Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 29, 2014

Obama to Congress: Constitution Gives Me Authority to Send Troops to Iraq (Updated)

obama062614 445x266 Obama to Congress: Constitution Gives Me Authority to Send Troops to Iraq (Updated)

(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 6:40 p.m. | President Barack Obama told Congress Thursday that he has the authority on his own to send troops to Iraq indefinitely under the Constitution.

“These forces will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed,” Obama told lawmakers of his decision to send 300 military advisers there.

“This action is being undertaken in coordination with the Government of Iraq and has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Obama wrote in a letter to Congress.

Obama does not use either the 2001 authorization to use military force (AUMF) after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks nor does he cite the 2002 Iraq AUMF as justification. Both acts of Congress remain in effect today because they have no expiration date and have not been repealed.

Some lawmakers, including Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., have contended that Obama must get the approval of Congress before launching strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Obama has only said that he is “prepared” to launch strikes but has not yet committed to doing so.

After a meeting with Obama last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Obama asserted he already has the authority to act on his own in Iraq and doesn’t need their permission. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also said following that meeting that Obama has the authority to act militarily. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., quoted Obama saying he is not currently considering actions that would require Congressional approval but would consult with Congress if that changed.

The administration itself has not clarified whether Obama believes he can launch strikes against ISIL without a new authorization from Congress, but has supported repealing the 2002 Iraq authorization to use military force.

Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, noted the president has said he will consult closely with Congress, in an email.

“He has not taken a decision to undertake military action; should he do so, then we can talk about whether additional approvals or authorities might apply,” she said.

Here is the full text of his letter:

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

As I reported on June 16, 2014, U.S. Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

I have since ordered further measures in response to the situation in Iraq. Specifically, as I announced publicly on June 19, I have ordered increased intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance that is focused on the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). I also ordered up to approximately 300 additional U.S. Armed Forces personnel in Iraq to assess how we can best train, advise, and support Iraqi security forces and to establish joint operations centers with Iraqi security forces to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the threat posed by ISIL. Some of these personnel were already in Iraq as part of the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation, and others began deploying into Iraq on June 24. These forces will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed.

TEXT OF A TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

This action is being undertaken in coordination with the Government of Iraq and has been directed consistent with responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.

I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in these actions.

Sincerely, BARACK OBAMA

 

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  • Yonatan YONATAN

    Has the government forgotten about the three million unemployed workers, and their families, STILL WITHOUT an extension of unemployment benefits since last December? While Billions of tax payers dollars are sent to the Ukraine in an aid package, more and more of these unemployed continue to sink into financial ruin. How can our government send our sons & daughters off to war, but not help their unemployed loved ones back at home? The republican senate has failed these millions of voters, and their families. These Americans have lost all trust and hope and respect for the government because of this lack of compassion, and common decency

    • LastOne23

      This President has failed these millions of voters and their families. He has done nothing to increase good, quality jobs in America. More people have given up on finding a job – leading to false reports of decreases in Unemployment levels because when you quit looking for a job you are not counted in the unemployed count. You and your family still suffers.

      • Mary Sassin

        With all the obstruction from the republican congress, every jobs bill, funding for infrastructures..anything that would help the average American, each and every time rejected by republican congress

        • LastOne23

          Dems need to quit tying every bill to immigrants (their new voting block)

    • Barristers Inn

      Yes, the administration has thrown the unemployed under the bus. BTW, the senate is the Democratic majority! (for now) The obligation of this moronic Pres. is to create jobs. He has it all backwards, he thinks he suppose to kill jobs, so that is what he is doing!. Then the equally evil Dem.s back him up and they get together and say let’s give them food stamps & extend unemployment benefits and say the Rep. don’t care about you but we do, here are some more food stamps. In the mean time, Pres. B.Hussein Obama takes excursions across the country to play golf which cost taxpayers $200,000 each way. Flies chefs in to the WH for dinner and does nothing to help veterans but instead cuts the benefits they were promised when they joined the military! Now he wants to look like the good guy saving children when in fact he is the very reason many of the ones who don’t show up at the border are KILLED! He is using these children to cover his incompetence. He CARES NOTHING ABOUT YOU OR THESE CHILDREN OR THE VETERANS OR THE MILITARY OR JOE BLOW MAINSTREET IF THEY GET A JOB OR NOT…AND DON’T FORGET BIRTH CONTROL PILLS!

