published Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Sen. Bob Corker: Time to change military force law

  • photo
    Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Wednesday that Congress should overhaul the 2001 authorization for the use of military force to encompass the use of drones for targeted killings.

Weighing in on an issue of both national security and civil liberties, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the law passed days after the Sept. 11 terror attacks needs to be revised to deal with emerging threats and ensure greater congressional oversight.

“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-Qaida, so I urge the committee to consider updating current anti-terrorism authorities to adapt to threats that did not exist in 2001 and to better protect our nation while upholding our morals and values,” Corker said at the start of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on counterterrorism.

The law gave President George W. Bush the authority to launch the invasion of Afghanistan and target al-Qaida, saying the commander in chief has the authority to attack “nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 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.”

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