Archiv: unusual activity (zombie parliaments / constitutional courts)


14.09.2021 - 18:35 [ Axios.com ]

Top Democrat threatens to subpoena Biden officials as Blinken testifies on Afghanistan

The committee’s chair, the hawkish New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, pulled no punches in his opening statement, threatening to subpoena Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other Biden officials who decline to voluntarily appear before the committee.

„Mr. Secretary, the execution of the U.S. withdrawal was clearly and fatally flawed,“ Menendez told Blinken.

17.08.2021 - 13:28 [ Washington Post ]

Pentagon loses track of $500 million in weapons, equipment given to Yemen

(March 17, 2015)

The Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen, amid fears that the weaponry, aircraft and equipment is at risk of being seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.

(…)

In recent weeks, members of Congress have held closed-door meetings with U.S. military officials to press for an accounting of the arms and equipment. Pentagon officials have said that they have little information to go on and that there is little they can do at this point to prevent the weapons and gear from falling into the wrong hands.

17.08.2021 - 12:53 [ Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform / Homeland Security Digital Library at NPS ]

Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan

(June 22, 2010)

To the Members of the Subcommittee:

Today I present to you a report entitled, Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan, which has been prepared by the Majority staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
After a six-month investigation, the report exposes the circumstances surrounding the Department of Defense’s outsourcing of security on the supply chain in Afghanistan to questionable providers, including warlords.

The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking. In short, the Department of Defense designed a contract that put responsibility for the security of vital U.S. supplies on contractors and their unaccountable security providers. This arrangement has fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials, and perhaps others.

Not only does the system run afoul of the Department’s own rules and regulations mandated by Congress, it also appears to risk undermining the U.S. strategy for achieving its goals in Afghanistan.

05.08.2021 - 06:24 [ wric.com ]

Virginia Sen. Kaine’s proposal to repeal decades-old war authorization advances to the Senate floor

In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) advanced a proposal to repeal two Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) issued in 1991 and 2002.

The legislation, which has already been passed by the House, will now go to a full vote on the Senate floor.

05.08.2021 - 06:06 [ ABC News ]

Senate panel votes to scrap both Iraq war authorizations

Three Republicans — Todd Young of Indiana, Ohio’s Rob Portman, and Rand Paul of Kentucky — voted with all the panel’s Democrats for repeal, with some Republicans who opposed the move Wednesday arguing that though they support scrapping both AUMFs, the time is not right amid rising tensions with neighboring Iran.

05.08.2021 - 06:01 [ Middle East Monitor ]

US lawmakers approach crunch vote to restrain presidents from launching never-ending wars

(04.07.2021)

A near two-decade old act authorising US military intervention across the Middle East and beyond will appear before the Senate for a critical vote today, which could have a huge bearing on America’s capacity to launch wars in the future.

05.08.2021 - 05:56 [ New York Times ]

Biden Officials Open to Tightening Law Authorizing War on Terrorist Groups

Published Aug. 3, 2021 Updated Aug. 4, 2021, 8:46 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is open to several potential ways to tighten a much-stretched 2001 law that serves as the domestic legal basis for the open-ended “forever war” against terrorists around the world, a senior State Department official told Congress on Tuesday.

01.08.2021 - 10:15 [ JustSecurity.org ]

Questions for Senators to Ask the Biden Administration at AUMF Hearing

On Tuesday, Aug. 3, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) is scheduled to hold a public hearing entitled, “Authorizations of Use of Force: Administration Perspectives.” The SFRC is the committee responsible for drafting and ostensibly also repealing Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs). Tuesday’s hearing comes the day before a markup by the SFRC of legislation to repeal the outdated 1991 and 2002 AUMFs.

01.08.2021 - 10:12 [ Brian Finucane / Twitter ]

The SFRC holds a hearing on 8/3 on „Authorizations of Use of Force.“ After 20 years of post-9/11 war, there’s a lot to talk about. In a new piece in @just_security , I lay out questions that Senators should ask the administration witnesses.

On Tuesday, Aug. 3, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) is scheduled to hold a public hearing entitled, “Authorizations of Use of Force: Administration Perspectives.” The SFRC is the committee responsible for drafting and ostensibly also repealing Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs). Tuesday’s hearing comes the day before a markup by the SFRC of legislation to repeal the outdated 1991 and 2002 AUMFs.

