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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 11:30 PM
Original message
On the President's Speech


Question: President Bush has referred to the evil-doers. What do you think of this?

Chief Waterman: Well, he's the same way. Those people in Afghanistan are so poor and miserable. They suffer when bombs kill their parents, they suffer when bullets kill their children. So even if Bush believes that what he is doing is right, he has to commit evil acts to achieve his goal. And he can't stop. The other guy won't. And when they kill bin Laden, someone else will take his place.
Interview with Onondaga Chief Paul Waterman; AHSKWA; 2002.

I'd like to begin this essay about my reactions to President Obama's speech tonight by making a couple of points. First, in the 2008 Democratic Party's presidential primary season, I strongly supported Barack Obama. I believed that he had a unique potential to change the course that our country was headed on. A number of others disagreed with me, including some very strongly. In fact, some wanted me tombstoned. The disagreements that I have with President Obama should not be mistaken for agreement with those who had opposed him for a variety of reasons that were premonitions of the Tea Party paranoia.

Second, I recognize that the vast majority of forum members who support President Obama do so with the best of intentions. The combined issues of saving innocent human lives, and ending a dictatorship, should be respected by everyone, including those who either question or strongly disagree with the President's actions in Libya. For disagreements, including those that involve heated dispute, are the life-breath of democracy, so long as there is mutual respect for others' opinions. It is the lack of respect for differences which involve a lack of respect or dehumanization that is a disease on democracy. More, it is often a violent disease, which leads to warfare.

One can reduce discussions on President Obama's actions in Libya to two polar positions: you are for it, or you are against it. Such shortcuts to rational thought helped define the Bush Doctrine. We would do well, both as individuals and as a community, to avoid such concrete thinking patterns. No one has a monopoly on the truth.

My first concern with President Obama's decision to engage US military forces in the civil war in Libya has to do with the US Constitution. I detailed these in my 3-22 essay, Schlesinger v. Yoo. As a result of several posts by other forum members on a variety of DU:GD threads, including some I respect, I followed up with A Dozen Question Poll on 3-24, in which I asked questions about issues concerning the War Powers Clause, and various presidential acts that violated the 1973 Congressional War Powers Resolution. I also asked about people's educational background, both formal and informal, as it relates to understanding both the Constitution, and constitutional law (cases decided by the US Supreme Court).

As several reputable historians have documented, when US Presidents violate the War Powers Clause, there has always been damage to the concept of a balance of powers between the three branches of the federal government. More, there has usually been a corresponding reduction in those rights guaranteed to US citizens in the Bill of Rights. Hence, my concern about President Obama's actions in Libya, which are definitely in violation of the Constitution's War Powers Clause, and the War Powers Resolution, which sought to curb such abuses of power. This should not be mistaken for my advocating impeachment; it should be taken as a demand for a Constitutional President.

I place the Constitution above politics. That includes both individual politicians and party. On another thread tonight, I mentioned the example of Illinois Congressman Robert McClory. Forum members of my generation will remember him as a strictly conservative republican, who had political stances that no non-troll member of this community would agree with. Yet, when President Nixon engaged in gross violations of the Constitution, McClory placed the Constitution before political stance, and advocated for impeachment. Again, I am not advocating impeachment. I am advocating putting the Constitution before politics, because I am convinced that reviving Constitutional government is the only way to restore democracy in the United States.

Nixon attempted to be an Imperial President. Bush was able to perform as a Revolutionary President, who trampled the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. Yet we must remember that Bush/Cheney could not have accomplished the trashing of the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus, had not President Clinton have damaged it first. Thus, the questions about Libya should include consideration of what type of system of government do we want?

The move away from democracy was highlighted by the US Supreme Court's theft of the presidency in 2000. However, when I conducted the above interview that I quoted from, President Bush was seen primarily as an inadequate pretender, and VP Cheney as a tool of energy corporations. It was not until the war in Iraq that these men's full potential for psychopathy bloomed. For war changes people, including those who participate from plush offices far away from the violence, death, and destruction.

I've often spoken of James Carroll's book, House of War, which documents the tragic histories of honest and decent men who go to Washington, DC, with the sincere belief that they can institute positive change. But the system the Machine exercises more control of them, than they do over the system. I thought of this tonight as I watched President Obama. It would be impossible for there not to be some degree of transformation, for while he has presided as Commander in Chief over two wars not of his own making, he has now become a War President. Surely, he believes the US actions in Libya will be relatively brief. However long it lasts, though, it will still have consequences more far-reaching.

Those consequences, like the US involvement in this civil war, are the consequence of previous actions. General Wesley Clark said on CNN last week that, before Bush invaded Iraq, he saw highly classified plans that were a road map for overturning several governments in the Middle East. These were plans created by the group known as the neoconservatives. The neoconservatives are not advocates of democracy.

