Phony AUMF Justification for US Military Operations

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Phony AUMF Justification for US Military Operations

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

On September 14, 2011, congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), giving the president power to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against parties involved in the 9/11 attacks, flagrantly violated international and constitutional law.

Security Council members alone may authorize one country attacking another – permitted only in self-defense, never preemptively the way America goes to war, always against nations threatening no one post-WW II.

Washington operate illegally in all its war theaters, waging naked aggression, the highest of high crimes.

Monday at the National Press Club, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph (“fighting Joe”) Dunford was asked “(w)hat’s the legal justification for targeting Syrian government forces?”

He responded, saying “(w)e are there and have legal justification under the Authorization for Use of Military Force. We are prosecuting a campaign against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria.”

Fact: The proper question should have been what gives America the right to violate international and constitutional law in Syria and all its other war theaters?

Fact: No legal justification exists for US military operations anywhere. The nation wasn’t attacked. It’s not threatened. Its wars on other nations are flagrant acts of aggression.

Fact: America supports ISIS, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. No campaign against them exists.

According to Law Professor Francis Boyle, the AUMF “cannot possibly be used to justify targeting the Syrian government. Those attacks are…clearly illegal and impeachable.”

“If we care about the rule of law, the most striking thing about Trump is his flagrant violation of the War Powers Clause of the Constitution in this targeting of the Syrian government.”

“Now, the US has been violating international law in terms of its drone assassination program and various bombing campaigns, like the one purporting to target ISIS in Syria.”

“Many of these activities are justified by attempts to invoke the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed after the 9/11 attacks. A decade and a half after those attacks, that rationale is international legal nonsense, but it exists.”

“(T)argeting of forces of or allied with the Syrian government has no justification whatsoever” – an impeachable offense.

In the post-Soviet Russia era alone, the Clintons, Bush/Cheney, Obama and now Trump are guilty of the highest of high crimes – yet remain unaccountable for what demands accountability.

US justification for downing a Syrian warplane in its own airspace, combating terrorism, is willfully and deceitfully false, deceitfully claiming “(w)e will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if threatened” – when no threat exists.

Russian and Syrian aircraft operate legally in the country’s airspace. US-led (so-called) coalition warplanes DO NOT!

After four US-led attacks on Syrian and allied troops in recent weeks, CENTCOM claiming it has no desire to fire on these forces is a bald-faced lie. Facts on the ground speak for themselves.

US-led forces aim to control as much northern and southern Syrian territory as possible – their operations flagrantly illegal, wanting these areas separated from Damascus control.

Russian, Syrian and allied forces seek to protect the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Neither Washington or Moscow wants direct confrontation. Given escalated US aggression in Syria, anything is possible by accident or design.

Obama didn’t wage war on the country for regime change to quit. It’s now Trump’s war with the same objective.

The risk of possible US confrontation with Russia is too great to ignore.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.