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Endless War Is a Real Scandal

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America's State of Permanent Global War Approaches 12th Anniversary



By William Boardman


Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News 

AUMF is the law under which the United States wages permanent war. by (

The Militant American Empire Doesn't Need Any More AUMF 

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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 has grown way out of proportion and is no longer applicable to the conditions that prevailed, that motivated the United States Congress to pass the authorization for the use of military force that we did in 2001."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? 

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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: 

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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Finally, the  perpetual war that Niccolo... by Hal O'Leary on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 11:53:59 AM
war, support of all manner of dictators, suppressi... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 4:01:29 PM
This War on Terror (actually it is more like a war... by Dennis Kaiser on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 1:46:12 PM
unlike wars on terror, drugs, or reason, ende... by William Boardman on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 11:53:13 AM
Perpetual war is business as usual for USA, as War... by Richard Pietrasz on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 6:05:25 PM
of the vote in all recent Presidential elections.&... by Jill Herendeen on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 2:38:37 PM
I agree with your concern on the machines.  I... by Richard Pietrasz on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 1:13:47 AM
is a tricky concept.  Don't you suppose that,... by William Boardman on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 11:57:23 AM
anti-war  (though I noticed ,at the time, tha... by Jill Herendeen on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 10:41:04 PM
lasts another 10 to 20 years then I can tell you w... by Archie on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 8:54:46 PM
Greed and Arm Industry are main sources of wars. ... by Mohammad Ala on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 11:18:17 AM
What if federal agents could write their own searc... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 11:33:27 AM
All the Bushes need to be put into protective cust... by Archie on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 8:00:16 PM