CNN looks briefly at how U.S. presidents now routinely use the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) as justification for military actions.
According to a May 2016 report from the Congressional Research Service, there have been “37 relevant occurrences of an official record, disclosed publicly, of presidential reference to the 2001 AUMF in connection with initiating or continuing military or related action.” That includes “detentions and military trials,” like those carried out in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Let’s remember that California Democratic Representative Barbara Lee was the only member of either house of Congress to vote against the measure. Below is an interview Democracy New conducted with Lee regarding her vote and the AUMF. As you watch her speech, which is shown early in the clip, keep in mind that it was made days after the attacks of 9/11/01, when the mood of the American government, media and people made giving such a statement especially difficult.