Tonight, Congressman Dennis Kucinich spoke about issues involving bank operations. Many people dismiss Rep. Kucinich as either a nave fellow, or a kook. Others view him as one of the more honest, principled politicians of our era. I'm less concerned about that, than what he was saying. The reason I say that is because, two days ago, I had a long discussion with an associate who's opinion I trust as well-informed; he told me that in time, people will find that banking interests played a role in the decision to involve our military in Libya's civil war. I do not pretend that this was why President Obama made the decision he did; however, I recognize that there are people in his administration that have influenced him to make decisions that favor Wall Street over common people or justice.

President Obama did not discuss the Constitutional issues, though as a former law school professor of Constitutional Law, he is surely aware of them. He did speak about our national interests, although nothing in Libya's civil war could remotely be considered an attack on America the only exception that allows a US President the legal authority to begin military action before informing Congress. And he also stressed the humanitarian issues, which I consider the sole selling point of his actions. Yet, if he had time to discuss these in detail with America's allies, he had time to go to Congress.

This is a tough situation. There are numerous other issues that of of very real significance, including the economic implications. These are things that should be debated, not only in Washington, but in cities and towns across our country. And, yes, on internet forums. I would only suggest that, in discussions and debates that center around what type of system we want for governing our country, and especially when it involves such serious issues as war, that we consider following the Constitution.

Peace,
H2O Man
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you
I place great value on your words. K/R
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. And thank you.
I appreciate that.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
:kick:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. The President did consult Congress
Edited on Mon Mar-28-11 11:44 PM by ProSense
President Obama acted under the U.N. Charter and fulfilled the War Powers Act requirements: Consulted with Congress, notified Congress within 48 hours and now has 60 days to submit a report.

Also, the Senate passed a resolution urging a no-fly zone.

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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. You left out the most important reason why he did not
comply with the War Powers Act.

Surely you know that the only time a President can commit troops to a war zone without Congress' approval, is if the country in danger of imminent attack.

Taking all the steps he took did nothing to comply with the law, UNLESS the country was in imminent danger of attack. Which is was not.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. He can also order military action pursuant to a "specific statutory authorization", e.g., a treaty
(c) 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) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

http://www.policyalmanac.org/world/archive/war_powers_r...
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. What was the 'specific statutory authorization'?
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
62. North Atlantic Treaty, signed April 4th, 1949 nt
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. There was no specific statutory authorization. A treaty does not supercede the U.S. Constitution.
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 01:18 AM by Luminous Animal
The Supreme Court has made this clear.

"Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957), is a landmark case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the United States Senate. According to the decision, "this Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reid_v._Covert


The U.N. Charter clearly recognizes the constitutional responsibilities of their member states.

Article 43
1. All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

2. Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces. their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided.

3. The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the Security Council. They shall be concluded between the Security Council and Members or between the Security Council and groups of Members and shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.


http://www.hrweb.org/legal/unchartr.html

U.S. Code further establishes that agreements involving military force the President negotiates with the Security Council are subject to Congressional approval. (The only exception is if a special agreement had been approved by Congress pursuant to negotiations and the President would be limited in negotiations by the strictures of that special agreement.)

TITLE 22 > CHAPTER 7 > SUBCHAPTER XVI > 287d

287d. Use of armed forces; limitations

The President is authorized to negotiate a special agreement or agreements with the Security Council which shall be subject to the approval of the Congress by appropriate Act or joint resolution, providing for the numbers and types of armed forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of facilities and assistance, including rights of passage, to be made available to the Security Council on its call for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security in accordance with article 43 of said Charter. The President shall not be deemed to require the authorization of the Congress to make available to the Security Council on its call in order to take action under article 42 of said Charter and pursuant to such special agreement or agreements the armed forces, facilities, or assistance provided for therein: Provided, That, except as authorized in section 287d1 of this title, nothing herein contained shall be construed as an authorization to the President by the Congress to make available to the Security Council for such purpose armed forces, facilities, or assistance in addition to the forces, facilities, and assistance provided for in such special agreement or agreements.


http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode22/usc_sec_22_0...

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neoralme Donating Member (812 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #18
42. I started citing these legal references on the first day of the Libya
attack. I voted for Obama. I have little use for the man now, but it is like everyone says: who else are you going to vote for? But when he attacked Libya, violating the constitution and moving blithely around the War Powers Resolution, that was it for me. If we are no longer a country of laws, please somebody state that: there is a nice 4G phone at Target I'd like to steal.
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SusanaMontana41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #42
91. "Who else are you going to vote for"? Stick with your conscience and either stay home
on Election Day or write in a few candidates. Do NOT let your vote be taken for granted.

See you at the revolution!
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
64. US Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 2...
" shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...."


Entire context:

Section 2.

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.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article... /
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #64
71. Again, and again, and again: the UN Charter does not claim to get member forces unless ratified
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 03:00 PM by PurityOfEssence
It's in Article 43, the Article that governs how member nations make forces available for various UN requests. The UN Charter specifically states that any agreements made by a member nation "shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes."

