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The Pentagon pushed Congress to leave in place the broad Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), a 2001 law giving the Executive branch wide latitude to use military force against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, namely Al Qaeda and associated forces.

Congress is considering modifying or extending the AUMF now that al Qaeda has been largely decimated and tying suspects back to the 9/11 attacks becomes more and more of stretch. However, before any expansion of AUMF or passage of some similar authority is even on the table, Congress and the public would be wise to unpack what it really means to continue the AUMF.

The AUMF was the purported "legal basis" for this country's most dastardly deeds of the past decade, including torture, domestic surveillance, indefinite detention, the Guantanamo Bay prison, and assassination by drone.  Two Presidents have used the AUMF to claim such extraordinary, unilateral power to deprive individuals - including  Americans - of their rights to life, liberty, and property without due process. The Executive branch will certainly not want to give up power, but that does not mean it should be allowed to continue its actions without accountability, especially when military action has continued for over a decade with no sign of resolution.

In March of this year, The New York Times recommended that Congress repeal the AUMF becuase two presidents have used it as the basis for their fanatical Executive power grabs:

But over time, that resolution became warped into something else: the basis for a vast overreaching of power by one president, Mr. Bush, and less outrageous but still dangerous policies by another, Barack Obama.
The now-infamous G.W. Bush-era torture memos invoked AUMF as justification for torture. (See August 1, 2002 memo, pg. 32). As if its use as the justification for torture is not enough to abandon the broad statue, the NYT summarized the other shameful actions the U.S. took with the rationalization that the AUMF allowed it:
Mr. Bush used the authorization law as an excuse to kidnap hundreds of people — guilty and blameless people alike — and throw them into secret prisons where many were tortured. He used it as a pretext to open the Guantánamo Bay camp and to eavesdrop on Americans without bothering to obtain a warrant. He claimed it as justification for the invasion of Iraq, twisting intelligence to fabricate a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks.

Unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama does not go as far as to claim that the Constitution gives him the inherent power to do all those things. But he has relied on the 2001 authorization to use drones to kill terrorists far from the Afghan battlefield, and to claim an unconstitutional power to kill American citizens in other countries based only on suspicion that they are or might become terrorist threats, without judicial review.

In a climate of fear of a new terrorist (or now cyber) threat, it's all too easy to glaze over what the Executive Branch has done with what started out as an effort to protect the country. It's worth remembering that the Executive branch has invoked the AUMF as justification for actions far beyond the scope of the AUMF on its face, and, worse, those actions tear at the fabric of our democracy and, as is evident in the hollowed faces of Gitmo hunger strikers, continue shred our country's moral fiber.
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Comment Preferences

  •  No one could have possibly foreseen (24+ / 0-)

    the Executive Branch using that legislation for an unprecedented power grab!

    /facepalm

    "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:06:01 AM PDT

  •  BTW, you are very kind (19+ / 0-)

    to characterize the AUMF as initially an attempt to protect the country.

    "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:06:30 AM PDT

  •  The NYT is getting downright--dare I say it? (13+ / 0-)

    liberal in its position on civil liberties lately. I wonder what's come over them?

    "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:07:24 AM PDT

    •  The AP case - (8+ / 0-)

      The mainstream media. including the NYT, has been all for the Bushco police state but now they're realizing it might affect them.

      •  D'oh! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBL55

        How can you be the purveyor of "all the news that's fit to print" and be so dumb.  Oh, I get it! That "fit to print" caveat is just a lot wider than I thought it was originally.

        "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:33:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like the MAD Magazine parody said: (2+ / 0-)

          "All the news that fits, we print."

          "War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate." ~ Al Cleveland & Marvin Gaye (1970)

          by JBL55 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:00:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How so dumb: Be Bill Keller. (3+ / 0-)

          When the Downing Street memos came out with its "...the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Tony Blair was running for re-election.

          I called Bill Keller, and amazingly, got through to his secretary. My complaint: "Why haven't you covered this?" Her response, "But we did." Back and forth, and I finally got her to say where.

