GPA Store: Featured Products

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rep. Adam Schiff preparing legislation that could end AUMF, remove authority for war on terror

Rep. Adam Schiff
Madison Ruppert

According to a report, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is preparing legislation that would end the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and in doing so would remove much of the authority for the war on terror and all that comes with it.

The AUMF has been used to justify everything from indefinite detention of Americans to assassinations carried out by drones so legislation that would “sunset” the AUMF would bring about many changes.

“The current AUMF is outdated and straining at the edges to justify the use of force outside the war theater,” Schiff said to Wired’s Danger Room.

Schiff is still in the very early stages of drafting the bill and doesn’t even have a timeline for introducing it. Yet Schiff’s effort is quite noteworthy since there was only one previous effort to change the AUMF. Obviously that failed.

The supposed end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014 – though of course the U.S. drone presence there will continue after that – will be used as a hinge point for the sunsetting of the AUMF, according to Danger Room.

However, Schiff said that he is unsure if Congress should pass a new piece of legislation that would give the president a limited version of the war powers given under the AUMF.

The American counterterrorism “architecture is becoming increasingly unsustainable,” Schiff said, “ut I have only a less clear idea of what should follow.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, also a California Democrat, was the only legislator to vote against the AUMF in 2001 and has failed in her efforts to get the authorization repealed since that time.

“I’m convinced that if we do not repeal this authorization to use force that I voted against in 2001, we are going to see this state of perpetual war forever,” Lee said earlier this year, referring to the AUMF.

The possibility of some kind of reexamination of the AUMF looks more likely than ever, that is, if we can take Obama at his word. Unfortunately that is very hard to do.

“I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate,” Obama said during his speech at the National Defense University. “And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end.”

That statement was quite different from the position of then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who said the U.S. must maintain open-ended drone war to prevent another attack on America.
Similarly, generals from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior civilians at the Pentagon all argued that the AUMF was necessary and should remain in place unchanged during a hearing last week.

Obama’s position seems somewhat self-contradictory. Even Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman pointed out, “At the National Defense University, Obama simultaneously talked about a longer war and removing his own authorities for waging it.”

Then again, when the Obama administration admits to killing American citizens while refusing to ever explain the legal justification for the killings in court, that kind of inconsistent statement isn’t all that surprising.

“There’s probably bipartisan support for the idea that the existing AUMF is ill-suited to the nature of the threats we face now,” Schiff said.

Yet Schiff also noted there will probably be “bipartisan opposition to what would come after.”

Schiff’s efforts are still in the quite formative stages but it can’t hurt to encourage him to push for a much overdue challenge to the AUMF.

You can contact him by calling his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-4176 or writing him at 2411 Rayburn HOB Washington D.C. 20515. You can contact him at his Burbank, California office by calling (818) 450-2900 or (323) 315-5555 or writing him at 245 East Olive Ave., #200 Burbank, California 91502.

Please support our work and help us start to pay contributors by doing your shopping through our Amazon link or check out some must-have products at our store.

This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here:http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at
Enter your email address to subscribe to our newsletter:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Be the Change! Share this using the tools below.
Fb Comments
Comments :

Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget