In Line For Senior Job at State, Sanders Aide Accuses Biden of Illegal Military Action

‘Congress has not authorized war in Syria,’ says Matt Duss

Matt Duss / YouTube screenshot
February 26, 2021

A top aide for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) who is reportedly in line to join the Biden administration took to Twitter Friday morning to assail the administration’s surprise airstrike in Syria by U.S. forces, the first military action in the war-torn country authorized by President Joe Biden.

Matt Duss, a Sanders aide who has established himself as a leading anti-Israel activist on the left, wrote that "Congress has not authorized war in Syria," echoing criticism from many on the left who see the military strike on Syria-based Iranian militias as an illegal and unconstitutional act of war by the Biden administration.

The remark, one of several criticisms leveled by far-left foreign policy observers, comes as Duss is reportedly in line for a job at Biden's State Department. While his rumored hiring has garnered praise from the Democratic Party’s left flank, it is unusual for prospective hires to accuse their prospective employers of war crimes.

It is not the first time Duss has criticized the president—last year he accused Biden "of undermining [former president Barack] Obama's peace effort" between the Israelis and Palestinians, saying that Biden's pro-Israel approach "has been wholly discredited by the last three years."

It remains unclear what position Duss is in consideration for at the State Department. He is one of more than 100 hundred hires the progressive community is championing for jobs in the Democratic administration in hopes of pushing the State Department further left on foreign policy issues. In addition to his anti-war advocacy, Duss is a longtime critic of the U.S. alliance with Israel and has pushed to limit cooperation between America and the Middle East’s sole democracy.

Duss did not return a request for comment from the Washington Free Beacon.

Duss is not alone in opposing U.S. strikes on terrorist positions in Syria. White House press secretary Jen Psaki questioned the legitimacy of such operations in 2017, when the Trump administration authorized similar military operations against Iranian-linked forces. Vice President Kamala Harris also referred to U.S. military strikes in Syria as illegal in 2018, saying the Trump administration should not be permitted to conduct attacks without congressional approval.