CNS News Eleven years later, President Obama has quietly extended the national emergency declaration first issued by former President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
The declaration, which has to be reissued each year, invokes several war-time powers that give the president greater control of the military. Obama cited the continuing threat of a terrorist attack in justifying his decision to continue the now 11-year national emergency.
“The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2012, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat,” Obama said September 11.
Despite the winding-down of the war in Afghanistan – originally launched in 2001 in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks – Obama has again granted himself special war-time powers by declaring that a national emergency still exists because of the attacks of 11 years ago.
Under federal law, a national emergency declaration lasts for only one year, meaning that the 9/11 national emergency has now been re-declared 10 times.
The powers re-invoked by President Obama all relate to the military and include the ability to suspend retirements and separations of military personnel, recall the Ready Reserve, activate recently-retired Coast Guard officers and personnel, and prohibit or regulate financial transactions with foreign entities involved in terrorism.