          Hung up, looked at her cite, and it was a passing reference to a brouhaha about a memo which might affect the election. That's it. Nowhere else in the New York Times.

          She hung up on me when I called back to point that out.

          Keller's a political creature, he's not interested in Journalism.


          Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

          by Jim P on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:03:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess he just figured no heavy-handed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim P

            government bullying would ever affect someone like him.

            That's for those ratty citizen journalists covering OWS with their camcorders and laptops.

            Government suppression would never happen to someone like this

            "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:09:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good job getting to his secretary. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim P

            "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:10:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's some karmic thing. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              I've made three phone calls in my life to three news outlets and gotten through first try on each. Keller; then I once stopped a riot through bad local news reporting; and I once asked the Producer of Nightline why the captured Russian weapons they were showing had "Made in USSR" stamped on them in English. "Hmmm. Good point." he said.


              Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

              by Jim P on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:55:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The Stuxnet leak investigation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, Barton Funk

        will almost certainly affect them since they were the ones who broke the story.

        DoJ is probably sitting on a cache of NYT electronic communications too and hasn't told them about it yet (if they ever do tell them).


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:32:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I'm sure. You'd have to include the NYT (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon

          if you were intending to control or subvert the entire print media (what's left of it).

          "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:09:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And good point about them breaking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon

          Stuxnet.

          "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:10:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Watch out guys--they're not just busting hippies (0+ / 0-)

        Holy shit, they're coming after us too!!! That wasn't in the plan!

        "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:19:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tonkin Gulf Resolution lasted 9< years (19+ / 0-)

    It was approved in summer of '64, and US troops left Vietnam in early '73.  The AUMF has been in effect for going on 12 years now.  

    Such blank checks of executive power are antithetical to separation of powers, one of our core constitutional concepts.  One would think that all of the "strict constructionists" in the GOP could comprehend that self-evident point.  One might also hope that a president who taught Con Law at a tier 1 law school could comprehend it, too.

    I hope for a lot of things these days.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:09:20 AM PDT

    •  No resolution authorizing military force, short of (14+ / 0-)

      a formal declaration of war, should last longer than the Constitutionally-determined limit for the length of time of a military appropriation: 2 years.

      Hell, we could probably even require formal declarations of war to be reauthorized every two years and it wouldn't affect our ability to conduct real wars one bit.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:20:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has been >71 years since formal declaration (11+ / 0-)

        of war was passed by Congress.  Since then, US has been involved in at least 5 wars (Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, Gulf War II, Afghanistan) and countless interventions of various scope and intensity.  While I like your idea, at this point, I'd just like to see the occasional formal declaration of war.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:47:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane

        but that limitation is not in the Constitution.  

        •  Didn't say it was; but the time limit on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, Barton Funk

          appropriations of money for the raising and support of Armies is there, and was put there for much the same purpose as the parallel limit I proposed.

          And the intent behind the time limit on appropriations is much the same.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:50:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  from the dog and pony show where the MIC got fed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Barton Funk, 4kedtongue

        questions about the legality of their operations and they got to declare them as legal under their interpretation of the AUMF....

        http://www.democracynow.org/...

        SEN. CARL LEVIN: Senator King.

        SEN. ANGUS KING: Gentlemen, I’ve only been here five months, but this is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today. The Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, clearly says that the Congress has the power to declare war. This—this authorization, the AUMF, is very limited. And you keep using the term "associated forces." You use it 13 times in your statement. That is not in the AUMF. And you said at one point, "It suits us very well." I assume it does suit you very well, because you’re reading it to cover everything and anything. And then you said, at another point, "So, even if the AUMF doesn’t apply, the general law of war applies, and we can take these actions." So, my question is: How do you possibly square this with the requirement of the Constitution that the Congress has the power to declare war?

        This is one of the most fundamental divisions in our constitutional scheme, that the Congress has the power to declare war; the president is the commander-in-chief and prosecutes the war. But you’re reading this AUMF in such a way as to apply clearly outside of what it says. Senator McCain was absolutely right: It refers to the people who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks on September 11. That’s a date. That’s a date. It doesn’t go into the future. And then it says, "or harbored such organizations"—past tense—"or persons in order to prevent any future acts by such nations, organizations or persons." It established a date.