The UN Participation Act of 1945 explicitly states that such "special agreements" must be AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS, and that means both houses. Yes, upon a call via an Article 42 Resolution, the President does not have to get authorization from Congress, but that's "pursuant to" an agreement or agreements that have already been authorized by Congress. There is literally NO way a President may provide Armed Forces to the Security Council unless an authorization has been given by Act of Congress for that specific "special agreement". This law gives even LESS latitude to the President than the War Powers Act; at least with that, the President may respond on his own volition if we're attacked.

I have repeatedly shown these documents to you in threads you have responded to, and yet you persist in trying to sway people unacquainted with this.

You are wrong. You are wrong about the War Powers Act, and you're wrong about the UN Charter. The UN Participation Act merely makes it crystal clear that Congress doesn't cede ANY of it's right to be the entity to initiate War, per the Constitution.

Please have the decency to admit this in open forums, or at least stop what is either monumental incompetence or deliberate, blithering deception.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. Some folks
are too stubborn to admit error. They convince themselves that if they bluff, they can convince others. This is not a strength on their part.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #72
74. That's exactly how I see it, too. nt
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #74
85. Um...he's talking about YOU
Man, this reading stuff's tricky...
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #71
76. It was ratified by Congress, and the Constitution upholds Congress' authority to do so
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 04:34 PM by guruoo
As I previously posted, cited chapter and verse.

"I have repeatedly shown these documents to you in threads you have responded to, and yet you persist in trying to sway people unacquainted with this."
"Please have the decency to admit this in open forums, or at least stop what is either monumental incompetence or deliberate, blithering deception.

-I'm done. Good day.
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checkto Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #71
77. United Nations Participation Act, SEC. 6
"The President shall not be deemed to require the authorization of the Congress to make available to the Security Council on its call in order to take action under article 42 of said Charter"

Could you consider dialling down your rhetoric a bit please? Demanding that people agree with you and implying that they are not decent and are monumentally incompetent and are deliberately deceptive is not civil, which is something you agreed to be when you signed up to these forums.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #77
80. Sigh. You forgot to add, "pursuant to such special agreement or agreements".
Which means that if Congress had already authorized specific action, the President is free to act within the parameters (and 287d stipulates no further) of that pre-authorization. In other words, a President may enter into an agreement with the UN to bomb a country only if a special agreement had been previous authorized by Congress.

You really need to read the entire paragraph.
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checkto Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #80
86. That's one way of interpreting it, but certainly not the only one.
Another is that for agreements between the President and the Security Council relating to article 43, approval of the Congress is needed.

And that for agreements between the President and the Security Council relating to article 42 approval of the Congress is not needed

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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. No, it is the only one, PERIOD. Article 43 defines how agreements are made for Article 42 call-ups
They certainly could have worded it a bit more clearly, but it's unmistakable and fixed, understood law: the key words are "pursuant to" Don't listen to me, listen to the American Journal of International Politics:

� Under the UN Charter, in the event of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the UN Security Council may decide in accordance with Article 41 to recommend "measures not involving the use of armed force." If those measures prove inadequate, Article 43 provides that all UN members shall make available to the Security Council‑‑in accordance with special agreements‑‑armed forces and other assistance. These agreements would spell out the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided. As noted above, it was anticipated that the member states would ratify these agreements "in accordance with their respective constitutional processes."

� "Constitutional processes" is defined in section 6 of the UN Participation Act of 1945. Without the slightest ambiguity, this statute requires that the agreements "shall be subject to the approval of the Congress by appropriate Act or joint resolution." Statutory language could not be clearer. The President must seek congressional approval in advance. Two qualifications are included in section 6:

��� The President shall not be deemed to require the authorization of the Congress to make available to the Security Council on its call in order to take action under article 42 of said Charter and pursuant to such special agreement or agreements the armed forces, facilities, or assistance provided for therein: Provided, That . . . nothing herein contained shall be construed as an authorization to the President by the Congress to make available to the Security Council for such purpose armed forces, facilities, or assistance in addition to the forces, facilities, and assistance provided for in such special agreement or agreements.

� The first qualification states that, once the President receives the approval of Congress for a special agreement, he does not need its subsequent approval to provide military assistance under Article 42 (pursuant to which the Security Council determines that peaceful means are inadequate and military action is necessary). Congressional approval is needed for the special agreement, not for the subsequent implementation of that agreement. The second qualification clarifies that nothing in the UN Participation Act is to be construed as congressional approval of other agreements entered into by the President.

� Thus, the qualifications do not eliminate the need for congressional approval. Presidents may commit armed forces to the United Nations only after Congress gives its explicit consent. That point is crucial. The League of Nations Covenant foundered precisely on whether congressional approval was needed before using *30 armed force. The framers of the UN Charter knew that history and consciously included protections of congressional prerogatives.

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/faculty/yooj/courses/forrel...

