America's State of
Permanent Global War Approaches 12th Anniversary
By William Boardman
AUMF is the law under which the United States wages permanent war. by (corporatecriminalsexposed.com)
The Militant American Empire Doesn't 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.
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has grown way out of proportion and is no longer applicable to the conditions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 Department's 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 administration's "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 [of the AUMF] 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 [the full text appears at the end of this article] 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.
The only other operative section gives the President pre-clearance with regard to the requirements of the War Powers Act.
On its face, the AUMF imposes no specific restrictions on the President's freedom to wage war in any way he chooses, by any means he chooses, on any entity or person he chooses. Arguably, there is an implied limitation on the targets, but there is no definition of "aided" the terrorist arracks, creating a loophole big enough for any decent White House lawyer to waltz through with a herd of elephants.