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A New Military Draft

U.S Preparing for Military Draft in Spring 2005

The current agenda of the U.S federal
government is to reinstate the draft in order to
staff up for a protracted war on "terrorism."
Pending legislation in the House and Senate
(twin bills S 89 and HR 163) would time the
program so the draft could begin at early as
Spring 2005 -- conveniently just after the 2004
presidential election!

Reinstatement of the draft

Dear Friends and Family,

I urge you to read the article below on the
current agenda of the federal government to
reinstate the draft in order to staff up for a
protracted war on "terrorism."

Pending legislation in the House and Senate
(twin bills S 89 and HR 163) would time the
program so the draft could begin at early as
Spring 2005 -- conveniently just after the 2004
presidential election! But the administration is
quietly trying to get these bills passed NOW,
so our action is needed immediately. Details
and links follow.

If voters who currently support U.S.
aggression abroad were confronted with the
possibility that their own children or
grandchildren might not have a say about
whether to fight, many of these same voters
might have a change of mind. (Not that it
should make a difference, but this plan would
among other things eliminate higher
education as a shelter and would not exclude
women -- and Canada is no longer an option.)

Please send this on to all the parents and
teachers you know, and all the aunts and
uncles, grandparents, godparents.... And let
your children know -- it's their future, and
they
can be a powerful voice for change! Please
also write to your representatives to ask them
why they aren't telling their constituents about
these bills -- and write to newspapers and
other media outlets to ask them why they're
not covering this important story.

The Draft*

$28 million has been added to the 2004
Selective Service System (SSS) budget to
prepare for a military draft that could start as
early as June 15, 2005. SSS must report to
Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system,
which has lain dormant for decades, is ready
for activation. Please see website: http://
www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the
SSS Annual Performance Plan - Fiscal Year
2004.

The Pentagon has quietly begun a public
campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board
positions and 11,070 appeals board slots
nationwide.. Though this is an unpopular
election year topic, military experts and
influential members of Congress are
suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a
"long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan [and
a permanent state of war on "terrorism"]
proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice
but to draft.

Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and H.R.
163 forward this year, entitled the Universal
National Service Act of 2003, "To provide for
the common defense by requiring that all
young persons [age 18--26] in the United
States, including women, perform a period of
military service or a period of civilian service
in
furtherance of the national defense and
homeland security, and for other purposes."
These active bills currently sit in the
Committee on Armed Services.

Dodging the draft will be more difficult than
those from the Vietnam era remember.
College and Canada will not be options. In
December 2001, Canada and the US signed
a "Smart Border Declaration," which could be
used to keep would-be draft dodgers in.
Signed by Canada's Minister of Foreign
Affairs, John Manley, and US Homeland
Security Director, Gov. Tom Ridge, the
declaration involves a 30-point plan which
implements, among other things, a "pre-
clearance agreement" of people entering and
departing each country. Reforms aimed at
making the draft more equitable along gender
and class lines also eliminates higher
education as a shelter. Underclassmen
would only be able to postpone service until
the end of their cur-rent semester. Seniors
would have until the end of the academic year.

*This article by Adam Stutz is from the "What's
Hot Off the Press" column of the newsletter of
Project Censored, a media research group at
Sonoma State University that tracks the news
published in independent journals and
newsletters. From these, Project Censored
compiles an annual list (more than 20 years
running) of 25 news stories of social
significance that have been overlooked,
under-reported, or self-censored by the
country's major national news media. The
mission of Project Censored is "to educate
people about the role of independent
journalism in a democratic society and to tell
The News That Didn't Make the News and
why."

"What's Hot Off the Press" includes student
synopses of articles currently being
investigated for inclusion in the next Project
Censored report. For more info and/or to
receive Project Censored's newsletter, go to
http://www.projectcensored.org, or email
[censored]@sonoma.edu


Don't beleive it yet? Go to
http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/g_three_sections_with_teasers/legislative_home.htm and search for "S 89",
then later search for "HR 163" where it says
"By Number" and you'll find the articles. I
would link you to the articles directly but that
doesn't work for some reason.