BackBeat: 2001 AUMF - The Latest Weapon in America's Illegal, Perpetual War

Posted by News Beat on November 25, 2017  •  3 min read
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On this episode of BackBeat, the team embarks on a wide-ranging discussion about the constitutionality of America's many wars across the globe. At the center of the discussion is the 2001 Authorization for use of Military force, or AUMF, which was enacted just days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The 2001 AUMF has been used to justify everything from drone strikes, indefinite detention of alleged enemy combatants, Secret Forces raids inside sovereign nations, and even the extrajudicial killing of a U.S. citizen.

Listen to full episode here:


You'll hear from Michael Conforti, AKA Manny Faces, Christopher Twarowski and Rashed Mian as they provide additional insight into the making of the episode "AUMF: The Latest Weapon in America’s Illegal Perpetual War."

The News Beat Podcast episode featured:

  • Dr. Cornel West, a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University.
  • Nathan Smith, a former U.S. Army Captain who was based in Kuwait as part of counter-ISIS mission “Operation Inherent Resolve” when in 2016 he sued the Obama administration for what he believed was an unconstitutional war against ISIS.
  • Elizabeth Beavers, Foreign Policy Manager for the non-profit, Indivisible.
  • Greg Tannen, a musician and writer who created an original song, titled "The Great War," for this episode. Purchase it HERE.

Here's an excerpt from a corresponding article published with the episode:

The United States has no rival when it comes to waging war. As it stands, its military is currently fighting at least seven wars in the Middle East and Africa, chief among them a pair of tremendously unpopular and seemingly endless conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What’s unique about America’s current clashes, which have been characterized by high civilian death tolls, the unusual frequency of military deployments, and the proliferation of brutally effective killing machines, is the complete absence of a formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress, the only branch of government empowered by the Constitution to approve war.

The war against ISIS, for instance, was never sanctioned by Congress. Ditto for U.S. Special Forces raids in Yemen, wars against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and related terror cells dotting the Middle East and North Africa, and the escalating drone wars. That April 2017 bombing raid against the Syrian government ordered by President Donald Trump in retaliation for an alleged chemical strike orchestrated by the Syrian regime was also not authorized by the very elected officials that ostensibly decide whether America should go to war.

Consequently, the executive branch effectively wields all war-making power—an unprecedented coup that provokes little outrage from a war-exhausted nation.

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News Beat is an award-winning social justice podcast melding independent, hard-hitting journalism with original music from independent artists.

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