After strike on Syria, Congress to debate presidential war powers


#1

The saying remains true today, damned of you do damned of you don’t.

Obama ordered the cruise missile strike on Libya ending in the over throw of the legal government and inserting a hostile government and CONGRESS did nothing.

Now they want to debate presidential powers.

The hypocrisy of both parties is terminal.

President Trump told Congress on Sunday that he was exercising commander-in-chief powers when he ordered strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons capability, insisting the action on Saturday was “in the vital national security” interests of the U.S.
The claim — which is different from the justification administration officials gave last week — is likely to be quickly tested on Capitol Hill, where senators were preparing to debate presidential war powers before the strikes.
Democrats and Republicans say it’s time to update the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that granted President George W. Bush the power to go after al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations. That AUMF, as it’s known in Washington-speak, has been stretched to justify U.S. military involvement in Somalia, Yemen, the Philippines, Libya and the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
But going after the Assad regime, which is not an international terrorist organization, crosses lines that Congress will closely scrutinize.
Mr. Trump asserted a broad power in a letter to lawmakers.
“I acted pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations and as commander in chief and chief executive and in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States to promote the stability of the region, to deter the use and proliferation of chemical weapons, and to avert a worsening of the region’s current humanitarian catastrophe,” he said


#2

President Trump acted decisively and within his authority under the Constitution. War Powers Act and AUMF . The Leftist Dems are in snit because they feel left out.
What would happen if ANY PRESIDENT needed a legislative debate before taking any action .
If Bernie the BOOB doesn’t know, we are not talking about a war declaration, only the limited use of military forces . Bernie should stop smoking the WEED!!!#


#3

Short of an actual war, the Constitution’s Commander in Chief Clause empowers the president to use force to protect the interests of the United States when they are threatened by a foreign power. Those interests include: (1) defending the United States against an attack or the threat of an imminent attack, (2) defending U.S. citizens, (3) defending our allies when we are obligated by treaty to do so, and (4) enforcing treaty obligations and other international law standards that protect American lives and interests.


#4

Sounds to me like this was all a setup to take Trump down. This is why you should never take the bait. He doesn’t have any friends in Washington DC and he shouldn’t go along with what the crowd is saying.


#5

Could you provide references for this scope under the constitution. And what constitutes the defintion of the word ‘war’. Seems to me that the singular attack on the world trade center was considered an act of war. The sinking of the single ship the Lusitania was an act of war. 18 U.S. Code § 2331 definds and ‘Act of War’ as:

(4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course of—

  • ( A ) declared war;
  • ( B ) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or
  • ( C ) armed conflict between military forces of any origin

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

One that the president shall be Commander in Chief ‘when called into the actual service of the United States’.

In Article One section Eight we find. Not only does it give congress the power to declare wars but they are also the abator of the Marque and Reprisal clause which is widely interpreted to mean lesser, lower level hostilities.

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Again in Article 0ne section Eight we see:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Again, except for actual invasion or imminent danger States cannot engage in war with a foreign power and it doesn’t allow the president to give that permission.

Except for a rather broad and dare I say imperialistic interpretation of the presidents power to unilaterally put our service members in harms way I just don’t see those things in the Constitution. This is the exact reason why many of use voted for Trump… to move away from our global policeman status.

Remember that we elect the president to execute as the ‘point man’ those things we have elected congress to legislate.


#6

Th war powers act allowed this:

President Clinton utilized United States armed forces in various operations, such as air strikes and the deployment of peacekeeping forces, in the former Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia and Kosovo. These operations were pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions and were conducted in conjunction with other member states of NATO. During this time the President made a number of reports to Congress “consistent with the War Powers Resolution” regarding the use of U.S. forces, but never cited Section 4(a)(1), and thus did not trigger the 60 day time limit. Opinion in Congress was divided and many legislative measures regarding the use of these forces were defeated without becoming law.

And yes, Trump was required to notify congress within the 60 day window which he did.


