Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, perhaps the most consistent advocate of peace in the U.S. Congress, has been forced by gerrymandering into a primary battle. Last week Kucinich made the following statement on the National Defense Authorization Act to the House of Representatives.
Our children deserve a world without end, not war without end.
This bill authorizes permanent warfare anywhere in the world. It gives the president unchecked power to pursue war. It diminishes the role of this Congress. The founders saw Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which places in the hands of Congress the war power, as essential to a check and balance against the executive abuse of power. This legislation diminishes Congress’ role in that regard.
This legislation authorizes the military to indefinitely detain individuals without charge or trial, including the detention of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. In short, what this bill does is it takes a wrecking ball to the United States Constitution and gives enormous power to the government or the state. I want friends on both sides of the aisle to understand this; we are giving the state more power over individuals with this bill. It’s the wrong direction.
Our children deserve a world without end, not war without end. Our children deserve a world where they know the government will protect them, that it is not going to rule over them by invading their very thoughts and going, as the Patriot Act does, going into their banking records or into their educational records. We have to keep the government out of people’s personal lives and stop the government from getting more into war—which gives the government more control over people. This is the time we take a stand for the Constitution and a stand for a government which is smaller—when it comes to matters of war.