        I don’t disagree that we need to fight terrorism. But we need to do it in a constitutionally sound way
        . Now, I’m just a little, old lawyer from Brunswick, Maine, but I don’t see how you can possibly read this to be in comport with the Constitution and authorize any acts by the president. You had testified to Senator Graham that you believe that you could put boots on the ground in Yemen now under this—under this document. That makes the war powers a nullity. I’m sorry to ask such a long question, but my question is: What’s your response to this? Anybody?

        Then
        MICHAEL SHEEHAN: Senator, let me take the first response. I’m not a constitutional lawyer or a lawyer of any kind. But let me talk to you a little—take a brief statement about al-Qaeda and the organization that attacked us on September 11, 2001. In the two years prior to that, Senator King, that organization attacked us in East Africa and killed 17 Americans in our embassy in Nairobi, with loosely affiliated groups of people in East Africa. A year prior to 9/11, that same organization, with its affiliates in Yemen, almost sunk a U.S. ship, the U.S.S. Cole, a billion-dollar warship, killed 17 sailors in the port of Aden. The organization that attacked us on 9/11 already had its tentacles in—around the world with associated groups. That was the nature of the organization then; it is the nature of the organization now. In order to attack that organization, we have to attack it with those affiliates that are its operational arm that have previously attacked and killed Americans, and at high-level interests, and continue to try to do that.
        And this response from Sen. King...
        SEN. ANGUS KING: That’s fine, but that’s not what the AUMF says. You can—you can—what I’m saying is, we may need new authority, but don’t—if you expand this to the extent that you have, it’s meaningless, and the limitation in the war power is meaningless. I’m not disagreeing that we need to attack terrorism wherever it comes from and whoever is doing it. But what I’m saying is, let’s do it in a constitutional way, not by putting a gloss on a document that clearly won’t support it. It just—it just doesn’t—it just doesn’t work. I’m just reading the words. It’s all focused on September 11 and who was involved, and you guys have invented this term "associated forces" that’s nowhere in this document. As I mentioned, in your written statement, you use that—that’s the key term. You use it 13 times. It’s the justification for everything. And it renders the war powers of the Congress null and void. I don’t understand. I mean, I do understand you’re saying we don’t need any change, because the way you read it, you can—you could do anything. But why not say—come back to us and say, "Yes, you’re correct that this is an overbroad reading that renders the war powers of the Congress a nullity; therefore, we need new authorization to respond to the new situation"? I don’t understand why—I mean, I do understand it, because the way you read it, there’s no limit. But that’s not what the Constitution contemplates.
        (emphasis mine)

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:34:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  More audacity, less hope (6+ / 0-)

      seen on a sign at an anti-Keystone XL rally.

      "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:34:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is Simply No Question (8+ / 0-)

    That whatever good intent (and I really like to believe that) inspired the original AUMF, it expired nearly before the ink was dry.

    I also think there's a zero percent chance it will be repealed.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:19:21 AM PDT

    •  Rand Paul (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, Barton Funk

      At least he introduced legislation revoking it, thus proving a broken clock can be right two times in a day (other time was his talking filibuster of the drone program).

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:00:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rand Paul will advocate for civil liberties (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Barton Funk

        as long as it's a Democrat suppressing them.

        After that, all bets are off.

        "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:24:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope we never have to see (0+ / 0-)

          But if he is like his Ol' man, he'll be pretty consistent.

          I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

          by ccyd on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:48:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a hard time with Rand Paul (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Barton Funk

            partly because of what happened to the protester who was stomped by his campaign staffer and his friends.

            That makes it hard for me to see him as a civil libertarian.

            As for his old man, there's the racism problem there.

            "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:09:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The Pentagon sees the GWOT lasting at least (14+ / 0-)

    10-20 more years and more probably decades and reaffirmed in a Senate hearing this week that it has no geographic boundaries, i.e., it truly is a worldwide authorization to include the United States.  Also reaffirmed was the use of the AUMF to target any group or individual even affiliated with Al Qaeda, including those who haven't even been born yet.  

