No Court Has Ever Addressed How Illegal America’s Current Wars Are


2/13/2018 by John F. O’Donnell


As the “War on Terror” rages on and on and on, it may be shocking to find out that US federal courts have only ever addressed the legality of a very small part of this seemingly “Forever War.” Right after 9/11, Congress passed a statute authorizing military force against al-Qaida and the Taliban, who were deemed to be the groups directly responsible/connected to the attacks. With the release of the 28 pages, the long-speculated reality that most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals was confirmed, but that’s another story. Sadly, that 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force is still being used today to justify US military adventurism all over the globe – in places like Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Syria. It is being used not just against al-Qaida, but now against ISIS, a terrorist group that didn’t even EXIST when 9/11 happened.


No court has ever addressed the US government’s legality for military force in all of these different places. It has all just spuriously been lumped together under the 2001 AUMF. …Until now. Finally, a federal district court in Washington, DC will hear a case filed by the ACLU. The premise of the case is whether or not the executive branch can use its open-ended claim of wartime authority to indefinitely detain a US citizen without any connection to 9/11. That US citizen was captured by Kurdish forces in Syria and handed over to US custody last September. The US government claims he’s a “known enemy combatant” for ISIS. But according to the ACLU, “Our client was actually kidnapped and imprisoned by ISIS, tried to escape, and never took up arms against the US or anyone else.”

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Regardless, as of now, the ACLU isn’t litigating the US government’s accusations that the detainee is a member of ISIS. They are litigating if the US government even has the legal authority to detain him at all, even if he was a member of ISIS at the time of his capture. And it appears that the legal gymnastics the government has to jump through to justify the detention are vast. Primarily, it’s relying on that same 2001 AUMF. However, again, the parameters of that statute only authorize force against those responsible for 9/11; al-Qaida and the Taliban.


So here is how the government is putting a daisy-chain of connections together. They are claiming that because a terrorist group founded in 2003 in Iraq called “Jam’at al Tawhid wa’al Jihad” later renamed itself “al-Qaida in Iraq” and was, apparently, founded by an “associate” of Osama bin Laden, and then in 2006 they morphed into ISIS, therefore, ISIS is covered under the 2001 AUMF because, essentially, ISIS is al-Qaida. There’s a major problem here, though. It’s well documented that whatever relationship that al-Qaida and ISIS had has been soured since 2014, and, at present, the two groups fight each other openly in Syria. And beyond that, the 2001 AUMF was never meant to allow for ubiquitous detention and ubiquitous war. This ACLU lawsuit is a step in the right direction. But a lot more still needs to be done to close the gates on endless war, considering almost all Republicans and Democrats recently voted in lockstep against repealing the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. That’s right, the legislative branch has handed unlimited war powers over to the unhinged Trump administration. And yet some of them claim to be “the Resistance.”

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  1. I believe as the whole truth of US wars, occupation, regime change, economic bullying, lying, slaughter…worldwide, this century and the last is revealed and understood finally by everyone, the shame will be intense, for all english speaking people.

  2. Ben Johnson has a great point. How could Bin Laden – from a cave in Afghanistan – have known how to time the events of 9/11/2001 with at least 7 top secret military exercises, which would have most certainly blunted our response to the hijackings? How could he have prevented the Air Defenses at the Pentagon from working? Or make a 3rd building @ the WTC fall…(without a plausible explanation – to this day).

    Perhaps the real reason that Al Qaeda people can’t be given access to a REAL Court and lawyers…. Is that they might then start calling members of “our” Government in, as exculpatory witnesses. Witnesses for the defense. After all…Bin Laden worked for GHW Bush through Ollie North, Poindexter, and the ‘off the shelf’ intelligence operation – run from the White House Basement. Like Saddam Hussein and Noriega…. He was an asset of our intelligence services – prior to our NEED to silence him (them as well)..

    And when Indicted for the Cole Bombing (an attack which Bin Laden did take credit for, to my recollection) “Usama Bin Laden” was represented by ALLAN DULLES’ Law firm – Sullivan and Cromwell (spooky AF), in court.

    Here’s some work that was…at one point…state of the art… Feel free to listen and groove. The primary host on that night’s show was MT Karthik (a journalist with many MSM credits to his name, and for that moment – the news director at KPFK Los Angeles). He had the pull, to get that show to occur, in that key moment (a very successful fund drive, and the opening weekend of Farenheit 9-11)… So I agreed to let him fly the plane. I asked of few questions and pitched mostly. Music selections were his.

  3. The wars are illegal, the War On Terror is a fraud, the wanton application of military power around the world is a war crime of the first order. The madmen behind this will not reverse any of this. They thrive on it as do the benefactors of the outlandish military spending. Only the people can stop this by unifying behind a simple demand. WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK! This is not some crackpot idea. This is how we “starve the beast” and put our country back on track.

    The Peace Dividend Project:

  4. One of the major reasons Obama had Bin Laden executed rather than captured and put on trial was due to the fact that after 15 years America did not have a single shred of proof Al Qaeda was behind 9-11 and there is far more proof America was responsible for it.

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