Please respond to this and acknowledge the mistake; this is very important. The President knows this, the Republicans (or at least many of them) know it, and it's resounding proof of extreme illegality and unconstitutionality. Worse than that, it's indicative of an attempt to increase the power of the Presidency and an arrogant will to wage war as one pleases.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
26. Sorry to be a snot, but it's only if "attacked"; imminent threat is not enough
It's hard enough to find an ally these days on what should be a fairly simple thing, so I don't want you to take this the wrong way; it's just really important to get it right. Hey, even the New York Times got that wrong last week.

Here's the language:

"Sec. 2(c) 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) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

The very fact that so many people have this misconception is proof to me of the horrible danger of allowing defiance of this Act to be tolerated.

The mention of "imminent involvement" is part of the Act's very restrictive definition of "war" as introducing forces into any area where there are hostilities or where they're imminent.

Thanks for fighting the good fight.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. Yes, you're right.
Only in defense of the country. And now we are running around the globe attacking other countries that are no threat to us at all.

Thanks for pointing out the details, they are important and I will remember them in the future.

The language is pretty clear. I wonder if the president ever read it? Sometimes I get the impression he's just reading a script. As an intelligent, Constitutional lawyer, I don't see how he could read that and even pretend that what we are doing in Libya is legal.

Anyhow, no problem, I appreciate accuracy so not to worry about 'taking it the wrong way' ~ :-)
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. 60 days, and then 30days to withdraw before authorization is required. nt
War Powers Resolution of 1973
Public Law 93-148
93rd Congress, H. J. Res. 542
November 7, 1973

Joint Resolution

Concerning the war powers of Congress and the President.

Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SHORT TITLE

SECTION 1. This joint resolution may be cited as the "War Powers Resolution".

PURPOSE AND POLICY

SEC. 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.

(b) Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

(c) 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) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

CONSULTATION

SEC. 3. The President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and after every such introduction shall consult regularly with the Congress until United States Armed Forces are no longer engaged in hostilities or have been removed from such situations.

REPORTING

SEC. 4. (a) In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced--
(1) into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances;
(2) into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces; or
(3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation; the president shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth--
(A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces;
(B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and
(C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement.

(b) The President shall provide such other information as the Congress may request in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsibilities with respect to committing the Nation to war and to the use of United States Armed Forces abroad

(c) Whenever United States Armed Forces are introduced into hostilities or into any situation described in subsection (a) of this section, the President shall, so long as such armed forces continue to be engaged in such hostilities or situation, report to the Congress periodically on the status of such hostilities or situation as well as on the scope and duration of such hostilities or situation, but in no event shall he report to the Congress less often than once every six months.

CONGRESSIONAL ACTION

SEC. 5. (a) Each report submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1) shall be transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate on the same calendar day. Each report so transmitted shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate for appropriate action. If, when the report is transmitted, the Congress has adjourned sine die or has adjourned for any period in excess of three calendar days, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, if they deem it advisable (or if petitioned by at least 30 percent of the membership of their respective Houses) shall jointly request the President to convene Congress in order that it may consider the report and take appropriate action pursuant to this section.

(b) Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), at any time that United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States, its possessions and territories without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution.

CONGRESSIONAL PRIORITY PROCEDURES FOR JOINT RESOLUTION OR BILL

SEC. 6. (a) Any joint resolution or bill introduced pursuant to section 5(b) at least thirty calendar days before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in such section shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, as the case may be, and such committee shall report one such joint resolution or bill, together with its recommendations, not later than twenty-four calendar days before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in such section, unless such House shall otherwise determine by the yeas and nays.

(b) Any joint resolution or bill so reported shall become the pending business of the House in question (in the case of the Senate the time for debate shall be equally divided between the proponents and the opponents), and shall be voted on within three calendar days thereafter, unless such House shall otherwise determine by yeas and nays.

(c) Such a joint resolution or bill passed by one House shall be referred to the committee of the other House named in subsection (a) and shall be reported out not later than fourteen calendar days before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in section 5(b). The joint resolution or bill so reported shall become the pending business of the House in question and shall be voted on within three calendar days after it has been reported, unless such House shall otherwise determine by yeas and nays.

(d) In the case of any disagreement between the two Houses of Congress with respect to a joint resolution or bill passed by both Houses, conferees shall be promptly appointed and the committee of conference shall make and file a report with respect to such resolution or bill not later than four calendar days before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in section 5(b). In the event the conferees are unable to agree within 48 hours, they shall report back to their respective Houses in disagreement. Notwithstanding any rule in either House concerning the printing of conference reports in the Record or concerning any delay in the consideration of such reports, such report shall be acted on by both Houses not later than the expiration of such sixty-day period.

CONGRESSIONAL PRIORITY PROCEDURES FOR CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

SEC. 7. (a) Any concurrent resolution introduced pursuant to section 5(b) at least thirty calendar days before the expiration of the sixty-day period specified in such section shall be referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, as the case may be, and one such concurrent resolution shall be reported out by such committee together with its recommendations within fifteen calendar days, unless such House shall otherwise determine by the yeas and nays.

