Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pentagon Kills Bill To Keep National Guard Troops Out of Unconstitutional Wars

(Shane Trejo)  Threats from Pentagon officials doomed a West Virginia bill that would have blocked unconstitutional foreign deployments of the state’s National Guard troops and effectively restored the founders’ framework for a state-federal balance on the Guard.
But while the bill failed to pass, its story reveals the power and potential of this approach.
Opposition and backroom threats wouldn’t have existed if the legislation didn’t actually pose a threat to the unconstitutional status quo.
Del. Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock, 1) sponsored the Defend the Guard Act (House Bill 2168), McGeehan served as a former Air Force intelligence officer and did tours in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Ten other delegates co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation.
The bill would have prohibited West Virginia Guard units from deploying into active duty combat without an official Declaration of War from the US Congress, or as provided for under the three enumerated powers listed in the “militia clause” of the Constitution.
The story behind the bill’s demise is as fascinating as it is alarming.
McGeehan said the bill started with strong bipartisan support and things initially looked promising.
“The bill wraps the Principles of 1798, 10th Amendment values, along with pushing back against U.S. foreign policy and the war hawks that have promoted this anti-Founders vision for the last several decades. It is resistance against the Warfare State, and yet conservatives and liberals here gave it strong support,” he said. “The bill was set to run on the first committee’s agenda, as I had several more influential members of the legislature co-sponsor it with me, including two major committee chairs. The Speaker of the House even tacitly endorsed it.”
In spite of the initial momentum, the bill died shortly after Washington D.C. got wind of it. Its potential ramifications frightened the power structure. McGeehan said certain phone calls were made that brought HB2168’s progress to a screeching halt.