Monday, January 25, 2016
US Senate to Declare “International Martial Law” — Give President ‘Unlimited’ Military Powers
The U.S. Senate is poised to give President Obama and the next president unprecedented war powers that amount to declaring martial law upon the entire world. Majority leader Mitch McConnell surprised almost everyone last week by saying he has a war resolution ready to be voted on at any time.
The resolution is a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) for declaring war on ISIS. It would give the president even more power than the AUMF granted to Bush after 9/11, which is still in place today.
“The AUMF put forward by McConnell would not restrict the president’s use of ground troops, nor have any limits related to time or geography. Nor would it touch on the issue of what to do with the 2001 AUMF, which the Obama administration has used to attack ISIS despite that authorization’s instructions to use force against those who planned the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”
Considering what Bush and Obama did with the 2001 AUMF—invading and occupying countries in “pre-emptive” war, CIA black sites, extrajudicial killings, inventing the term “enemy combatants” to bypass international law, new forms of torture, drone bombing women and children, and assassinating U.S. citizens—the specter of a new and expanded AUMF is truly frightening.
“This resolution is a total rewrite of the War Powers Clause in the U.S. Constitution,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn). “It is essentially a declaration of international martial law, a sweeping transfer of military power to the president that will allow him or her to send U.S. troops almost anywhere in the world, for almost any reason, with absolutely no limitations.”
McConnell’s resolution is more than what Obama asked for last year, but this is of little relevance since Obama has been carrying out a war against ISIS, including the use of special forces, with no authorization. The administration has refused to put forward a legal framework, insisting that the 2001 AUMF is enough.