On September 14, 2001, in the wake of one of America’s greatest national tragedies, Congress gave the President unilateral power to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks of 9-11.
On October 14th, 2011, a 16-year old American citizen from Colorado, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was blown to pieces by a hellfire missile. He had no connection to the terrorist attacks of 9-11.
The assassination of a 16-year old is just one of numerous examples of the overbroad interpretation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. In response, a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives led by Barbara Lee (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 198 to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.
H.R. 198 reads as follows:
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Repeal of the Authorization for Use
of Military Force''.
SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDING.
Congress finds that the Authorization for Use of Military Force
(Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note), signed into law on September
18, 2001, has been used to justify a broad and open-ended authorization
for the use of military force and such an interpretation is
inconsistent with the authority of Congress to declare war and make all
laws for executing powers vested by the Constitution in the Government
of the United States.
SEC. 3. REPEAL OF PUBLIC LAW 107-40.
Effective 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the
Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C.
1541 note) is hereby repealed.”
Legislation like this is sorely needed to reign in the “war on terror” powers our Congress gave the President. The Authorization for Use of Military Force has given rise to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), extrajudicial execution of U.S. citizens, and the expansion of Presidential war powers to a level never authorized in the Constitution.
PANDA wholeheartedly endorses H.R. 198 as introduced. We must restore Constitutional governance in the United States, and this bill will be a giant step in the right direction.