2016 Democratic Convention

Rep. Barbara Lee: I Didn't Support Libya Intervention, But I Support Hillary Clinton

The one member of Congress who voted against military force after 9/11 supports career-long hawk Hillary Clinton.

|

Rep. Lee, vote of conscience
Reason/Anthony L. Fisher

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) is perhaps best known for casting the one vote in Congress against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Afghanistan days after 9/11. For her vote of conscience, she was pilloried by a traumatized, terrified, and hyper-patriotic American populace.

She defended her bold and lonely vote on the floor of the House by arguing that "military action will not prevent further acts of terrorism against the United States." She added that she had "agonized" over the vote but felt it necessary for someone to urge "restraint." In hindsight, Rep. Lee's call for caution proved prescient, as that AUMF has been used to authorize military actions which had nothing to do with 9/11, but were instead vaguely lumped into what was once called the Global War on Terror, but which the Obama administration prefers to not define at all while it bombs countries and combatants that also had nothing to do with 9/11.

On the floor of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), I asked Rep. Lee—a Hillary Clinton supoporter—if she has any issues with Clinton's career-long track record supporting military intervention.

Of the U.S. military intervention in Libya, which many believe was a well-intentioned humanitarian mission that ultimately helped produce a failed state (and which Clinton still describes as an example of "smart power" even while President Obama calls it his greatest foreign policy "mistake") Lee makes very clear that "I did not support that." 

However, the congresswoman wanted me to know that she believes "Secretary of State Clinton's foreign policy does emphasize diplomacy and development. Where I disagree [with Clinton] is often times with the use of force."

Lee pointed to her votes against the AUMF in both Afghanistan and Iraq and added, "I've been calling for a new authorization and congressional debate on this new war footing," but said she believed in Clinton's ability to provide a "comprehensive strategy" and identify "the root causes of terrorism." She added that President Obama had submitted a new AUMF to Congress but that Congress has yet to put it up for a vote. 

Watch Lee's speech from 9/14/01 below:

NEXT: What Cory Booker Gets Wrong About Tolerance and Love

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hillary has only ever endorsed one strategy to go after terrorism. And she’s advocated it over and over again no matter what results she got last time.

    But it’s about shilling, not reality. Why even bother pointing it out?

  2. You could pile up all the dead black Africans from the Libyan genocide and Democrats would happily crawl to the top of those bodies if free birth control is up there.

    1. all the dead black Africans from the Libyan genocide

      are you the same guy who said that Avatar had a great ‘message’?

      1. Huh? Just mentioning that Hillarys freedom fighters were engaging in a whole lot of ethnic cleansing. And Hillary’s emails show she knew it. But that’s not racism, that’s just policy.

        1. a whole lot of ethnic cleansing

          show me the casualty figures

          1. Well, a city of 10,000 mostly black residents no longer exist though you are right, there wasn’t very good census data during the Libyan war.. are you just hillary die hard or the type that cheers for jihadists in Libya and Syria?

            1. are you just hillary die hard or the type that cheers for jihadists in Libya and Syria?

              i read war history as a hobby

        2. the only thing i recall ever being cited was a single city (Tawergha) which was mostly depopulated; but most of those were simply driven off elsewhere, and others either joined different rebel groups, and some might have been murdered. Not quite a ‘genocide’

          1. I think it is fairly well reported the rebels were just using black as proxy for regime supporter and killing and detaining on sight. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/…..upported-t

            1. “it is fairly well reported” is a way of saying =

              “no one really knows anything for sure, but these rumors have been actively recirculated in the media long enough that they seem credible”

              i just think using the term “genocide” is hyperbolic, has little actual facts to support it aside from a range of anecdotes about racist militias, and the clearing of the one city mentioned.

              Of course hillary and sid would worry themselves sick about the ‘media perception’ of that sort of thing. Because its was potentially politically-damaging doesn’t make it into Darfur v.2.0.

            2. It’s so well reported that you’re actually using ZeroHedge as a source.

              1. +1 Market Crash tommorrow

  3. Shorter Barbara Lee: Hillary has a D next to her name and that’s all that matters. The rest is filler; I don’t care that she’s been a proponent of the war machine I take about despising. She’s a Dem. Nothing. Else. Matters.”

  4. Where I disagree [with Clinton] is often times with the use of force.

    She fine when she isn’t killing. This reminds me of how welfare state advocates whine about overbearing police, yet advocate having your money forcibly taken to fund the programs. What’s crazy is that Libya basically did have its hands up while saying, “Don’t shoot!”.

    1. No kidding. Liberals try to justify it saying the Libyans were doing it all on their own. I guess that makes Dennis Kucinich and the joint chiefs of staff a bunch of dummies to reach out to ghaddifys son to try to stop the whole thing. Seriously, the joint chiefs and Kucinich were aligned trying to stop Hillary’s insanity.

  5. For her vote of conscience, she was pilloried by a traumatized, terrified, and hyper-patriotic American populace.

    What?

  6. “For her vote of conscience, she was pilloried by a traumatized, terrified, and hyper-patriotic American populace.”

