Advancing a Free Society

Is the Administration Softening on AUMF Reaffirmation?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I had been waiting for the video of Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson’s speech at the Heritage Foundation to be released to post thoughts it. But I awoke this morning to press coverage of the speech that seemed pretty consistently to miss a component of Johnson’s remarks that is, in my view, real news: Johnson took a much more measured approach than has the administration at large towards the idea of updating the AUMF.

Johnson’s comments on the subject came in response to the first question he was asked. Heritage’s Cully Stimson–who hosted the event and, by the way, deserves a lot of credit for the non-partisan seriousness he is showing on these issues–noted that while Johnson had criticized the detainee affairs provisions of the pending NDAA bills in the speech, not all of the provisions were that bad. Cully asked what Johnson thought of House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon’s proposal to reaffirm the AUMF.

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