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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-26-13 02:29 PM
Original message
Endless War is a real Scandal.

William Boardman
NationofChange / News Analysis
Published: Saturday 25 May 2013

Americas State of Permanent Global War Approaches its 12th Anniversary.

The Militant American Empire Doesnt Need Any More AUMF

On September 14, 2001, the Congress authorized the President to wage unfettered, permanent war against pretty much anyone the President, in his sole discretion, deemed related to the 9/11 attacks and any future attacks. On September 18, 2001, President Bush signed this authorization into law.

The United States has been in a permanent state of war ever since. And on May 16, 2013, the Obama Administrations Pentagon officials testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that they expected this permanent state of war to last another 10 to 20 years.

This came as an apparent surprise to some senators, including John McCain, the Arizona Republican who voted for the initial authorization: "This authority ... has grown way out of proportion and is no longer applicable to the conditions that prevailed, that motivated the United States Congress to pass the authorization for the use of military force that we did in 2001."

Also expressing surprise was Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith, who joined the Bush administration in the summer of 2002, serving in the Defense Departments General Counsel office and later in the Justice Department, where his work in the Office of Legal Counsel contributed to, but failed to mitigate the administrations legalization of torture. This failure contributed to his resignation in June 2004.

After the Armed Services Committee hearing, Goldsmith commented: "I learned more in this hearing about the scope of the AUMF than in all of my study in the last four or five years.I thought I knew what the application meant, but I'm less confident now.

Is the AUMF an Authorization to Use Military Force Forever?

The AUMF referred to by Goldsmith is the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that Congress passes in 2001. While Goldsmith was in the Bush Administration, the AUMF served as the basis for legitimating the American attack on Afghanistan, among others (not Iraq).

The AUMF is a relatively brief document that expresses the post-9/11 fear and panic, as well as a desire to give the President the flexibility to protect the country against any further attacks.

The operative section of the AUMF says, in its entirety:

(a) IN GENERAL- That 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.

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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-26-13 07:26 PM
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1. and there's a powerful reason to memorialize the war dead...
those who died in Iraq over the past decade plus were used as pawns to make hundreds of warprofiteers filthy king-like rich...

hope you are all doing well this month... :)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 01:54 AM
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2. Afghanistan, too, and maybe Pakistan as well. And maybe elsewhere that
we don't know about -- Yemen, Libya, for example.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. It's a world wide operation.
Military profiteering for made up or provoked reasons.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. My feelings exactly.
Vietnam was the same. I passed the military draft physical for that one. Just missed my lottery number by two or I might not be here.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 02:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. The Framers contemplated only wars against nations and the Constitution says
Edited on Mon May-27-13 03:35 AM by No Elephants
that Congress must declare war.

There is a Constitutional issue about the ability of Congress to delegate war powers to the President, as it has purported to do, even before the AUMF, given that the Constitution expressly placed the power to declare war only in Congress, even though the Constitution made the President CIC.

As you may recall, after Libya, some members of Congress, Democrat, Republican and Libertarian, were going to sue Obama for not following a Congressional war power resolution, but ended up suing him for not getting a Declaration of War from Congress

Our poor little Constitution is so shredded, it is not funny.

Anyhoo, in the House, the Authorization to Use Military Force was sponsored by Republican and former Koch brothers Tea Party tool, Dick Armey and co-sponsored by New Democrat and one time Democratic Presidential candidate, Dick Gephardt. (They were probably, at the time, majority and and minority leaders, but I am not sure.)

Only one brave Rep. from either major Party voted against the Authorization to Use Military Force, namely, Rep. Barbara Lee of California.

In the Senate, the Authorization to Use Military Force was sponsored by New Democrat, Tom Daschle and co-sponsored by Trent Lott (and they were, at the time, majority and minority leaders).

The Senate vote was 98-0, with Craig and Helms not voting.

Of course, Hillary, who supposedly will clear the Democratic Presidential field if she announces for 2016, was a Senator then.

Barack Obama had the luxury of not being in Congress then. He was perceived in 2007-08 as the anti war primary candidate.

In reality, though, Obama was pro the Afghanistan War, which he "surged" after taking office and continues to this day. He was, as we learned once he was in office, also pro the global war AUMF. I say he is for it because he has used it more than Bush. He has recently--while being plagued by "sandals," come out against it verbally, but has not committed to stop using it.

Because of prior behavior, I am going to suspect (1) the standard political trick of attempting to change the narrative when the media seems stuck on attacking; and (2) Obama trying to have it both ways, one way in words from him and the White House and another way in the actions of his administration.

Obama was also supposedly anti the Iraq War. However, after taking office, Obama's military tried to get the President of Iraq to agree to either drop the withdrawal date to which Bush had agreed, or push it into the future (I've now forgotten which). The President of Iraq refused. And that is how Obama got credit (from the poorly informed (and/or the idolatrous) for ending the war in Iraq.