  • pitch1934

    This guy is starting to worry me.

    • darrell_b8

      STARTING !!! where the f-+- you been for the last SIX years?? under a ROCK????

  • HongryHawg

    It’s a good thing I’m not in the military. Unless there was a proven direct threat to the homeland, I would NOT go to the sandbox to die to appease the politicians, like 50K plus did in VietNam. I hope our military has more sense than we did. Blind obedience to this Punk posing as CIC will only result in many grieving parents, FOR NOTHING.

    • wanda jefferson

      totaly agree with you

    • Nicko Thime

      So you agree with Bergdahl?
      How about those 4500 soldiers who died in Bush’s fabricated war which he pursued after he failed to protect the country, allowing 3000 to die in NYC. Reading what you say, I can state, as a Purple Heart Combat vet, that I am GLAD you are not in the military.
      We need quality people who don’t allow their personal politics to get in the way of their duty.

      • HongryHawg

        Your “duty” does not include dying and leaving your family in misery for a shortlived political motive. When that politician is gone from office, you will still be dead. Just because you are willing to throw your life away because some scum wannabe says you should doesn’t mean all who don’t think your way are necessarily traitors. They are just smarter and have their priorities straight. The Punk trash pretending to be a real CIC loves people like you that will die at the snap of his treasonous fingers. On the other hand, if the “danger” was one that was real, even patriot civilians would be lining up to fight. And screw Bergdahl. This is a apples to oranges comparison.

        • Nicko Thime

          Sure it does. EVERY soldier who serves serves under exactly that expectation or they shouldn’t be there. We have. It is obvious that you have avoided serving.

          • LastOne23

            “Avoided serving?” – Come on. Most Americans didn’t serve. That doesn’t make them any less patriotic. There have been times in our country when the draft was a lottery draft, when troops were being pulled from Viet Nam cause the war was over – i.e. when our country was in a time of peace and the need for people in the service was less so people went to college, got married, whatever. Those are just facts.

          • HongryHawg

            I did serve as cannon fodder. Fortunately, I was spared but know many who weren’t. I know what I’m talking about. Apparently, you don’t. Had you seen what I have seen, you wouldn’t be so cocky and faux gung ho. And how dare you speak for EVERY soldier. Trust me; they aren’t all as ignorant as you.

          • Nicko Thime

            GFY.

            PURPLE HEART. CIB w wreath.

            NO politics exist on the battlefield and every soldier serves at the PLEASURE of the President.
            That’s how little you know.

          • HongryHawg

            And that’s how little you know. Semper Fi, AO! Over and out.

      • LastOne23

        How do you blame Bush for NYC? That is insane. Why is it not your fault, or mine, if it’s Bush’s fault? No one saw that coming. We didn’t even no what al-Qaida was before that. Don’t forget recent history.

        • Nicko Thime

          HE ignored FORTY URGENT WARNINGS.
          That’s how.
          He was warned about Al Q by Clinton’s folks.
          YOU appear to be 100% uninformed.

          • LastOne23

            Well, post the link to the 40. Then we’ll talk about Clinton not stopping this in Tora Bora when he had the chance.

    • LastOne23

      Did you forget 9-11? A jumping off point, training ground in Afghanistan and now another being formed in a new State in Iraq and Syria. Yes, we need to address this BEFORE it is established. Not AFTER more buildings fall, more Americans die on our own turf.

  • http://americansforpetraeus2012.org JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    Did he act correctly in the Bergdahl swap ? If the majority of the people want him leading the government, that’s fine. As long as it is constitutionally. Has he done this completely ? No.

    • cactuspie

      Kinda like that feller’ before him.

  • PasoFinoCA

    CONTROL FREAK OUTTA CONTROL ADMINISTRATION.
    Smug, arrogant, careless…I know high school students who could manage the country better than this foolish sloppy crowd.

    • Nicko Thime

      No you don’t.That’s your ideology running its fat yapper

      • PasoFinoCA

        So it’s okay with you for the IRS to ask your club or group for all your correspondence, content of all your speeches or those of your guest speakers, what books you read and and lists of your donors? And it’s okay with you for the IRS to share your private tax information with other federal agencies and send it to other groups?

