Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Forces conducted hearings entitled Oversight: The Law of Armed Conflict, the Use of Military Force, and the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force in which the Pentagon admitted that we are in an endless war against terrorism.
Senator Angus King tells the Pentagon officials that they have essentially rewritten the constitution.
Pentagon officials today claimed President Obama and future presidents have the power to send troops anywhere in the world to fight groups linked to al-Qaeda, based in part on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Speaking at the first Senate hearing on rewriting the AUMF, Pentagon officials specifically said troops could be sent to Syria, Yemen and the Congo without new congressional authorization. Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, predicted the war against al-Qaeda would last at least 10 to 20 more years. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) challenged the Pentagon’s interpretation of the Constitution and that the entire world is a battlefield. “This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today,” King said. “You guys have invented this term ‘associated forces’ that’s nowhere in this document. … It’s the justification for everything, and it renders the war powers of Congress null and void.”
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