Authorization for War

From the Facebook page of Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA), who was the only person to vote against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which granted the President the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.  The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001:

History was made today. After 16 years of hard work, my amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF was passed by the House Appropriations Committee with bipartisan support. This is an huge step towards FINALLY reining in our endless wars.

 

Letter to Congressional representatives approved by Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) in 2014:

As members of the Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends (Conservative), we continue to oppose the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

There are grave constitutional concerns about the AUMF, as it erodes the separation of powers and prevents adequate, effective checks and balances between the branches of U. S. government. The brief 60 words of the AUMF do not contain geographical or temporal limits, dangerously leaving open the door for this and future presidents to claim the authority to wage war against anyone at any time.

The Congressional Research Service report last year revealed that Presidents Bush and Obama publicly invoked the AUMF over 30 times, to justify military action in Djibouti, Georgia, Ethiopia, Yemen, and elsewhere.

It also poses significant threats to human rights, civil liberties, and the fulfillment of moral obligations. It has been used as part of the legal justification for indefinite detentions, acts of torture, mass surveillance, and an expansive drone war that has killed thousands of people far from any battlefield. These policies harden extremist sentiments, diminish the rule of law, and weaken American security and integrity.

The President has at his disposal adequate means to counter violent extremism, and if he believes at any time he lacks necessary authority, he can petition Congress, which can debate and decide that question. This is infinitely preferable to living in a permanent state of war.

In the Light of God’s Love,
Deborah Dakin, clerk Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Religious Society of Friends

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