(b) Any concurrent resolution so reported shall become the pending business of the House in question (in the case of the Senate the time for debate shall be equally divided between the proponents and the opponents), and shall be voted on within three calendar days thereafter, unless such House shall otherwise determine by yeas and nays.

(c) Such a concurrent resolution passed by one House shall be referred to the committee of the other House named in subsection (a) and shall be reported out by such committee together with its recommendations within fifteen calendar days and shall thereupon become the pending business of such House and shall be voted on within three calendar days after it has been reported, unless such House shall otherwise determine by yeas and nays.

(d) In the case of any disagreement between the two Houses of Congress with respect to a concurrent resolution passed by both Houses, conferees shall be promptly appointed and the committee of conference shall make and file a report with respect to such concurrent resolution within six calendar days after the legislation is referred to the committee of conference.
Notwithstanding any rule in either House concerning the printing of conference reports in the Record or concerning any delay in the consideration of such reports, such report shall be acted on by both Houses not later than six calendar days after the conference report is filed. In the event the conferees are unable to agree within 48 hours, they shall report back to their respective Houses in disagreement.

INTERPRETATION OF JOINT RESOLUTION

SEC. 8. (a) Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred--
(1) from any provision of law (whether or not in effect before the date of the enactment of this joint resolution), including any provision contained in any appropriation Act, unless such provision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint resolution; or
(2) from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint resolution.

(b) Nothing in this joint resolution shall be construed to require any further specific statutory authorization to permit members of United States Armed Forces to participate jointly with members of the armed forces of one or more foreign countries in the headquarters operations of high-level military commands which were established prior to the date of enactment of this joint resolution and pursuant to the United Nations Charter or any treaty ratified by the United States prior to such date.

(c) For purposes of this joint resolution, the term "introduction of United States Armed Forces" includes the assignment of member of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in hostilities.

(d) Nothing in this joint resolution--
(1) is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Congress or of the President, or the provision of existing treaties; or (2) shall be construed as granting any authority to the President with respect to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances which authority he would not have had in the absence of this joint resolution.

SEPARABILITY CLAUSE

SEC. 9. If any provision of this joint resolution or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the joint resolution and the application of such provision to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

EFFECTIVE DATE

SEC. 10. This joint resolution shall take effect on the date of its enactment.

CARL ALBERT
Speaker of the House of Representatives.

JAMES O. EASTLAND
President of the Senate pro tempore.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, U.S.,
November 7, 1973.


The House of Representatives having proceeded to reconsider the resolution (H. J. Res 542) entitled "Joint resolution concerning the war powers of Congress and the President", returned by the President of the United States with his objections, to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, it was Resolved, That the said resolution pass, two-thirds of the House of Representatives agreeing to pass the same.

Attest:
W. PAT JENNINGS
Clerk.

I certify that this Joint Resolution originated in the House of Representatives.
W. PAT JENNINGS
Clerk.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 7, 1973

The Senate having proceeded to reconsider the joint resolution (H. J.
Res. 542) entitled "Joint resolution concerning the war powers of Congress
and the President", returned by the President of the United States with his
objections to the House of Representatives, in which it originate, it was
Resolved, That the said joint resolution pass, two-thirds of the
Senators present having voted in the affirmative.

Attest:
FRANCIS R. VALEO
Secretary.

http://www.policyalmanac.org/world/archive/war_powers_r...
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Only if one of the following conditions is met...
1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.


None were.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. (2) specific statutory authorization...
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 12:54 AM by guruoo
A couple of hints: Has to do with a certain treaty. Approved by Congress.


I'll check back tomorrow. g'night.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. Congress has made clear that the ratification of the U.N. Charter did not rewrite the Constitution
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 01:39 AM by Luminous Animal
and nullify Congress's legislative responsibilities.

See here:
US CODE TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 33 > 1547
1547. Interpretation of joint resolution

(a) Inferences from any law or treaty
Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred
(1) from any provision of law (whether or not in effect before November 7, 1973), including any provision contained in any appropriation Act, unless such provision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and states that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this chapter; or
(2) from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this chapter.


And see my post here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #19
49. #2 covers it, via Congress' approval of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO).
Now we're back to 60 days + 30 days withdrawal.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. No, it does NOT. NATO is specifically a "defensive" agreement; here's the text
Do you just make things up? Holy mother of all slobbering idiocy, if I was to make an assertion about a treaty specifically doing something that Congress NEVER likes to do, I'd at least read the damned thing before snidely making pronouncements with no citations.

I haven't researched this all that thoroughly, but the whole raison d'etre of the organization is for DEFENSE, so I'm pretty much sure this is correct. The stipulations regarding military operations are SPECIFICALLY REGARDING A RESPONSE IF ATTACKED:

Here are two pertinent entries from the original text of the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949:

"Article 1

The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

Where does it say that we have the right to decide to take action without being attacked? It DOES supersede the War Powers Act to the extent that it looks like the President can respond to an attack on a member nation without further authorization, but it says NOTHING about initiating hostilities without that.