30.07.2021 - 08:11 [ Fox News ]

Dozens of House Republicans, staffers march maskless to Senate floor to protest mask mandate

Dozens of House Republicans and their staffers marched maskless out of the House to the Senate floor in protest of the new mask mandate for the lower chamber.

The lawmakers and their staffers traveled across the Capitol on Thursday to protest the fact that Capitol Police have instructed officers to arrest staffers and visitors who don’t wear masks and refuse to leave the House.

27.07.2021 - 07:34 [ Haaretz ]

U.S. Lawmakers Call for Punitive Measures Against Israeli NSO Over Spyware Allegations

Finally, the four House Democrats call to „investigate and assess the possible targeting of American journalists, aid works, diplomats and others’ with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, determine whether America’s national security was harmed, and take steps to protect all Americans, including federal employees, from the threat posed by the growing mercenary spyware industry.“

08.07.2021 - 08:01 [ Veterans for Peace ]

TAKE ACTION: REPEAL THE AUMF

In 2001 and 2002, the U.S. Congress passed the AUMF: the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. For nearly two decades, the AUMFs have effectively become a blank check for any president, at any time, to wage endless global war without oversight or meaningful national public debate. U.S. counterterrorism operations from post-9/11 wars as a whole have expanded to at least 80 countries around the world, costing an estimated $5.9 trillion. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, injured, surveilled, and displaced, with Black, brown, and Muslim communities disproportionately impacted.

08.07.2021 - 07:53 [ Politico.com ]

Why Congress is finally starting to claw back its war powers from the president

The 1991 measure was approved in the run-up to the first Gulf War, and the 1957 one was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to prevent the spread of Soviet communism in the Middle East, but it was never formally invoked. Neither serves a practical purpose today; and most lawmakers view the 2002 AUMF the same way, since the Iraq War has been over for a decade now.

09.06.2021 - 10:34 [ Washington Post ]

Fact-checking the Paul-Fauci flap over Wuhan lab funding

(May 18, 2021)

Juicing up super viruses is not new. Scientists in the U.S. have long known how to mutate animal viruses to infect humans. For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH. … Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?”

— Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), remarks at a Senate hearing, May 11

“Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not never and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

— Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in response.

03.05.2021 - 02:38 [ Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform / Washington Post ]

Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan

June 22, 2010
To the Members of the Subcommittee:

Today I present to you a report entitled, Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan, which has been prepared by the Majority staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
After a six-month investigation, the report exposes the circumstances surrounding the Department of Defense’s outsourcing of security on the supply chain in Afghanistan to questionable providers, including warlords.

The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking. In short, the Department of Defense designed a contract that put responsibility for the security of vital U.S. supplies on contractors and their unaccountable security providers. This arrangement has fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt
Afghan officials, and perhaps others.

Not only does the system run afoul of the Department’s own rules and regulations mandated by Congress, it also appears to risk undermining the U.S. strategy for achieving its goals in Afghanistan.

18.03.2021 - 19:44 [ Olaf Storbeck / Twitter ]

@DerDanyal reveals that former Wirecard supervisory board member Susana Quintana-Plaza, Executive Director at Galp Energia, was summoned as a witness to the parliamentary inquiry but declined to come.

04.03.2021 - 08:13 [ Ben Siegel / Twitter ]

The House has passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the expansive policing reform bill, on a 220-212 vote.

@RepGolden and @RepRonKind voted against the bill, and GOP Rep. Lance Gooden, R-TX, voted w/ Dems for it.

04.03.2021 - 08:08 [ Ben Siegel / Twitter ]

Democrats are changing the House floor schedule this week given security concerns around March 4th and potential activity targeting the Capitol. The House will vote tonight on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, instead of tomorrow.

(9 hours ago)

03.03.2021 - 10:16 [ kjct8.com ]

Democratic voting bill would make biggest changes in decades

As Congress begins debate this week on sweeping voting and ethics legislation, Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing: If signed into law, it would usher in the biggest overhaul of U.S. elections law in at least a generation.

24.02.2021 - 11:35 [ Yahoo.com ]

SolarWinds, Microsoft, FireEye, CrowdStrike defend actions in major hack – U.S. Senate hearing

Lawmakers started the hearing by criticizing Amazon representatives, who they said were invited to testify and whose servers were used to launch the cyberattack, for declining to attend the hearing.

