Iran Tensions Are Reason to Revoke ‘9/11 AUMF’

A House committee voted Tuesday to end the emergency war powers that Congress gave the presidency after 9/11. Inder Comar says it’s urgent to complete that repeal process.     

By Inder Comar
Special to Consortium News

To any defender of democracy and the rule of law, the threat at hand is plainly existential. A U.S. war with Iran would destroy countless lives and likely constitute an international crime. And it would herald a new phase of America’s wars in which any pretense of peace is abandoned and a militarized economy, society and culture is the open and avowed goal of the state and its political system.

To prevent this, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, must be repealed or struck down, as soon as possible. On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee voted for the repeal in a move led by Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF in 2001. 

War powers possess a heavy gravity: the more they are used, the more they tend to aggrandize power from other places. Using the 2001 AUMF as the basis for an attack on Iran is likely, as it would further the aims of the war bureaucracy to take such powers entirely out of the hands of Congress. Under the executive, the war powers can be further centralized, refined, and made permanent — the framework of an imperial system of governance where a Caesar is chosen every four years; not to maintain global peace, but to perpetually advance a forever war.

Bush speaking on Sept. 11, 2001, at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana: “Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.” (Eric Draper, George W. Bush Presidential Library)

On Sept. 18, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the AUMF, which is terse, consisting of 60 words:

“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.”

The authority to use force under the so-called 9/11 AUMF is unilateral and not subject to further review. Critically, the joint resolution by Congress provides the president with sole authority to use force as “he determines” — a sweeping grant of war-making that is unprecedented in constitutional law, without any demarcating boundary as to territory or time.

Constitution Subverted  

The Constitution vests Congress with the authority to start a war under Article I.  And it grants the executive the ability to prosecute that war under Article II, subject to the limits sent by Congress. The framers plainly intended this division of power. (See “The Federalist Papers No. 69,” by Alexander Hamilton.)

The 9/11 AUMF switched these default operating conditions. Now, under a sprawling “counter-terrorism” aegis the executive has sole discretion to commence a new war. War, not peace, is the default. Then the burden shifts to Congress to stop a new military action, with a two-thirds, veto proof majority. The war powers were re-written and switched. And for 18 years, no one has cared.

Yemen provides a crystal clear example of this in action. As recently as December 2018, the executive has cited “counter-terrorism” as giving it authority for involvement in Yemen (in addition to citing generic Article II authority).

In order to restrain the executive, Congress found itself in the awkward position of having to pass a resolution (S.J. 7) to forbid the executive from participation in a war zone that was never authorized. On April 16, President Donald Trump vetoed the resolution, and on May 2, Congress failed to override the veto with a two-thirds majority. Throughout the debate regarding Yemen, the entire political class seemed to blindly accept the absurdity that it was incumbent upon Congress to stop a military operation that had never been authorized with a two-thirds, veto-proof majority.

Yemeni capital Sanaa months after airstrikes, Oct. 9, 2015. (Almigdad Mojalli/VOA via Wikimedia Commons)

An attack on Iran premised on the 9/11 AUMF would be unconstitutional under domestic law, and an act of aggression under international law.

The 9/11 AUMF is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers. But even if it could be narrowly interpreted, there is no way that a military authorization designed to fight Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, passed almost 18 years ago, provides any legitimate basis for an attack against Iran — a separate sovereign nation that has no connection to Al-Qaeda terrorists or the 9/11 attacks. Osama bin-Laden is long dead. How long will 9/11 be milked and exploited by corrupt leaders and enabling bureaucrats as an excuse for a forever war?

Crimes of Aggression

International law is also worth discussing. An attack on Iran without authorization from the United Nations Security Council, and not in self-defense, would constitute an act of aggression, in violation of the Nuremberg principles laid down in 1946 by the Nuremberg Tribunal. Iran poses no military threat to the United States, so self-defense is not a legal grounds for an attack. And the U.N. Security Council is unlikely to authorize U.S. military action against Iran.

Trump disembarking Marine One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, May 20. (White House/ Tia Dufour)

Thus, as with the invasion of Iraq, a military attack against Iran could very well be a textbook case of the crime of aggression, the supreme crime under international law. Further aggression would cause regional and great powers to see America as dangerous — a rogue imperial power heavily armed with civilization-ending nuclear weapons. It would mark the end of the current international order and give birth to a volatile interregnum or even a new order of outright war between the major powers.

