President Obama is now using Donald Trump to raise awareness about the same executive power he has been abusing for the last 8 years—Yes. Really.
Obama released a 61-page report on Monday, as the result of a presidential memorandum he issued to prepare the next president for “key legal and policy frameworks that currently guide the United States’ use of military force and related national security operations.”
The purpose of the report appears to be a set of guidelines for the next president. However, in reality, it serves as a reminder of the hypocritical actions that have become pillars of the Obama administration.
For example, when discussing the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force that was granted following 9/11, the report makes it sound as its purpose was solely to eliminate al-Qaeda and the Taliban, i.e. the organizations it claimed “planned, authorized, committed, [and] aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”
However, the report then goes on to list all of the ways that same AUMF has been used as a “blank check” to support desired military action in the Middle East. This includes the justification for going after the Islamic State, which was formed after Sept. 11, 2001.
Not only will Trump inherit the same endless war Obama inherited from Bush—just with different militants—but Trump will also inherit Obama’s drone program. This program comes with military action used by Obama in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
It’s not just presidential war powers… While Obama has not issued as many executive orders as Bill Clinton, he has signed nearly 50 percent more presidential memoranda than the last Democrat in office. When looking at both executive orders and presidential memoranda, Obama has used more executive power than any other president since Harry Truman’s “Do Nothing Congress” in the 1940s.
If Obama is worried about Trump having too much power when he is in office, then it is Obama’s fault. If he truly cared about the American people, he would have spent his time as president setting the standard. Instead, he spent it looking for loopholes and searching for ways to expand executive power, and now we get to live with the results.