John Bolton, President Trump’s National Security Advisor, is searching for a way to use the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) to bypass Congress.
Evidence. All I needed was the evidence …
As I exited the Oval Office, that objective repeated in my head. Just a whiff of Iranian ties to the right terrorists would move Trump to say ‘yes.’
Just a whiff John. Just a whiff.
The plan was simple. My experience working in the Bush Jr. administration helped clarify which steps will legally justify these moves. My weekly breakfasts with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan made it clear that these two are largely willing to tow the President’s line.
“Call me” – the President said making a gesture with his thumb and pinkie, rotary dialing with his other hand.
Pompeo had issued a written statement after the last flare up. “[Trump] looks forward to someday meeting with leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement and, very importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves.”
And at least he has laid the legal groundwork for invasion.
‘They have hosted al-Qaeda, they have permitted al-Qaeda to transit their country,’ Pompeo told a dubious Senator Rand Paul in Senate testimony in April. ‘There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al-Qaeda. Period, full stop.’
That’s all I have to say…
Conveniently, al Qaeda has sprung back to life. The Islamic State’s destruction left space for this old enemy to return. Just in time.
Thanks to the AUMF, we – the President – can use military force if he thinks he has public support. Otherwise, war can spell dire electoral consequences.
Congress will sit back and do nothing.
The President has already rallied his base against the Iranian regime with his “maximum pressure” campaign.
“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”
Fire and fury!
I love it.
Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group perfectly positioned. Check.
Brilliant brinksmanship this is. Brilliant.
This is not North Korea 2.0! Fake news.
“An Attack on Two Saudi Oil Tankers is An Attack On All Americans”.
Oh, Onion you can still make me laugh.
They have hosted al-Qaeda, they have permitted al-Qaeda to transit their country”
-U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo
This has all freed me up to focus on my main objective: transforming decades of bubbling up tension into open conflict then bam! Regime change in Iran.
The one page AUMF, passed in the Senate 98 to 0 and 420 to 1 in the House, authorizes the President ‘to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the US by such nations, organizations or persons.’
‘Harbored’ is my favorite part.
That’s the advantage of evolving franchises and the fluidity of terror cells, and the reason why the 2001 AUMF was written so broadly. Makes logical sense as well in that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so naturally that’s where the terrorists are hiding.
The AUMF is conveniently absent of a definition of just how much evidence is needed for the President to move troops. I reminded the President that this timing (of course) would distract from the Mueller backlash and also be great for a reelection bid. Most wartime presidents are reelected.
Congress will do nothing.
Amendment by consent.
The Saudis approve.
He seemed to be pleased.
Under the AUMF, I don’t even have to deal with those ass clowns in the Congress. Just the President.
Even if Congress wants to get crazy and pull funds from this military operation, the President only needs ⅓, plus 1, of the Congressional vote to wage war on any target at any time. All he has to do is veto the act of withdrawal, requiring a ⅔ vote from both houses to overcome that.
That’s not going to happen. Congress isn’t going to risk being painted as failing to support troops in the field. Congress will continue funding because at the end of the day, the individual representative does not want to look weak or anti-American.
What’s the big deal anyways?
President Bush used the AUMF 18 times and President Obama used it 19 times — for military actions, to enact mass surveillance and to secure prisoners. President Trump has only used it twice!
Restraint, if you ask me…
As former Ambassador to the UN, I know nations have the right to defend themselves. Of course they do! Yes, we can also go to war when there is a joint authorization from the UN Security Council or through NATO under Article 5. This helps if we want to build coalitions and follow treaties and such.
What? Is Congress suddenly going to grow a spine?
The Walter B. Jones Restoring Power to Congress Act, which would repeal the 2001 AUMF, has a mere two co-sponsors. The bill was referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee in January, and hasn’t seen the light of day since. The bill is named for the late Senator Walter B. Jones (R. – N.C.), and is based off of his previous legislation.
Seems pretty easy to ignore.
Of the 17 Republicans running to assume Jones’ old seat, not one has in anyway critiqued Trump’s foreign policy.
Is the media going to skip the reality TV cash cow that the 2020 presidential campaign will be, to cover some war in some country?
The media played its role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and little has changed. The war in Yemen has been largely ignored by major networks. The aftermath of the U.S. intervention in Libya is rarely mentioned. Opponents of regime change in Venezuela barely have a platform. None of the top ten circulated newspapers in the country spoke out against the President’s April 2017 strike on Syria.
But under the AUMF, I don’t even have to deal with those ass clowns in the Congress. Just the President.
Eighteen years into the War on Terror, the U.S. is involved in military actions in 76 countries, or 40% of the countries on the planet. What’s one more?
These are dangerous times. And I took an oath.
Don Martinez (reporting from Washington, D.C. as the imagined John Bolton, or John Bolton Fan Fiction), for LIMA CHARLIE WORLD
[Diego Lynch and Anthony A. LoPresti contributed to this parody]
[Main image, from photo by Alex Wong]
U.S. Army Combat Veteran Don Martinez reports from Washington, D.C. where a campaign against the use of the September 18th, 2001, Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran is being held.
Don Martinez is a senior correspondent with Lima Charlie News and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Lima Charlie Media. Don is a retired US Army Field Artillery officer living in Colorado Springs, CO. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom with two combat deployments to Iraq where he earned his Combat Action Badge.
Lima Charlie World provides global news, featuring insight & analysis by military veterans, intelligence professionals and foreign policy experts Worldwide.
For up-to-date news, please follow us on twitter at @LimaCharlieNews
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