Friday, September 26, 2014

Barbara Lee Continues To Speak For Me

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons -- Authorization for the Use of Military Force ("AUMF")
After the attacks of 9/11, Congress gave President Bush carte blanche to use military force.  Only one member of Congress -- one -- had the integrity, the courage and the wisdom to just say "no."  Congresswoman Barbara Lee -- my Congressperson I'm proud to say --warned her colleagues to be "careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target" and explained that the AUMF "was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the September 11 events—anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit."

Congresswoman Lee, as we now know, was prescient.  Neither President Bush nor his successor, I'm afraid, could be trusted with such authorization, which has been used to justify warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention at  Guantanamo, various and sundry military actions, armed drones and, most recently, airstrikes against our newest terrorist enemy.

Congresswoman Lee has issued a statement expressing grave concern "about the expansion of U.S. airstrikes into Syria and continuation of airstrikes in Iraq." 
It is clear we are rapidly becoming more involved in another war in the Middle East.

President Obama has put together a strong international and regional coalition to address the ISIS threat. We must now leverage this regional coalition to achieve the political solution that will end this crisis. Only a political solution that respects the rights of all Iraqis and Syrians will ultimately dismantle ISIS

I have called and will continue to call for a full congressional debate and vote on any military action, as required by the Constitution. The American people deserve a public debate on all the options to dismantle ISIS, including their costs and consequences to our national security and domestic priorities.

he rapid escalation of another war in the Middle East underscores the danger of the blank check for endless war passed by Congress in 2001. I could not support this blank check for endless war or the 2002 blank check for war in Iraq. I have introduced legislation to repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force and continue to build bipartisan support for their repeal.

There is no military solution to the crisis in Iraq and Syria. In fact, continued U.S. military action will result in unintended consequences. We must remember the roots of ISIS - President Bush’s ill-begotten war.Congress needs to debate the political, economic, diplomatic and regionally-led solutions that will ultimately be the tools for U.S. and regional security.
Barbara Lee was right in 2001.  She is right in 2014.


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