Frequently, the most important news items are not those that make the front page, but rather those details that are, when reported at all, relegated to the back pages. The November 22,  2011 Presidential Debate may be an example of this. The final question asked of the Republican presidential candidates that evening was posed by Mark Teese, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Unfortunately, there has been very little follow-up on this topic at the subsequent Presidential Debates.

 

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday that the Obama administration would seek "international permission" before intervening military in Syria's civil war. Both men left open, however, the question of whether the approval of Congress would be either sought or required. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) pressed Panetta repeatedly on that question, but failed to get a definitive answer.

 

Just minutes ago as we write, the state Senate of Virginia passed HB 1160, the bill that would  prevent the use of any state agency or member of the Virginia National Guard or Virginia Defense Force to participate in the unlawful detention of a citizen of Virginia by the government of the United States Government in violation of the state and federal constitution.
 

Memo from the people of Afghanistan to the United States: Get out! Now!  The mass demonstrations in Afghanistan, punctuated by anti-American violence, carry a clear message: After more than a decade, the U.S. empire should pack up and leave. It’s long past time.

 

The President of the United States has the authority to order the targeted killing of Americans living abroad whom he suspects of posing an extraordinary threat to the security of the homeland. This was the opinion delivered by Attorney General Eric Holder in a speech Monday at Northwestern Law School in Chicago.

 

The dogs of war are straining at the leash once again. Senator John McCain, who never met a military intervention he didn’t like, is now calling for the United States to begin bombing Syria.

 

According to the official version of events promulgated by the Obama administration, after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, his body was flown to Afghanistan for identification and then buried in the Arabian Sea about 12 hours after his death, supposedly in keeping with Islamic ritual. However, internal e-mails from intelligence service Stratfor, obtained by the hacker group Anonymous and posted to the Internet by WikiLeaks, cast doubt on that story.

After the governments of Russia and China used their permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council to torpedo a resolution calling for regime change in Syria, UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser is demanding an end to the ability of major powers to veto global action.
 
 

As the Koran burnings in Afghanistan and the deadly uprising that followed dominate the headlines, another important issue — perhaps the elephant in the room — is being largely overlooked: American and NATO soldiers are regularly being killed by members of the very same Afghan police and army they are arming and training. And the number of deadly incidents is on the rise.

Students of history may recall the year 49 B.C. Early in that momentous year, a popular soldier-statesman crossed the Rubicon River, thus effectively declaring war on the citizens on the Republic whose acclaim had exalted him to the pinnacle of authority and strength. The details of the story are recounted by the historian Suetonius. Suetonius writes that upon approaching the banks of that historic boundary, Julius Caesar stood before his legion of faithful soldiers and uttered the now-famous phrase: alea iacta est ("the die has been cast"). With those three words, Caesar signaled the end of the Roman Republic. The rule of law soon was supplanted by the rule of one ambitious (audacious?) man.

 

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