Quote of the Week

“I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.

The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al-Qaida is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaida will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.

So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine and ultimately repeal the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. It’s what our democracy demands.” President Barack Obama yesterday

Naturally this groundbreaking news was overshadowed by that yahoo from Code Pink who thinks the best way to convey a message is to shout it like a mental patient at the president.

Nevertheless, this is still a major and historic turning point in ending the war on terror, and it’s precisely what I’ve been calling for in my column over the last several months (here, here and here for instance).

The administration clearly regards the war on terrorism as an actual full-on war, and therefore is able to justify its actions as war-time measures authorized by the 2001 AUMF. Take away the AUMF, you take away the extraconstitutional war-powers of the presidency and the war ends. He gets it, and he’s clearly going to be working toward that goal. After all, as I’ve written before, he’s in a unique position to make it so: he’s annihilated much of al-Qaeda’s leadership and Bin Laden, and he doesn’t need to worry about re-election. Let’s just hope he can do it.

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  • eljefejeff

    you called it Bob

  • drsquid

    President: And I also want to close Gitmo.
    Code Pink: But why don’t you close Gitmo?
    President: I just said that.
    Code Pink: But CLOSE Gitmo!
    President: Really?

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Congress won’t repeal the AUMF. They don’t want to take those powers away from the next Republican POTUS.

    • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

      Congress won’t repeal the AUMF. They don’t want to take those powers away from the next Republican POTUS. dare dry up the river of money going to their military-industrial masters.

      FIFY

    • Christopher Foxx

      Indeed. Obama might have a better chance of getting this passed if Clinton starts looking like a serious contender.

      (Or if the Democrats actually got their heads out of their asses. But rational folks don’t plan on that.)

  • Nurff Ball

    Calling the Code Pink person a yahoo makes redundant your opinion, not very classy in the least.

    • MikkiChan

      Not to speak for Bob, but he was apparently aiming for accuracy, not attempting to be classy.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Well, it was classier that I would have said, which would have been “fucking moron.”

    • muselet

      Medea Benjamin ran for Senate a number of years ago as the Green Party candidate in California, ran a campaign of ideas and reasonable solutions, and came in a respectable third (Dianne Feinstein was never going to lose, but Benjamin came close enough to made her sweat). For the record, I voted for her.

      Since then, though, she has become—as Bob says—a yahoo: rude, noisy and disruptive. Maybe it’s not classy to call her that, but heckling the President wasn’t classy, either (nor was it smart or persuasive, more to the point).

      –alopecia

  • trgahan

    He has tried to close Gitmo and still wants to close it. Now he wants to reconsider the AUMF and end our endless by design war on brown people with oil, er..terrorism.

    Clearly worse than Bush!

  • Obama Ismybestestfriend

    Now this (http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obama-drone-speech-lethal-president)is a sane and rational analysis of the President’s “war/drone/aumf” rhetoric. You know Bob, Cialis and Viagra recommend that if your erection lasts more than 4-6 hours you should contact a medical professional immediately; your 5+ year long hard on for PBHO is way past that mark, maybe you should get that checked out. In the meantime, cheer on.

    • ThePanicMan

      Keep that lie going, Greendrone.

      • Obama Ismybestestfriend

        I don’t think Bob will take kindly to you referring to his raging hard on as a lie. Nice try though.

        • ThePanicMan

          Wow, second-grade retorts. Classy as always.

    • Lady Willpower

      DRONEWALD!

      • Obama Ismybestestfriend

        CLEVER AS EVER!

        • Lady Willpower

          I don’t think you really mean that.

      • js hooper

        I want credit for that one! Lol

    • Bubble Genius

      The only person I see with a hardon is you, sunshine. I love the way you assert certain truths that don’t exist just to make your questionable point. Do you not see that your method is no different from Michele Bachmann’s?

  • i_a_c

    When I read this speech, the first thing I thought of was that Bob’s wanted something like this for a while.

    This is the right direction. Congress needs to stop abdicating its responsibilities and execute its oversight role over the war. By raising the public profile of the issue maybe Congress will actually do something for once and show some deference to the president on this issue. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but scaling back and eventually repealing the war powers should be what we’re aiming for.

    Another thing I found notable in the speech was that the president confirmed what many of us have suspected for a while, that some of the Guantanamo detainees can’t be tried because the evidence is compromised or inadmissible. So we have our good buddies Bush and Cheney to thank for that: they pretended Guantanamo was a place where human rights went to die, and they got their torture fetish on to the detriment of our ability to actually deal with them.

    • Obama Ismybestestfriend

      “Oh yeah, and I don’t care for Code Pink at all.”

      Except when they heckle and protest Bushies, amirite? Then they’re totally cool.

      • ThePanicMan

        People never change, right? Not like you care – they’re keeping That Negro in his place with their Wise Whiteyness and that’s all that matters!

        • Obama Ismybestestfriend

          Oh goodie, ad hominem, I loves me some ad hominem. Next!

          • ThePanicMan

            You don’t even know what an ad hominem is. Be quiet, child, teh adults are talking.

          • Bubble Genius

            Actually, I’ve always hated Code Pink’s cunning stunts. At best, they distract, at worst they terrorize. Is that better?

          • i_a_c

            They make the left look like a bunch of petulant children. That’s how I feel about them. They don’t represent me.

      • i_a_c

        No. Mind reading fail.

      • villemar

        Wrong again, Firebagger Vance. I remember when Code Pink heckled the Valerie Plame hearings with their screeches and circus nonsense, demeaning and trivializing actual crimes.

  • http://www.artisvaria.com/ Nanotyrnns

    Bob sez;

    “Take away the AUMF, you take away the extraconstitutional war-powers of
    the presidency and the war ends. He gets it, and he’s clearly going to
    be working toward that goal.”

    I know that’s what he says but this’ll be the part where he sends Joe Biden to kill all the Jedi and then reorganizes the country into the first Galactic Empire.

    Truthfully though I think this has been his way of governing all along. He knows that he could end some of these policies with the stroke of a pen but that if you really don’t want him (or any president) to have these extraconstitutional powers (and you’re unwilling to truly challenge them in court) then you have to take them from him. The nature of the executive is to consolidate more and more power and it’s up to congress to curb that through legislation. Right now we just don’t have a congress that has any institutional pride or dignity, and it is unwilling to assert it’s constitutional authority.