It specifically puts itself in line with the United Nations, which reiterates that our actions need to be dictated by the UN Participation Act of 1945, which once again, states that the President CANNOT act without Congress' Authorization of the agreement regarding the specific nation(s) and situation at hand.

The justification by which NATO currently operates in Afghanistan is in assistance response to the United States having been attacked on September 11, 2001.

Here's the full text:

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_1712...

Here's the text of the UN Participation Act; it's handily linked to the UN Charter itself, so you can see, yet another time, how incorrect you are and much of a violation Obama's actions are to both Congressional Law and the UN Charter itself:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/decad031.asp
You make the assertion that the NATO Treaty allows this, so please prove your point. Once again, this isn't the Spanish Inquisition, so the burden of proof is on YOU
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. Very good.
I gently put the "it's Constitutional!" argument to bed in one of the earlier essays I mentioned in the OP. I appreciate your efforts to put the sleep-walking bit back to bed.

I do not apply bad intentions to those who are parroting the lines they've heard. They were lied to, and are certainly making good faith attempts to support the President. That is, of course, why in my DU poll on the issue, I asked about people's level of education -- both formal and informal -- on the Constitution and Constitutional Law.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #58
73. Ya know, it's funny...
I have not seen your poll, and thus haven't taken it. When time permits later today, I'll find it.

Although some are quite sincere with their dittoing of what they've heard, there are numerous, obvious instances of individuals with whom I've been tussling who present wishful-thinking misreadings and hearsay citations to prove their point, but even when their points are specifically disproved--sometimes even using their own language or explaining what they didn't even take the time to explain--they have posted the same thing elsewhere. These are cases where it's fairly clear that they've read those refutations of mine--presumably, since they've posted further afterward on the same threads, while suddenly dropping a sub-thread after terrier-like persistence--and then posted the same incorrect bilge-water on other threads. Those people are NOT just misguided and honorably either "protecting" their hero or so worshipful that his "correctness" is indisputable; those people are deliberately attempting to mislead others.

That is NOT a noble attempt; that is deceit. It is also an extremely naive one, since it's of great import for us to at least be clear what's going on. This will come back to haunt him for the rest of his life, even if I do go off to retire to that chicken farm with Sherlock.

Those who are so blinkered with admiration that they can't believe he'd so high-handedly defy the law to get his way are understandable, but these are not those doe-eyed fans.

It's truly ridiculous, because if I can figure this out, there are PLENTY of others out there who have done it too. It's not surprising that Bill Richardson isn't clear on it, but so what?

Actually, my participation in your poll will serve to disprove your contention, but I'll do it anyway, because I'm a tiresome advocate of the truth.

For the record: I have a Liberal Arts B.A., and have never had one single day in any class of law, pre-law, political science or even High School Civics. Hell, I only had one History course in College, and even with all that, I was able to figure this out with simple web searches.

It's deeply disturbing that people are so willing to look the other way. It's also disturbing that they think it'll just go away. In this day, things don't just go away. The willingness to simply look the other way for "our guys" will hurt our society to the quick, and I dread the backlash if something like this just gets poo-poohed as some kind of arcane, Barney Fife kind of triviality.

Thanks for the post, and thanks for the thread-tending.

He'd better pull it off perfectly now, because EVERYTHING unpleasant that happens is specifically his fault, and it plays right into the reactionaries blather that he's excluding them from things.



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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #56
60. ROTFL!
"Once again, this isn't the Spanish Inquisition, so the burden of proof is on YOU"


Do tell!
:rofl:
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #60
67. Cardinal Fang wants to know.
Don't make me bring out the comfy chair.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. I refuted this with specific quotes from the UN Charter and the UN Participation Act yesterday
Did you not read it? How many times does this have to be refuted? The UN Charter itself says that any special agreements "shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.", which SPECIFICALLY refutes the contention you're making. I pointed this out yesterday. You participated on that thread after I did.

You are completely incorrect. The UN Charter does not claim that its agreements are valid until the home countries ratify them through their own Congressional system.

Please respond.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #23
50. You need take that argument before SCOTUS. nt
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #50
69. Why? These are the standing laws of the land; why mess them up?
Again, I'm not arguing for changes or quibbling over what I wish these laws said; I'm stating flatly what they say, providing links in another thread of proof from a fairly good source, and I don't want the laws or their current interpretations changed.

I want them obeyed.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
25. to a certain degree, but he violated the War Powers Act, so he is not in compliance
Again, the UN Charter does not supersede national law; the charter itself says that all agreements between a leader and the Security Council for making forces available "shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.

The UN Participation act lets the President make special agreements, but they MUST BE AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS. If the UN calls up forces via Article 42, the President may send them without Congress' authorization PURSUANT TO a special agreement that has ALREADY BEEN AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS, and he may NOT have them do anything beyond that authorized agreement without further authorization.

This Congressional law, which governs everything we do with the UN, expressly FORBIDS THE PRESIDENT TO SEND ANY TROOPS WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORIZATION, regardless how annoying the wording may be.

