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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(CNSNews.com) - Louis Fisher, a scholar in residence at the Constitution Project who served for 40 years as a constitutional law expert at the Library of Congress, says Americans and members of Congress should understand that President Barack Obama committed a “very grave offense” against the Constitution in taking military action in Libya without congressional authorization.

“I am not going to recommend that the House Judiciary Committee hold impeachment hearings, but I would like members of Congress and the public to say that nothing would be more impeachable than a President who takes the country to war without coming to Congress, who does it unilaterally,” Fisher told CNSNews.com’s Online With Terry Jeffrey.

“So, I would like people to be educated, including members of Congress, to be educated that that is a very grave offense,” said Fisher.

On March 19, President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. military to take actions against the Libyan regime of Muammar Gadhafi.

The day before that, Obama had given a speech stating that a resolution passed by the U.N. Security Council on the previous day that authorized the use of military force in Libya would justify U.S. action there.

“Yesterday, in response to a call for action by the Libyan people and the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council passed a strong resolution that demands an end to the violence against citizens,” said Obama. “It authorizes the use of force with an explicit commitment to pursue all necessary measures to stop the killing, to include the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya.”

In his March 19 speech informing the American people that he had ordered military action in Libya that was already taking place as he spoke, Obama said he was taking the action to defend the “writ of the international community.”

“So we must be clear: Actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced,” said Obama. “That is the cause of this coalition.”

Fisher, whose book Presidential War Power is a definitive scholarly account of the drafting of the constitutional war power and its historical interpretation and implementation, scoffs at Obama’s argument that the United Nations, which the U.S. joined through a treaty ratified by the Senate, can usurp the war power the Constitution gives to both houses of Congress.

“He said I have authorization from the Security Council. It is not authorization under U.S. constitutional law,” said Fisher.

“First of all, I would like to make it clear that in the U.N. Charter, you cannot have the president and the Senate through the treaty process--the UN Charter or NATO--you cannot have those two actors take the power of Congress and the House of Representatives and give it to either the Security Council or to NATO countries,” said Fisher.

“And I think even people who read presidential power broadly know that that is not possible,” he said.

“You cannot use a treaty to amend the Constitution,” he explained.

In Presidential War Powers, Fisher recounts how Framers James Madison and Elbridge Gerry introduced an amendment at the Constitutional Convention to change the language of the proposed power to make war. The draft presented to the full convention said Congress would have the power to “make” war.

“Mr. Madison and Mr Gerry moved to insert ‘declare,’ striking out ‘make’ war; leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks,” wrote Madison in his notes from the convention.

Explaining this proposed change, Gerry said he “never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the Executive alone to declare war.”

Madison and Gerry’s amendment was accepted by the convention and included in the Constitution ratified by the states. Had Madison and Gerry’s amendment not been accepted, the Constitution would have given Congress all power over war by giving Congress alone the power to "make" war. With the amendment, as per Madison’s notes, Congress still had the power over war except when the president needed to “repel sudden attacks.”

Fisher writes in is book, and said in his interview with CNSNews.com, that all presidents from George Washington through Franklin Roosevelt respected this understanding of the Constitution until President Harry Truman sent U.S. troops into Korea without authorization from Congress--using a U.N. resolution as his justification.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/nothing-more-impeachable-president-who-t
 

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You know how I feel about Obama, but I'm backing him on this one. Regardless of whether the Libyan action was warranted or not, the President is Commander-In-Chief. A Commander-In-Chief MUST be able to respond to military needs quickly and MUST have the authority to do it without consulting congress. That being said, congress has control via the purse. In the long run, if they believe the president has overstepped, they can cut off funding. But the president does not have to consult congress before initiating military action. If he did, we would be in deep trouble if fast action was essential.

Here is Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. This is all it has to say about the military. There is nothing in there about consulting congress.

"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 Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

And here is Congress' role: It's clearly their job to raise and support a military, and to set the regulations for operating the military. But other than declaration of war, there is no mention of their having the power to activate or veto activation of the military. That would naturally fall under the authority of the Commander-In-Chief.

