Posts Tagged ‘Authorization to Use Military Force’

Ten reasons to oppose the AUMF resolution

March 12, 2015

Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich listed 10 good reasons why Congress should not authorize President Obama to use military force against the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL).

1.  ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland.
2.  The AUMF disingenuously calls for a “limited” war, while it is written to guarantee a permanent war, thus nullifying the power of the people’s representatives in Congress.
3.  The AUMF is a blank check and a fiscal black hole.
4.  Regional armies appear to be rising to their own defense.  U.S. presence will escalate war.
5.  The U.S. could get drawn into a worldwide religious war.
6.  ISIS and Al Qaeda are divided. US re-entry into war could unite them.
7.  A solution: Follow ISIS’ money and shut it down.
8.  Another solution: Cyber response.
9.  Endless wars enable Washington to ignore a domestic agenda.
10.  The time has come for the U.S. to review the effects of interventionism.

Kucinich served in Congress 16 years. He was always an independent thinker who, in my opinion, made a lot more sense than many of his colleagues who had higher positions and bigger reputations.

In addition to refusing a new AUMF resolution, Congress should refuse to renew key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, which otherwise would expire June 1.

These two refusals would be modest but important steps toward ending perpetual war and perpetual martial law and returning the United States to the status of a normal country.

LINKS

Ten reasons to vote against the use of military force by Dennis Kucinich for Fox News.  His supporting arguments for each point are worth reading.  (Hat tip to Hal Bauer)

Tell Congress to put an expiration date on unconstitutional bulk surveillance by Demand Progress.  (Hat tip to Cannonfire)

War resolution is a trap for Congress

September 6, 2013

pew.poll.syria

Why does President Obama want authorization from Congress to attack Syria, when he claims he doesn’t need it and some administration officials say he may go ahead even without authorization?

Surely one reason is that a favorable vote will give him political cover.  Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton voted for the Bush administration’s requests for authorization to use military force against Iraq and Al Qaeda.  That made it possible for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to say that they had equal responsibility.

That same will be said by Barack Obama and Joe Biden if Elizabeth Warren or Rand Paul vote for the authorization to use force against Syria, and later criticize administration policy.  It’s a good political ploy.  Let’s hope that a majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives have as good an understanding of the situation as a majority of the American people.

(more…)

Barack Obama and the imperial Presidency

September 4, 2013

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have said that the President has authority to order an attack on Syria on his own authority.  They say he is merely consulting Congress as a favor, and would still be free to act if Congress refused to pass his resolution.

Really?

Here are the words of the United States Constitution, which Obama and Kerry swore an oath to uphold.

Article One, Section 8.  The Congress shall have power … …

      To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land or Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrection and repel Invasion; … …

Article Two, Section 2.  The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States; … …

The Founders limited the power of the President to wage war because they didn’t want the new nation to be governed like a European monarchy, where the king could go to war for personal reasons unrelated to the welfare of the people.

Time passed, and over the years Presidents expanded their power and stretched their authority.   In response, Congress in 1973 passed the War Powers Resolution.   It began as follows.

droneattackobamaThe constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to

(1) a declaration of war,

(2) specific statutory authorization, or

(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

The resolution went on to state that in cases of dire emergency, the President could initiate military action, provided that (1) he report to Congress the necessity and Constitutional authority for such action, (2) he cease action after 60 days unless given specific congressional authorization and (3) he cease action immediately if Congress so resolves.

When President George W. Bush asked Congress for authority to use military force against Al Qaeda and to force Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. resolutions on weapons of mass destruction, I thought these were justified grants of authority for specific purposes.  But the two resolutions by Congress were used by Presidents Bush and Obama as open-ended grants of power to use whatever force they thought necessary against hostile governments and individuals.  President Obama’s proposed Syria resolution is subject to being interpreted in this open-ended way.

The House of Representatives refused to vote authority for the Libyan intervention, but Obama went ahead anyway.  I hope Congress asserts its authority in this case and that the President is prudent enough to heed its words.

(more…)