-------- Original Message --------
Subject: PolitiFact Texas Query
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 13:41:05 -0500
From: Gary Howard
To: Gardner Selby <wgselby@statesman.com>

Not entirely sure on this, but as you point to in the debate he referenced changing the definition in the Defense budget, which is not the same thing as saying the Defense Department/Pentagon did it—which caused the earlier confusion.

So I assume the Congressman was referring to this section of the Department of Defense Authorization bill http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1540rh/pdf/BILLS-112hr1540rh.pdf:




Congress affirms that--


(1) the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad;


(2) the President has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note);


(3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who--


(A) are part of, or are substantially supporting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or


(B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A); and


(4) the President's authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority to detain belligerents, including persons described in paragraph (3), until the termination of hostilities.



He also mentions it particularly here in a release from his Congressional office in May that addresses the issue:



“Perhaps the most troubling power grab of late is the mission creep associated with the 9/11 attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Initiated as targeted strikes against the perpetrators of 9/11, a decade later we are still at war.  With whom?  Last week Congress passed a Defense Authorization bill with some very disturbing language that explicitly extends the president's war powers to just about anybody.  Section 1034 of that bill states that we are at war with the Taliban, al Qaeda, and associated forces.  Who are the associated forces?  It also includes anyone who has supported hostilities in aid of an organization that substantially supports these associated forces.  This authorization is not limited by geography, and it has no sunset provision.  It doesn't matter if these associated forces are American citizens.  Your constitutional rights no longer apply when the United States is "at war" with you.  Would it be so hard for someone in the government to target a political enemy and connect them to al Qaeda, however tenuously, and have them declared an associated force?


My colleague Congressman Justin Amash spearheaded an effort to have this troubling language removed, but unfortunately it failed by a vote of 234 to 187.  It is unfortunate indeed, that so many in Congress accept unlimited warmaking authority in the hands of the executive branch.”


Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks


From: Gardner Selby [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:44 AM
To: Gary Howard
Subject: Re: Third Try, PolitiFact Texas Query


Paul said in the Nov. 22, 2011, CNN debate that “they have changed the -- in the -- in” the U.S. Department of Defense “budget they have changed the wording on the definition of al-Qaeda and Taliban. It's (now) anybody associated with (those) organizations, which means almost anybody can be loosely associated -- so that makes all Americans vulnerable.”

Was Paul saying a federal change in definitions of those entities means anybody can end up being considered part of them?

If so or if not, how did he reach his conclusions?


W. Gardner Selby
Editor, PolitiFact Texas
Austin American-Statesman