Corker: Time to Consider Updating Authorization For Use Of Force Against Al Qaeda

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
During a hearing today on U.S. counterterrorism policies, U.S. Senator Bob Corker called upon Congress to consider updating the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al Qaeda in order to address new and emerging terrorist threats and to better protect the American people and our interests overseas. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has exclusive jurisdiction over the authorization of the use of military force.

He said, “For far too long, Congress has failed to fully exercise its constitutional responsibility to authorize the use of military force, including in the current struggle against al Qaeda, so I urge the committee to consider updating current antiterrorism authorities to adapt to threats that did not exist in 2001 and to better protect our nation while upholding our morals and values.

This effort should involve putting in place specific policy guidance for how and when the president can use these authorities, including lethal action and the use of drones, in regular consultation with Congress, so we can restore the appropriate balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government while maintaining flexibility for the president to respond swiftly under threat of attack.

“Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates has changed dramatically, as the organization has morphed from a centrally-controlled entity headed by Osama Bin Laden to one made up of franchises around the world. As a result, our policy must change to ensure our success in protecting the American people from attack continues. Former counterterrorism officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations have said the current authorities, originally directed at those responsible for 9/11 and groups like the Taliban that harbored them, are increasingly outdated to address new and emerging global terrorist threats. Therefore, we must ensure that Congress has fully granted our government all the tools and capabilities to work with our partners to confront these very real threats to the American people and our interests overseas. I appreciate the chairman’s attention to these issues, and I urge him to hold another hearing in the near future to consider reform of our counterterrorism policy, including possible legislation.”

He said the benefits of updating the 2001 authorities were reiterated in testimony from Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Leiter:“I believe bringing greater visibility to some programs could be useful not only to build U.S. support, but also to build greater international understanding if not support—a key element in our ideological efforts. Moreover, I would suggest that the current debate highlights the need to examine seriously the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). During my tenure at the National Counterterrorism Center, the AUMF provided adequate authority for the use of force, but it was not always a simple or straightforward application. With the continued evolution of the terror threat and most notably its increasing distance from the 9/11 attacks and core al Qa’ida, I believe it is the time to re-evaluate the AUMF to better fit today’s threat landscape.”

Senator Corker said former Bush administration senior counterterrorism official Kenneth L. Wainstein also testified "to the need for reevaluating our counterterrorism policy and the importance of congressional action in establishing legitimacy for military action taken by the president."

Wainstein:“We are now at a pivot point where we need to reevaluate the means and objectives of our counterterrorism program in light of the evolving threat…Congressional action has provided one other very important element to our counterterrorism initiatives -- a measure of political legitimacy that could never be achieved through unilateral executive action…That legitimizing effect -- and its continuation through meaningful oversight -- is critical to maintaining the public’s confidence in the means and methods our government uses in its fight against international terrorism. It also provides assurance to our foreign partners and thereby encourages them to engage in the operational cooperation that is so critical to the success of our combined efforts against international terrorism.”

In its second of two hearings on counterterrorism, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard bipartisan testimony today from Leiter, Wainstein and former House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Jane Harman, D-Calif. Last week’s classified hearing on counterterrorism featured testimony from Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen.

For full committee testimony, including footage of the hearing, visit:http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/counterterrorism-policies-and-priorities_addressing-the-evolving-threat.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEY, KARIN  990 GREEN POND RD SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA --- AR-RAHMAAN, CHRISTIANA ALISA  3210 BROAD STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37408  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Alexander Calls Death Of Justice Scalia "A Great Loss To Our Country"

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement Saturday regarding the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “Justice Scalia's death is a great loss to our country. He was a skilled jurist and a delightful man. In his opinions he consistently did his best to keep our country true to its constitutional founding principles.” (click for more)

Black History Month Hero - Theodore McGraw (Kidd) AKA "Pongee" - And Response

I grew up in "Old St. Elmo" on 39th Street behind the Incline. As a child I remember my older brother "Pongee" as being my hero. This month of February being Black History Month, I cannot think of a better person to be honored than my late older brother, Theodore McGraw (Kidd) aka "Pongee" of St. Elmo (Gamble Town). Growing up without my father, Theodore was always available ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Evaluators Earn $11.70

A number of curious job notices, under the heading of ‘General Labor,’ have appeared on various Craigslists, that free Internet portal where you can find everything from a used lawn tractor, guitar lessons or even a saucy Saturday night date. This week on the Charlotte, N.C., Craigslist, for example, there appeared an offer to become a “reader/evaluator” for a company known as Measurement ... (click for more)

Red Bank Rolls To Region 2-A/AA Mat Title With Ease

Shane Turner has been waiting a long time for this year's wrestling season to get here. He took over the head coaching job at Red Bank four years ago and his Lions have taken their share of whippings during that time. Turner kept preaching to his kids to stay faithful to the program and to keep working hard and that eventually, good things would come their way. They're ... (click for more)

Bradley Wrestlers Win Region 4-AAA With 7 Champions

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – There was never much doubt about which team would walk away from the Region 4-AAA wrestling tournament with the most individual champs and the overall team title. The Bradley Bears, ranked second in the state all year, have had a great season to this point and it just got a little bit better early Saturday evening at Cleveland Middle School. By claiming ... (click for more)