28.01.2021 - 16:19 [ Sky News ]

COVID-19: PM criticised for being too secretive about scientific advice that led to tiers and lockdowns in England

(08.01.2021)

The MPs also express concern about the government presenting statistics in a misleading way, and urge ministers to take care to maintain public confidence in them.

„There is nothing to fear from openness,“ said Tory MP Greg Clark, who chairs the committee.

29.12.2020 - 10:50 [ Newsweek ]

Donald Trump Presses Senate On $2,000 Stimulus Checks, Says People ‚Have Suffered Enough‘

Trump responded to comments that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could filibuster a move to override the president’s veto of the defense funding bill unless a vote is held on the $2,000 checks.

Replying to details of this potential move, Trump wrote on Twitter: „Give the people $2000, not $600. They have suffered enough!“

29.12.2020 - 10:49 [ Xahoo.com ]

Bernie Sanders hopes to force Senate vote on $2,000 stimulus checks

Sanders, an independent from Vermont, made the comments after Democrats in the House – joined by 44 Republicans – voted to more than triple the $600 checks included in the coronavirus relief package signed by President Donald Trump over the weekend.

29.12.2020 - 07:12 [ Boston.com ]

Sens. Markey and Sanders to stall defense bill veto override vote in effort for $2,000 relief checks

Soon after Sanders’ announcement, Markey said he would join in on the filibuster.

“That relief passed in the House today with 44 Republicans voting for it,” Markey wrote on Twitter. “Senate Republicans must do the same and get the American people the help they need.”

29.12.2020 - 04:48 [ Bernie Sanders, US Senator / Twitter ]

This week on the Senate floor Mitch McConnell wants to vote to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense funding bill and then head home for the New Year. I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class

29.12.2020 - 04:41 [ theHill.com ]

Sanders to slow down NDAA veto override in bid to get vote on $2K checks proposal

„This week on the Senate floor Mitch McConnell wants to vote to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense funding bill and then head home for the New Year. I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class,“ Sanders tweeted.

29.12.2020 - 04:32 [ theHill.com ]

House overrides Trump veto of defense bill

The House voted 322-87 to override Trump, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a veto.

The action now moves to the Senate, which also needs to muster two-thirds support in order for Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to be overridden.

29.12.2020 - 04:23 [ CBS News / Youtube ]

House approves stimulus check increase to $2,000

The House on Monday approved a bill that would increase COVID stimulus checks to $2,000. The bill is likely dead on arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate, despite President Trump’s insistence on larger checks. Mr. Trump signed a bill on Sunday night that would distribute $600 stimulus checks. Wall Street Journal congressional reporter Siobhan Hughes joins CBSN to discuss.

20.12.2020 - 09:30 [ theHill.com ]

Congress barrels toward veto clash with Trump

Trump’s threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could scramble Congress’s year-end schedule; lawmakers had been hoping to leave town once they pass a forthcoming deal to fund the government and provide year-end coronavirus relief.

But leaders are warning that if Trump vetoes the bill they are prepared to return to Washington to vote on trying to override.

25.11.2020 - 17:49 [ Politico.com ]

Intelligence disputes fuel rare public acrimony among Gang of Eight

(29.07.2020)

The public spat between the Democratic and Republican sides of the so-called Gang of Eight, less than 100 days before Americans go to the polls, is highly unusual for the group, whose obligations normally rise above the political fray and rarely descend publicly into the partisan squabbles that define Capitol Hill.

06.11.2020 - 13:20 [ Spiked ]

This destructive lockdown experiment must end

The damage from the first lockdown has barely been comprehended. A second is pure insanity.

23.08.2020 - 07:01 [ theHill.com ]

House passes $25B bill to boost Postal Service

The House on Saturday passed legislation that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from making any changes to its operations that could slow delivery of mailed-in ballots for this fall’s elections.

The bill passed largely along party lines, 257-150, with 26 Republicans bucking party leaders to support it.

17.08.2020 - 10:26 [ Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House ]

Dear Colleague on House Returning to Save the Postal Service

That is why I am calling upon the House to return to session later this week to vote on Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Maloney’s “Delivering for America Act,” which prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020. House Democratic Leader Hoyer will soon be announcing the legislative schedule for the coming week.

