Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The law giving the US President the license to kill


The Art of War

By Manlio Dinucci (il manifesto,Italy)

On September 18, 2001, a week after September 11, the US Congress unanimously approved Public Law 107-40 which stated: “The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons that 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.” 

The Act, which gave Republican President George W. Bush full war powers, was drafted by Democratic Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Commission.

President Bush was thus authorized by Congress, in the name of the "war on terror", to use military force not only against organizations or people but entire nations, whose guilt was decreed by the President himself, who passed the sentence without trial nor the possibility of appeal and ordered immediate execution by means of war. 

The only ones who have long called for the cancellation of this law are two senators, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Christopher Young, but their attempt has so far been unsuccessful. The Law of September 18, 2001, still in force, was used after Republican President Bush by the Democrat Barack Obama, the Republican Donald Trump and the Democrat Biden (former Vice-president in the Obama Administration). 

It is estimated that it has been used by presidential order to "legitimize" in the last twenty years military operations carried out by the US armed forces in 19 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Tunisia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Cameroon, Niger.

Three weeks after the passing of the law, President Bush ordered to attack and invade Afghanistan, officially to hunt down Bin Laden protected by the Taliban; three months later, he ordered the opening of the Guantanamo prison camp, where alleged terrorists from various parts of the world were secretly deported and tortured; a year and a half later - prompted by a bipartisan resolution of 77 senators, promoted by Joe Biden - President Bush ordered to attack and invade Iraq with the accusation (later proved false) that it possessed weapons of mass destruction. 

The order was to use the knuckle duster to crush the resistance: this was confirmed by the images of the tortures in Abu Ghraib prison, which came to light in 2004.

Always on the basis of the 2001 law which authorized him to "use all necessary and appropriate force", President Obama, ten years later, authorized the CIA to carry out covert operations in Libya in preparation for the NATO war that would demolish the Libyan State. 


According to the same "legal" procedure - the New York Times documented on May 29, 2012 - during the Obama administration the "kill list" was established, updated weekly, including people from all over the world secretly sentenced to death with the accusation of terrorism, who were eliminated for the most part with drone-killers after the President’s approval. The same procedure was followed in January 2020 by President Trump, who ordered the elimination of the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, killed by a US drone at Baghdad airport. 

Similar attacks by the US drones have been "legally" authorized in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

Based on the authorization of President Biden, the most recent drone-killer attack was the one that hit a car suspected of carrying an ISIS bomb on August 29 in Kabul. An investigation by the New York Times (September 10) found that the car (followed for a long time by the drone pilot sitting thousands of kilometers away) was not carrying explosives but water tanks. A "Hellfire" missile was fired at this car in a densely populated neighborhood, killing ten civilians including seven children.


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