        Its okay with you to deny embassies security protection when they ask for it and warn of impending violent problems? Its okay to deny military assistance to an embassy under attack?
        It’s okay for the President and Secretary of State to like to parents of victims of an embassy attack?

        And it is perfectly fine with you for the federal government (EPA) to provide the home addresses and phone numbers of 50,000 farmers and ranchers (who oppose certain EPA actions) to radical green groups so that the farmers and ranchers can be targeted for harrassment?

        And it’s okay with you for federal agencies to destroy records and correspondence, stonewall congress and refuse to provide information requested by Congressional committees when wrong-doing is discovered?

        And hunky dorry for the federal government not to have a National Energy Plan, but okay to arbitarily impose regulations on utilities which close down power plants and mines putting hundreds of thousands out of work ….destroy local economies?

        And it’s okay with you that 50,000were slaughtered in Syria but it wasn’t important enough to do anything for four years…now suddenly it’s okay to send arms to “rebel” groups in Syria? Rebel groups who may look a lot like the “rebel”groups we gave arms to in Libya?

        Of course it’s okay with you that NOAA fudges temperature date with “computer model” data to attempt to prove a theory that has been proven false over the last 15 years (Earth has been cooling for over 15 years)? (Yes Climate changes, all the time, it’s called Nature) http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2014/02/24/the-period-of-no-global-warming-will-soon-be-longer-than-the-period-of-actual-global-warming/

        i know a dozen high school students whose ethics, common sense, rational thinking, and management abilities are far better than the sloppy crowd in this Administration.

      • PasoFinoCA

        And here is another lie on the part of the Federal Government and iT’s ideology you so admire. They knew the aliens were coming. In JANUARY DHS put out and RFQ for ESCORT SERVICES FOR UNACCOMPANIED ALIENT MINORS.

        Procurement Type:
        Request for Information (RFI)/Sources Sought
        Title:
        Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children
        Classification Code:
        V- Transportation/Travel/Relocation
        NAICS code:
        561612Primary POC:
        Rachel Ali, Contract Specialist/ Rachel.Ali@ice.dhs.gov
        Secondary POC:
        Tony Ross, Contracting Officer/ Tony.Ross@ice.dhs.gov
        A. Introduction

        U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),
        has a continuing and mission critical responsibility for accepting custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies and
        transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters
        located throughout the continental United States. ICE is seeking the services of a responsible vendor that shares the
        philosophy of treating all UAC with dignity and respect, while adhering to
        standard operating procedures and policies that allow for an effective, efficient,
        and incident free transport. The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management,
        supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing,
        equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for
        non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17
        years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year. Transport will be
        required for either category of UAC or individual juveniles, to include both
        male and female juveniles. There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25%
        local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air. Escort services include, but are not limited
        to, assisting with: transferring physical custody of UAC from DHS to Health and
        Human Services (HHS) care via ground or air methods of transportation (charter
        or commercial carrier), property inventory, providing juveniles with meals,
        drafting reports, generating transport documents, maintaining/stocking daily
        supplies, providing and issuing clothing as needed, coordinating with DHS and
        HHS staff, travel coordination, limited stationary guard services to
        accommodate for trip disruptions due to inclement weather, faulty equipment, or
        other exigent circumstances. In emergency situations, the Contractor shall be
        called on to provide temporary shelter locations (such as trailers) with shower
        facilities for juveniles who are pending placement with HHS when bed space is
        unavailable nationwide for extended periods of time. The Contractor shall
        provide temporary guard services and other support as necessary during these
        emergencies.

        In
        addition, the Contractor shall have personnel who are able to communicate with
        juveniles in their own designated language(s).
        While this may not require each employee to be fluent in all of the
        encountered languages, personnel should have access to and knowledge of
        translation services.

