Draft? US Preparing for Military Draft in Spring 2005 by Adam Stutz Vancouver IndyMedia - Wednesday January 28, 2004 at 09:50 AM http://www.vancouver.indymedia.org/news/2004/01/105146.php The current agenda of the US 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! 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 power ful 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. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5146.htm 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 current 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."