Opinion

Steve Russell: US no different from terrorists if laws are ignored





Steve Russell discusses the "war" on terror:
Since the attack on the Twin Towers, you are supposed to have a passport to cross those lines. The borders, we were told, had to be laced up tight as necessary security during the infinitely durable “war on terror.”

Are we at war or are we not? This is hugely important.

Speaking from inside the US, was the Congressional authorization for use of force the necessary equivalent of a declaration of war?

No, it was not necessary, and no, it was not the functional equivalent of a declaration of war. The executive (at that time, President Bush) did not need the permission of Congress to pursue organized crime by non-state actors across sovereign borders. See Thomas Jefferson's action against the Barbary Pirates immortalized in the Marine Corps Hymn, "to the shores of Tripoli."

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Steve Russell: Wars and Pieces of Law (Indian Country Today 3/12)