Published On: Tue, Oct 24th, 2017

Barbara Lee: ‘Members of Congress did not even know’ there were troops in Niger

Americans may be scratching their heads over the recent news from Washington as senior senators in both parties, including Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), said on Sunday that they were unaware of the size of the U.S. military presence in Niger, though the White House formally notified the Hill about troops in Niger in June.
California Rep. Barbara Lee stated that “Many Members of Congress did not even know that we had a thousand soldiers in Niger,” during her interview yesterday. “It’s our job to authorize the use of force”

Boko Haram terrorists photo AK Rockefeller via Flickr

“…we need a thorough investigation. But also, Chris, one of the issues I’ve been dealing with for the last 16 years is repealing the 2001 authorization to use force, and debating these new wars that we’re in and forcing Congress to vote, yes or no. Many members of Congress did not even know that we had a thousand soldiers in Niger. We don’t know where this administration has sent our brave young men and women. So it’s about time that Congress stop being missing in action and do its job. It’s our job to authorize the use of force. And, again, we’ve been missing in action. I tried to, you know, repeal this with bipartisan support this year. Unfortunately, Speaker Ryan once again undemocratically stopped the bipartisan effort to repeal the 2001 authorization.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters Monday that he and the Armed Services panel’s top Democrat, Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, are working on a proposal to update the broad war powers Congress gave the commander in chief after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“We’re going to have to have” an updated authorization for the use of military force, said McCain, adding that “we expect more information” about the deadly battle which left four officers dead. “We are getting some cooperation and information — which we were not getting before.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) attempted to add a repeal of the 2001 and 2002 war authorizations to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act, but it was rebuffed by the Senate.

One of the Democratic senators who voted to table Paul’s repeal proposal, however, suggested on Monday that he is now open to a new war powers vote.

“This should be a debate on the Senate floor,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) told CNN. “At least for a couple of weeks or a number of days. And then have a vote at the end of it.”

Video clip HERE

U.S. troops were stationed in Niger, working with local authorities to thwart Islamic State in the region, particularly Boko Haram based out of Nigeria.

Rand Paul on Senate floor/Video Screen Shot

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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