I live on the west side of Whidbey Island and often observe Navy ships heading to or from Everett or Bremerton, submarines from Bangor, or Navy jets flying from the north.
As I wonder about their missions, this presence is a constant reminder to me that checks and balances have been eroded that give Congress, not the executive branch, the authority to make decisions regarding war and military force.
The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, passed shortly after 9/11, may have seemed like necessary emergency legislation, but it is now 18 years later and that AUMF along with the 2002 AUMF has been used to justify endless wars without congressional authorization.
Now, I read that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during a recent Senate hearing, refused to rule out attacking Iran under the 2001 AUMF. Thankfully, a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Tom Udall, introduced a bill, 1039, that forbids the White House from starting a war with Iran.
It is presently stalled so needs immediate support. Contact senators Maria Cantwell and Patti Murray. But, introducing bills to specifically forbid military action here or there, is backward. As I mentioned, decisions about war are supposed to rest with Congress, not just in the hands of one or several persons who could have a prejudiced and erroneous view of the situation.
As James Madison said, “The executive is the branch most prone to war and most interested in it, therefore the Constitution has with studied care rested that power in the legislative branch.”
Please urge U.S. Rep Rick Larsen and Sens. Cantwell and Murray to reclaim their constitutional authority and work for repeal of the 2001 and 2002 AUMF by co-sponsoring HR1274 and SJ13.