Senate Chamber

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On March 29, the Senate voted 66-30 to revoke the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that gave former president George W. Bush the authority to launch a military invasion of Iraq under the false premise that the country was harboring weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The bill will now proceed to the House of Representatives, where it is unclear whether or not it will be put on the floor for a vote.

Congress has abdicated its powers to the executive for too long," said Senator Tim Kaine. "Presidents can do mischief if there are outdated authorizations on the books," he concluded. Kaine has authored many of the Senate's attempts to abolish the Iraq AUMF over the past several years.

If the bill manages to pass the House and is signed by President Biden, it would be the first revocation of a war authorization since 1974.

Despite voting to repeal the 2002 authorization, the Senate last week overwhelmingly voted against rescinding the original AUMF, which was signed into law on September 18, 2001, by George W. Bush in response to the devastating attacks on September 11.

The 2001 AUMF is seen more in the light of being a sweeping, blank-check law that was passed to target the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, whereas the Iraq AUMF specifically gave authority for the U.S. to invade another country.

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The 2001 AUMF has been used to justify over 40 military interventions in at least 22 countries without the approval of Congress, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Following 2001, Congress also approved several 'security cooperation authorities' (SCA) that have permitted the Pentagon to covertly deploy troops and launch secret wars in dozens of countries.

According to a New York University of Law's Brennan Center for Justice report, an SCA allows the Pentagon to "train and equip foreign forces anywhere in the world" and to "provide support to foreign forces, paramilitaries, and private individuals who are in turn supporting U.S. counterterrorism operations," and comes with a spending limit of $100,000,000 per fiscal year.

SCAs have been used in dozens of countries as springboards for hostilities, which the Pentagon has chosen not to inform Congress or the American public of.

The report states, "Researchers and reporters uncovered [SCA] programs not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen."

"The U.S. military-industrial complex has grown into a hydra-headed monster with almost no controls on the American war machine," wrote the former acting head of the Pentagon, Christopher C. Miller, who believes the U.S. should be held accountable for the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We invaded a sovereign nation, killed and maimed a lot of Iraqis, and lost some of the greatest American patriots to ever live - all for a goddamned lie," Miller added in an interview with The Hill.

Cluster Bomb

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Four GOP Congressmen are pushing the hesitant Biden administration to send cluster munitions to Ukraine. The munitions, which indiscriminately drop hundreds of smaller individual bombs over a large area, have been banned in some 120 countries and are seen as far less accurate compared to other, more conventional weapons. Despite this, 4 Congressmen sent a letter to the Biden White House criticizing its “reluctance to provide Ukraine the right type and amount of long-range fires and maneuver capability to create.”

The letter was signed by the following 4 Republican members of Congress:

The Congressmen want the cluster munitions provided as part of the next major weapons package approval.

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While Ukraine has specifically requested the MK-20 air-delivered cluster bombs, Kyiv claims that it will not be dropping the small bombs en masse as they are designed to be but rather will be dropping the individual bombs from either drones or 155mm artillery cluster shells.

While the U.S. has a history of producing, using, and selling cluster munitions to its allies, those practices stopped in 2016 when Textron Systems Corporation stopped producing MK-20s, and the U.S. stopped selling them to Saudi Arabia. However, it is estimated that there are still approximately 1 million cluster munitions in Pentagon stockpiles.

An F-16 Taking Off

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A renewed bipartisan push is surfacing among Congressmen to pressure the Biden administration to approve sending F-16 jets to Ukraine, as Russia has almost completely encircled the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of 8 senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with renewed calls to give U.S.-made fighter jets to Ukraine.

According to the letter, the senators argued that F-16s are desperately needed at this “critical juncture” and claimed that the jets would give the Ukrainians the advantage they need to defeat the Russians. The senators stated that providing the jets to Kyiv would be a “game changer on the battlefield” and added, “After speaking with U.S., Ukrainian, and foreign leaders working to support Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference last month, we believe the U.S. needs to take a hard look at providing F-16 aircraft to Ukraine.”

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Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) has headed the bipartisan effort. The lawmakers are also pressuring the Pentagon for more information regarding what the timetable would need to be and what resources it would take to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16s if the administration agrees to send the jets.

Joining Senator Kelly in the renewed effort are Democratic senators Tammy Duckworth (IL), Tim Kaine (VA), Martin Heinrich (NM), and Jacky Rosen (NV). Also backing the letter were Republican senators Lisa Murkowski (AK), Tommy Tuberville (AL), and Ted Budd (NC).

The Biden administration and defense officials, however, are still insistent that anti-air defense systems, artillery, and ammunition rank higher on the list of priorities for Ukraine and even testified to Congress recently regarding the same.

In addition to the 8 senators who drafted the letter, other Congressmen are also pushing for more, including Republicans Tom Cotton and Lindsay Graham.

While Cotton has accused the White House of taking “half measures” regarding the war in Ukraine and has a list of escalatory measures he would like to see taken, Graham has begun arguing that the U.S. should fire on Russian aircraft.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, confirmed during a Wednesday press conference that he recently spoke with Russian Defense Secretary, Sergei Shoigu, for the first time since October, which is a good indication that the two countries are not yet ready to enter a direct conflict, as some senators appear to be pushing for.

LTC (ret) Darin Gaub - DEFEND THE GUARD TESTIMONY - Montana House Bill 527

The Pentagon

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The FBI is greatly expanding its headquarters, which leaves many wondering if it will be expanding its ranks as well. The FBI is planning to build a new headquarters building, which is expected to be twice the size of the Pentagon.