    Pushback to the Pentagon stance came from none other than John McCain who said no one envisioned when voting for the AUMF in 2001 that it would lead to worldwide authorization.  No one could have expected.  

    The war on terror seems so ingrained now that it's hard to imagine it ever ending unless the people stand up and demand it.  Which isn't going to happen.  A terrorist act here and a terrorist act there and it's easy to see it lasting forever, certainly throughout the 21st century.  The antiwar movement has been decimated, coopted, and mesmerized by the propaganda.

    The global Imperial military machine will continue indefinitely, all to keep you safe and the Military Industrial Complex in a tuxedo and drinking champagne.

    Meanwhile, Obama appears to be ready to provide more arms and assistance to the Al Qaeda affiliated fighters in Syria in the effort to effect regime change and further Middle East hegemony, on the way to Iran.

    "I'm an antiwar propagandist as accused by democrats. Not even republicans have called me that."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:20:47 AM PDT

    •  I do not think we have given any arms (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, FG, Barton Funk

      to Syria, at least I hope we have learned from the past this is not a good idea.

      In that hearing this week, which I watched part of, there was some argument about using the AUMF to attack those who had nothing to do with 9/11, but it is clear many feel the AUMF is limitless. You are right the military industrial complex needs this I think, to assure their bottom lines. Protecting us has nothing to do with it.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:54:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I disagree on the arming of the Syrian (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, lunachickie, Barton Funk

        proxy fighters, but that's the company line so I won't challenge it on this site.  
        But agree, it has nothing to do with protecting us.  War is a racket.

        "I'm an antiwar propagandist as accused by democrats. Not even republicans have called me that."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:00:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, I have no inside info (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          And I tend to be optimistic when possible.

          I have seen what our arms did to a country (Afghanistan) and its people. Giving out arms is tricky business at best.

          And for the record, I follow no 'company' line. :)

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Fri May 17, 2013 at 02:46:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know, I didn't mean to direct that at you. (0+ / 0-)

            It can get frustrating talking about this kind of thing on the internet, as you know.  
            Have a nice weekend.

            "I'm an antiwar propagandist as accused by democrats. Not even republicans have called me that."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:41:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Its 1984 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt

      George Orwell would be proud.

      I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

      by ccyd on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:02:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've called for the repeal of the AUMF and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kimoconnor, JesseCW, Barton Funk

    I have been supporting efforts to that end for about a year and a half so it wasn't until fairly recently that I became interested and involved.  I'd like some elaboration on this statement which appears in the diary.

    Congress is considering modifying or extending the AUMF
    Names? dates?  places?  any info at all on what the members of Congress in the current session are doing what you describe?

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:33:13 AM PDT

    •  Barbara Lee, the only one to vote against the (5+ / 0-)

      damn thing, is the one leading the effort.  Of course, it will be coopted and instead of repealing it, they might revise it but it won't really change anything except clarify the "rules of engagement".  Even if it's repealed, which is very unlikely, the show will go on somehow.  

      http://www.rawstory.com/...

      "I'm an antiwar propagandist as accused by democrats. Not even republicans have called me that."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:44:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This doesn't answer the question. I know well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG

        who Barbara Lee is and the efforts she has made and continues to make to repeal the AUMF.  

        The diarist says,  "Congress is considering . . ."  

        I'd like to know what the diarist knows to make that statement.  

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:20:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is the Senate Armed Services comm at least (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Lippman, britzklieg

      I found this that you might find interesting, from one of the people who testified yesterday at the hearing:

      http://www.lawfareblog.com/.../

      DOD officials:

      Acknowledged that they had domestic authority to use force in Mali, Syria, Libya, and Congo, against Islamist terrorist threats there.  At first they strongly suggested that the AUMF provided the domestic authority, but at the very end one DOD representative tried to walk back that suggestion and said that the authority to use force in those places didn’t necessarily rest (or some such formulation) on the AUMF.  As best I can tell he did not walk back the claim that some authority exists and that it might be the AUMF.
      Emphasized that they were satisfied that current authorities suffice to meet the threat.  In light of the extraordinarily broad interpretation of extant authorities on display today, and the secrecy of AUMF determinations, it is hard to assess that claim.  DOD officials also said that they were actively considering emerging threats and stated that it was possible they would need to return to Congress for new authorities against those threats but did not at present need new authorities.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:59:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Senate Armed Services Committee (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      britzklieg, kimoconnor

      Focus was on drone strikes, but it looks like they are taking an intrest in the broader issues of the AUMF as well.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      http://www.lawfareblog.com/...

