20 Years More

labrea_gwMay 17, 2013

Time to reign in the open ended AUMF I've said here before Congress granted & Congress needs to rescind this blank check to wage war! The Executive in Partnership with the CIA & The Pentagon needs a rehab in this regard. They are addicted to the use of the Authorization for all manner of warfare.
I'm wondering can anyone on this forum even discuss this without making/taking shots.
" Pentagon Spec Ops Chief Sees ’10 to 20′ More Years of War Against al-Qaida" that would be way beyond this presidents term & the next's so give it a rest on the partisan (catch phrases & that nonsense & lets get serious about CONGRESS doing it's job to reign in the EXECUTIVES ability to carry on this perpetual war..
Or do any of you believe we haven't actually been at war?
Specifics are interesting platitudes & metaphors get to be a bit much after awhile be nice if any response has a nodding acquaintance with AUMF & how it continues to creep like an invasive in the US.

Here is a link that might be useful: Speak up

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Fighting terror wherever the dollar might be threatened. Warlords selling petroleum or minerals or opium for yen or euros? That is quite terrible.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:33PM
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" the Pentagon’s chief of irregular warfare"

Very Vonnegutian. Why do these Congressmen sound so surprised? Guess their mommies didn't tell them to be careful what they asked for.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 10:59PM
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ah well (it's early) anyone on the AUMF it's expanding definition (the next political footbal)
a 2010 excerpt from Harvard Law Journal & excerpts from Witherspoon Institute article.
Yes it's long~

"The Authorization for Use of Military Force of September 18, 2001 (AUMF) is the broadest, most sweeping, embracing, legal
declaration of war in our nation’s history.19 The President is
authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against
those nations, organizations, or persons he determines
planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist at‐
tacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such
organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.20
This is an absolutely sweeping authorization for military
force.21 Congress declared war against not only enemy nations (as described), but against organizations or persons. The sole
condition is that “the President determines” "he alone is assigned the power to make the relevant determination" that a nation, organization, or person has participated in any of a number of ways, direct or indirect, in support of the attacks of September 11, 2001, including “harbor[ing]” persons or organizations who may have “aided” persons or organizations who planned, authorized, or committed those infamous attacks.
Combining the links in the chain of legal authorization, the President has plenary power to wage war against anyone connected in any active or even passively supportive way with the organizations or persons responsible for the September 11 attacks. He chooses the targets; he determines the enemies, including not just nations but individual persons and groups; he chooses the timing; he chooses the means; he chooses the ends. Moreover, the AUMF’s “whereas” clauses embrace essentially the pro‐presidential view of constitutional power to initiate war, including preemptive war, against terrorism: “Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to
deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States . . . .”22 Congress, in enacting the AUMF, sweepingly" and in separation‐of‐powers terms somewhat surprisingly" declared its acceptance of unilateral presidential military action to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States, and of the claim of unilateral presidential constitutional
authority to do so.." (Stokes Paulsen) Harvard law Journal Vol 33

"The United States is at war "and has been, continuously, for ten years. This is a reality, of course. But more than that, it is a legality. Legally "constitutionally" the United States has been in a condition of declared war for ten years.

On September 18, 2001, Congress enacted into law, and President George W. Bush signed, what is arguably the broadest declaration of war in our nation’s history. “Whereas on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States,” begins the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF),

The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons."

The only limitation is that the President must make the determination, presumably in good faith, that the connection is real and sufficient. But by the AUMF’s own terms, it is the President’s determination to make. He picks the targets; he judges the degree of connection to 9-11; he thus determines the enemies; he chooses the timing of attacks; he chooses the means of attack and defense; he decides what force is necessary, or appropriate; he chooses the ends and when they have been attained; he decides when there are no longer any relevant persons, groups, or nations that fit the described authorization. There is no prescribed time limitation or geographical limitation. It is, potentially, a world war of unlimited duration. As long as there are relevant targets and enemies; as long as the President considers the use of force against them “necessary and appropriate” to “prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons,” the President has authority to act.

