January 17, 2014 4:40 PM   Subscribe

60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History. "Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean." [Via]
posted by homunculus (23 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

Elections are coming.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 PM on January 17, 2014

Yeah, but who could have foreseen that giving the guy with the keys to the world's largest military carte blanche to blow up anything he might label a threat could go wrong?
posted by Hoopo at 6:09 PM on January 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm still astonished by The Onion, personally.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:53 PM on January 17, 2014 [15 favorites]

I'm not going to comment on the political ramifications of this article.

But I will say it is an excellently, beautifully written work on what exactly was going on on at the time.

Thank you, homunculous, for posting this.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:40 PM on January 17, 2014

posted by telstar at 9:36 PM on January 17, 2014

The AUMF will never be repealed will it? Sic transit gloria Civitatum Foederatarum…
posted by ob1quixote at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2014

Necessary and appropriate force. Is that an "either" or a "both?"
posted by rhizome at 11:01 PM on January 17, 2014

Tomgram: Elizabeth de la Vega, Indicting Bush
Assistant United States Attorney: Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. We're here today in the case of United States v. George W. Bush et al. In addition to President Bush, the defendants are Vice President Richard B. Cheney, former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice -- who's now the Secretary of State, of course -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

It's a one-count proposed indictment: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. I'll explain the law that applies to the case this afternoon, but I'm going to hand out the indictment now, so you'll have some context for that explanation. Take as long as you need to read it, and then feel free to take your lunch break, but please leave your copy of the indictment with the foreperson. We'll meet back at one o'clock.
posted by mikelieman at 1:14 AM on January 18, 2014

134 countries? Wow. Wikipedia lists 206 countries, but some are disputed. Even taking a maximalist position, that's 65% of the world's nations that have had US deployments in the past year.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:40 AM on January 18, 2014

I keep posting this video "What Barry Says" in response to stories like this. I know it's kind of a simplistic framing of the situation, but based on the actual results it's getting harder and harder to dispute his central claim that the Military-Industrial Complex is doing these things for its own ends.
posted by sneebler at 7:37 AM on January 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

I cannot imagine any establishment politician saying something like this today:
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.
An alert and knowledgeable citizenry? Compelling the government's actions? Why, that's the sort of thing Snowden would say!

Call me naive, but I was amazed when I found out that the NSA (the NSA!) subcontracts its I.T. (I.T.!) Subcontracting manufacture has been going on forever; the use of mercenaries has a long history. But taking external bids on the most intimate aspects of your military operations? To me, that means that they're no longer focused on external security.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:04 PM on January 18, 2014 [6 favorites]

This is a really good article, but why the fuck is it on Buzzfeed? Did something happen to that site without me noticing?
posted by flatluigi at 1:15 AM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Did something happen to that site without me noticing?

Lawfare: The Effect of the Proposed Repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:15 AM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

The first sign of failure should have been that they cut and pasted things from Vietnamn.
posted by stormpooper at 9:27 AM on January 21, 2014

Wow, that's a great review.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:53 PM on February 12, 2014

dear homunculus,
will be posting full series soon. have noticed you too are using revamped linkshare platform D*gg for sourcing, please advise on alternate materials.

regards, etc.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:30 PM on February 12, 2014

I'm pretty sure I found that one on either Longform or The Browser.

The only other thing I recall reading about Cheney recently is this one about his heart.

Looking forward to your post!
posted by homunculus at 7:10 PM on February 12, 2014

They left out the bit about his heart being hidden in a needle in an acorn in an oaktree in a chest in a tower on the other side of the Sambatyon River, across a bridge made of knives that can only be crossed by a maiden riding a mare made of feathers and sea foam.

For national security reasons.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:35 PM on February 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Looking forward to your post!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:43 PM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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