A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER the 9/11 attack, while bodies were still buried in the rubble, George W. Bush demanded from Congress the legal authorization to use military force against those responsible for the attack, which everyone understood would start with an invasion of Afghanistan. The resulting resolution that was immediately cooked up was both vague and broad, providing that “the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”
Despite this broadness, or because of it, the House of Representatives on September 14 approved the resolution by a vote of 420-1. The Senate approved it the same day by a vote of 98-0. The lone dissenting vote was Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who — three days after the 9/11 attack, in a climate of virtually full-scale homogeneity — not only voted “no” but stood up on the House floor to deliver this eloquent, unflinching and, as it turns out, extremely prescient explanation for her opposition:
Text by Glenn Greenwald writing for The Intercept.
Barbara Jean Lee (born 1946) is the U.S. Representative for California’s 13th congressional district, serving East Bay voters from 1998 to 2013 during a time when the region was designated California’s 9th congressional district. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She was the first woman to represent the 9th district and is also the first woman to represent the 13th district. Lee was the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and was the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Lee is notable as the only member of either house of Congress to vote against the authorization of use of force following the September 11, 2001 attacks. This made her a hero among many in the anti-war movement. Lee has been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq and supports legislation creating a Department of Peace.
Biography from Wikipedia.