The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 requires the United States to withhold any form of aid from nations that use children in their armies, a clear human rights violation. President Obama waived the provision in 2010, as Samantha Power, then the National Security Council senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights, assured the media and the nation that “the waivers would not become a recurring event.” By the terms of the law, the President has to notify Congress that he is waiving it within 45 days of making the decision. Monday afternoon, with Congress on the eve of a government shutdown and knowing that any such announcement would be largely ignored by the public and the press, the White House press announced yet another waiver of the law The new Child Soldiers Prevention Act waiver applies fully to Chad, South Sudan and Yemen. Congo and Somalia received partial waivers.
Here’s the text of the Presidential determination, signed by Mr. Obama:
“Pursuant to section 404 of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA) (title IV, Public Law 110-457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Chad, South Sudan, and Yemen; to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow for continued provision of International Military Education and Training (IMET) and nonlethal Excess Defense Articles, and the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of nonlethal defense articles; and to waive in part the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA with respect to Somalia to allow for the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of nonlethal defense articles, provision of IMET, and continued provision of assistance under the Peacekeeping Operations authority for logistical support and troop stipends. I hereby waive such provisions accordingly. You are authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, along with the accompanying Memorandum of Justification, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register.”
I have some queries, as perhaps do you:
- Shouldn’t supporting regimes that force children onto the battlefield be regarded as unacceptable as engaging in torture, and like torture, absolutely banned?
- What possible benefit to U.S. interests could justify such waivers?
- If there isn’t a left-leaning, Obama-protecting bias in the media, why haven’t you heard about this before?
- Will the public ever hold this administration—you know, the one based on a promise of transparency—accountable for its repeated tactic of releasing embarrassing information when it is likely to be missed?
- Will the public ever hold this administration accountable for breaking its promises and misleading the nation using loyal lackeys in high appointed positions, who are then rewarded for their dirty work? (The above mentioned Samantha Power is now the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.)
- Whose Nobel Peace Prize is a greater embarrassment to the awarding committee: Yassir Arafat’s, or Barack Obama’s?
- The current GOP impasse with the White House is, at its core, rooted in the fact that the Republicans don’t trust the President to mean what he says, stick to any principle, or be open and honest to the American people. Considering these waivers, I have to ask: why should they?
- Why should anyone?
Graphic: Asymetric Warfare Studies Group