While people have been focused on the debates for the next Commander-in-Chief, there is a bill that is quietly making its rounds. It is going widely unnoticed by media outlets, but should be considered very serious to all Americans. This bill named Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) will attempt to expand the power of the executive allowing President Obama and future presidents to order the military internationally without Congressional approval. The reason for this is to take action against ISIS forces. This bill, however, does not stop at battling ISIS forces but is open-ended to any threat that are recognized as terrorist force. Some people say the U.S. needs to do what it can to stop ISIS even though the United States did not take the earlier opportunities it had to combat the threat.
Recently the former Head of America’s Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn, stated in August 2012, U.S. policy makers had intelligence, jihadist forces were gaining territory and power in the wake of Syria’s downfall. He does not believe we have supported ISIS but said, “I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.” It is even common practice to aide certain factions even though they are not allies, to help combat another faction that might get too powerful. Geraldo Rivera on a Fox News segment showed that U.S. Marines in Afghanistan help grow poppy seed plants used to make opium. RT.com has reported that this has grown to 40 times the original production in 2013 since the United States occupied the region. Geraldo interviewed a commanding officer who said, the reason for this is to not let the crops fall into the wrong hands in addition to it being the source of the people’s money. A source that does not wish to be named also said there have been numerous times while enrolled in the military he was ordered to work with and aid the Taliban forces to which he stated, “I hated every minute of it.”
This bill being introduced will be an open-ended declaration of war in which ex-Senator Ron Paul said, “This resolution is not a declaration of war, however, and that is an important point: this resolution transfers the Constitutionally-mandated Congressional authority to declare wars to the executive branch.” The New York Times has reported from numerous other Senators who are opposed to the very nature of this bill. Furthermore Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut has been extremely vocal on this bill saying, “It is essentially a declaration of international martial law, a sweeping transfer of military power to the president, allowing him or her to send U.S. troops almost anywhere in the world, for almost any reason, with absolutely no limitations.”
Obama has left Congress out the loop once when he declared war on Libya, which is a violation of the War Powers clause, which Senator Chris Murphy has said this bill is essentially a re-write of. He was able to achieve this in part by dubbing the act “military kinetic action” as President Bush did in the 2002 invasion of Iraq proposal to the United Nations. When referring to this new bill Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the bill’s sponsor said, “The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to write the laws and the executive to enforce them.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., added: “The president’s dangerous search for expanded powers appears to be endless.” In the past, there have been other attempts to expand power. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
This bill and other such as The Patriot Act of 2001, have allowed warrantless wiretapping by circumventing the constitution. The president already has the power through the issuance of executive orders to amend certain provisions of the law in place called “executive order.” USA Today reports President Obama has issued documents titled “memoranda” more than any president in history. These “memoranda” documents maintain the same authority and power of an “executive order” which goes directly into law without oversight. USA Today also reports, “Obama has issued 33% more of these orders than Bush did in his eight years of presidency.” On another occasion in an attempt to calm a crowd booing him on immigration reform Obama said, “I just took an action to change the law.” Press secretary Josh Earnest explained that the president was “speaking colloquially” in response to the accusations of the President of the United States does not have the authority to change the law. In addition USA Today said, by issuing the “memoranda” President Obama is downplaying the extent of his executive actions.
The AUMF is a declaration that allows the endless use of the military by the President for war internationally. As terrorism runs rampant in other parts of the world, intervention can be viewed as a necessary and humanitarian effort. The problem is that there might not be an end to this constant conflict that seems to always be prevalent in other regions of the world.