"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;"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You know how I feel about Obama, but I'm backing him on this one. Regardless of whether the Libyan action was warranted or not, the President is Commander-In-Chief. A Commander-In-Chief MUST be able to respond to military needs quickly and MUST have the authority to do it without consulting congress. That being said, congress has control via the purse. In the long run, if they believe the president has overstepped, they can cut off funding. But the president does not have to consult congress before initiating military action. If he did, we would be in deep trouble if fast action was essential.
I think that is why he is given 60 days, before he must get congress' approval... :lookinup: If a president can drag a country to war, without consent of the people, he is no longer a president.
 

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If a president can drag a country to war, without consent of the people, he is no longer a president.
Actually, presidents can and have done that many times.
They are answerable to the people in the next election. There simply isn't any other way to run an effective military.
 

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A President/Commander in Chief needs to be able to defend the country against attacks; therefore the ability to wage a war against invaders.

A President/Commander in Chief should not be allowed to unilaterally invade a country or declare war on a country that has not initiated hostilities upon the country.

As such, he has no authority nor he should not be granted authority to attack Libya, on his sole decision/whim, or any other country for that matter.

If you don't understand why then you don't deserve to live a free man in a free country.

Your constitution states that only Congress can declare war, there is a good reason for that.
 

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Hmmm...why is this different for Obama than Bush?
 

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Hmmm...why is this different for Obama than Bush?
It is not. The president doesn't have the ability to declare war, Congress does.

The president can take action to protect the country from an attack but he can't initiate hostilities.

Irrespective of the person holding the office.
 

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It is not. The president doesn't have the ability to declare war, Congress does.

The president can take action to protect the country from an attack but he can't initiate hostilities.

Irrespective of the person holding the office.
ps: I believe Bush acted as CiC, Congress declared the act of war. As such it is different than Libya.

I also believe that it is similar in France, the president can't unilateraly declare war.

Just checked, president has 4 months of freedom of movement. After 4 months he needs a green light from the parlement. Article 35 of the French constitution.
 

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A President/Commander in Chief needs to be able to defend the country against attacks; therefore the ability to wage a war against invaders.

A President/Commander in Chief should not be allowed to unilaterally invade a country or declare war on a country that has not initiated hostilities upon the country.

As such, he has no authority nor he should not be granted authority to attack Libya, on his sole decision/whim, or any other country for that matter.

If you don't understand why then you don't deserve to live a free man in a free country.

Your constitution states that only Congress can declare war, there is a good reason for that.
Let's see, how many wars have we had where no war was declared? Quite a few. We have a long history of military conflicts initiated by Presidents of both parties and waged for years with funding from congress, but without a war declaration from congress. Yes, Obama clearly has the right as commander-in-chief to use the military as he sees fit. His constraints are 1) funding from congress and 2) what political capital he is willing to spend. You can try to define which kinds of activities he needs approval for and which ones he doesn't and an enemy will find a new unheard of way to attack us that doesn't fit. Then what do we do? No, the president needs the authority to act as he sees fit on a moments notice with the military. If he makes big mistakes in his decisions, he and his party will have to answer to the electorate.
 

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Let's see, how many wars have we had where no war was declared? Quite a few. We have a long history of military conflicts initiated by Presidents of both parties and waged for years with funding from congress, but without a war declaration from congress. Yes, Obama clearly has the right as commander-in-chief to use the military as he sees fit. His constraints are 1) funding from congress and 2) what political capital he is willing to spend. You can try to define which kinds of activities he needs approval for and which ones he doesn't and an enemy will find a new unheard of way to attack us that doesn't fit. Then what do we do? No, the president needs the authority to act as he sees fit on a moments notice with the military. If he makes big mistakes in his decisions, he and his party will have to answer to the electorate.
So, I reiterate my question...
"Why is it different for Obama than Bush?"
 

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So, I reiterate my question...
"Why is it different for Obama than Bush?"
I never said it was. I think both Bush and Obama have the constitutional right to do what they did. It so happens that I supported Bush's actions and I don't support the Libyan inolvement. But as a military veteran, I believe flexibility in dealing with every issue is critical, and asking congress for permission is as far from flexible as you can get.
 

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Basically you are stating that the President has the right to invade a country by his own decision; even a country that has done nothing to you (ie attacked the US).

Your opinion is a dissenting opinion to those who created and voted for the US constitution, that is to say your founding fathers.

