Tag Archives: congress

Schiff Wants To Repeal AUMF

27 May

Repeal AUMF and NDAAAt least one legislator was listening to the U.S. president’s speech at the National Defense University on Thursday.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is preparing a piece of legislation that would “sunset” the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), a foundational law passed in the days after the 9/11. “The current AUMF is outdated and straining at the edges to justify the use of force outside the war theater,” Schiff tells Danger Room.

Repealing the AUMF would be the boldest restriction of presidential war powers since 9/11. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have relied on the document to authorize everything from the warrantless electronic surveillance of American citizens to drone strikes against al-Qaida offshoots that did not exist on 9/11. Getting rid of it is certain to invite fierce opposition from more bellicose members of Congress, who have repeatedly demagogued efforts to roll back any post-9/11 wartime authority, let alone the most important one.

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Too Late, Too Little, Too Many Questions

25 May

Obama, Non-LeaderThe speech delivered by U.S. president, Barack H. Obama, at the National Defense University on Thursday contained more than a few promises. President Obama called for the repeal of the “Authorization to Use Military Force”, defined the criteria for the use of drones, and promised to close Guantanamo Bay’s detention facility. It’s a good start, if he can deliver, but there are important issues to consider which make me doubt the United States can restore its prestige and real power, both hard and soft, at any point in my lifetime.

Andrew Sullivan identifies Obama’s “Niebuhrian” twist in his defense of the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

I’m glad the president defended the strike against Anwar Awlaki as forcefully as he should:

When a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America – and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot – his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a swat team.

My view entirely. I’m struck too by his Niebuhrian grasp of the inherent tragedy of wielding power in an age of terror – a perspective his more jejune and purist critics simply fail to understand. This seems like a heart-felt expression of Christian realism to me:

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Single-Shot Tornado Analysis

22 May

OK_TornadoHorrible.

My condolences to those who have suffered in Moore, Oklahoma when a 200+ m.p.h. tornado half a mile wide ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Currently, 24 people are confirmed dead and 237 are injured. Photographs of the aftermath of the tragedy resemble a war zone. Analysis of the shocking meteorological disaster have focused on climate change.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeff Masters, why is this area of Oklahoma—why is it so vulnerable?

JEFF MASTERS: Yeah, poor Moore, Oklahoma. I mean, they’ve been hit by three EF4 or stronger tornadoes in the past 14 years, including the most intense tornado ever measured: 302 mile-per-hour winds in the 1999 storm. And I guess it’s just bad luck, because you would expect other areas, you know, should have gotten that kind of pummeling, you know, not so much concentrated in area like Moore. I mean, downtown Oklahoma City has never been hit as bad as Moore has been hit. And I don’t know how to describe, you know, what accounts for that bad luck. Maybe there is some sort of terrain effect we don’t understand that makes that area more vulnerable than, say, downtown Oklahoma City.

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