Congress To Expand War on Terror

When it was learned US forces had killed Osama bin Laden, many observers quickly concluded this signaled the end of the “war on terror”; because our primary objective in bringing those directly responsible for 9/11 had been satisfied.

Unfortunately, those of us seeking to start scaling back the “war on terror” – so costly in term money, lives and civil liberties here at home – may have a long wait. In fact, if the House Armed Services Committee has its way, the “war” will actually expand.

According to a report by Eli Lake at the Washington Times, this committee – led by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) – has added language to the defense budget for the upcoming fiscal year that “would define the current war on al Qaeda to include the Taliban and affiliated armed groups.”

House Republicans argue that since bin Laden is out of the picture, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed just days following the September 11, 2001 attacks, needs to be “updated.” This would justify our continued occupation of Middle Eastern countries and the open-ended approach to the current “war.” It also allows continued detention of “enemy combatants” without trial.

This is not McKeon’s first attempt to expand the AUMF. Last November, for example, he declared publicly that Congress “should ensure no court in the land questions the legal authority for our forces to prosecute this war.”

At least some House Democrats are resisting. The Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, John Conyers of Michigan, sent a letter to McKeon urging public hearings on the implications of this proposed policy expansion. Conyers wrote, “[b]y declaring a global war against nameless individuals, organizations, and nations ‘associated’ with the Taliban and al Qaeda, as well as those playing a supporting role,” the legislation actually expands the president’s authority to prosecute actions anywhere without further congressional approval.

Conyers also takes issue with the indefinite detention of terror suspects and military tribunals, noting they are “mired by legal problems and controversy.” Unfortunately these concerns are falling largely on deaf ears.

What this latest language does is give the Obama Administration and its successors preemptive permission to use military force against an alleged terrorist group, or even a country harboring them, based on some arbitrary, alleged association with al-Qaeda or the Taliban. While the Obama Administration has not asked for these expanded powers, neither is it offering firm opposition.

In a March 2011 exchange with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) – a frequent critic of expansive US military actions — Jeh Johnson, General Counsel for the Defense Department, explained why such expansion was not necessary. He said, “I think that the current legal interpretations of the AUMF that we have and that we’ve used, which are solid, are sufficient to address the existing threats that I have seen and that I have evaluated. So, I think that it’s worked so far.” Johnson went on to say there should at least be a debate on the proposal.

Many Americans are war weary; and understandably so. What should have been a series of focused, covert and Special Forces operations in Afghanistan to dismantle Taliban and al Qaeda units responsible for the 9-11 attacks, has turned into a decade-long, nation-building occupation. Iraq has likewise evolved into a trillion-dollar exercise in nation building. We are now involved militarily in Libya.

Congress should be looking for ways to reduce our military presence abroad, not expand it. We cannot afford both the cost in lives lost of our men and women in uniform, and the fiscal implications of open-ended nation-building. Nor can we afford continued use of even the original AUMF to justify all manner of questionable or openly unlawful actions, such as torture of suspects and warrantless surveillance of American citizens’ phone and e-mail communications.

The McKeon proposal should not only be debated; it should be rejected.

by Bob Barr — The Barr Code

31 comments Add your comment

DeborahinAthens

May 23rd, 2011
6:52 am

We never should have started these two unwinnable wars. We should have formed an elite group (like the Seals??) of experts that acted as an international police group. Most of the plots that were prevented since 9/11 were done so by police groups around the world. We cannot win a “war on terror” and to fool ourselves into thinking that we can is only going to cost us dearly. We have idiots in Washington that are only able to think like rats in a maze.

Very Very

May 23rd, 2011
7:19 am

Bob Barr is…….WRONG! Even a casual glance at the odds would convince anyone that we are going to get hit with a briefcase nuke soon. Maybe five or ten cities gone POOF! simultaneously. Iran has been too quiet lately. Ditto their Shia Radical allies in Iraq. Every member of congress who has seen the data has admitted that we can’t stop it without luck, prayers, and an expanded war on terror effort.