Hence my initial provocatif statement: you don't deserve to be a free man in a free country because you are turning your back on the intentions of the founding fathers of your nation.
 

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So, I reiterate my question...
"Why is it different for Obama than Bush?"
Bush received and got Congressional approval for the military action for both Iraq and Afghanistan. He went in first and then got approval. Obama went in first like Bush, but has stated he will/has not sought Congressional approval within 60 days as required by law. This is the difference. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:H.J.Res114:

Bush got permission Obama has not. One followed the law and one has broken the law.
 

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Basically you are stating that the President has the right to invade a country by his own decision; even a country that has done nothing to you (ie attacked the US).

Your opinion is a dissenting opinion to those who created and voted for the US constitution, that is to say your founding fathers.

Hence my initial provocatif statement: you don't deserve to be a free man in a free country because you are turning your back on the intentions of the founding fathers of your nation.
Well, show me the constitutional basis for your statement. Go back and look at my first post. I added the constitutional powers of congress and the president when it comes to the military. Congress has the power to raise and regulate the military (regulation meaning decide how it will be organized and operated, but not where and how it will be used), and it has the power to declare war. The president is Commander-In-Chief. The constitution is silent about what is necessary to initiate military action when war is not declared. Historically, presidents have been allowed to initiate action wherever they deemed necessary. Think Truman in Korea, Kennedy in Vietnam, Bush I in Iraq, Clinton in Bosnia and Kosovo, Bush II in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of those were originally initiated without a declaration of war by congress. What's changed?
 

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On the 61st day, BHO will have violated the law per the Constitution............................

so..................

what's new with this turd.

Every major thing this America-hater has done in the past 30 months has been illegal.
 

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On the 61st day, BHO will have violated the law per the Constitution............................

so..................

what's new with this turd.

Every major thing this America-hater has done in the past 30 months has been illegal.
There is nothing about sixty days in the constitution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The war powers act is unconstitutional.

Article 1, section 8, is very clear. No president has the authority to declare war. Only congress has the authority.

It is a very impeachable offense..

The lawsuit filed in this matter seeks to clarify this once and for all, re-establishing the separation of powers concerning war.

These "let's go **** this country up" wars are out of control, have been for a very long time and it's time to fix it.
 

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There is nothing about sixty days in the constitution.
You are correct. There is nothing in the US Constitution that says 60 days; however, the War Powers Act of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541-1548) makes it clear where the lines of power start and end in regards to the President and Congress. In this legal law and document that was tested all they way to the Supreme Court gives the President only 60 days.

It was passed during the Nixon era, vetoed by Nixon and the veto was overridden by both the Houses of Congress. Every President since has been subject to this law and has complied, although unwillingly at times until now. So who is pushing the boundaries?

I think Obama has the onus to ante up and Congress has history and precedence on its side in a legal battle.
 

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As a signatory to the UN and NATO, there are provisions approved by Congress to be involved in military actions deemed necessary by the organization. As a NATO mission, we are within our rights to be there. Bush never got constitutional approval from Congress. That was a political vote with no constitutional enforceability.

Why NATO is there and not in Syria (who is doing worse to her people than Libya is) is obvious: Democracy. Easy pickings. Syria will not become one until it is of Iran's tit. Libya is on no one's tit and an easy target to inject western values.
 

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As a signatory to the UN and NATO, there are provisions approved by Congress to be involved in military actions deemed necessary by the organization. As a NATO mission, we are within our rights to be there. Bush never got constitutional approval from Congress. That was a political vote with no constitutional enforceability.

Why NATO is there and not in Syria (who is doing worse to her people than Libya is) is obvious: Democracy. Easy pickings. Syria will not become one until it is of Iran's tit. Libya is on no one's tit and an easy target to inject western values.
You're great at re-writing history! That or you've smoke too many dubbies and you have "CRS" syndrome. NATO and the UN do not speak or vote for or control the US in any way, shape or form. We independently chose whether or not to participate in said activities military or otherwise. UN is suppose to be "peace keeping" and NATO is simply a military alliance to do the will of its members. Since we are a member, we can chose to participate of not independently or not.

Time to go to school and learn you history again. :thud:
 
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