        B. ICE Standards/Special Requirements

        The contractor is required to perform in
        accordance with the ICE Performance Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS
        2011), all ICE policies related to the transportation of juveniles (see the ICE
        Family Residential Standards at http://www.ice.gov/detention-standards/family-residential/) as well as the Flores Settlement Agreement, the Trafficking Victims
        Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, and the Homeland Security Act of 2002. In cases where other
        standards conflict with DHS/ICE Policy or Standards, DHS/ICE Policy and
        Standards will prevail. ICE Inspectors
        will conduct periodic inspections to assure compliance of the aforementioned

        • Nicko Thime

          So you are whining about them having prepared for a possibility?
          If Obama walked on water, you’d be whining that he couldn’t swim.
          I hope he comes out in favor of oxygen.

          • PasoFinoCA

            You are as comprehensively stupid as anyone i have every seen posting. Dear “Nicko” or “Nickie” as you call yourself on other sites, if the RFI by DHS went out in January, then they started to prepare it in 2013, and typically it takes 60 to 90 days to get a RIF prepared and approved. That means that in Third Quarter 2013 the federal government could have taken steps to ADVERTISE in Latin America NOT TO COME. If you had the ability and discipline to read the RIF you will note that they had already determined that these 45,000 illegal alien minors were “refugees”. This influx was preventable….and now we have border towns being bankrupted, public health endangered, and a criminal morass created by none other than the Obama Administration……because they refused (beginning six years ago) to enforce laws, rules and regulations and secure the Border.

          • Nicko Thime

            Advertising not to come? Yeah, that’ll stop it.
            No wonder Bobby Jindal calls you the party of stupid. You confirm it every day.

  • Robin Cohen

    I voted for this fool and I have regretted it many times although I also know Romney would have been just as stupid about unnecessary military involvements.
    It infuriates me that we have wasted so much manpower and money defending worthless countries because of Presidents whose priorities are screwed up and who know NOTHING about the real costs of war. Unfortunately the next President will be just as stupid, judging by the presumed list of contenders.

    • Nicko Thime

      Obama got stuck with it by the last guy, no matter how much you try to avoid that fact.

      • LastOne23

        Obama was “stuck with it by the last guy” and by Hillary, Harry Reid, Joe Biden and Democrats, all intel from around the world – all supported the war. It’s a fact…..how soon the liberals forget this and BLAME BUSH – next we’ll all be called racists!

        • pm1

          Right. Except Hillary, Harry, and every other Democrat in the country didn’t order the bombing, occupation, and war in Iraq. (R)- BUSH DID! Own that. Wear that. Suck on that.

          • LastOne23

            that is exactly who ordered it – our Congress. The President cannot. Unless of course your name is Obama.

          • Nicko Thime

            The MAJORITY of congressional democrats voted against it, while ONLY 7 Congressional republicans voted against it. If wingnuts didn’t have false equivalency, they wouldn’t be able to count.

        • Robin Cohen

          The war in Iraq has continued under a new name and we are getting involved AGAIN. Afghanistan still rages and we will still be there for some time to come. Bush started it but Obama shows no signs of ending it. Both ignorant men who know nothing of the reality of war.

          • LastOne23

            My job is to get the civlian support off of the Military bases in Afghanistan and the troops will leave shortly after us. It will end very soon – months. They flew planes into buildings in New York because they had training grounds set up in AFghanistan. Now, they are setting them up in Syria and Western Iraq. – Are you sure we shouldn’t be involved; at least in some way?

          • Robin Cohen

            I’m not sure what we can accomplish that is worth the cost in lives and money. Every war since Vietnam has been a waste of resources and time and I have 0 confidence the Obama will get it right this time. We are now back in Libya as well. This country has lost so much because of it’s ignorant leaders. What would we gain this time that we simply MUST achieve and where is the rest of the world on this? I, for one, am bloody tired of constant wars with no good results.

          • LastOne23

            I do think the entire world needs to come together to squash this. Their mission is to kill those who do not share their beliefs. Do we just wait on more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil or do we protect American civilians by taking the fight to them?
            I would prefer NOT to engage while Obama is our President. He hasn’t followed through on anything that I can see.

