To the editor:
The Examiner’s report (Jan. 23) of Madeleine Albright’s upcoming award came as I’ve been reading her recent book, Fascism: A Warning. Part of her warning is the need to rescind the Authorization for Use of Military Force, approved by Congress in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorism attacks in 2001.
Through that action, Congress relinquished to the president its constitutionally mandated role in the declaration and oversight of war. What was initially an emergency response to an imminent threat has in the past 17 years become an overly broad standing policy.
Albright notes that “three presidents have ordered thousands of military strikes over a period of years based solely on their own judgment of effectiveness and need,” adding “It’s hard to imagine an authority more susceptible to future abuse.”
She cites 16 nations where the U.S. has gone to war since 2001, based solely on the 60-word AUMF and presidential discretion, noting that “much of this activity has been directed at groups that did not even exist in 2001.”
Thankfully, this year House Rep. Barbara Lee will introduce legislation to limit the President’s ability to wage war, and restore that authority to its rightful place – the people’s Congress. To date, no congressional legislators representing Missouri have co-signed Rep. Lee’s bill. Let’s urge them to do so, and restore congressional oversight to reverse our nation’s drift toward “everywhere and forever” war.