U.S. National Security State

April 13, 2014

According to the "March 2014 Update" of the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, "There were two confirmed drone strikes in Yemen this month, killing at least four people. These are the first confirmed U.S. attacks this year.

"In addition, there were four further, possible U.S. attacks. These six attacks killed 19 people in the space of 11 days. Covert bombings in Yemen have not seen this level of intensity since an international terror alert in July and August last year spurred the U.S. to launch nine drone attacks in 15 days, killing at least 31 people."

The Obama administration admits that it deliberately targets civilians. Individuals are targeted in the so-called "war against international terrorism" according to their projected moral sense as estimated by such Executive branch agencies as the CIA and U.S. Treasury Department. The Obama administration has repeatedly admitted that it takes religious and political affiliation into consideration when compiling its "kill lists."

For Your Reference:

While in theory, the constitutional system in the U.S. limits the powers of the executive to those enumerated in the Constitution itself, the very character of the powers granted the U.S. President – as well as the historical practice of the government – has led the Executive branch of government to concentrate in its hands a power unrestricted by any laws or even the Constitution itself.

As early as 1799, the Supreme Court, in the words of Chief Justice Marshall, recognized that "the president is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations." Even from that early date, it has been standard practice for the executive branch to deploy secret personal agents on foreign missions, to take over the treatymaking authority of the Senate through the use of "executive agreements" with foreign nations, and to deploy troops and wage wars without any declaration from Congress.

In the 20th century and especially during and after WW II, the terms "Imperial Presidency" and "National Security State" have regularly been used to indicate the absolute power of the executive branch in foreign affairs and on the question of war and peace. With the passage of the National Security Act in 1947, which established the CIA, the President's National Security Council, the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (all under presidential authority), the executive branch has concentrated enormous institutional and war making apparatus to conduct covert operations, gather intelligence and wage war. Just since the end of WW II, the president has committed U.S. troops to combat hundreds of times (in Korea, Lebanon, Cuba, Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Libya, Iraq, etc., etc.)

To justify this power and its use, the slogans of "national security" and "national interest" are continually used. In this way, an attempt is made to equate the interests of the whole country with the actions and interests of the Executive branch of government and the class interests upon which it rests. These slogans are also used to justify shrouding U.S. foreign policy in secrecy and carrying it out behind the backs of the American people.

In fact, with the rise of U.S. imperialism, the American presidents consistently claimed the authority to extend the prerogatives of the Executive branch of the U.S. government throughout the world. At the turn of the century, Theodore Roosevelt declared: "Brutal wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the tie of civilized society, may finally require intervention by some civilized nation... in the Western Hemisphere the U.S. cannot ignore this duty." Similarly, after WW II Harry Truman asserted: "Almighty God expected us to assume the leadership of the world ...I am trying my best to see that this Nation does assume that leadership."

(excerpted from the pamphlet "For a Modern Definition of Democracy", first published by the Workers Party, U.S.A. in 1994)