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:58:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Got it. Thx. Connecting dots . . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        onionjim, Catte Nappe, kimoconnor

        Buck McKeon, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the HOUSE, represents a district in So Cal where General Atomics & Aeronautics makes the drones. . .

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:11:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So the AUMF is a jobs program? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kimoconnor

          I wish I could say it was snark.

          I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

          by ccyd on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:09:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm giggling because it's so horrible. (0+ / 0-)

            Well, at least we know that some government spending to create jobs is OK with the Obama Administration.

            "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:25:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Say what you mean. / (0+ / 0-)

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:36:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay. Here goes (0+ / 0-)

              Congress won't revoke the AUMF because the military hardware manufacturers have plants in virtually every Congressional district and to end the AUMF means that demand for military hardware decreases, thus making layoffs likely.  It's a jobs program.

              I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

              by ccyd on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:39:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That sounds like someone trivializing a very (0+ / 0-)

                serious problem.   You're scaling an issue of enormous magnitude down to a size that will fit in your narrow agenda.

                Is it too tough for you to figure out?  Do I have to spell out Military Industrial Complex?  Is it a joke for you?  Is it a club to bash partisans?  Are you pleased with yourself because you think you scored a point?

                Think of the suffering of people in Egypt, Libya, Mali and elsewhere in North Africa if you can fathom it.  People suffer to the point where they can't tolerate anymore and decide that the only way you can understand suffering is if you share some of it yourself.  It's not a juvenile game for your amusement.

                There is no existence without doubt.

                by Mark Lippman on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:53:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  As the old saying goes... (0+ / 0-)

                  "All politics is local"...the same applies here.  The companies that are part of the MIC purposely create jobs in every congressional district so anytime a member of Congress votes against the MIC, it is essentially a vote against jobs.  It sounds insensitive when said out loud, but it was designed this way, it is the truth.  The reason the wars will never end is that there is too much money to be made, for everyone involved.  

                  "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

                  by cardboardurinal on Fri May 17, 2013 at 01:13:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Which is why I'm not especially fazed by (5+ / 0-)

    all these GOP witch hunts against Obama & Co., because in a karmic kind of way he and they have come to deserve it, even if many of the scandals they purport to seek to investigate are utter BS, and others are far less serious than they're being played up to be. Because a few of them are quite serious, such as the AP one--which of course are not the ones the GOP is focusing on. Because it may lead to light being shined on others, such as this one, that no one in the media or GOP seems to care about. Because this might make it harder for Obama to keep getting away with this shit, and others like austerity and cutting entitlements. And because it may force him to go on the offensive and actually be progressive. These are definitely game changers, though.

    We can't sustain the current path of increasing authoritarianism, attacks on civil liberties and even rights, austerity, income and wealth inequality, tar sands, climate change, bankster crimes unpunished, etc. Maybe, just maybe, this will convince Obama that since he'll never succeed as a Republican Lite, he may as well be a real Democrat. It may well be his only path out of this.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:51:20 AM PDT

  •  Here is something scary to think about. If the (8+ / 0-)

    AUMF and associated stuff allows the rounding up of people (including US citizens) anywhere in the world (including US soil) and putting them in camps like Guantanamo and it/they also allow the "targeted" killing of anyone (including US citizens) anywhere in the world (including US soil) then how can it not also allow the mass rounding up and killing of anyone (including US citizens) anywhere in the world (including US soil).

    And yes, I know about Obama's signing statements to the contrary but those don't matter one bit after January 2017.