          • Robin Cohen

            Both Obama and Bush are idiots and, I suspect the next President may be one also given the fact that money determines the election. I live in the tri-state metropolitan area and have vivid memories of 9/11, however, I do not support any idea of the US sticking it’s neck out while other countries do zilch. My concern is that this religious war is like a Hydra. chop off one head and another one pops up. Only a counter offensive on a massive scale will accomplish anything that lasts. How can you convince millions of sectarian fighters that their fight is unjust to non-believers and must stop when there are religious groups who cannot live in peace right here in the US?
            Even the idiot Maliki is against any unity of Sunni & Shia
            that might bring peace.

          • LastOne23

            That’s hard to argue with, Robin. I just know that they will come to us. The last time it cost us 3,000 lives – in one day. Have a good Sunday.

          • Robin Cohen

            Wasn’t it Nostradamus who predicted that a third world civilization would destroy us? I suspect you are right in your beliefs but in modern warfare, there never seems to be a winner in the conventional sense. You also enjoy your Sunday. It was a pleasure to “speak” with you!

    • Unknown1776

      quite frankly, whether we want to admit it or not, the world runs on oil to some degree. Due to the high volume of oil in the ME the U.S., and the world, can not long tolerate long interruptions of its production. The economy of the world is based upon it to a certain degree, whether we like it or not, and the increase in its procurement leads to more of a nation’s gross income being spent upon that than previously, thus reducing what is left over in net to be spent on other goods and services; to spend on further investments.

      So, even though the U.S. produces more than 7.03 million barrels (2012) a day (out of 18.89 million barrels consumed/day. http://www.eia.gov), we still depend on imports, even if the vast majority comes from our neighbor up North, Canada. These imports still compete with global prices to a degree, as oil chases profits, as any company would naturally want to do, but lacking infrastructure and proximity has an effect on prices where it can be sold/consumed, which is one reason people point to the Keystone pipeline as being a necessary evil (because then the Chinese get it, which would also potentially attract other oils that aren’t tar sand related being sent to the West, which would decrease that which is importable by the U.S.A., thus increasing the costs of living/ability to conduct business and trade/constricting jobs.

      In the end, this all leads to the concluding that we MUST diversify our energy consumption while increasing domestic production in the short term of oil that does not do lasting damage to the environment in the short term due to the rising need/global demand of water and food projected to occur in the future due to a burgeoning population in developing nations that will put a very large strain on global water and food supplies potentially leading to global conflict and mass disease. We must be prepared for every possible contingency, and that’s a true above and beyond strategy for energy and national security. So, diversify energy (wind and solar help tremendously, but do little in assisting in transportation efficiency, though we’ve made improvements in bio fuels, compressed air power, hydrogen fuel cell, natural gas (cleaner, though it gives off methane, which is a more potent heat trapping gas at 10x the power of CO2), etc.), move on oil production and securing the free, unimpeded flow of oil in the ME, the largest regional producer in the world (at the moment), which ensures some measure of stability and lower prices (thus greater savings available for other personal investments) throughout the global economy as individual nations grow, fueled partly by that black, viscous liquid.

      • Robin Cohen

        Trillions of dollars and thousands of lives wasted in the Middle East have taught us nothing and gained us nothing in securing our oil supply. Time to tune up those electric cars, buses, trucks so we can stop propping up a largely corrupt and ignorant Middle East whose main goal is to destroy us.

      • Robin Cohen

        Absolutely correct! Whatever it takes to get the US out from under the thumb of the Middle East and forces each country to fight it’s own mindless tribal/sectarian wars.

  • drthomasedavis

    The cockalorum is again overstepping his constitutional authority. The use of Military Advisors is nothing more than a prelude to our involvement in a religious war. Congress has a duty to keep us out of war unless the homeland is attacked! Obama has an obligation but no compunction to obey the Constitution. I have absolutly no doubt that Obama is what he has said he is; A Muslim. Let the lunatics fight among themselves until the threat of more trerrorism against America is eliminated. The only friend and ally we have in the Middle East is Israel and Obama has a history of affronting their leaders and catering to Hezbolah and Hamas. John Kerry is a serious threat to peace in the Middle East, his vainglorious attempts to recapture some of the tarnished virtue of his treacherous Vietnam bovine excrement.
    Dr. Thomas E. Davis, Colonel, USA (ret)

    • wstockwin

      I’d call Israel a U.S. client state rather than a friend. A client that we have lavished 100′s of billions of dollars in military aid on over the last 66 years and gotten exactly nothing in return, unless of course you consider it a bonus to have been dragged deeper and deeper into Israel’s never ending disputes with its Arab neighbors.

