It's the 17th birthday of the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which gave President George W. Bush and every president since a blank check to deploy U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world in the name of going after terrorists.
Passed on Sep. 14, 2001, and signed into law on Sep. 18, the AUMF authorized the President to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."
Although some members of Congress believed at the time the law may be considered overly broad, most believed it would only apply to members of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or nations and groups with a direct connection to the 9/11 attack. Only one member of Congress voted against it, California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee.
The AUMF was used as intended to deploy troops to Afghanistan days after Bush's signature. A year later, it was being used to justify deploy troops to the Philippines, Georgia, Yemen, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — and it hasn't slowed down since.
The seemingly-narrow group of folks one would think were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to AUMF deployments, has also led to deployments to Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and the Horn of Africa — not to mention Iraq. President Barack Obama even deployed troops to fight against ISIS, which didn't exist at the time of the attacks, under the auspices of the AUMF.
So happy birthday, AUMF. Despite some members of Congress attempting to replace you with something more specific — or, perhaps, do their constitutional duty of oversight of the nation's wars — you have stayed the course and have allowed them to not have to take part in tough votes that could hurt their reelection chances.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after a military jury found him guilty of murder in connection with the death of a fellow airman in Guam, Air Force officials announced on Tuesday.
A Russian man got drunk as all hell and tried to hijack an airplane on Tuesday, according to Russian news agencies.
So, pretty much your typical day in Siberia. No seriously: As Reuters notes, "drunken incidents involving passengers on commercial flights in Russia are fairly common, though it is unusual for them to result in flights being diverted."