Saturday, December 10, 2016

#345 / Away From The Battlefield

The United States' Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) was featured in a day-after-Thanksgiving-Day story in The Washington Post

The Post's story noted that JSOC is considered to be an "elite" part of our military establishment, a judgment enhanced, without a doubt, because JSOC was "the organization that helped kill Osama bin Laden..."

According to The Washington Post article, President Obama has now given JSOC "expanded power," and JSOC has been authorized to "track, plan and potentially launch attacks on terrorist cells around the globe." 

Wikipedia reports that "JSOC has an operational relationship with the CIA's Special Activities Division," which is responsible for covert operations, and that this covert operations division within the CIA "often recruits from JSOC."

The new authority given to JSOC by President Obama will be available, and will undoubtedly be used, by our current President-elect, Donald Trump, once he takes office next January. The expanded authority just provided to JSOC will permit JSOC to operate "away from the battlefield." Since there really isn't any specific "battlefield," in the "War Against Terror," which has been authorized by two different Acts of Congress (see below), JSOC's "Special Teams" will now be able to operate worldwide, pretty much on a "fire at will basis."

The case of Hedges v. Obama provides some background that is worth thinking about. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), augments the Authorization For the Use of Military Force enacted by Congress in 2001 (AUMF). These two laws, combined, will now allow the military to operate within the United States (or anywhere else) and to detain anyone whom the President has determined has given "substantial support" to any forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners."

Just to make things crystal clear, a person detained by the military under these laws is considered to be an enemy combatant. Such a person will not be entitled to a jury trial, or a speedy trial, or to confront his or her accusers, or to have access to the Writ of Habeas Corpus, which allows persons in custody to demand that government authorities be made to prove, to an impartial court, that the government has a legally valid reason to keep them in custody.

This is just a "heads up." "Away from the battlefield" means right here!

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