PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.
Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.
This became clear when White House officials briefed reporters before Mr. Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday evening. They said a war against ISIS was justified by Congress’s authorization of force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that no new approval was needed.
But the 2001 authorization for the use of military force does not apply here. That resolution — scaled back from what Mr. Bush initially wanted — extended only to nations and organizations that “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks.
Mr. Obama is rightly proud of his success in killing Osama bin Laden in 2011 and dismantling the Qaeda network he built up. But it’s preposterous to suggest that a congressional vote 13 years ago can be used to legalize new bombings in Syria and additional (noncombat) forces in Iraq. In justifying earlier bombing campaigns in Yemen and Somalia, the administration’s lawyers claimed that the 2001 authorization covered terrorist groups that did not even exist back then. They said it sufficed to show that these groups were “affiliated” with Al Qaeda.
Even this was a big stretch, and it is not big enough to encompass the war on ISIS. Not only was ISIS created long after 2001, but Al Qaeda publiclydisavowed it earlier this year. It is Al Qaeda’s competitor, not its affiliate.
Mr. Obama may rightly be frustrated by gridlock in Washington, but his assault on the rule of law is a devastating setback for our constitutional order. His refusal even to ask the Justice Department to provide a formal legal pretext for the war on ISIS is astonishing.
Since ISIS poses a new problem for the president, the War Powers Resolution of 1973 requires him to seek a new mandate from Congress. The resolution, enacted over President Richard M. Nixon’s veto at the end of the Vietnam War, requires the president to obtain congressional assent within 60 days of commencing “hostilities”; if he fails, he must withdraw American forces within 30 days.
The administration gave Congress the requisite notice on Aug. 8 that it hadbegun bombing ISIS, and so the time for obtaining approval runs out on Oct. 7. But Mr. Obama and his lawyers haven’t even mentioned the War Powers Resolution in announcing the new offensive against ISIS — there is no indication that he intends to comply with this deadline.
Mr. Obama’s defenders may point to the precedent set by Bill Clinton, who continued the NATO-led bombing of Kosovo in 1999 beyond the 60-day limit without congressional assent. But Mr. Clinton halted the campaignbefore the 30-day withdrawal period ended.
In 2011, when Mr. Obama continued to bomb Libya after the 60-day limit, his lawyers argued that America’s supporting role in the NATO campaign was not substantial enough to quality as “hostilities” under the 1973 resolution. This claim provoked howls in Congress and the legal community, but the death of the Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, took the steam out of the debate before it could be resolved.
Really? Lying to Congress and the American public about WMD in Iraq which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands? Gimme a break.
As always, you are an idiot, spouting repeatedly disproven lies because you do not have the cognitive capacity of a dessicated mushroom. In recognition of just how much of a complete idiot you always are with your inane garbage – , 11 Ways You Know Your Country is Run By Idiots http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-09/11-ways-you-know-you-live-country-run-idiots
@Pete#2 – I am not sure you are aware of it…but, we live in a country run by IDIOTS.
Your buddy up there – thisone – for whatever pathetic reason continually wants to insert untruths and continually eludes to, no, pretty much comes right out and says that ‘we’ are somehow delusional when it comes to stating ‘fact’ that terrorists are in this country. Just the other day thisone made a comment to that effect, and even inserted links trying to somehow prove us wrong….
I hope he chokes on this story…I have not heard this administration comment about this…crickets from Holder and Obama and everyone else who should be deadly concerned about this….the link is at the end for the full story….
West Orange Shooting
“NEW YORK CITY — A New York radio personality is calling for increased attention to the June murder of a 19-year-old Livingston man, calling it evidence that “domestic terrorism is already here.”
Todd Pettengill, host of WPLJ’s “The Todd Show”, discussed the death of Brendan Tevlin for more than eight minutes this morning, asking why the case has not received more attention despite the alleged murderer’s admissions that he killed Tevlin as an act of vengeance for U.S. military actions in the Middle East.
Thisone and people like him need to wise up.
Clueless again today. You never evolve or learn anything. You are a static clueless one. Your posts only convince others here of that and nothing else. That should be your first clue. I felt charitable and gave you one. Am I throwing pearls before swine?