Congress could repeal the AUMF, or cut off war funds, but short of thus effectively rescinding its declaration of war, the decisions all lie in the hands of the President as Commander in Chief. This fits well with the framers’ view that it is not Congress that conducts the nation’s wars; it is the President. But it is nonetheless the case that the AUMF is an extraordinary delegation of war-making power to the President. Congress declared, ten years ago, an enormous war, the exact bounds of which are to be determined by the Commander in Chief" indeed, perhaps an extended succession of Commanders in Chief.

This delegation of presidential power is expanded even more by the last of the AUMF’s “whereas” clauses. “Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States,” it reads (emphasis added). This is, perhaps, not itself a further grant of power, but it is notable that Congress declared its acceptance, in general, of the idea of unilateral presidential military action to deter and prevent terrorism, and located such acceptance in Congress’s view of the Constitution. The AUMF passed unanimously (98-0) in the Senate and by vote of 420-1 in the House.

" the broader war on al Qaeda and its affiliates and harboring states" in the Middle East, in the Arabian Peninsula, in South Asia" is clearly within the scope of the AUMF’s authorization. The United States is at war with a network and all persons and organizations within it. Interestingly, the New York Times recently reported an internal administration dispute over the scope of the power to wage war against foot soldiers supporting al Qaeda aims in the Gulf of Aden. The Obama State Department, at odds with the Pentagon, wishes to construe such authority narrowly, so as to avoid potential conflicts with the international law of war. But does the regime of “international law” legally constrain the U.S. constitutional power to wage war?

As a matter of constitutional law, it does not. While “international law” may function as an important political, diplomatic, and policy constraint on the conduct of U.S. foreign policy (including war), it never trumps the Constitution. As a matter of U.S. law, international law never constrains the exercise of legitimate constitutional powers by the three branches of U.S. government. No treaty or international law norm can give away the U.S. government’s constitutional powers to act" at least not constitutionally. Constitutionally, then, international law cannot limit the force and breadth of the Authorization to Use Military Force. The President’s Commander in Chief Clause power gives him the authority to exercise his power to wage an authorized war as he thinks best" including taking into account international law norms, if he thinks that in the best interests of the nation. But under the Constitution, the Constitution prevails over international law, at least as far as the United States is concerned. The President’s sworn oath is to the Constitution, not to the regime of international law.

For a president to subordinate the Constitution, and the interests of the United States, to the perceived legal imperatives of international law, or to any other foreign legal regime, would be a violation of his sworn oath. International law is thus not a true legal constraint on the U.S. war power, but only a policy concern as an aspect of the President’s power to conduct the nation’s foreign policy. As a matter of U.S. law, it seems clear that the AUMF authorizes military action against any person, organization, or nation acting in league with the al Qaeda network" no matter how international law or some foreign organization or entity may view the matter.

It works the other way around, too. Just as international law may not constrain Congress’s power to declare war, international law may not substitute for Congress’s power to declare war, as a matter of U.S. constitutional law. Thus, U.N. authorization, or a NATO collective decision, to use force cannot constitutionally eviscerate Congress’s sole authority to decide whether the nation will enter into a condition of war with another nation or entity.
(This is the worst part of it for me Congress claimed ability to supersede treaty obligations & International Law)

A final irony: The AUMF was in large part the work of Bush administration lawyers, including those who sometimes asserted" in my view, incorrectly "that presidential war power does not require congressional authorization pursuant to the Constitution’s grant to Congress of the power “to declare war.” While the Bush administration may sometimes have taken this position in legal memoranda, the wars it actually waged "against al Qaeda, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and against Saddam Hussein in Iraq" all complied with the more traditional view that Congress must authorize the use of significant offensive military force against an enemy. In part, this was made possible by the sheer breadth of the terms in which the AUMF is cast. In contrast, the Obama administration purports to adhere to the view that only Congress can initiate war, but has honored that principle in the breach" (Witherspoon Institute)

The forum usually has a lot of scenery being shot up often by me (the orderly process is to have Congress rescind the AUMF has I have stated before)
They gave this power open ended (which they were entitled to do now they need to retract this authorization)

I believe a campaign needs to be enacted to convey to your elected representatives the need for cancelling modifying or withdrawing completely the AUMF.
If not then we are as addicted to it's use as international license or domestic cudgel to be used by an opposition for future administrations!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 8:24AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I didn't like the AUMF when it was first passed.

