News Release

Need to “Repeal the Perpetual Illegal Wars”

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Charlie Savage of the New York Times reports in “Senators Wrestle With Updating Law Authorizing War on Terrorist Groups” that: “Asked at a luncheon on Monday at the National Press Club in Washington what legal basis the United States had to attack Syrian government forces, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., claimed the authority stemmed from the 2001 law because the American military presence in Syria was predicated on fighting Al Qaeda and the Islamic State there.

“But on Tuesday, the ranking Democrat on the Senate committee, Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, said, ‘The most recent use of this, in regards to activities in Syria, certainly had nothing to do with the attack on our country on September the 11th.'”

The question at the National Press Club to Dunford was submitted by Sam Husseini of the Institute for Public Accuracy and was featured on an IPA news release on Monday: “Bombing Syria: * Impeachable * Carve-Up Agenda.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle[at]illinois.edu
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He said today: “What the U.S. government is getting away with here is incredible. Gen. Dunford is citing the 2001 AUMF to go after Al Qaeda as justification to go after a secular government — Syria — that is actually fighting Al Qaeda, as well as ISIS.

“Congress should not be in the business of ‘updating’ any authorization of continuing these wars, which are clearly illegal under international law. Congress should be in the business of repealing these bogus domestic authorizations. No one in 1970 was working to ‘update’ the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. At least no one who was not a laughing stock. Congress was working to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, to defund the war — not to perpetuate illegal war for another generation. Congress now needs to repeal the perpetual illegal wars. The War Powers clause of the Constitution, as well as the War Powers Resolution are being flagrantly violated.”

Boyle was featured on an Institute for Public Accuracy news release in 2013 along with former Rep. Paul Findley: “* Key Author of War Powers Act: ‘Obama has no Authority to Attack Syria’ * Impeachment.”

Boyle’s books include Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations (Duke University Press).