Wars lasting 30 or a hundred years were supposed to be artifacts of the Middle Ages. Yet America’s forever war has now lasted almost 20, and is already the longest war in American history. It is clear that elites enjoy the power they have been given to wage war as a default mechanism of international politics. This power must now end. The unconstitutionality of the 9/11 AUMF is glaringly obvious. Congress did not have the authority to hand over its war powers to the executive in 2001. Now, either Congress or the courts must recognize what has happened, and put a stop to a rabid Executive.

Americans must reject a war with Iran, end their forever war, and enact a foreign policy that is committed to international law and human rights. They should prosecute their leaders who have committed grave international offences, including for past torture and aggression in places like Iraq. The first step is to repeal or revoke the 9/11 AUMF.

Inder Comar is the executive director of Just Atonement Inc., a legal non-profit dedicated to defending democracy and building peace and sustainability. His public law expertise involves the crime of aggression, the legality of the Iraq War, and international human rights. He holds his JD from the New York University School of Law, and an MA and BAs from Stanford University. His Twitter handle is @InderComar.

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38 comments for “Iran Tensions Are Reason to Revoke ‘9/11 AUMF’

  1. Dino Nazamodeen
    May 28, 2019 at 09:13

    Why is it that the USA only wants to fight 3rd World Countries?

  2. Brian James
    May 27, 2019 at 13:59

    May 27, 2019 Support America’s Troops — Bring Them ALL Home!

    The best way to support our troops is to bring them home as quickly as possible.

    https://youtu.be/JSxOQt9WPqU

  3. O Society
    May 27, 2019 at 08:42

    Here’s a question for you:

    America is at war with 7 different countries right now, how many of them can you name off the top of your head?

    http://opensociet.org/2019/05/26/america-is-at-war-with-seven-different-countries-right-now-how-many-of-these-countries-can-you-name/

    Better yet, how did General Wesley Clark know 12 years ago which 7 countries we’d be at war with today?

    He knew before Barack Obama even took office…

    http://opensociet.org/2019/05/27/were-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran

  4. confused
    May 26, 2019 at 22:43

    Very currious.

    If the Constitution defines the roles, as it clearly does, how can a mere act of Congress subseuently change those with out repeal of the specific section of the Constitution first and adoption of an Amendment after?

  5. Bev
    May 26, 2019 at 06:56

    Wow. Forget Trump the rubber stamp. This MUST be revoked and Bolton and Pompeo and Adelson at least will fight like radid dogs to prevent it.

  6. May 26, 2019 at 03:50

    I wish the antiwar leftists would get over their peculiar fetish about “laws” and “resolutions” and “constitutions”. Those entities DO NOT EXIST. You will never get anything done by using nonexistent myths.

    Brute force exists. Blackmail exists. Soros exists. Sheldon Adelson exists.

    If you want to change the behavior of governments, you have to deal with REAL things that REALLY exist.

  7. Robert Shillenn
    May 25, 2019 at 15:11

    More than by any meddling by foreigners, our democracy is threatened by forces within this country. The first threat is economic inequality. The second threat was articulated by President Dwight Eisenhower at the end of his term in 1960: the military industrial complex. That threat is more visible in 2019 than it was in 1960. The disastrous war in Vietnam is now history, but too many Americans forget the terrible cost of that war in human lives, not just the Americans who died, but the even greater number of Vietnamese. Now we are in the midst of the longest war in our history: almost 18 years and no end in sight! Endless warfare destroyed other empires in history. We must begin to change our course as a nation, because it is unsustainable.

  8. May 25, 2019 at 08:53

    Trump is enjoying the swamp. ZOG is in control . Dump the Trump !

  9. May 25, 2019 at 08:48

    Sorry, elmerfudzie, i don’t happen to agree with you. Oil is only part of the picture. The Rothschild empire which controls the world’s banks wants to bring all countries in line for a one world currency, and to do so, USA is going down, albeit slowly but maybe faster than we think. They are resisted presently by We the People. This is part of the New World Order plan which has been ongoing for many decades. Oil is only part of the plan; electromagnetics is another large part of this octopus’s modus operandi. Food shortages are integral also.

