October 15, 2019

HMM: In supporting the Kurds in Syria, US has been playing fast and loose with the law.

Here we find ourselves in 2019, partnered with the YPG, itself affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S., European Union and Turkey. Chasing al-Qaida through Iraq, which begat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or al-Sham or Syria (ISIS), we found ourselves on the other side of the Iraq-Syria border, teamed up with YPG Kurds who wanted to kill ISIS as much as we did. They were willing partners in the fight against a common enemy, but they had geopolitical baggage. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? Not so fast.

Let’s review how we got here. There has only been one authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and we’ve been deploying forces under its auspices ever since. It’s just 60 words long, so we should take a moment to review it again — for many of you, perhaps for the first time:

[T]he President is authorized 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 United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Everybody got that? If you planned, authorized, or committed the 9/11 attacks, or aided or harbored those that did, you’re in the U.S. crosshairs. Bin Laden’s al-Qaida in Afghanistan? Yup. Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI)? It was a stretch, but the CINC said yes, so onward! ISIL? The next CINC said they were the offspring of AQI, so again, here we go! ISIS? Again, son-of-a-son, so Charlie Mike!

Does it matter that not likely a living soul in the current ISIS planned, authorized, or committed the 9/11 attacks, nor aided or harbored 9/11 perpetrators? Apparently, not a wit.

Congress did a couple of stupid things after 9/11, including the overly-broad AUMF and the PATRIOT Act. The White House and the executive branch, regardless of party, proceeded to take full advantage as usually happens when Congress willingly cedes its powers.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.