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June 18, 2014

Obama to Congressmen: If I Alone Decide to Declare War on Iraq Unilaterally, I'll Be Sure to Send You an Email About It

As a technical matter, the 2002 authorization for the use of military force in Iraq has not been repealed, nor did it expire -- but most AUMFs don't technically expire.

Given, however, that Obama has withdrawn all troops from Iraq and declared that war "over," it seems Obama himself provided a contextual termination to the 2002 grant of authority.

But now, of course, the man who vowed to the American public to not act unilaterally like the War Criminal George Bush is asserting that the 2002 AUMF contains penumbras and emanations empowering him to make war on Iraq whenever it should please His Luminescence.

Washington (CNN) -- I'll let you know what's going on, but I don't need new congressional authority to act, President Barack Obama told congressional leaders Wednesday about his upcoming decision on possible military intervention in Iraq.

...

While the White House statement emphasized Obama would continue to consult with Congress, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the President "basically just briefed us on the situation in Iraq and indicated he didn't feel he had any need for authority from us for the steps that he might take."

Of course not.

At least two Democrats disagree with Obama's claim of inherent power to declare war:

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are among the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee who have said Obama needed to get new congressional approval before any military action.

If hes asking for any sustained authorization, hes got to go Congress. I think the Iraq AUMF is functionally obsolete, said Murphy.

Now, Nancy Pelosi has claimed in the past that the 2002 AUMF did not even grant Bush the power to increase the troop levels in a military action that was unambiguously authorized by Congress:

Top Democrats, including Pelosi, have decried the president's latest plans. Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday, "If the president is proposing an escalation, we want to see a justification for the mission." She added that any funding for a surge would be "subjected to some pretty harsh scrutiny."

She was also part of the "He lied us into war" brigade.

And yet, get this, she now thinks that ill-gotten, now-lapsed AUMF fully empowers a president of her own party.

"All of the authorities are there. That doesn't mean I want all of them to be used, especially boots on the ground," she said. "But I definitely think the president has all of the authority he needs by dint of legislation that was passed in 2001 and 2003."

What I think will happen is the same process Obama used as regards Syria: If he really wants to bomb Iraq (if Valerie Jarrett tells him it's a good idea), he'll insist the president somehow now has the power to declare war on other countries by his own authority.

If he doesn't want to bomb Iraq, he'll claim he's in favor of a strike, but then seek authorization from Congress, hoping to be denied it, so that he can be held blameless.

And then he'll work on his short game. The Putter-in-Chief's work is never done.



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posted by Ace at 08:11 PM

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