    • elmerfudzie
      June 4, 2019 at 20:32

      jessika, one world currency is impossible now, that crypto-has entered the picture. Observe the Chinese, their buying gold en mass, yes, but more so, their buying bitcoin and bitgold.

      Old man Rothschild has (very recently) parked his billions from Europe and into a Reno Bank(s)-Thank you Sir Aristocrat, this is greatly appreciated and I must inject here, I like your chosen geographic location, Nevada. It’s puuuurfect! a gun toten, old west, Anglo-Saxon, collection of gamblers and rounders (Reno)…surely, in the cosmic sense, our commom heritage, eh ?

      ASIDE: That sell off of a black (tertiary) forest in Europe, half the size of Delaware, held by the Rothschild family for several hundred years, was also perfect-timing! How could one find some future market, by brokers, who would be capable of selling off, what very well may become, radioactive wood. Eh? In short, when the EU integration plan completely falls apart, the old disparate and long held cross border animosities will resurface to bring the world into another War.

  10. Why I Outta
    May 25, 2019 at 00:24

    “In order to restrain the executive, Congress found itself in the awkward position of having to pass a resolution (S.J. 7) to forbid the executive from participation in a war zone that was never authorized.”

    In a similar vein, I remember when Trump was intimating he’d pull troops/presence from Syria, Lindsey Graham floated the idea of a Congressional vote to prevent that. Can’t be bothered to authorize war, but wants authority to prevent an end to war. Insane!

    And that also reminds me of Trump’s flailing around with NK/SK. When it looked like some progress might be made Schumer and others wanted (maybe succeeded?) in making troop withdrawal from SK requiring a Congressional vote.

    Too many powerful and corrupt people have too many reasons to not want “peace to break out”. And would prefer mass deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents, if it meant they could blame their political rivals for it, then those innocents not dying, but they wouldn’t have that opportunity to score points.

    • Realist
      May 25, 2019 at 01:37

      Your last sentence expresses a profound but despicable truth about American politics. Both sides cheer on the demise of this country in the hope that their opponents will be blamed. They absolutely refuse to cooperate if the other side may accrue some credit.

  11. Zhu
    May 24, 2019 at 23:48

    How long can the Constant Warfare State continue?How long will DC be able to borrow money? Coerce poor people to enlist?

  12. HelenB
    May 24, 2019 at 23:01

    Before the peace trumpets sound, the question arises: Will Congress be less likely than a President to declare war?

    • Zhu
      May 24, 2019 at 23:50

      Congress hasn’t declared war since 1941, yet war has raged for my 60+ years. Congress is a rubber stamp.

  13. Antonio Costa
    May 24, 2019 at 19:40

    While I am for more than ending this pretext for endless war, NOW, it’s like so-much that is an international elitist demand. Some have said that post-WWII the US went on a oil-MIC rampage and haven’t stopped since – it’s the money…there’s just no greater high for the oligarchs and this is the richest means of profits known to human-kind. The UN Charter and the Kellogg-Brand Pact did nothing to curtail this blood letting.

    I think it started with the US empire’s inception, certainly before WWII since how else to account for Gen. Smedley Butler’s documented history – “War Is A Racket”. His travails began long before WWII.

    No, war is Capitalism’s life-blood. It will bring it all down, but the mad-men who run the show aren’t going to give it up. They’ll simply find another pretext – like they did the last one and the one before and the one before…

  14. KiwiAntz
    May 24, 2019 at 19:12

    This AUMF Law & Act will never be repealed? This is because since 9/11, America now has the excuse & justification to wage endless Wars in any part of the World based on this phoney Terrorist narrative? As a Warfare, Corporate Welfare State that’s entire Economy is based on wasting trillions of dollars on its MIC & selling weapons abroad, rather than spending funds on its own people? The AMUF Law enables this criminal behaviour of US War profiteering & theft of other Countries resources to continue indefinitely without a endgame in sight? The goal is not to end any conflicts or Wars but to prolong them indefinitely because you can’t make money from peace only from waging continuous wars? 9/11 provided the perfect business opportunity to take advantage of legalised plunder via US War profiteering! Good luck with repealing that AMUF puppy!

