Eli Lake on the AUMF
Eli Lake has a fantastic essay at Reason.com on the myriad ways in which Obama has replicated the worst excesses of the Bush administration with regard to national security. He rightly identifies the source of the problem — the AUMF, which was passed in a fit of hysteria three days after 9/11 and has no natural expiration date. Here is the final paragraph:
Above all, we must be honest with ourselves. Obama, like Bush, is committed to a long war against an amorphous network of terrorists. In at least the constitutional sense, he is no harder or softer than his predecessor. And like his predecessor, he has not come up with a plan for relinquishing these extraordinary powers once the long war ends, if it ever does. If change is going to come to U.S. policy on terrorism, it will have to come from a bipartisan recognition that Americans cannot trust their government to tell them when they are safe again.
I am normally skeptical of claims that we need more bipartisanship, because in the present political climate they are normally code for “Democrats need to act more like Republicans.” But there is definitely an elective affinity between progressives and libertarians concerning issues of (ever-expanding) executive power. When Eli Lake and Glenn Greenwald are in substantial agreement about something, we ignore their views at our peril…