One cannot help but wonder if the Bureau will be expanding the number of agents to fill such a massive building and what the FBI needs such a huge headquarters for anyway. Especially, given the recent corruption scandal in which it was revealed that top agent, Charles McGonigal, who insisted former President Donald Trump had colluded with Russia, was himself working with a Russian oligarch.

If anything, it seems the FBI should be cleaning house, not building a bigger one.

In addition to a massive campus, plans for the new headquarters include woke regulations, which will ensure the Bureau's headquarters are compliant with diversity, equity, climate change, and LGBTQ+ goals.

While the FBI has long been eager to vacate the concrete monolith it currently occupies between the White House and Capitol, the new plans seem a little overboard. Plans for the new headquarters place the FBI's new home on one of 3 sites in suburban Virginia and Maryland. Each of those sites is a large parcel of land at 58, 61, and 80 acres respectively.

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Given the size of the potential sites, it would mean the new headquarters is at least twice the size of the Pentagon, if not bigger. The Pentagon sits on roughly 29 acres and includes a 5 acre courtyard. It was, until recently, the largest office building in the world.

To offer an idea of the massive size of the proposed new FBI headquarters, the Kremlin in Moscow sits on just over 66 acres and includes everything from administrative offices for the Russian government to the presidential residence, multiple palaces and auditoriums, an arsenal, and a museum, along with 3 cathedrals and 7 churches. Why does the FBI need a headquarters of comparable size and what is it planning to put there?

While it can be difficult to stop the FBI, Republicans in Congress might be able to prevent the new headquarters from being built by exercising the House's control of the purse strings.

The House could withhold funding to lease, purchase, or develop land not already owned by the federal government. That would knock out the two possible sites in Maryland.

House GOP lawmakers could also prevent funding to design, develop, or construct federal property that is tied to equity, diversity, and inclusion programs with taxpayer money.

Lastly, Congress could refuse to authorize any funds for the new headquarters unit the FBI cooperates fully with Congress to bring accountability to individuals within the bureau for abuses of power and criminal activity - Charles McGonigal.

While the Bureau's new headquarters is a long way from being built, it should be concerning to all Americans that an organization that has a top official working for a Russian Oligarch wants to build a headquarters bigger than the world's largest office building.

The Pentagon

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On Wednesday, Congress decided to increase the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by $45 billion more than what President Biden requested. The increased amount was agreed on by both the House and Senate Armed Services committees, but the final details of the NDAA have not been finalized yet. After the increase, the total NDAA will be $847 billion. With the addition of programs outside of what the committees have jurisdiction over, the final NDAA will come to $858 billion.

This is not the first time that Congress has thought that Biden's military budget was sub-par. Last year Biden requested $753 billion, but the finalized NDAA came to roughly $778 billion.

The 2023 NDAA has been agreed to by chairs of both committees and sent to congressional leadership before hopefully going to the House floor for a vote next week. Once approved there, it would go before the Senate before being passed to Biden for signing.

As concerns grow surrounding China's involvement with Taiwan, lawmakers have been trying to add amendments to the NDAA that would allow Taiwan to receive unparalleled military aid, but which amendments have made it into the spending bill is still unclear.

According to The Washington Post, one plan would provide $3 billion to Taiwan annually for a minimum of 5 years. The White House does not have to ensure that any aid for Taiwan is included in the military budget as it can request at a later date that Congress authorize the aid as emergency funds which is how all of the aid spending packages for Ukraine have been approved.

Indiana Reps. Jim Banks and Larry Bucshon said the records were provided to 'an opposition research firm' ahead of the state's Nov. 8 election


The Air Force has taken responsibility for the release of an Indiana Republican House candidate's confidential personnel records that contained details about her sexual assault, according to two GOP congressmen from the Hoosier State.

In a joint statement that was first shared with Fox News Digital, Indiana GOP Rep. Jim Banks, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, and Indiana GOP Rep. Larry Bucshon, described a discussion they had with Air Force Inspector General Lt. Gen. Stephen Davis about the Air Force Personnel Center’s release of Indiana 1st Congressional District candidate Air Force Lt. Col. Jennifer-Ruth Green’s confidential personnel records:

"On yesterday's call, the Air Force took full responsibility for improperly releasing Lt. Col. Green’s confidential personnel records to an opposition research firm just weeks before the midterm election. Lt. Gen. Davis informed us that the leaker has been identified and will be held accountable..."

To read more visit Fox News.

Provided by ANCA.ORG

WASHINGTON, DC – Just hours after the Azerbaijani government launched a heavy artillery attack on Armenian military and civilian sites, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and leaders of the Congressional Armenian Caucus issued powerful rebukes against President Aliyev’s aggression and demanded an end to US military aid to the brutal dictator, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“The rapid Congressional condemnation of Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenia needs to be followed by the immediate cessation of all U.S. arms and aid to oil-rich Azerbaijan’s corrupt and violent Aliyev regime,” stated ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian.  “Today – more than ever – it’s clear that Azerbaijan deserves the harshest of sanctions, and not another U.S. tax dollar.”

The ANCA has issued a nationwide call to action for President Biden and Congress to: 1) condemn Azerbaijan’s latest attack against Armenia; 2) zero-out all appropriations or authorizations of U.S. aid to Azerbaijan; 3) enact statutory restrictions on U.S. military aid to Baku; and 4) strike or significantly tighten the waiver provision of Section 907.  Similar efforts have been launched by the network of ANC offices worldwide.  The Hellenic American Leadership Council immediately posted a statement of solidarity with the ANCA against Azerbaijani aggression.

Read more at The Armenian Weekly.

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