tucked deep inside a bill that is hundreds of pages long. A new authorization of worldwide war will mean increased violence and will make America less safe. The House should remove this dangerous provision from the defense bill during its debate on the floor.” The NDAA’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” amendments would, among other things, delay repeal implementation by expanding the repeal law’s certification requirements to include each service chief for each branch of the armed forces. Another amendment would deny lesbian and gay service members equal access to federal facilities on the basis of their sexualientation. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed with the support and leadership of President Obama, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff less than six months ago with large and bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate. The policy was passed into law in 1993 and, since 1994, more than 14,000 otherwise qualified service members have been discharged under the policy simply on the basis of their sexualientation. “Delaying and derailing implementation of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal is wholly unwarranted and an unnecessary last-ditch effort to continue a discriminatory policy,” said Murphy. “These wrongheaded amendments go against the will of the president and the top tiers of our military, not to mention the tens of thousands of LGBT Americans serving our country in silence. We urge the House to strip these harmful amendments from the bill.”

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.