I noticed the critics of AUMF - using Angus King's questioning as an example - are quick to affirm that something needs to be done wrt global terrorism and want an updated AUMF with corrected language so that al Qaeda can be fought for another 20 years.

Will a responsible elected official please explain - loudly and clearly - that the U.S. policy of drone warfare with its extensive civilian 'collateral damage' is ensuring that there is a never-ending supply of recruits for the various al Qaeda franchises?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Yes and thats a collateral issue to this primary issue! I'm trying to nail people to first things first & see maybe there are some whiners who actually want to keep the AUMF.
Will responsible citizens tell their representatives to rescind the AUMF?

Barbara Lee was the lone vote against it most people gloss over it talk around it & never address it as if Government United States hadn't changed due to it's open ended implementation!
Posts like Nancy's & Brush speak to a symptom and addressing a symptom rarely cures a syndrome it becomes impotent rage against the current expressor of the symptom.
We as a nation are in a syndrome where Congress has let go of it'a duty to reign in the military & it's elected leader of the moment.

This post was edited by labrea on Sat, May 18, 13 at 15:59

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Joe your last sentence pretty much sums it up. And sadly enough, that is just one of many deadly serious problems we all suffer with our congress.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:39AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

We as a nation are in a syndrome where Congress has let go of it duty to reign in the military

Because of the nature of partisan political press - someone votes against war that means that s/he is in favor of terrorism in today's hyper-partisan news cycle. Any questioning is met with the statement 'you're either with us or against us' or some such nonsense.

Plus we have to keep the U.S. military-industrial-intelligence complex well funded. (Flip side of this coin is 'soft on crime' and funding for the prison-industrial complex.)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 12:38PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

we have to keep the U.S. military-industrial-intelligence complex well funded.

And lax campaign-finance rules (and the Citizens United decision) make sure that elected officials will be sympathetic to the concerns of the mil-indust-intel complex.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 12:54PM
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You make such excellent point, ( as usual) Nancy -

If someone disagreed with the wars when they began - private citizens or congress persons - or even other nations, individual Americans were considered flat unpatriotic, unsupportive of the soldier on the ground, somehow too stupid to understand the obvious need for those wars and, concerning other nations, a mean spirited eye was turned on them.

Remember "freedom fries"?
As it turns out that certainly at least with Iraq, they were all correct.

I dont recall any apology for the ugliness extended to the objectors for the verbal abuse heaped on them or about them.
I dont recall a willingness to admit that at least those who opposed the Iran war were, after all, completely correct.

Congress people do our bidding. We have only ourselves to blame for the accurate representation they actually are of us. Why do we expect those people to be big enough to do the right thing for our nation when we ourselves are apparently incapable of it?

A quick read through the threads during the election year both before and after the primaries would give an accurate reflection of who we are as a nation. Read them and weep.

Our representatives are simply us - with a vote. If we dont like them, we have to change the pool where they come from.
A re-evaluation of our individual selves would be a REAL good starting point. Dont expect anything from anyone in Congress that we cant ask from ourselves.

What do we really and truly want, is what we want in the best interest of everyone in our country rather than a portion of them, and what is the best, most honest, ethical and intelligent way to get it?

All, my opinion.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Yes & continued collective or individual if you find collective too socialistic pressure on our representatives is all I'm talking about.
I'ts not long or drawn out it's quite simple in it's approach otherwise I will continue to agree each time a drone is used call it what you want say what you want describe in minute detail the Military industrial complex, our treaties abroad Nato whatever If The traffic light is stuck on green & green means go with no reservations or modifications just continued business as usual it needs to be fixed. It will continue no matter which party is in office it serve a multitude of purposes including the continued morphing of the US Republic.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 8:38PM
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We will get back to this ion a month or so & I'm sure by then the loyal snipers will have their talking points created for them!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Joe, there are so many issues, so much wrong, that I hardly know where to begin in my own outrage at what the US has come to stand for and is directly or indirectly responsible for... it makes one's head spin. And once more, there's an underlying stench of greed to it all... for power and wealth, at any human cost.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Why then not just stick to the subject of the post which is the AUMF!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:35PM
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Good grief. Okay; i'll do it. I've been remiss. Good job, Labrea. If you move just one person to action, right?

So you can stop agreeing with the droning.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:11PM
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