Rep. Schiff to Introduce Bill Ending Wartime Military Powers

Image: Rep. Schiff to Introduce Bill Ending Wartime Military Powers

Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013 12:10 PM

By Melanie Batley

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A California Democrat wants to revoke the president's unlimited authority to wage war on terrorism.

A bill to end the Authorization to Use Military Force is to be introduced in the House this week by Rep. Adam Schiff. It would end the presidential power in 2015, when the U.S. is due to withdraw its last forces from Afghanistan, according to the Huffington Post.

The national-security measure was passed immediately after 9/11, and gave the president authority to use any means necessary to target those specifically responsible for the 2001 atrocities.

"The nature of the threat we face is different now," said Schiff. "The authorities that we're using are straining at their legal edges to authorize force against groups that didn't exist on 9/11 or that may only be loosely affiliated with al-Qaida."

The use-of-force law has been used to target terrorism threats more widely, and lawmakers have drawn on it to justify laws expressly permitting the military to detain Americans without trial.

If the law is repealed, Congress and the president would still have to decide how to handle detainees or prisoners at Guantanamo Bay that never been tried but are still threats to the United States and can't be let go.

"That is the most difficult kernel to pop," said Schiff. "There is still a remaining group of people for whom the evidence is either highly classified or highly problematic because it was a product of torture. And that problem remains to be solved."

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