      And while I completely agree with the statement: “Congress has a duty to keep us out of war unless the homeland is attacked” I’m wondering if your were equally opposed to the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq that started the mess we’re in now, and that subsequently left thousands of American service members dead and wounded.

  • PopularSovranty

    All presidents, since Eisenhower, have been like kittens playing with a ball of yarn with respect to constitutional war powers.

    The
    title “Commander in Chief” gives the president no such authority to
    unilaterally launch military action, as has so often been done. The
    title was primarily intended to assert undeniable civilian control of
    the military. Presidents can only act unilaterally to deploy into
    combat, constitutionally, under the auspices of that title, to protect
    U.S. territory/citizens, and as such, deployments to augment embassy
    security is fully justified (and defensive). Presidents can also act
    without consulting Congress to ensure military readiness and deploy to
    provide support to comply with treaties that have already been approved
    by the Senate and are in force.

    In terms of
    presidential responsibility to protect and defend the national security,
    as justification, this would only apply to confront (as the president
    himself strictly defined it when he went to Congress for authority
    (because it was, in this case, convenient to do so) to bomb Syria before
    the WMD agreement was reached), “imminent, direct threats to the United
    States,” which is hardly the case for any of the hostilities going on
    in Iraq’s internal conflicts, regardless of whether agents of the
    military-industrial complex choose to label them as “terrorists.” Even
    if the threats were primarily terrorist in nature, without evidence of
    plan or intent to attack the U.S., there is no, in the president’s
    words, justifying “imminent, direct threat.”

    Possible
    threats against America’s various “interests” (vs. U.S. security, lives,
    property) do not rise to the level where executive initiative on use of
    force would be constitutional. And, for that matter, any of the
    various laws passed by Congress which provide the president restricted
    authority (place or time) to act unilaterally with respect to military
    force, are themselves unconstitutional, since the Constitution, in
    Article I, places the responsibility within Congress and can only be
    altered by constitutional amendment, not by laws or lessor acts.

    The
    Constitution has been treated, by presidents and by Congress, as a
    device of convenience, and for this, great cost in lives and treasure
    has been endured, particularly in the last 65 years. It will only end
    when enough Americans vote to remove the establishment politicians and
    replace them with progressive legislators who will place their
    priorities on public service and constitutional authority above party
    and self interests. I have become convinced that most of us will be
    dead before that happens, if it ever does.

  • PopularSovranty

    All presidents, since Eisenhower, have been like kittens playing with a ball of yarn with respect to constitutional war powers.

    The title “Commander in Chief” gives the president no such authority to unilaterally launch military action, as has so often been done. The title was primarily intended to assert undeniable civilian control of the military. Presidents can only act unilaterally to deploy into combat, constitutionally, under the auspices of that title, to protect U.S. territory/citizens, and as such, deployments to augment embassy security is fully justified (and defensive). Presidents can also act without consulting Congress to ensure military readiness and deploy to provide support to comply with treaties that have already been approved by the Senate and are in force.

    In terms of presidential responsibility to protect and defend the national security, as justification, this would only apply to confront (as the president himself strictly defined it when he went to Congress for authority, because it was, in that case, convenient to do so, to bomb Syria before the WMD agreement was reached), “imminent, direct threats to the United States,” which is hardly the case for any of the hostilities going on in Iraq’s internal conflicts, regardless of whether agents of the military-industrial complex choose to label them as “terrorists.” Even if the threats were primarily terrorist in nature, without evidence of plan or intent to attack the U.S., there is no, in the president’s words, justifying “imminent, direct threat.”

    Possible threats against America’s various “interests” (vs. U.S. security, lives, property) do not rise to the level where executive initiative on use of force would be constitutional. And, for that matter, any of the various laws passed by Congress which provide the president restricted authority (place or time) to act unilaterally with respect to military force, are themselves unconstitutional, since the Constitution, in Article I, places the responsibility within Congress and can only be altered by constitutional amendment, not by laws or lessor acts.

