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War and Indifference

by Andrew P. Napolitano
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Which is more destructive to personal liberty, a government that engages in secret wars or a public and news media that are indifferent to it? In the current American toxic stew of anti-Russian hatred and beating of war drums — in President Joe Biden’s America — we have both.

            Here is the backstory.

            The current hostilities in Ukraine are now in their 28th month. It has become a slow, inexorable movement westward for Russian military forces and painful migration of 5 million Ukrainians out of their country, to say nothing of the losses of more than 500,000 Ukraine troops.

            Congress has authorized the president to spend up to $175 billion in borrowed dollars in support of the doomed Ukraine forces. He has thus far wasted most of that in donated military equipment and cash.

            Much of the military equipment has come not from American surplus but from America’s storehouses of equipment for self-defense. And much of the equipment the U.S. has furnished is so sophisticated that Ukraine troops are in Oklahoma learning to use, maintain and repair it. Some is so sophisticated that American troops are on the ground in Ukraine, out of uniform, instructing upon and maintaining the equipment. And some of the equipment requires American soldiers with security clearances to target Russian troops and dispatch missiles at them.

            American troops out of uniform pose a double-edged sword for Biden. If they are unarmed and out of uniform, he can legally deny that the U.S. has “boots on the ground.” Yet, because they are out of uniform and supporting hostilities, they can legally be shot at by Russian troops — even captured and executed as spies working for Ukraine. This is the way the U.S. began its disastrous and criminal war in Vietnam.

            What is Biden’s goal? Is it the expulsion of Russian troops from Russian-speaking Ukraine and even from historically Russian Crimea, or is it the expulsion of Russian President Vladimir Putin from office? The White House can’t or won’t be precise on this because none of these goals is militarily attainable, moral or constitutional.

            Congress cannot fund a war involving Americans that it has not declared, as the constitutional language is clear. Moreover, Russian ground forces are overwhelming the Ukraine forces and their American instructors, no matter what equipment the U.S. provides and operates.

            But the use of troops out of uniform and the expenditure of $175 billion without a clear attainable goal is not the worst decision Biden has made in this conflict. All of that waste is well-known. What was not known — and what the government still denies — was the act of war the Biden administration waged against Germany and Russia. Against Germany? Yes.

            German and Russian industry built a natural gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea called the Nord Stream Pipeline. The pipeline enabled the Russian government to sell and deliver cheap Russian natural gas to German utilities, which resold some of it to other northern European countries.

            According to the famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh — he of My Lai Massacre, Watergate, CIA spying, American torture and Pulitzer Prize fame — back in June 2022, Biden ordered the CIA to prepare the pipeline for detonation. Navy Seals and CIA divers dove down to the seabed and lined the pipeline with explosives.

            In September 2022, Biden gave the order to the CIA to deploy the explosives, which it did, causing $10 billion in damage to the pipeline and much more to the German, Russian and Baltic economies.

            This was an act of war on an ally, Germany, and on a putative adversary, Russia.

            Can the president legally deploy violence to another country, whether ally or adversary, without a clear military need? In a word: NO.

            Under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war, and under the treaties to which the U.S. is a party, there must be a moral, legal basis — a credible military threat from a foreign military — for such a declaration. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires the president to notify Congress of all violent military deployment. Not only was this violence without notice, but it was not defensive, nor was it intended to save lives in immediate harm from a foreign military, and it was against an ally.

            Stated differently, attacking Germany and Russia so as to weaken their economies, knowing there was no moral military purpose to it, has made this act of war a criminal act — a war crime — as well.

            The use of the CIA was, of course, no accident. The War Powers Resolution only requires reporting and seeking congressional approval for military violence. By putting the CIA in charge, if he ever owns up to this, Biden can argue that this was an intelligence operation.

            The CIA’s lawless, amoral, Constitution-be-damned, murderous culture, and the willingness of every American president since Harry Truman to cover for it, has given post-World War II presidents a secret personal army, which all have used to destroy and kill.

            But Biden is the first known American president to use the CIA to attack an ally. Isn’t it mysterious that German authorities have been silent about this attack? And where is the mainstream American media? My guess is Hersh embarrassed the Germans and the American media.

            The press is the eyes and ears of the public. But if the press is cowed or is in bed with the government, who will expose the government when it fights secret wars? Where are members of Congress? Where is the public outrage?

            Joe Biden really wants a war to fortify his weak presidential stewardship. Apparently, the public will stand for it because the elites in government, the media and the military/industrial/banking/welfare/warfare/surveillance complex who buy and mold public opinion have no moral compass, no understanding of history, no fidelity to the Constitution and no qualms about the annihilation of innocents.

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