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:08:46 AM PDT

  •  none of this matters in the short term. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, britzklieg

    it is clear that we can not stop these idiots. i feel like a broken record, but we have to put more energy into where WE go from here and how we change this game.

    they will not. period. full stop. not.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” - Mark Twain

    by pfiore8 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:58:33 AM PDT

  •  Repeal the AUMF. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    britzklieg, Nada Lemming, onionjim

    Having the high stakes, real time, super tech, global  responsibilities a US President has today with limited authority is pretty tricky as compared to the time of the nation's founding.

    Any President has and will have serious limitations of expertise coupled with very high incentives to distrust those around. The implications of being actively opposed by either one of the Pentagon or the CIA and the incredibly risky possibility of both at once is crippling even if the President incrementally succeeds.

    So, forgetting politics or personal concerns, when do the temptations to over reach become perceived as requirements given the enormous consequences of even small risks and the multiplicity and asymmetry of battlefields?

    The rules and the rule of law have to be up to date and sacrosanct to succeed in an atmosphere that requires power, process, agility, immediacy, and resolve.

    The country is adrift. We need to fix this now. And as Presidents go, it's pretty unreasonable to expect a better time to tighten up this leaky ship of state. Obama could take an historical lead to restore more proper Congressional and EO boundaries and rules.  The public has to. This is part of the clean up form Nixon-Bush-Cheney.

  •  Congress Has The Power To Overturn It (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD

    Most of the senators in office right now gave these powers willingly to President Bush, but now they are yelling about it because maybe the president is now a democrat and the wrong color.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:26:47 AM PDT

    •  Congress has the power to overturn the (0+ / 0-)

      sequester, start a New Deal-style jobs program and fund it with a transaction tax too. What's your point?

      Well, actually, I know what your point is, and you're right of course.

      IAOKIYAR.

      "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:26:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are at this point (3+ / 0-)

    a nation of lawless international military criminals. We continue to thumb our nose at the Geneva convention and any human rights. Its obscene, immoral, disgraceful, and the use of drones is terrorism.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Fri May 17, 2013 at 09:35:21 AM PDT

    •  Don't feel too bad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Barton Funk

      Most of us aren't really part of that "nation" in any meaningful way, from the point of view of the PTB. Unless they happen to need to throw some bodies at a military objective.

      "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:28:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Latest affront: The military has unilaterally (4+ / 0-)

    declared that it has authority over civil disturbances, regardless of legal and Constitutional bars to that authority. Link

    The military doesn't act without the commander - in - chief's imprimatur, so it would appear that reliance upon the AUMF is no longer deemed necessary for executive power grabs.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:11:00 AM PDT

    •  Wow. Wow, wow, wow. (3+ / 0-)

      I knew we were flirting with the edges of this--Stanley McChrystal was involved with a special squad way back that was allowed to cross that particular barrier--but this is unbelievable. Unmitigated crap.

      Oh, here's the link to the stuff about McChrystal, just for shits and giggles. It's old news, but still relevant. It was called Joint Special Operations Command, and it was invented by an executive order of Bill Clinton's. (Thank you, President Clinton. Once again, as with NAFTA and financial deregulation, you render me supremely ashamed that I helped elect you twice.)

      It's becoming clearer all the time that the effort to turn us into a police state was bipartisan from the start

      "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:35:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I remember the JSOC stuff, nobody (2+ / 0-)

        seemed at all concerned. There's also one active duty unit, I forget the size, stationed here to respond to civil disturbances or other emergencies at the Presidents order. That was the one I saw as a harbinger, but it was, naturally, ignored and worriers were labelled as paranoid and CT mongers.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:33:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All declarations of war... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sceptical observer

    ...and similar "force authorizations" should come by default with an explicit expiration date beyond which Congress must re-issue the authorization.

    I would go so far as to support a Constitutional amendment in this regard.

    It makes no sense at all (and goes against the spirit of the country's founding) to allow endless open-ended "special war powers".

    If it's important enough that the President needs special powers, it's important enough to drag Congresspeople away from their fundraisers now and then to re-authorize it.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:09:45 AM PDT

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