  15. mike k
    May 24, 2019 at 17:12

    The US Congress is going to vote against The MIC? I am not holding my breath to see the impossible…..

  16. Brian James
    May 24, 2019 at 16:27

    This is another good read on this topic.

    November 6, 2013 US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11

    Statistically speaking, Americans should be more fearful of the local cops than “terrorists.”

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/us-police-murdered-5000-innocent-civilians-since-911/172029/

  17. May 24, 2019 at 16:11

    Thanks to Rep. Lee, and why not call your Congress Reps to support repeal of AUMF? We’re already 18 years out from that infernal Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld disastrous administration, it is overdue to stop the war-making as the USA circles the drain. Trump sends so many mixed messages you can’t tell what he wants, but we know what Bolton, Pompeo, Bibi, the MIC want. Time to oppose them no matter what! (Interesting that natural disasters are happening everywhere as the Deep State fiddles with war. Israel is having wildfires, floods in US, what more?)

    • elmerfudzie
      May 25, 2019 at 02:45

      jessika, As I previously stated in a CONSORTIUMNEWS article back in April; this tug-of-war is not so much about trading in the USD as it is about a global oil glut. I believe it was Bandar bin Sultan (a CIA asset) who commented that, and I’m paraphrasing him here; there’s plenty of relatively easy oil everywhere, the idea to grasp is, what countries will be permitted to extract and sell it? Thus, the global and persistent NeoCon plan seems to be to cap or severely restrict, Libyan, Iranian and Iraqi oil reserves, meanwhile making backroom deals that permit a few SCO, (reluctantly) Russian, Saudi, African and US/Canadian reserves to flourish on the open market” So, the Iran problem isn’t about personages, lefist vs right politique, or fiat currencies fighting amoungst one another. The issue concerns an architecture of oil extraction, refining and delivery that stubbornly resists alternatives like Thorium reactors, nuclear fusion, coal distructive distillation powered by wind and or solar power. It took so much time and investment to create this oil architecture, not to mention, the security apparatus to protect them (the MIC), that all “green” efforts to change this enormous momentum will fail, even if it means total war. If your not convinced of this argument, think in terms of what happened to alternatives such as the rollout of the first electric car(s) or 3-D printing (circa late 1960’s) both breakthroughs were scrapped to preserve the combustion engine and centralized factory concepts. Another good one was the corporate conspiracy to overtake and suppress a higher quality product, videotape BETAMAX for the sake of corporate investments in VCR technology.(poorer quality) These days, I’ve come to realize that the popular phrase; god almighty dollar has been thoroughly overtake by “greed is good”

      • John Wright
        May 26, 2019 at 16:26

        elmerfudzie –

        I hope that you and yours are well.

        With all due respect, you need to rethink your analysis.

        First, there isn’t plenty of “relatively easy oil everywhere”. At present, the only verified reserves that can be considered “easy oil” that aren’t under production are in Iraq, and perhaps some in the Caspian basin.

        Second, keeping some oil (Iraq, Libya, Iran and VENEZUELA) and gas (Russia) off the market is the only way to make U.S. fracking of oil and gas even come close to breaking even, which they will probably never do.

        Third, and most importantly, the massive and ever growing U.S. debt requires that the U.S. force as many oil and gas producers (and their customers) to continue propping up the evermore precarious PetroDollar. Note that the above cited countries ALL were trying to sell outside of the PetroDollar system. This also greatly explains why the U.S. energy sector has long resisted moving into alternative energy technologies and production to any significant degree. Doing so would rapidly hasten the demise of the PetroDollar, devastate the U.S. economy and massively impact all dollar denominated assets. The massive bubble burst and ongoing bailout of 2008 acted to reinforce international (primarily Western European) dependence on the PetroDollar and keep this failing ponzi scam floating a bit longer.

        Clearly, the Chinese, Russians, Indians and others are fed up with this U.S. extortion and bullying, and are carefully positioning themselves to transition to a more equitable international monetary system as soon as possible. Last September the Chinese set up their own gold-backed PetroYuan and have quietly accelerated the disposal of their dollar denominated assets, most recently taking a bit of a hit on a large amount of Treasury bonds. The Russians and Chinese have rapidly increased trading with each other outside of the dollar system, increasingly across many sectors, not just energy. Trump’s trade war further accelerates this. The main reason for the growing Belt and Road Initiative is to facilitate the end of the PetroDollar era and U.S. trade dominance.