Armed drones were developed under Democrat Clinton for covert use by the CIA (!) and overt use by the U.S. military. Supposedly, they were developed to kill Bin Laden. (*great skepticism about a very expensive weapon system being developed to kill one person, when the CIA has long assassinated people abroad by more traditional means*)

However, for better or worse, Clinton shut down a 1998 operation to drone murder Ben Ladin because a couple of innocent bystanders were deemed too close to Bin Laden to survive. And, if the story about killing Ben Laden that we have been handed is true, drones were in fact never used to kill Ben Laden. But drones have been used to kill many others that we know about. And, "the peace candidate" of 2008, the only one from either majjor Party(who also was the only one to win the general) has engaged in many more drone killings than Bush or Clinton.

So much for the "lesser of two evils" when it comes to one of the very biggest evils of all.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 02:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I believe you have it nailed.
The President was wrong about Afghanistan being the right war too. There was no right war for the 911 attacks even if you subscribe to the "official story".

There is no right war because no NATION STATE attacked us on 911. The attackers weren't sanctioned by Afghanistan, they weren't a black-ops arm of the Afghan government.

I have grave misgivings about Obama's advisers, because he always gets so many things wrong. Why does he listen to people that are so wrong all the time?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 03:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks. I edited before I saw that anyone else was posting. Sorry about that.
I don't think any of the edits were substantive or changed the meaning, but I apologize anyway.

Are you asking me why Obama listens to the people whom he hired, knowing who they were and where they stood?

I think he is run by DLC/Third Way/No Labels ideologies, and is by no means putty in the hands of his advisors or of the Republicans. His hires are political cover. And, if he didn't like their advice, they'd be gone. The IRS illustrates that.

Remember during his first term, how the D of J was defending every case against Bushco? Indeed, I think some of the defenses in cases involving gays were even uglier than those put forward in the legal briefs of Bushco. And all we heard from his DU supporters was how independent the D of J is? (As if any employee can be independent from the guy who hires and fires him or her.)

So, Obama got no blame for any of that. However, the independence veil went down when the WH trumpeted that Obama had ordered the D of J to stop defending DOMA cases in circuits in which the circuit court had already held DOMA unconstitutional. Then, Obama got the credit for the order and no one remembered how independent of him they had been saying the D of J was. See, no blame, but all the credit.

Which President could ask for more? And that is the function of all Presidential hires.

At least Bush admitted he was the decider. Sure, his decisions sucked scissors, but he did responsiblity. Clinton (nicknamed, among many other things "the Teflon President") and Obama, though, not so much.

Clinton is still declining responsiblity. As to DADT, he claims Powell misled him. Doesn't mention at all the third corner of the DADT triangle, Dick Morris. Anyway, the notion that either Powell or Morris could have mislead the Rhodes scholar is laughable. But, Bubba is still blaming his adviors, cause that's what advisors are really for, and still getting away with it, because that's what apologists are really for.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Nice.
It is telling that Clinton even employed Dick Morris. It's little wonder that he doesn't want to remind people of that fact. Morris, the worst of the Fox "News" clowns. The DOMA, DADT and all the other "social", ideological issues are only a distraction anyway. Tools to control. Bones for liberals (the only ones) while the substantive policies always moves to the political right.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-27-13 04:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. P.S. I agree that there was no "right" war for retaliating against 911 attackers,
Edited on Mon May-27-13 04:19 AM by No Elephants
any more than there was a "right" war for retaliating against the 1993 attack on the very same World Trade Center.

As a nation, Afghanistan had neither the money nor the infrastructure to attack us or even to "sponsor" an attack on us. Probably still doesn't, though the pockets of the Karza family and their thugs might. But, after 911, we certainly gave many Afghanis and Iraqis a desire to retaliate against us and we all but created Al Qaeeda in Iraq. Add that to our attacks elsewhere in the Middle East, our arming of Israel since the 1940s, our infiltration of American mosques and the stupid talk of Americans about Muslims, etc., and it is small wonder people believe we are warring against Islam.

If there had been a "right" war for 911 against any nation, Saudi Arabia would have come closest, but even that would have been wrong.

So, we simply changed the definition of "war," with the AUMF.

The "War on Terrorism" is a lot closer to the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty than it is to a war of nation(s) against nation(s), which is the only kind of "war" the Framers contemplated. Something does not legitimately become a "war," as the Framers understood the term, simply because you dub it a war.

Even the actual war in Iraq was about "regime change," something one nation has no business doing to another under international law. If another nation took out our President we would know instantly that no nation has any business taking out our President.

But, when it is a nation the size of Idaho that most Americans in 2001 could not have found on a map, meh.

It's good to be the world's only super power. If you define "good" as the ability to do whatever you want, no matter how evil.

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