A misunderstanding is leading to a good argument, that the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment sucks, being argued with bad facts. In essence, the argument goes that this language:
that the United States should designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists…
triggers the September 18, 2001 AUMF. It does not. Let’s check the text:
SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) IN GENERAL- 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, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
Nowhere is there a finding that Iran was involved in the 9/11 attacks. No one can credibly argue that they were (after all, Saddam was behind 9/11 . . .)
Nothing in the Iran Amendment passed today authorizes the use of force (nor would it even if it was NOT a nonbinding “sense of the Senate” resolution.)
But what are the effects of having the IRG declared “Specially Designated Global Terrorists?” Let’s consider that question on the flip.
There are three consequences for a group that is designated an FTO:
— Any member who knowingly provides “material support or resources,” which includes financial assistance, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documents or fake identification, communications equipment, weapons, or transportation, can be prosecuted in U.S. courts.
— Any representatives or members of a designated FTO can be denied admission to the United States, or, if already in the country can face deportation.
— And, any financial institution that becomes aware of the fact that it is holding funds from a designated FTO or its agents must freeze the funds and report the action immediately to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The missing consequence? Attacking them.
So let’s keep our facts straight when we argue why this Amendment is horrible. One of them is NOT that the Congress is authorizing the use of force against Iran. And let us also be clear that the Bush Administration ALREADY has the power to designate the IRG as a foreign terrorist organization.
In other words, let’s keep it real.