        The global billionaire class is clearly unwilling to take the financial hit that writing off the created debt would require in order to bring the books into balance and allow a peaceful transition to a rational and equitable international monetary system.

        The alternative, of course, is WAR, both economic and armed conflict, more of which we see on an almost daily basis.

        Finally, please note that I’m not saying that there aren’t some fossil fuel extractors that won’t fight to the very end to squeeze the last “profit” from their existing enterprises. But also note that almost no one is building new refineries and most companies are barely maintaining the existing ones.

        Commodity markets, especially oil and gas, are easily manipulated, so we can go from “glut” to shortage with a few computer keystrokes.

        Cheers!

        • elmerfudzie
          May 27, 2019 at 12:34

          John Wright. Most of your comments seem reasonable, if not idealistic, to me. I can only embellish on my remarks by adding that the House of Saud is deeply in (financial) debt and has provided the last shot in the arm it could possibly muster for the sake of both the US and Saudi economies. I’m referring here to that staggering ninety billion dollar arms sale.

          Broadly speaking, all fiat currencies share one thing in common, their inherent market instabilities.
          Not entirely sure if endless military adventurism(s), creating a basket of currencies or a return to hording gold or silver in lieu of fiat money transactions can ever address the ever widening rift between the have and have not nations. Even if technological breakthroughs allow for a more equitably distributed supply of food, water and energy resources throughout the second and third world, this so called advancement would only serve to further aggravate that logarithmic jump in over population, looming limitless over us all. For example; President Obama said, and I’m paraphrasing him here, if every African home had an air conditioner, it would burn up the planet. This statement probably wasn’t true but serves to emphasize my point. Unless education grows along side technological achievement, the western Occident nations will leave the whole world up for grabs again, (just as former empires did, England, Spain and so on..) Education, not in a technological sense but more in line with the thirteen virtues of Ben Franklin.

          I share in the pessimism found inside Pentagon circles and their Rumsfeld/Cebrowski plan. That is, to maintain the have-have not global model. This, not out of any personal despair or thirst for violence against poorer nations but rather in the belief that the thirteen virtues will not prevail over the common human weakness(es) further exacerbating overpopulation and all it’s attendant miseries.

  18. rosemerry
    May 24, 2019 at 14:22

    Even to consider the USA some sort of democracy and a model worth following is against all rationality. Of course this latest disgrace (from the twittering twit) is illegal and the actions already taken against Iran (as in Venezuela)are a war crime before the “likely” military action to obliterate a sovereign nation which has committed no crime, just because paranoid Netanyahu pretends it is a threat.

    The whole world is now becoming embroiled in completely needless conflict because of the behavior of US “administrations” which are made up of self-serving and bought “elected” officials and their poorly-chosen (or forced to accept) advisors, who seem to had no clue or interest in the continuation of humanity.

  19. Tedder
    May 24, 2019 at 13:57

    I just read Scott Ritter’s latest in Truthdig, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-u-s-stands-to-lose-much-more-than-a-war-with-iran/. Mr Ritter, who has quite a bit of military experience, points out that a US attack on Iran would likely result in a double disaster. The Iranians would suffer destruction and death, while the American force would suffer enormous damage. No win-win, but lose-lose.

  20. Pablo Diablo
    May 24, 2019 at 13:44

    “And for 18 years, no one has cared.”. I disagree completely. Tens of Millions of people (maybe more) around the World care. Both houses passed a repeal, but Trump vetoed it. The War machine has to be well fed so it can buy politicians who vote forWar.

  21. Bob Van Noy
    May 24, 2019 at 13:40

    “Can there be a more pathetically farcical example of the “world’s greatest legislative body” so utterly devoid of conscience, so disconnected from life’s reality with no awareness of their own culpability for war crimes. As the committee deliberates on whether to lessen its Constitutional responsibilities and lighten its legislative duties,  approval of the AUMF 2018 will confirm the public’s perception that, despite a cushy career with great benefits, the Congress is a completely irrelevant and obsolete forum.” Renee Parsons Right here on CN April 26, 2018

    https://consortiumnews.com/2018/04/26/the-democratic-partys-war-history-and-the-aumf-of-2018/

  22. May 24, 2019 at 13:37

    Again, the commentary on the articles are as interesting and inciteful as the articles themselves. Totalitarianism(sp?) has always been viewed as containing the seeds of its own destruction but the new weapons of surveillance, you wonder.