#7

The War Powers Resolution, enacted in 1973, requires the president to consult with Congress before sending U.S. armed forces into combat unless there already had been a declaration of war. Both Democrats and Republicans, were briefed Thursday by White House and Cabinet officials. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the No. 3 U.S. official, said he was among those informed. Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump have used to their advantage.
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said before Thursday’s missile launch that he thought it would be prudent to consult with Congress, but didn’t insist Congress had to approve Trump’s actions. The War Powers Resolution concedes that the President should have the flexibility to deploy military forces before seeking congressional authorization, but then goes on to list the reasons the President can use force, and the law also allows Congress to disapprove of such actions after 60 days.
Although the Constitution does not elaborate on the President’s exact powers, one thing is clear: The President does not have the authority to declare war without congressional approval, since Article I, Section 8 grants the legislature this power. Thus, those who would grant the President the constitutional authority to attack without congressional approval in this and other situations would have to argue that the document anticipates both wars and other types of military actions. In fact, the document lists several other armed conflicts: “Insurrections…and Invasions”, and “Rebellion”.


#8

Wasn’t Congress just demanding that the president strike Syria? MSNBC was in full war mode and paraded out senators and representatives from the Democratic Party almost 24/7 demanding that the President strike Syria. Fox News follow the same script except they had senators and representatives from the Republican Party on nearly 24/7. Let’s also not forget how hard Fox News was pushing Sebastian Gorka…who was calling actual military veterans on American and unpatriotic for urging caution in striking Syria.

But now it’s time to seriously look at presidential powers? How about they seriously look at spending and building the fucking wall.


#9

And how about getting their jobs done and quit all this debating and investigating. These powers to the President were okay for every other president,but because our President Trump is acting like a patriot and upholding our obligation to help those in need of strong outside help,which these strikes are designed to do,we are doing the right thing instead of the ‘swamp thing’. Congress cannot be trusted with any power anymore because they do not represent We the People,but only represent the padding of their own pockets


#10

I wasn’t asking about the War Powers Act. It is clear that congress is clearly interested in revisiting both it and the more contentious AUMF of 2001. It is clear that Trump and Obama were clearly in compliance with those resolutions but you made the statement that the Constitution’s Commander in Chief clause empowers him to do several things… I was asking for the source justification for those 4 provisions. I understand that this is not ‘settled law’ as it has been beaten about for almost as long as the country has been in existence but I have never heard most certainly number 3 or 4.

Of course it is a subject that is a political football and the unfortunate outcome is that the president can expand US presence abroad and enter situations that congress finds itself unable to extricate ourselves after 60 days.

“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama told the Boston Globe in 2007.


#11

I did not say that Trump was in violation of anything. My question as about the actual Constitution and the intent of the framers. As far as our obligations under UN treaty or even engagement, that does not automatically give the president authorization to engage. Our committing an act of war is a function of engagement and that function, barring the War Powers Act and the AUMF, is a function of congress.

The supreme court has ruled in various ways that congress can revoke a destructive treaty and that they do not supersede the constitution. In one such case, Reid v. Covert. October 1956 it states:

“…No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or any other branch of government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution. Article VI, the Supremacy clause of the Constitution declares, ‘This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof ; and all the Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land;…’ There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification which even suggests such a result… It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights ‑ let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition ‑ to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power UNDER an international agreement, without observing constitutional prohibitions. In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and Senate combined.”

Another point to your comment although it isn’t specifically related to this case in Syria because Trump did use the War Powers Act, Just because we aligned ourselves with NATO members in doing something, our obligation to NATO under Article V is to come to the defense of any other member that is ‘attacked’.


#12

For me its not about Trump at all… it was about Obama sticking his nose into Libya… it was about Bush sticking his nose into Irag, its about a constitution that clears talks about a government that is suppose to rally a military to ‘provide for the common defense’. and when it said common I am positive that it didn’t mean every world citizen. As far as our ‘upholding our obligation to help those in need of strong outside help’… if one reads the history of Ho Chi Minh, regardless of his socialist leanings (unless we believe that ‘self determination’ means, exactly as we determine it to be), tried for decades to declare independence for Vietnam from the French… his declaration of independence was rooted in our own down to sections of the preamble… he visited and wrote letters to Truman and FDR but the US was not forthcoming. Because of our fixation on communism we shunned someone that was much more of a nationalist than a communist and we forced him into the arms of China… Little that the US and indeed Britian has done in the middle east has been about ‘democracy’ but it was a lot to do with globalist goals and a redefinition from ‘Defense’ to… ‘Strategic Interests’… interests that have far more to do with our GDP and tax receipts than Democracy and humanitarian interests.