Was it Libya’s Quadafi who ratted out OBL? he’s still in power, now, isn’t he? Check out the Al Queda/Taliban connection with Libya and the story gets real scary. We’re playing both sides against each other. We must be. The story of how they got OBL gets too convoluted and the details are contradictory. First it was his courier’s cell phone. Then it was three of his wives fighting over a game of angry birds and staying too long on his smartphone. Then it was that they weren’t even sure he was there because the evidence was all circumstantial.

Sure.

I think a desperate Kadafi spent his last favor. His last encrypted and coded email message, as reported by AP, read, ” Allahway ebay aisedpray. Osamaways in the ompoundcay.”

I got one thing to say to Bob Barr: “those that cried, Appease! Appease! are hanged by those they aimed to please.”

Expand the war on terror and lets finish the enemy off while we still have half a chance.

Live free or die

May 23rd, 2011
8:28 am

`
Bob Barr is . . . . . . . RIGHT, the silly so-called War on Terror is ridiculous.

The U.S.A. has survived just fine since 1776 with normal defense policies.

Fear tatics are for fearful people.

Live free or die

May 23rd, 2011
8:36 am

Very Very
. . . . . . . . . is a very very fearful person.

DebbieDoRight

May 23rd, 2011
8:36 am

think a desperate Kadafi spent his last favor. His last encrypted and coded email message, as reported by AP, read, ” Allahway ebay aisedpray. Osamaways in the ompoundcay.”

OMG too funny!! I needed the laughter this a.m. — thanks for that! :lol:

Jethro

May 23rd, 2011
9:47 am

DeborahinAthens…We should have formed an elite group (like the Seals??) of experts that acted as an international police group. Most of the plots that were prevented since 9/11 were done so by police groups around the world.

DinA…How could you know what plots have been prevented and who stopped them? Are you with an Alphabet group like CIA or NSA? Maybe you are working undercover at the Varsity in Athens.

the watch dog

May 23rd, 2011
10:34 am

Civilization can afford no compromises with social forces that can regain their strength in the middle east. At the same time American markets are sharply lower amid signs of U.S. and escalating worries about Europes debt crises. By far, the crises of our own debt escalating leads to more world unstability.
Judges are more and more called to affirm and enforce exectutive and administrative orders without inquiry as to their “Constitutional foundation” guardianship of our traditional liberties and higher standards of certitude. Every day there are new instances of the eroding away of our most revered and iconic right, The 4th Amendment right to privacy. Nothing diminishes the human spirit more quickly than the unhearalded search and seizure at any hour of the day or night.

paulbip

May 23rd, 2011
11:38 am

Was is good for business. What we have here is now called the era of The American Empire and as long as Americans stay stupid, Americans will go the same way as all the other Empires.

paulbip

May 23rd, 2011
11:39 am

That should read “war” above.

Peadawg

May 23rd, 2011
11:51 am

What do you expect from a bunch of Republicrazies? When you haven’t experienced firsthand the horrors of war, it is very easy to send other peoples’ children into the burning cauldron.

Barack

May 23rd, 2011
12:23 pm

Healthcare reform will solve this crisis.

WOW

May 23rd, 2011
12:42 pm

“Congress To Expand War on Terror”

When’s Obozo gonna close down Gitmo and end the Patriot Act?

Crickets…crickets……..

WOW

May 23rd, 2011
12:43 pm

Peadawg

Give Bookman the finger for me.

WOW

May 23rd, 2011
12:45 pm

“international police group.”

Debbie, you ain’t the brightest bulb is ya?

WOW

May 23rd, 2011
12:46 pm

“OMG too funny!! I needed the laughter this a.m.”

DebbieDooDoo needs a lot of things. A brain being one of them.