    The Constitution has been treated, by presidents and by Congress, as a device of convenience, and for this, great cost in lives and treasure have been endured, particularly in the last 65 years. It will only end when enough Americans vote to remove the establishment politicians and replace them with progressive legislators who will place their priorities on public service and constitutional authority above party and self interests. I have become convinced that most of us will be dead before that happens, if it ever does.

    Malcolm Kantzler

  • Gentil Aquitaine

    Where have we heard this before? I’m trying to think… O yeah, George W. Bush said pretty much the same thing.

  • LastOne23

    I believe I can support the President on this action. It would drive up his approval ratings, and, that of Congress if he would seek their approval and if they granted it. It would just be nice to see both act, again, as if this were still America. *I’m not debating whether or not he has the authority to act alone. I’m just saying the American people have the right, and want, to feel as if they are being represented and that means he involves Congress.

    Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, noted the president has said he will consult closely with Congress, in an email.

    “He has not taken a decision to undertake military action; should he do so, then we can talk about whether additional approvals or authorities might apply,” she said.

    • Kevin Schmidt

      You believe in more imperialist war mongering to steal more oil?
      Why do you want to drive up the approval rating of the DUHopoly?

      • LastOne23

        No, I believe in addressing the enemy on their soil, not ours.

        • Kevin Schmidt

          But they’re not the enemy, the US Military are the imperialist terrorists who have already killed over one million innocent Iraqis, destroyed their culture, bombed them back into the stone age, and polluted the country with cancer causing depleted uranium WMDs, which also causes birth defects.
          The oil companies and war profiteers are laughing at you all the way to the bank.

          • LastOne23

            Kevin, let me give you another way to look at the world – take it or leave it. The U.S. Military freed an entire country full of Saddam’s “slaves.” He would take a wife off the street and use her for days. He might let her go or he might put her in his Perfume Palace for use by others. His sons would take men out to the cages where they kept their lions and threaten to feed them to the lions if they came for their wives or complained about the way things were. The U.S. is NOT the bad guy here. Sunnis and Shiites killed a million of one another – we did not take that many lives. I was there. I know. Depleted uranium, I think not. OIL COMPANIES: If we are going to rebuild a nation don’t you think it would be wise for us to let that nation pay us via their oil rather than have the American taxpayer foot the entire bill? Yes, we need that oil because Obama will not allow the pipeline that would allow us to open up drilling “and store the oil” so that we can be less dependent upon foreigners to keep our country running.

          • LastOne23

            One more thing – please do not go out and murder Americans because you hate our country. If you don’t like it here there are other options. – Just be careful you don’t stick your neck out too far overseas. It might be sawed through with a dull knife.

        • Barristers Inn

          ‘that’s way too logical for them. what planet did this guy come from? I wish we had taken the oil fields at least we’d still have them! Why is it they never mention Pres. Hussein’s war on Libya that destroyed that country which now houses his new allies, Al-Qeda Syrian rebels? They don’t believe a word they say they’re just Chatty Cathy dolls, you pull their string and they say 1 of 5 recorded messages. This last one has been around since WWI.

          • LastOne23

            I need to steer clear of these conspiracy theorists. These guys worry me as being only one step away from living in a shack in the woods and sending out mail bombs or running through the woods playing advanced paint ball games. In fact, I’ve commented more in the last few weeks than in my life. – A reflection on how things are slowing down at work in Afghanistan. This guy, Kevin, believes in the late night radio conspiracy theory that world leaders are puppets to larger groups who truly run the world. (I think it’s God but what do I know) Here’s a link to Kevin’s theory: http://bilderbergconspiracy.com/

      • Barristers Inn

        Kevin Schmidt: U OUTA UR MIND? What oil? We got nothing! What imperialism? I suppose u thk cause u used that term you know what ur talking about. Well, clearly you don’t so go soak your head you high school drop out! You must’ve studied under our illustrious leader. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about either!

  • LastOne23

    This, is what I have a hard time supporting – I think if we support al-Qaeda in Syria the ISIS will “definitely” get these weapons just as they got our Military vehicles in Iraq and drove them into Syria in the last few weeks.

    http://pamelageller.com/2014/06/syrian-jihadists-fight-iraq-obama-seeks-500-million-congress-help-moderate-syrian-rebels.html/

  • pm1

    If there was ever a trial for Iraq war crimes, for the rush to war in Iraq, for the hell-bent all out, any lie will do – forced march to war, there is not one single Democratic member anywhere in America that could or would ever be charged with those crimes.