#13

My belief is that Trump was pushed into this… two times now Trump has said that we wouldn’t be involved in Syria and two times ‘Assad’ has used chemical weapons. One thing I find interesting about this attack and the targeting list is, if Russia oversaw the destruction of Assad’s chemical arsenal and the US (Obama) believed that this was the case… why to hell are we able to target chemical weapon production facilities?..


#14

#15

Liberals are free to ignore anything that gets in the way of their attempt to destroy America…Including the Constitution. Or should I say especially the Constitution?


#16

I agree Trump got pushed into this but he should have seen this setup coming a mile away. You’re right the Obama Administration got to bomb indiscriminately…icluding taking out a US citizen (who deserved it) abroad. No mention of constraining presidential power then.


#17

I honestly believe that a political solution to what ails this country is impossible. Our opponents are not going to give up power voluntarily. It will require violence to take back our country. I hate to say it, and I hope I’m wrong. But history teaches otherwise. Freedom is not free. Eventually, we will have to shed some blood to restore our freedoms. Count on it.


#18

It’s more to the tune if president Trump does it , then it is WRONG ! I’m sick and tired of the UN and the nation thinking we should be the policemen of the entire World and feel we are spreading our troops far too thin . I struggle with losing our Brave men when Others fail to do the very same ! But I agree the President has the right to call for air strike in Syria . If the president did nothing about the killing of women and children the democrats would tear him a new a$$hole and make the claim the president doesn’t care about $hithole Countries and pull out every racism card in the deck . I really wish our president wouldn’t of got our Country involved but he has the right , in my opinion.


#19

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution says that only Congress has the power “to declare War.” However, Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 says, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the [Armed Forces] of the United States.” The Constitution has no wasted or meaningless words; both of these provisions must be given legal effect.

Of course their was never a period after the ‘United States’ in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution as headlined by the article. It ends, as I said before with : when called into the actual service of the United States. As we can see from his ‘requests’ to mobilize national guards to the border, the president is on a very short leach without asking congress for the power to formally mobilize them.

Not every presidential use of military force constitutes “war.”

I’m still waiting on the definition of war. If ANYONE did any single act of aggression against the United States … a bomb, a rocket, a missile an organized assault, all would be considered an act of war. No where in the constitution does it say that the US government is responsible for the moral conduct of any other country nor are we the stakeholder for enforcing a world morality.

Short of an actual war, the Constitution’s Commander in Chief Clause empowers the president to use force to protect the interests of the United States when they are threatened by a foreign power.

Again this equivocates ‘provide for the common defense’ with some abstract statement about interests.

American interests are implicated here.

He goes on to admit that both the right in the name of ‘interests’ and indeed the action aren’t as dreamed up as ‘implied powers’. I always found ‘implied powers’ interesting given that the US federal government now seems to touch just about everything in our lives… I wonder why they wasted the words ‘enumerated powers’…

Article VI of the Constitution specifies that any constitutionally authorized treaty signed by the president and ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate becomes part of the Supreme Law of the Land.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Again, another stretch… the sentence starts out with ‘This Constitution’ and everything created (laws and treaties) shall be made in pursuance of.… So NO treaty supersedes the powers granted under the Constitution nor can they negate or change the constitution.

While both sides in a globalist/imperialistic manner abuse this provision of the Constitution (because both sides like to play at war with other peoples kids) but this is the exact same kinds of overreach that progressives have use for years to bend the constitution and the authority it supposedly gives to the US federal government.


#20

I don’t disagree that the president cannot win in this situation but this of course is the situation we have created in making our nation the worlds policeman.

I remember growing up… the US preached to Russia primarily but to anyone else who was listing that the ‘citizens of a country have the right to self determination’ and it is THEY who will rise up and shape their government. That it is the right of no other nation to subjugate them with a form of government or law that they do not want. The other thing that was most readily repeated is that all nations have a sovereign right to their borders and the invasion of those borders constituted an act of war. Nation states had the right to determine their own destiny…

I guess we kind of voided those principles when we decided that we couldn’t defeat communism with our shining example (even though we were most envied during that time) and of course that our ‘national interests’ included the natural resource of another country…oh yeah… and holding hands with any despotic country that would help us with what seems like the only purpose for our federal government… the tax promoting GDP