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May 19, 2011

In Case Anyone Cares, Obama Is Fighting What Is Actually, Demonstrably an "Illegal War"

The scheme of the War Powers Act is that a president can make war, absent authority, for sixty days. Once that sixty day limit is reached, he must begin winding down the effort as soon as possible, and must end all confrontation (even of the retreat/withdrawal under fire type) thirty days after that.

Now, the President can of course seek authorization for war in that sixty day window, in which case the Constitution is satisfied and the War Powers Act no longer applies.

The President has not sought any resolution or authorization. Has not even sought it. And the sixty day limit is upon us.

Cited there are a couple of law professors (one of whom, Bruce Ackerman, I seem to know as a left-leaning one):

Neither the president nor the Democratic congressional leadership has shown any interest. They have been sleep-walking their way to Day 60 . . . Make no mistake: Obama is breaking new ground, moving decisively beyond his predecessors . . . Since the House of Representatives is out of session this week, Congress can’t approve the operation before the Friday deadline. But under the expedited procedures specified by the act, speedy congressional approval is feasible next week. If nothing happens, history will say that the War Powers Act was condemned to a quiet death by a president who had solemnly pledged, on the campaign trail, to put an end to indiscriminate warmaking.

I think this is wrong: Clinton did the same thing with Bosnia. So this isn't the first time.

Odd that only Republican Presidents need to, and do in fact, seek resolutions of war, while the Democrats who scream the loudest about this part of the Constitution (one of the few they like) just ignore it again and again.

Obama's theory (as was Clinton's) is that because this is being fought "by NATO," then it's not... what, war? I don't get this. If a President fights a war with Spain, Finland, and the Duchy of Geoff (where?) as his allies, can he say "I don't need an authorization for war because I'm part of the Spanish/Finish/Geoffish Alliance?"

Most nations go to war as part of an alliance of some kind. They always have. They likely always will.

Where does this idea spring from that when a Democrat wants to go to war without constitutional authorization, he can point to whatever countries he's in alliance with and say "I know the Constitution says I need an authorization of war, but look, I've got Martinique on my side, Hoss. Gold standard."


I doesn't bloody matter what organization is nominally in charge of a war, or what combination of countries you're allied with. The Constitution does not say that you need either a declaration of war or France has your back.

There is one statement. It applies to all circumstances. It doesn't matter if we're doing it on behalf of the UN, NATO, the G-8, the NAFTA trade zone, SEATO, or fuck-all else.

This is an illegal war.

The President is a war criminal.

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posted by Ace at 05:06 PM

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