U.N. investigators say U.S.-led bombing has killed 300 Syrian civilians over the last three months in the city of Raqqa. A U.S.-led bombing campaign in Mosul has also reportedly killed dozens of Iraqi civilians over the last week alone. For more, we speak with Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California. In 2001, she was the lone vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force after the September 11 attacks.
REP. BARBARA LEE: It’s a continuation of the authorization that, unfortunately, was a blank check, that I voted against in 2001. This president needs to come to Congress. We need a debate. We need to vote up or down on a new strategy. We don’t know what this new strategy is. We don’t know what is taking place. Congress has the responsibility to authorize the use of force. This president has not come for that, and yet he continues to expand these wars. The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in American history, 16 years. And so, at what point will the country say enough is enough, and insist the president come back to Congress for authorization?
I have a bill to repeal the 2001 authorization. We should vote that up. We should vote it out, actually. You know, I have Republican support for that bill. We have legislation to stop the funding for these wars that are unauthorized. And so, Congress is missing in action. What they are doing at this point is hard to determine. It seems like he’s outsourced this to the secretary of defense. And the president continues to—on this footing that creates more havoc and chaos and that has no strategy. And so more civilians are being killed, and we need to really understand what the costs and consequences of these wars, and minimally require a debate and a vote, so that we can have—so the American people, at least, can know what the strategy is and what it’s going to cost.