Bill that Authorizes Military Force
White House Oval Office
September 18, 2001
Today I am signing Senate Joint Resolution 23, the "Authorization for Use
of Military Force."
On September 11, 2001, terrorists committed treacherous and horrific acts of
violence against innocent Americans and individuals from other countries. Civilized
nations and people around the world have expressed outrage at, and have unequivocally
condemned, these attacks. Those who plan, authorize, commit, or aid terrorist
attacks against the United States and its interests -- including those who harbor
terrorists -- threaten the national security of the United States. It is, therefore,
necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to defend
itself and protect United States citizens both at home and abroad.
In adopting this resolution in response to the latest terrorist acts committed
against the United States and the continuing threat to the United States and
its citizens from terrorist activities, both Houses of Congress have acted wisely,
decisively, and in the finest traditions of our country. I thank the leadership
of both Houses for their role in expeditiously passing this historic joint resolution.
I have had the benefit of meaningful consultations with members of the Congress
since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and I will continue to consult closely
with them as our Nation responds to this threat to our peace and security.
Senate Joint Resolution 23 recognizes the seriousness of the terrorist threat
to our Nation and the authority of the President under the Constitution to take
action to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States. In
signing this resolution, I maintain the longstanding position of the executive
branch regarding the President's constitutional authority to use force, including
the Armed Forces of the United States and regarding the constitutionality of
the War Powers Resolution.
Our whole Nation is unalterably committed to a direct, forceful, and comprehensive
response to these terrorist attacks and the scourge of terrorism directed against
the United States and its interests.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 18, 2001.