He did not fulfill the War Powers Act, and he doesn't even claim that he did. The whole justification is that he's following a UN Resolution, which he references SIX times in his letter; at the end, he mentions that this letter is "consistent" with the War Powers Act, which is lawyerspeak for "I am not being a total scofflaw, I'm providing myself some quibble room, and I hope fools think this suffices."

The War Powers Act ONLY allows him to act without Congressional Act IF WE ARE ATTACKED. That's it. The 60 days with an additional 30 are requirements after he's acted on Authorization or if attacked.

As for the Non-binding Senate Resolution about the "no-fly zone", it merely urges the UN to adopt one, with no mention of our involvement at all. Lest we forget, too, Resolution 1973 isn't just a little bit of "hall monitoring" and restriction of the airways, it allows virtually any exercise of armed forces, including ground troops, with pretty much no restriction of their targets or operations, just as long as they don't stay as an occupying force. That's not a "no-fly zone". If people think a non-binding Senate vote urging the UN to intervene is the same as the Senate agreeing that they want us to commit to a full-on WAR with potential land operations, then nothing means anything.

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SusanaMontana41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
90. Talking to a few senators does not consultation with Congress make.
Ignorance of the Constitution always amazes me.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-11 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. "Yet, if he had time to discuss these in detail with America's allies,
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 12:15 AM by Luminous Animal
he had time to go to Congress."

I made this point the other day. It completely mystifies me as to why we (and particularly democrats who purportedly reject the authoritarian model of governance) so willingly concede the responsibilities of the legislative branch of government.

As usual, a wonderful thoughtful post, H2O Man.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 03:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
27. Obama wants a stronger executive
The Republicans are tripping all over themselves, because THEY want this Act gelded, gutted and put in a museum for those quaint old days of pluralism. They'd love to impeach or seriously harass him legally, but that would mean supporting the War Powers Act's legitimacy. They've probably figured out the obvious: go on the record as having protested this (as Rand Paul's statement after the speech tonight clearly pointed out the illegality for all to hear) and keep it on ice for further use.

Hey, it's sort of like an Authorization: get permission ahead of time, and use it when convenient.

Now that they're on the record for not having been consulted (to whatever degree that's true or not), ANYTHING that goes wrong is completely HIS FAULT.

Much as they wanted this conquest, it's PERFECT for them: if it works cleanly (which is such a long shot) then they bucked up and went along with it like good Americans, so they share in the victory, but if it fails--or can be made to look as if it did--IT'S ALL HIS FAULT FOR ILLEGALLY FREEZING THEM OUT.

Whatever; I don't have a crystal ball.

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. Honduras. Where a brutal government is using rape, kidnapping, torture
terror and murder on its own citizens.

A illegitimate coup government supported by the Obama administration. Where he put three new bases once the new government settled in.

Honduras.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #10
28. Sadly, we're so anesthetized to abusing Central America that it doesn't even register
He took very little heat here, and the apologists did their duty.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #28
43. Colombia.
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 10:37 AM by EFerrari
President Obama said he didn't wait to see pictures of atrocities. What about the mass grave at La Macarena, filled by the Colombian Army? We already have pictures of that atrocity.

The administration's response to that was -- $30 million in military aid.

Updates on the La Macarena gravesite
Feb 3 2010

Last Thursday we posted excerpts from two articles in Spanish-language media about a mass grave in the town of La Macarena. The grave is in the middle of a historically guerrilla-controlled zone in Meta department that, in the past five years or so, has been the site of several U.S.-supported military operations. The articles indicated that the La Macarena gravesite contains as many as 2,000 bodies, and that many of the bodies were deposited by the Colombian Army.

http://www.cipcol.org/?p=1325

* * *

U.S. and Colombia Cover Up Atrocities Through Mass Graves
Dan Kovalik
Human and Labor Rights Lawyer
Posted: April 1, 2010 09:22 AM

The biggest human rights scandal in years is developing in Colombia, though you wouldn't notice it from the total lack of media coverage here. The largest mass grave unearthed in Colombia was discovered by accident last year just outside a Colombian Army base in La Macarena, a rural municipality located in the Department of Meta just south of Bogota. The grave was discovered when children drank from a nearby stream and started to become seriously ill. These illnesses were traced to runoff from what was discovered to be a mass grave -- a grave marked only with small flags showing the dates (between 2002 and 2009) on which the bodies were buried.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-kovalik/us-colombia-c...

* * *

State Department Certifies that Colombia has Met Human Rights Standards
September 17, 2010

With stunning disregard for US law, the State Department announced on September 15 that Colombia has met the human rights conditions necessary to receive the $30.3 million in military aid that was withheld over concern for human rights abuses. The State Department has never ruled otherwise, despite the countrys notorious human rights record.

http://usleap.org/state-department-certifies-colombia-h...

ETA: HuffPo linked article
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dave29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
12. We went to war to abolish the 3/5th's compromise from our Constitution
There's lots of reasons for interventions and wars. Sometimes they don't fit so well on pieces of paper.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
65. That may have been a side effect but the war was fought to put down a rebellion and maintain the
the Union.

