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‘This Is Not the King’s Army’: House OKs War Powers Scolding

"There has been a constant drift of constitutional interpretation in Washington, and that drift has only gone in one direction."

by
Bridget Johnson

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June 14, 2013 - 6:18 pm
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The National Defense Authorization Act headed to the Senate after a significantly bipartisan passage in the House today contains a caveat added to remind President Obama of his responsibility to get permission from Congress before using military force.

“This is not the King’s army,” said Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who introduced the NDAA amendment in the House Rules Committee.

“In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution which states in section 2: ‘The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces,’” the amendment states.

“In its April 1, 2011, Memorandum to President Obama, the Office of Legal Counsel concluded: ‘President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization,’” it continues. “On June 15, 2011, in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives from the Department of Defense and Department of State, the Departments informed Congress that ‘The President is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision”.’’’

“The precedence set by the Executive Branch in its assertion that Congress plays no role in military actions like those taken in Libya is contrary to the intent of the Framers and of the Constitution which vests sole authority to declare war in the Legislative Branch.”

The defense reauthorization passed 315-108 under a wide-ranging veto threat from Obama. Just 18 Republicans and 90 Democrats voted against the appropriations bill.

Rigell was behind legislation last year that attempted to defund Operation Odyssey Dawn, the U.S. military intervention in Libya, under the contention that Obama violated the War Powers Resolution. That bill died in committee with no co-sponsors.

The congressman, a Marine Corps Reserve veteran whose district includes large military populations in Norfolk and Hampton, stressed that the U.S. employed nearly 1,000 pieces of ordinance, including Tomahawk cruise missiles and Joint Direct Attack Munition smart bombs, during the operation — bringing it to the level of requiring congressional authorization.

“It is not constitutional for any one person, including the Commander-in-Chief, to have the unilateral authority to engage U.S. forces when there is no direct threat to the United States,” Rigell said. “There has been a constant drift of constitutional interpretation in Washington, and that drift has only gone in one direction: elevating the authority of the Executive Branch.”

Even with the timing a day after the White House announced it would provide military support to the Syrian opposition, Rigell said his amendment doesn’t take a position on Syria but used the Libyan example to highlight the need for consistent rule of law.

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Top Rated Comments   
Buraq may think this wag the dog war will distract the American Public from his role in the multitude of his scandals.

Me thinks not. The stench is too great.

The Syrian War is turning out to be an intra-Islam religious war. We have absolutely no dog in this fight and should not be involved unless it is to protect allies close to the conflict like Israel.

While the Shia temporarily may have gained the upper hand, me thinks the Sunni will regroup and come back. Neither side can afford to lose this war, so I think it will go on for quite a while, with an horrendous amount of death and destruction. But this is Islam at it's core and there's not much we can do unless we want to jump in with both feet and beat the crap out of both sides to the point where each is forever weakened.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stop beating a dead horse;
Obama and the Progressives regard _any_ attempt to limit their actions
as an illegitimate threat to their power, a crime against the State, treason,
and will always come up with some legalistic quibble to justify said actions.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
When there is a standing Army, and we not only have a standing Army, we have a careerist one, there is a great temptation to use it, and the Founding Fathers didn't want one for this very reason. And it's not that much of a leap to go from using it on misbegotten foreign adventures to using it at home.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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Foreign relations is now defined as military hostilities? Further, congress is begging.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
hello. American interests abroad are not one or two wealthy people lobbying for natural gas rights, or other mineral rights, in any foreign country. those special interests do not represent the will, nor the compassion of the American people abroad. Using our military to procure these contracts is immoral, though highly profitable, and business as usual. this action is no better than greased military contracts for war toys, and reconstruction. this 'going to war' charade results in dead poor people, and it must end.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The King is dead. The Caliph-in-Chief lurches onward to make the world safe for sharia.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure glad I don't understand all this.

Last night in the pothole in front of my house for the third time this month a car was damaged because it was rain filled and invisible

Silly me but I would fix the pothole before I worry about someone else s he!! hole
IT really is a "Shovel ready job"

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The divider in chief has proven to me he considers the constitution and any laws passed before his reign to be outdated and therefore do not apply to him or his close group of advisers. They obviously know whats better for us than we do and they will continue to make any and all decisions for us.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem is not that the War Powers was not drawn up right. The problem is there is no self-restraint with a Progressive President. At some point, we have to rely on the internal morality of the President himself. However, an immoral people will elect an immoral leader, and this is the result.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
One has to view Obama's military actions through his own eyes.

He looks at such things as "How will this benefit ME?"

Let's look at the operation to get Osama Bin Ladin. If it failed and our special forces members were caught or killed, it makes Obama happy. He has said often enough that soldiers basically deserve to die doing what they do because "that's what they signed up for" if you may recall his deciding to deny medical care to veterans in 2010 or 2011.

HE LIKES IT WHEN OUR SOLDIERS DIE. Especially at the hands of muslims because that's his idea of "justice".

Now, since it worked out that Bin Ladin was killed, although that annoyed Obama, it's still a win because he can take full credit for it, which many have noted he was all-too-ready to do in spite of the fact that the intelligence gathering and related ops were Bush creations. I'm pretty sure though he wasn't aware any of that was going on since he didn't attend any security briefings and was more concerned with tee-times and hanging out with celebrities.

So this is more of the same. Send US military to danger spots hoping they will get killed. I know it's sick and people have a hard time believing that a president would think this way but you have to dig down to his gut-level hatred of everything American to understand. He wants to be the guy, who while standing at the podium in the UN can bask in the darkness amongst his true peers, that brought down the US.

In some warped, twisted way, he will believe that that will make him some kind of hero in the eyes of the other "world leaders" who collectively have a third grade education but who also hate the US as much as he does.

The mechanics of it all are very simple. Put people in harm's way. Tell the news pukes how necessary it is. Distance himself from it by blaming others. Deride the whole thing as yet another "Bush-created disaster".

The media is all too happy to comply and amplify his nicotine-induced baritone.

If more people would just see him as the idiot and liar that he is, and overlook his race, truly, then more people would realize they've been had.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, we have about 2,000 special forces people spread out over Niger, Mali, Uganda, Kosovo, Egypt, Libya, and a "classified" number on the Syrian boarder. It is just more proof that elite global banksters run this country and use our military to make their corporate profit orgasim dreams come true. Anyone ever heard what happen to that 20 tons of gold Gadaffy had stockpiled in his banks? How about all that cheap oil we were gonna get from Iraq?

Nothing will change until a 2nd american revolution kicks out all the foriegn money that runs the US gubbermint and makes sure that it can never again control the US money supply that led to the ultimate corruption of all three branches of our government.

AND THE NSA CAN GO TO HELL.....
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not just a message to Obumbles not to start another 'lead from behind, we're not really too involved so I don't need Congress the UN and NATO give me orders' war in yet another Arab country. Try a shot across the bow of honorary Al-Heart and Lung Eaters jihad brigades commander Yehiya McCain and Lindsay 'trust NSA with his D.C. gay escort service phone numbers dialed metadata' Graham.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exaclty! O & his minions can do anything...everyone else can go pound sand!
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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