Friday, May 04, 2007

Clinton announces effort to revoke president's war powers; but can they?

From USA Today:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Thursday that she's joining forces with one of the Senate's most skilled parliamentary infighters to try to rescind President Bush's authority to wage war.

Clinton, a New York Democrat seeking her party's presidential nomination, and Sen. Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat who is the Senate's longest-serving member, said they will seek a vote to rescind the authority Congress granted Bush to use force in Iraq in October 2002. If approved, the measure would require congressional reauthorization for troops to remain in Iraq, Clinton said.

"We're going to force a debate on the whole war," she told reporters outside the Senate chamber. "We want to force the Congress to look at whether the president's authority, which comes from Congress, should be rescinded."


Ok,, the Congress has no authority to rescind the President's War Powers, they are enshrined in the Constitution. The President needs no authority to use the military in any way he sees fit in defense of his country, country's assets or citizens. Congress' only role is to declare war and provide funding, something they did not do by the way. authorizing the use of force is not declaring war. This is where things get confusing, in 1973 the Senate and the House of Representatives achieved the 2/3 majority required to pass the War Powers Resolution over President Nixon's veto on November 7, 1973.

From Public Law 93-148:
TSEC. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent
of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the
collective judgement of both the Congress and the President will apply to the
introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into
situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicate by
the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or
in such situations.
It goes on further, but you get the idea on its purpose. The purpose is to breach the Executive Branches War powers under the Constitution. You can go read the whole law and see how at every turn they have usurped the Presidents constitutional power as Commander and Chief. This law is clearly a violation of the separation of powers and to change the Constitution requires an Amendment, not just Congress passing legislation.

Article I, Section 8, Clauses 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the United States Constitution states:

The Congress shall have power...

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Now, in Article II Section 2 Clause one it States:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

\1419\2 M. Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of
1787 (New Haven: rev. ed. 1937), 318-319.
\1420\Jointly introducing the amendment to substitute
``declare'' for ``make,'' Madison and Gerry noted the change would
``leav[e] to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.'' Id.,
318.
\1421\Connecticut originally voted against the amendment to
substitute ``declare'' for ``make'' but ``on the remark by Mr. King that
`make' war might be understood to `conduct' it which was an Executive
function, Mr. Ellsworth gave up his opposition, and the vote of
Connecticut was changed. . . .''

What does all this mean you ask? To sum it up the President has sole power to use the Military abroad for the good of the nation. The President does not require congressional approval to use the military as he sees fit. Congresses role of recognizing an official protracted war abroad is to DECLARE WAR and they are responsible for funding of the military at all times. Well originally the limit to a standing army was two years, but the Constitution was later amended. the only power Congress has is the power of the purse.

Here are some examples of Presidents using their power as Commander and Chief over the years:

Thomas Jefferson, in one of his first acts as President, took a preemptive action to destroy the "Barbary Pirates" based in Tripoli. The Barbary Pirates (Muslims BTW) demanded tribute to stop them from attacking our merchant ships and enslaving our citizens aboard, Jefferson sent the Navy into another nation's harbor, to protect American vessels and its citizens. Needless to say, the United States was not the world power then that it is today, but Jefferson's action worked. It also established a precedent ,as there was no declaration of war from Congress; because it was not needed.

Interestingly enough Jefferson tried to get an 'international coalition' but none of the European Countries wanted to rock the boat. So Jefferson sent a small contingent of Marines in to burn the captured ship and free the hostages, which was a success.

Sixty years later, the Supreme Court sustained the blockade of the Southern ports instituted by Lincoln in April 1861 at a time when Congress was not in session.

Under Ronald Reagan's presidency, U.S. intelligence learned of Libyan diplomatic communications regarding a bomb that killed two people, including an American soldier and injuring 230 others, in a West Berlin nightclub. President Reagan's reaction was to begin lobbing missiles at Libya, claiming it was self-defense.

Under President George Herbert Walker Bush's administration he expelled Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces from Kuwait,

President Clinton ordered warships in the Persian Gulf to fire missiles at the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi Intelligence Service, in downtown Baghdad, because the Mukhabarat was believed to have planned the effort to assassinate former President Bush. Then in In 1998, he attacked Osama bin Laden's forces. U.S. warships fired cruise missiles at bin Laden's Afghan camp and a Sudanese chemical plant.

OK so your still not convinced...

In March of 2003 a federal appeals court upheld a lower court's dismissal of a challenge to the president's power to use military force in Iraq.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a district court judge who had dismissed a challenge from a group of antiwar lawmakers and activists claiming the president cannot act without a declaration of war by Congress.

In rejecting the plaintiffs' argument unanimously Thursday, the three-judge appeals panel in Boston said, "As the circumstances presented here do not warrant judicial intervention, the appropriate recourse for those who oppose war with Iraq lies with the political branches."

The suit sought a preliminary injunction preventing President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from initiating a war in Iraq.

The plaintiffs included several outspoken congressional foes of the war: Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Illinois; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington; and Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan. Parents of active duty personnel also were among the plaintiffs.

It seems the democrats have no use for the Executive or the Judicial branches of our government. this is like an attempted coo, going on right in front of our eyes.

Hillary Rotten Clinton should be ashamed at herself for playing politics with something this important. This is Presidential campaigning at its worst. Either vote to defund the war or send the military their money, those are your choices.

Sources:
Constitutional Convention
Find Law
CNN
U.S. Constitution
Policy Almanac
A Patriot's History of The United States

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