To save the Postal Service, I am also calling upon Members to participate in a Day of Action on Tuesday by appearing at a Post Office in their districts for a press event.

26.07.2020 - 20:35 [ 24News.tv ]

Israel: Gyms reopen under parliamentary panel ruling defying gov’t

Most sports facilities were ordered shut on July 17 following a government vote on a package of measures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

However, on Thursday, the Knesset panel supervising the country’s coronavirus response voted to strike this restriction down

23.07.2020 - 21:41 [ theHill.com ]

Portland City Council bans local police from working with federal law enforcement

The measure, which was passed on Wednesday, orders all members of the Portland Police Department to stop giving or receiving „operational support“ from officers representing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Marshal Service, Federal Protective Service and Customs and Border Protection, according to local news reports. Under the resolution, police are also banned from overseeing demonstrations alongside federal officers.

10.07.2020 - 15:06 [ theHill.com ]

Five takeaways from Supreme Court’s rulings on Trump tax returns

Roberts laid out a list of factors for courts to consider when weighing such subpoenas but stressed that the list was not comprehensive, noting how rarely interbranch disputes have come before the court over the nation’s history.

“Other considerations may be pertinent as well; one case every two centuries does not afford enough experience for an exhaustive list,” the chief justice wrote

30.06.2020 - 12:38 [ Politico.com ]

POLITICO Playbook: The coming intel power struggle

THIS ISN’T OVER A SINGLE PIECE OF LEGISLATION or a specific policy, but rather something far more valuable: the access to information and intelligence. THE WHITE HOUSE and the administration have it, and Congress wants it — and believes it’s entitled to it.

AT ISSUE: the NYT report about Russians allegedly paying bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill American soldiers.

13.06.2020 - 11:42 [ Metro.us ]

New York City oversight bill to force police to detail surveillance tools

The Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act already has enough co-sponsors to win the two-thirds support needed to override veto from the mayor, who has opposed the bill.

10.06.2020 - 13:25 [ Streetsblog.org ]

BRUTAL MATH: The NYPD’s $6B Budget Must Be Cut, Advocates and Lawmakers Say

(04.06.2020)

As the city budget process begins, Streetsblog has been asking Council members to put an actual figure on their vague demands for cuts as part of the #defundTheNYPD movement, but none has provided a target number, citing ongoing budget negotiations.

09.06.2020 - 21:43 [ Kendall Taggart, investigative reporter @BuzzFeedNews / Twitter ]

Just now the New York State Senate officially passed the bill to repeal 50a — the 1970s law used to keep police disciplinary records secret. It’s hard to underscore just how unlikely this seemed only a few weeks ago

09.06.2020 - 21:37 [ New York Senate / Twitter ]

#NYSenate Bill S8496, sponsored by Senator @jamaaltbailey , passed 40-22 (unofficial). Relates to the disclosure of law enforcement disciplinary records; and to repeal section 50-a of the civil rights law relating thereto:

08.06.2020 - 09:41 [ StarTribune.com ]

Most of Minneapolis City Council pledges to ‚begin the process of ending‘ police department

“We recognize that we don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does,” they said, reading off a prepared statement. “We’re committed to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for you.”

Their words — delivered one day after Mayor Jacob Frey told a crowd of protesters he does not support the full abolishment of the MPD — set off what is likely to be a long, complicated debate about the future of the state’s largest police force.

06.06.2020 - 22:25 [ Audrey McGlinchy, Austin's @NPR station / Twitter ]

NEW: Austin city council will vote on at least six @Austin_Police policy changes next Thursday including banning tear gas and ‚impact munitions‘ against demonstrators, banning chokeholds & reducing the dept’s military-grade equip:

05.06.2020 - 00:24 [ the Hill ]

Pelosi demands Trump clarify deployment of unidentified law enforcement in DC

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday demanded that President Trump provide a list of the agencies involved in deploying law enforcement officers around Washington, D.C., in response to the crowds of demonstrators protesting police brutality.

Some officers policing protests in the city in recent days have been seen without any identifying labels on their uniforms, raising questions about which law enforcement agencies they represent.