DebbieDoRight

May 23rd, 2011
1:02 pm

and you WOW need to learn how to COMPREHEND what you’ve just read. For example, you latched a quote onto me that I didn’t say/write. However, I expect something like that from a retard like you. BTW how’s that cyber-Serbia-Lost-in-space-kicked-off-of-Jay’s-blog thingy working for ya? Miss it yet? Have fun over here by yourself at Barr’s. :lol:

WOW

May 23rd, 2011
1:27 pm

“and you WOW need to learn how to COMPREHEND what you’ve just read.”

I comprehend just fine, low IQ.

“For example, you latched a quote onto me that I didn’t say/write. ”

So you’re an idiot. What’s new.

“However, I expect something like that from a retard like you.”

You must be a big deal in special ed class, Gump.

“BTW how’s that cyber-Serbia-Lost-in-space-kicked-off-of-Jay’s-blog thingy working for ya?”

Serbia? Guess DumbA$$Debbie doesn’t know her geography. Speaking of Bookman, I was laughing so hard when Boortz made him wet his diaper the other day. I also get a kick out of knowing Bookman only has 10-15 cult followers on his blog.

Bottom line: DumbA$$Debbie = welfare baby mama.

Civilian

May 23rd, 2011
2:27 pm

WOW…please go easy on Debbiedoodoo. She is trying to cope with a summertime of Jerry Springer reruns and news that Cynthia Tucker found someone more qualified than triple D to fetch her coffee.

Booger Fling

May 23rd, 2011
3:17 pm

Of course they want to expand… That’s what government does! These “defense” contractors haven’t stolen enough money yet! Unfortunately for the citizens it means we will still have TSA sticking thier hands down our pants at the airport. Roadside checkpoints will soon include the same treatment. This war is being waged against the people it was supposed to protect. All in the name of fighting the boogeymen that our government CREATED!

Jeb

May 23rd, 2011
3:37 pm

WWWD What Would W Do?

Build The Outer Perimeter

May 23rd, 2011
3:56 pm

End these slow-motion wars!

Very Very

May 23rd, 2011
5:15 pm

How about OBL being alive? There actually is more evidence that Paul McCartney died in the sixties than OBL’s death. I mean, they Utubed Saddam Hussein’s hangin’, din’t they? I mean, WTF?

Why is it always so mysterious? They gave OBL a burial at sea? Well this brings up Jonah and the Whale, doesn’t it? Here’s Jonah doing standup from inside the whale: “Last night I harpooned a whale in his pajamas. How I got in there I’ll never know.”

b.a. baracus

May 23rd, 2011
5:56 pm

wow is a blog coward

WOW

May 23rd, 2011
7:11 pm

“wow is a blog coward”

b. a. barcus can kiss my tookus.

Live free or die

May 23rd, 2011
8:25 pm

Very Very — is a very fearful person.

Jackson

May 23rd, 2011
9:20 pm

“Congress should be looking for ways to reduce our military presence abroad, not expand it.”

Right on. It seems like we have a military outpost in almost every nation on the planet. Why, for example, do we still have bases in Germany and Japan? We afraid the Third Reich is going to make a comeback?

Eric

May 24th, 2011
9:16 am

I agree we should have already been scaling back our military presence by now. What a shame the U.S. continues to spend so much on these efforts while our own people can’t find work and affordable housing and health care. What are we protecting?

Suckers

May 24th, 2011
9:45 am

It’s time for America to get something back for America. If the world wants us to continue to be its international police force and dispute mediation, then we need to get something back financially….like the oil fields in Iraq and dumping rights in Afghanistan.

Very Very

May 24th, 2011
10:49 am

Dont forget the Kurds, sir. The Kurds. The Kurds……..THE KURDS!!!!

The Kurds have been herded and driven from one place to another for 10K years. They are finally making a stand by squatting on all those oil and gas fields in Northern Iraq.

Who is going to drive them out? We have to whey our options.

bwa

SaveOurRepublic

May 24th, 2011
1:59 pm

“War on Terror” = empire building for the Globalist Elite, servitude for the Zionists/AIPAC & expansion of the (ever growing) Orwellian police state.

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