It's time for Congress to renew its authorization for the use of force in the war on terror. We are fast approaching the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. For as much as changed in this country on that day, far more has changed in the years since.
The Taliban has been toppled. Saddam Hussein's reign has ended. There have been no similar attacks on our soil, though we are told attempts have been made.
Conversely, attacks on Americans abroad have increased dramatically. Globally, terrorist attacks continue to rise. Iraq teeters on the brink of civil war. Iran lurches closer to developing nuclear weapons. Islamic mistrust of the West has heightened along with Western mistrust of Islam.
Whether you believe the world is safer today or more dangerous, the world has inarguably changed. It is time for Congress to take up its mantle of responsibility and direct the president anew to combat terror at home and abroad. In giving the executive this charge, our Congress must demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law by clearly delineating the scope of the authority granted. In particular, Congress must assert our nation's commitment to human dignity: this nation does not torture, does not take hostages, and does not bar the innocent from counsel or trial. Congress must further assert our nation's commitment to freedom: this government should not listen to our phone calls or read our emails without court oversight. And, Congress must preserve the balance of powers enshrined within our Constitution. The president is bound to faithfully execute and follow all the laws of this great land, not merely those which are most expedient and convenient.