    Those lies and those crimes and that entire war is the sole responsibility and criminal handiwork of (R)- Bush/Cheney and a cabal of old republican Neo-con Chicken-Hawks.

    You bush/cheney Boot-Lickers can pretend that ‘both sides’ were somehow responsible, if that makes you feel better. But the entire world knows that it was bush/cheney and the Republicans that demanded to have WAR and are to blame for the horrific, criminal, disastrous, sickening, catastrophic outcome. Suck on it. Wear it. Own it. Clowns.

    • jstan442

      pray that iran does not get the nuke–you are a libidiot if you don’t think they will use it on us

    • Barristers Inn

      I feel sorry for you people who’ve been so brainwashed by the liberals you actually believe all that stuff. They probably lay awake laughing at what morons they’ve completely conned! They don’t even believe their own rhetoric they are such hypocrites….everything Pres. Hussein said he was against about Bush, he did and 5x more then he decides he against it again. P-O-W-E-R is his middle name…that’s what he lives for and wants everyone to worship him as do all the Democrats. I haven’t seen one that cares about the country. And pm1 you’re a coward that’s why you talk like that on the web. You’re probably hiding under your bed as you read this and that goes for the 3 idiots who’ve favored your remark.

  • http://www.ninzo.com/ Bob Dinitto

    Interesting how O-Man ignores the US constitution when convenient for spying on Americans, but then uses it as a rationalization when defying Congress.

  • Adam Smith

    In related news, the Egyptians have filed a credible criminal complaint against Hussein Obama in the international criminal court: http://www.humanevents.com/2013/11/08/obama-accused-of-crimes-against-humanity-at-international-criminal-court/

    • Barristers Inn

      Thank you for that posting. Of course he did all of that then as usual he turned on them…like he did his grandmother and Rev. Wright and finally the whole country. Every once in a while he throws them (his adoring minions) a bone…like visiting an Indian reservation and having a dinner for the LGBT org.. What a joke, he has them all snowed! Oh yes, don’t forget the U.N. was slobbering all over Hussein before everyone else, they won’t do anything

  • Kevin Schmidt

    Wrong. The Constitution does not give him the right to violate UN treaties, which are a part of US law.

  • GilZimmermanJr

    And this is exactly how our involvement in Vietnam began. The irony, of course, is that Mr. Obama inherited a relatively peaceful Iraq. For his own, personal, political ambitions, he decided he would lull the plug on Iraq and fulfill a bogus campaign promise. This is going to get very worse and we will witness the evacuation of the Green Zone shortly. God help us. Mr. Obama’s fundamental view is that the US is a Colonial Power which is simply incorrect. And horribly self-absorbent.

  • Barristers Inn

    Niko Thime: BTW it was Clinton who failed to get bin Laden when he had the chance. We can always look back and say someone else is to blame. This is the very reason we should have gone to Iraq. Our failure was not staying in Iraq and not using the money from the oil fields to rebuild it and repay us for the costs of the war. We have been in S. Korea, Germany and Japan since WWII and they have all THRIVED as a result. Because the media choose a president they could identify with we have someone who doesn’t know WHAT THE HELL HE’S DOING!. The world is a much smaller place with technology today and you can’t say ” oh let them kill each other it doesn’t affect us”. Everything affects everything else. Does anyone remember why Obama & Nato destroyed Libiya? Was it to intentionally give Al Q a base for operations? Whose holding Obama responsible for that? Another news blackout. Do you think he cares about any of this? He’s playing a video game. ‘Ok, today let’s drone these guys, next day, let’s release these guys….oops that didn’t work let’s go get the guy responsible for Benghazi, we’ll put him on a ship back that aught’a give us time to give him our talking points and well figure out what to do when he gets to NY, that should make some good headlines! I have to go get ready for my golf game now……

  • Doc Lakes

    In this video we find vodka-enthusiast Joe Biden droning on about the Obama regime’s success in Iraq: http://youtu.be/rcOv-AbHlCk?t=17s

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