Senate majority leader Harry Reid is finally, finally backing efforts to revisit the Eternal War that Bush started...and maybe finally putting an end to it.
Although Reid did not take a specific stand on how the law should be changed, in an interview with BuzzFeed he argued the time has come to revisit the Authorization of Use of Military Force.
“It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but 9/11 was a very difficult time in the history of this country,” said Reid, who voted for the law in 2001.
“[But] I definitely think its something we should definitely take a look at. I think 9/11 is a long time ago, and it’s something that needs to be looked at again. I have no problem with that,” Reid added.
The AUMF gave military and intelligence agencies wide leeway to pursue individuals and organizations with suspected ties to al Qaeda. The law provided the legal groundwork for the administration’s aggressive counterterrorism strategy, from armed drone strikes to “kill/capture” missions, raids similar to the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
Although anti-war elements in Congress have long complained about the broad scope of the scant 60-word law, over the last several years members on both sides of aisle have increasingly raised concerns with the law, worried that it can be used for attacks across the globe against people or groups that were never intended by Congress.
“We are still operating in a war declared on Sept. 14, 2001,” Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine said Wednesday during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “And both the Bush and Obama administrations have determined that that war can be carried out against members of al Qaeda, against anyone who associates with affiliates or associates of al Qaeda, no matter when those associates pop up … so long as the al Qaeda or affiliated organizations have violent intentions against the U.S. or coalition partners. That’s sort of a vague phrase.”
“I don’t think Congress passing that AUMF Sept. 14, 2001, that 13 years later we’d be still engaged in war,” Kaine added.
The Warren Terrah will be 13 years old in September. That's how long we've been at "war" with Al Qaeda and terrorism, a third of my entire life. It's ridiculous and it needs to end. I'm glad we're finally taking the first steps to see this come to a close. It's cost us millions of lives and trillions of dollars over the last 13 years.
It has to end. Now's the time. I'm all for this.