Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Thugocracy & The War Powers Act

The Congress shall have Power To . . . declare War . . .

U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 8

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States . . .

U.S. Const., Art. II, Sec. II

Within sixty calendar days after [the President has committed our military to combat], the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to [such combat] , unless the Congress . . . has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, . . .

50 U.S.C. § 1544(b)(1) (War Powers Act)

Over sixty days ago, Obama committed us to war in Libya, calling it, in Orwellian fashion, not a war, but a "kinetic military action." The War Powers Act, quoted in relevant part above, gives Obama 60 days to request a Congressional authoriation of war or to "terminate" military action. Obama, who consulted the UN prior to sending our forces into combat, has not consulted Congress and apparently has no intention of doing so. In sum, Obama is ignoring the War Powers Act and the Constitution.

Do note that President Bush, before committing our soldiers to war in either Afganistan or Iraq, received specific approval from Congress for both actions. And Obama led the charge in calling Bush's actions of dubious constitutionality. The hypocrisy here is a yawning chasm.

Obama's excuse for failing to seek Congressional authorization is that he has transferred the lead of the operation to NATO. This could not be a bigger dodge. U.S. forces dominate NATO, and regardless who is leading combat operaitons on Libya, U.S. combat forces are still involved in it. As WaPo points out, "[m]ake no mistake: Obama is breaking new ground, moving decisively beyond his predecessors."

Virtually all President's since 1972 have maintained that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional, but all have complied with its terms regardless. Whether it is unconstitutional is a close question that, under our current Supreme Court, could go either way. But one thing is certain, no prior President has ever acted in such total and complete regard for the law as Obama. His presidency is indeed a lawless thugocracy.


Ex-Dissident said...

Clinton bombing Serbia?

GW said...

True, that was problematic, but it never violated the War Powers Act because the entire operation ended within 78 days. Moreover, Congress did authorize funding for the bombing campaign, which de facto meant Congressional authorization. This looks to last far beyond the 60 +30 days set forth in the WPA, and Obama has done nothing but ignore Congress on the issue.