Presidential Authority: How the Ink Dries in Post-9/11

Did we start the post-9/11 frenzy of military activity legally? Did the President and subsequent leaders follow the constitution of the United States of America? To many Americans, these types of questions surrounding the terrorist attack on 9/11 and legality cause an audience to squirm and fidget. Understandably so, post-9/11 military activity appears to be held to much more scrutiny and confusion than previous campaigns. This essay, however, is going to attempt to rationalize, defend and attack three main focal points of presidential authority post-9/11. Firsthand, the removal of the Taliban government in Afghanistan was legal and warranted after the incident on 9/11. Indefinite detention of alleged combatants is not legal and is not supported in the Authorization for Use of Military Force (S.J.Res.23). The final focal point is not nearly as straightforward as the previous two points. Drone technology places the President and US at a cross-roads in definition and accountability that could end up being quite dangerous. This essay posits the use of drone technology in Pakistan is legal simply because it is not illegal. Before making any argument, understanding the dialogue on authority and the debate surrounding these questions must be highlighted.

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