Recent weeks have brought a new concern. National newspapers report that the U.S. has been launching malicious computer virus attacks against Iran's nuclear energy research facilities, including a computer virus designed to make Iranian uranium centrifuges spin out of control. Nuclear energy is no toy. Weaponization of software is extremely risky. Sabotage by malware hackers, including U.S.-sponsored sabotage, poses a danger to information security and computer systems worldwide, including our own. Secret cyber-warfare programs (like other covert operations) are at odds with the public's right to know what our government is doing. The unleashing (as in the so-called "Operation Olympic Games") of a secret and highly destructive internet virus such as Stuxnet or Flame threatens to inflame an international crisis of cyberattack run rampant. The U.S. program to wage international cyberattacks is likely to backfire against Americans, damaging the U.S. economy and information resources, which depend heavily on the internet.
What happens to a nation when its government operates in secret and as if it were above the law? Is it lawful for our federal government to be involved in assassinating research scientists in Iran? Of course not. Under international law, Iran and the U.S. are both signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which recognizes the "inalienable right of all Parties to the treaty to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." Rather than killing scientists and issuing public threats of military attack and instead of whipping up fear in order to gain support for military attacks, the U.S. should engage in genuine diplomacy. The founders declared the independence of the United States of America not in order to dominate the world. To the contrary: this country was born in opposition to Empire, against the tyranny of standing armies, and against military occupations by a distant imperial power without the consent of the local people. The U.S. military presence today extends to more than 150 countries around the globe. It is folly to imagine that such vast occupying armies (especially when unwelcomed by the people whose lands are occupied) make Americans safer. Our Constitution does not allow a secretive "national security state" that spreads Empire abroad and erodes civil liberties at home.
// Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party. //
The words "the opposite party" in this question presuppose that there are only two political parties (the "duopoly" of blue and red). As a Green candidate, I invite people to become actively involved with alternatives, such as the Green Party. I'm glad to receive votes from people in the Fifth District, but even more important is for people all over Maryland who support Green values (nonviolence, environmental wisdom, social justice, and grassroots democracy) to volunteer to help build local Green organizations.
Grassroots democracy as practiced and promoted by the Green Party differs from the money-dominated system of the two big parties, which enact self-serving laws to reinforce their own entrenched but undeserved stranglehold on power. They do not represent the people but instead curtail opportunities to participate. They pass laws that prevent the political process from being genuinely open, which results in elections that are "rigged" in important ways. Examples include restrictive ballot access laws; public subsidies to incumbents and to the two established parties; winner-take-all election schemes of which the Electoral College is the most famous example; gerrymandering to maximize partisan power and decrease competition in elections; the overwhelming role of political money as a barrier to participation and as an influential factor—conflict of interest—in the policy decisions and fiscal decisions of public officials; candidate "debates" and media coverage that often exclude alternative candidates; and so on. (In this regard, I thank The Baltimore Sun for including Green candidates in its Voters Guide.)
Green Party policies deserve serious consideration by everyone, including Democrats and Republicans. As Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in Sweezy v. New Hampshire, "All political ideas cannot and should not be channeled into the programs of our two major parties. History has amply proved the virtue of political activity by minority, dissident groups, which innumerable times have been in the vanguard of democratic thought and whose programs were ultimately accepted. . . . The absence of such voices would be a symptom of grave illness in our society."