    And rightly so. It is the USG’s job to defend the US populace from terrorists like AQ. Her vote was an abdication of that duty. She should have been hounded out of office.

    1. And what’s your job? Hall monitor?

  7. That’s funny, I thought Barbara Lee was best known for her unstinting admiration for Fidel Castro.

    1. But when he does militarism, it’s ok.

    2. I thought she was best known for stupidity and incompetence?

      1. Well, yeah, her stupidity being exemplified by her love for Fidel and his giant open air prison

  8. I have a conscience when it is convenient and inconsequential

    don’t give me this bullshit about being “pilloried”. she got re-elected, no?

  9. OT: are people around here stupid enough to think that the DNC email dump ‘proves’ that the DNC actually stole the election from Bernie? Because if you think that, then you’re really stupid.

    1. Sanders lost on delegates even before the superdelegates are factored in. He was behind from the start and stayed that way throughout the race. I don’t think the DNC “stole” the election from him.

      But I also have no doubt that the DNC was in the tank for Hillary, with Wasserman-Schultz leading the charge. The dearth of opposition to her and the superdelegate bias already hinted that way; the emails only add more evidence.

      I highly doubt an unreformed socialist like Sanders could have won the Democratic primary under normal circumstances. But there were enough crossover votes for Trump in the GOP primary that it’s possible, if the DNC had swung the other way, he could have won the popular vote and delegate count. But he would then go on to a crushing defeat in the general election, and the DNC insiders are not stupid enough to encourage such an outcome. Better to throw some planks in the platform and some talking points on Clinton’s web site than to put a sincere believer forward.

  10. There’s some dude in Turkey named Recep Tayyip Erdo?an who seems to be in the process of torture-killing dissidents.

    [T]he July 20 plot failed when the bomb didn’t kill Hitler. As the members of the coup were rounded up, Hitler ordered some of the conspirators shot and others killed by hanging with piano wire. The worst execution was reserved for the brother of one of the conspirators. Just before death, Berthold von Stauffenberg was resuscitated and then hung again, over and over. To top it all off, Hitler ordered the other hangings and the torture-execution to be filmed so he could watch at his convenience.

    And then we have this sentence from Anthony L. Fisher: “For her vote of conscience, she was pilloried by a traumatized, terrified, and hyper-patriotic American populace.”

  11. Rep Lee:
    “A vagina is more important that principles!”

    1. Well, she is not wrong.

      1. She certainly is not the first person to compromise principles over vagina.

  12. Russian diplomat suggests tin foil hats for Shrill and company:
    “The Latest: Russian diplomat scoffs at DNC hack allegations”
    […]
    “Russia’s top diplomat is declining to fully comment on allegations that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails.
    Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR’-gay LAHV’-rahf) is suggesting a proper response would involve vulgar language.
    Lavrov was about the allegations as he began a meeting on Tuesday in Laos with Secretary of State John Kerry.
    Lavrov answered in English: “Well, I don’t want to use four-letter words.””
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol…..406685.php

    It is rare that a Russian diplomat’s statements should be taken as face value, but in this case, the guy must be compared to the Shrill liars and Kerry. I’m going with the Russkie; he doesn’t need the tin foil.

  13. Ba Ba Ba, Ba Ba, Ba, Barbara Leeyeeeeyeeeee!!!!

  14. I don’t see any mistakes in authorizing “military action” against AFG, which harbored terrorists and bases of operation. The hunt for Bin Laden lasted until the Obama era. The nation had been just attacked.

    In hindsight, long term occupation was probably a bad idea. The insurgents fought back everywhere. We probably should have stuck to air strikes and hits on high value targets. Or some other strategy.

    At any rate, it’s hard for her earn brownie points for voting against military action when she just sort of stood silent when Obama was sending guns to rebels and blowing up parts of the middle east. Bernie Sanders voted against the war and pretends radical Islam doesn’t exist, but as president, would he go all Ron Paul on us? Nah.

  15. Never let consistency get in the way of crowing Queen Hillary the war monger and supporter of the racist drug war.

  16. So is the author actually praising this dimwit for voting against what was arguably the most legitimate use of military force since WWII?

    I agree that the AUMF has been seriously misused over the last few years, but the government of Afghanistan was harboring the leader of a group, and provided training and support to that group, that literally declared war on our country, and then committed war crimes (9/11).

    Then, this same dimwit turns around and tells us that Hillary’s foreign policy emphasizes diplomacy? I start to wonder if Lee actually struggles with cognitive dissonance, but then realize she really is stupid enough, and possesses such a lack of self-awareness that it isn’t even an issue.

  17. I’ve made 23,000usd so far this year w0rking 0nline and I’m a full time student. I’m using an 0nline business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great m0ney. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it….

    +++ http://www.Alpha-Careers.com

  18. Legal experts have suggested that if Congress has the power to require individuals to buy health care insurance, it may also mandate that Americans buy broccoli. Legal experts have suggested that if Congress has the power to require individuals to buy health care insurance, it may also mandate that Americans buy broccoli. Legal experts have suggested that if Congress has the power to require individuals to buy health care insurance, it may also mandate that Americans buy broccoli. – – – – – ????? ???????????? ???????

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.