  23. May 24, 2019 at 13:25

    It’s about time that we realize the true intent of this City State called Washington DC that was established in 1871 called The Organic Act of 1871. A City State is not part of the host country, it has it’s own laws, police, it’s own court and it’s own Constitution just like The Vatican and the City in London, pays no taxes. The difference is that Washington District of Columbia has all the power of the country within it’s border and has suspended the Contusion for The United States for America, to The Constitution of America, as a foreign corporation incorporation was filed in Florida as an British holding according to a documentary called The Organic Act of 1871 District of Columbia. That allowed the unconstitutional Federal Reserve, the IRS, and all the agency’s like the NSA,FBI,CIA, and all of the rest that were not ratified by Congress.

  24. May 24, 2019 at 13:20

    A very compelling article. It could have been written in 2001 or any other time. The language of the AUMF is interesting:

    “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.”

    when juxtaposed with the recent designation of Iran as a terrorist state. Dovetails nicely when creating a phony legal justification for attacking it.

    The atmosphere of fear and panic that existed after the 9/11 attacks produced the AUMF and Homeland Security, an Orwellian creation if there ever was one. Things has never been the same.

    Undoing the “mischief” has not been so easy.

  25. Brian James
    May 24, 2019 at 13:17

    Good article and folks need to wake up!

    Sep. 14, 2017 A permanent emergency Trump becomes third president to renew extraordinary post-9/11 powers

    Proclamation 7463 declared a state of national emergency that has persisted for 16 years and continues to enlist 18,000 guard and reserve Exactly 16 years ago Thursday, President Bush signed Proclamation 7463, giving himself sweeping powers to mobilize the military in the days following terrorist attacks that crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. It allowed him to call up National Guard and Reserve troops, hire and fire military officers, and bypass limits on the numbers of generals that could serve.

    https://usat.ly/2x2azZC

    Police killed 1,166 people in 2018.

    Mapping Police Violence is the most comprehensive database of police killings in the nation. The platform collects, analyzes, and visualizes data to tell the truth about police violence and how it impacts our communities.

    https://www.mappingpoliceviolence.org

  26. May 24, 2019 at 13:14

    Trump’s in a little bit of a mild bind. I tend to believe that despite all his heightened rhetoric against the Persian state he ultimately does not desire an actual hot war with Iran. However, b/c he was forced to cotton to the rabid Zionist right due to the Russiagate nonsense and that wing of the ruling class breathing down his neck, he is essentially required to come up with some kind of show of force against Tehran since that’s exactly what Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and Bernie Marcus demand. If it was up to these three, Trump would have obliterated Tehran months ago.

    Here’s the mild bind Trump finds himself in — he knows he’s somewhat dependent on Adelson’s gambling cash for his ’20 re-election campaign and that Adelson demands at least ever more violent saber rattling toward Iran. But obviously war on Iran is overwhelmingly opposed by the vast majority of the hard pressed American electorate. Ergo, Trump’s left with having to prove his bonafides to one degree or another to the paranoid, hegemonic and sadistic Zio psychopaths and yet he fully knows he cannot deliver to them everything they desire. It’s a dangerous quandary b/c depending on poll numbers come spring and summer of ’20, Adelson, Marcus and Singer’s soldiers in Bolton and Pompeo could possibly win the day. It’s an interesting balancing act in which no one is quite sure where public sentiment will ultimately be if the mass media are able to convince them that Iran poses a credible threat or if a provocative false flag is newsworthy enough to strike fear into the American public.

    Comparing the timelines of the Obama and Trump presidencies thus far — at this exact point in time Obama was two months into completely destroying and annihilating Libya, killing thousands of innocent civilians and sending tens of thousands into Europe thereby fueling political tensions in a West that was already suffering under un and under-employment.

    It was an Obama (and Killary) crime against humanity like no other that we’ve witnessed in the last 16 years or so.

    Say what you will about the Trump regime, but despite all its faults it has yet to commit such a blatantly deplorable and reprehensible act. Thus far.

