Must Read

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

Radiolab: 60 Words

April 18, 2014

Share

"In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into lawcalled the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the 'war on terror.'"

In this collaboration with BuzzFeed, reporter Gregory Johnsen tells us the story of how this has come to be one of the most important, confusing, troubling sentences of the past 12 years. We go into the meetings that took place in the chaotic days just after 9/11, speak with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Congressman Ron Dellums about the vote on the AUMF. We hear from former White House and State Department lawyers John Bellinger & Harold Koh. We learn how this legal language unleashed Guantanamo, Navy Seal raids and drone strikes. And we speak with journalist Daniel Klaidman, legal expert Benjamin Wittes and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine about how these words came to be interpreted, and what they mean for the future of war and peace.

Listen to full podcast here.

Full Text of Document

More on This Topic

Op-Ed

Tensions in the House of Saud

Author: Ray Takeyh
New York Times

Ray Takeyh argues that Saudi Arabia may seem to be an island of stability in a tumultuous region, but it has problems that must not be ignored.

Article

Triumph of the New Wilsonism

Authors: Nikolas Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh
The National Interest

Nikolas Gvosdev and Ray Takeyh argue that the justifying of America's Libya campaign solely on humanitarian grounds marked a fundamental...

Op-Ed

Tehran's Domestic Discontents

Author: Ray Takeyh
International Herald Tribune

Ray Takeyh says that the reaction of Iran's opposition and its establishment figures to Washington's recent accusations that Tehran was...