  27. May 24, 2019 at 12:55

    The Empire will not allow Congress to end the Forever Wars by rescinding this AUMF. This AUMF is an example of how “terrorism” leads to war, which means the military can suck up money and fossil fuels while killing the natives, which leads to more “terrorism,” which is used to jack up the surveillance state, which lead to a trampling of the rights of American citizens, who then are disempowered to do anything about Forever Wars, nuclear Armageddon, and the Anthropocene caused by the Empire.

    Wash, rinse, repeat

    https://opensociet.org/2019/05/23/the-belligerence-of-empire/

    • Realist
      May 24, 2019 at 16:45

      As Jimmie Carter remarked a few weeks ago, the United States has been involved in one war or another for all but five years of its existence. This includes not only foreign wars, but the numerous domestic wars against the Native Americans and the so-called Civil War.

      We got off to a great relationship with Canada by warring with it, intending to annex its territory. Later it was 54’40” or fight over the Oregon Territory. We warred with Mexico, specifically to seize MOST of its territory which we then annexed as part of our “Manifest Destiny.” Were California and Texas a benefit or liability? The ultimate answer may soon be forthcoming.

      We snatched Hawaii from its Polynesian natives, nearly driving them to extinction. And we grabbed the remnants of Spain’s empire, keeping Puerto Rico, Guam and Guantanamo, though we couldn’t hang on to all of Cuba or to the Philippines where we conducted genocide for decades.

      And just how does one factor in those nearly 1,000 military bases scattered about the globe? They seem to be pieces of a de facto empire. Their home countries can never get them back even if they so demand. Germany protests that it is not a colony of Washington, yet it acts exactly like one. We create entirely new countries (or dissect existing ones) through war and therein establish the largest military bases ever seen in history: think Kosovo and Iraq. It’s what’s on the drawing board for Syria. The Japanese have tried repeatedly to dislodge us from Okinawa, which we have raped and despoiled. No dice, we tell them, we’re staying. Entire formerly inhabited islands in the South Pacific have been wiped clean and polluted for near eternity with our atomic bomb testing. Bikini Atoll might be considered the type specimen. It’s all so shameful and insane.

  28. Jeff Harrison
    May 24, 2019 at 12:36

    The United States Congress is a worthless bunch of geriatric pussies who are afraid of their own shadow or they are a bunch of mindless militant murderers hell bent on world domination. That’s the composition of the so-called greatest deliberative body in the world. They should skip the superlatives and start delivering what people want and need – peace and prosperity. Currently we have neither.

    • John Wright
      May 25, 2019 at 21:23

      You left out another, much more accurate description: The United States Congress is almost completely corrupt.

      And then there is Continuity of Government, which suspended the Constitution on September 11, 2001 and still appears to be in place.

      Interesting that no one, not even here at CN, seems to right about this…

      Be well and see you in the streets!

  29. Abe
    May 24, 2019 at 10:56

    Representative Barbara Lee has initiated several attempts to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), but as of 2019 has not been successful.

    The 2001 UMF has been cited by a wide variety of US officials as justification for continuing US military actions all over the world. Often the phrases “Al-Qaeda and associated forces” or “affiliated forces” have been used by these officials. However, that phrase does not appear in the AUMF.

    According to a 2016 report by the Congressional Research Service, at that time the 2001 AUMF had been cited 37 times in connection with actions in 14 countries and on the high seas. The report stated that “Of the 37 occurrences, 18 were made during the Bush Administration, and 19 have been made during the Obama Administration.” The countries that were mentioned in the report included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

    The AUMF was unsuccessfully cited by the George W. Bush administration in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the administration’s military commissions at Guantanamo Bay were not competent tribunals as constituted and thus illegal. The Court held that President George W. Bush did not have authority to set up the war crimes tribunals and finding the special military commissions illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Conventions.

    In 2007, the AUMF was cited by the Department of Justice in ACLU v. NSA as authority for engaging in electronic surveillance without obtaining a warrant of the special court as required by the Constitution.

    In 2012, journalists and activists brought a suit (Hedges v. Obama) against the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, in which Congress “affirms” presidential authority for indefinite detention under the AUMF and makes specific provisions as to the exercise of that authority.

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