What is your argument that proper legal procedure could not be followed?

The UN Charter is not self executing so the President needs Congressional approval.
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dave29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #65
78. my argument has nothing to do with proper legal procedure
more the reality of how our living document is used, or not, over time.
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JonLP24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
13. Well said, K&R
A couple of things that caught my eye is what Chief Waterman said, he is exactly right.

I also like the way you view someone like Kucinich. Rather than view him as a "kook" or a man of principles, it is important to pay attention to what he is saying or doing. I think that also applies with any other person.

Overall your post is great as always. I agree that sticking to our system of government is what we should be doing in any case.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
15. Another thoughtful essay - Rec'd n/t
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
16. Thank you.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
17. Well, first.....
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 01:17 AM by FrenchieCat
On your statement......"President Obama's decision to engage US military forces in the civil war in Libya has to do with the US Constitution",

It's not a civil war...it's a government killing its people with rent-a-mercernary personnel. It's a revolution.



On your statement...."I place the Constitution above politics.....

Good, cause I don't. If it wasn't for politics, the Black person would still be considered
3/5 of a White man, etc., etc., etc...

The three-fifths compromise is found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."


The three-fifths ratio, or "Federal ratio" had a major effect on pre-Civil War political affairs due to the disproportionate representation of slaveholding states relative to voters. For example, in 1793 slave states would have been apportioned 33 seats in the House of Representatives had the seats been assigned based on the free population; instead they were apportioned 47. In 1812, slaveholding states had 76 instead of the 59 they would have had; in 1833, 98 instead of 73. As a result, southerners dominated the Presidency, the Speakership of the House, and the Supreme Court in the period prior to the Civil War.<7>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-fifths_compromise



As for this statement about the President...."Surely, he believes the US actions in Libya will be relatively brief. However long it lasts, though, it will still have consequences more far-reaching.",

Let me tell you what I think of the consequences if the US had NOT intervened along with the UN in Libya would be...

Had we not intervened, apart from Kaddafi continuing on his murderous rampage while we'd be leaving him alone, is the message that us sitting by and watching the shit happen i.e, Kaddafi's retribution on those who peacefully protested his government, would have been. We might as well have said....look ME folks, we care so little about you that we bomb you when we feel like it, but we ain't about to drop bomb on those who are killing you, even after you decided to peacefully protest for a better life in the way that America has been preaching for years, the most recent occurrence of that being Pres. Obama in Egypt in his speech at Cairo University.

Message I didn't want sent: We don't mind dropping bombs on you when that's what we decide, but when it comes to what you decide, like saving your lives....well, we just ain't going there!

If American Foreign policy was going to be all-of-the-sudden-not-wanting-to-get-"involved", that would have telegraphed, expecially to the Libyan people, other Middle Eastern Countries, the Arab League, and the United Nations who specifically requested exactly "involvement" from us, that dictators everywhere can violently put an end to peaceful protests, cause nobody really gives a shit at the end; not if it means expanding money and/or blood.

That should NOT be the message that the U.S. should want out there...especially after Iraq and Afghanistan.

The way I see it, for us to finally intervene precisely because of being asked, and multilaterally according to our signature on the U.N. Charter, is exactly the kind of sign that those young folks wanting change in the ME need to continue their quest to changing their countries. You might think it should be their own business, but the UN differs with you on this, and we, as a Nation will be better off for having the guts, after all that has happened, to have been there when folks were looking for us to be there; for a change.

Plus, I think this will help end the War in Afghanistan. You see, after all that is going on in the Middle East currently, I seriously doubt that Afghanistanis are going to allow the Taliban to rule them for much longer. They are not stupid. They see what is going on elsewhere in the ME. They know that Obama isn't Bush....because they see how the President is reacting in Libya; that he actually will spend some political capital to keep Libyans from getting bombed by Kaddafi. Iranians are watching too. You see, this world sees what we are doing, and they hear the rationale, and we will see how it ends up....because I think unlike those other times, Pres. Obama will make sure that this is different. And I believe very strongly that it will be. But by then, many here will have moved on to something else they see negatively.....

BTW, your writing is very well done.







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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #17
44. Vijay Prashad lays out the case for a civil war in this interview.
Edited on Tue Mar-29-11 10:40 AM by EFerrari
This is a debate, actually, between the pro-interventionist Juan Cole and Prof. Prashad, on Amy's show this morning. It was a good discussion.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/29/a_debate_on_us_mi...
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #17
55. "Revolution" = "Civil War"
Thank you for civil discourse. It is always my pleasure to speak with you, even when we disagree.

Two points: Such a revolution -- even the 13 Colonies' revolutionary War -- is, by definition, a "civil war." DUers can pull out their March/April 2007 edition of "Foreign Affairs," and open it to James Fearon's article, "Iraq's Civil War." (This was published at a time that the US government was attempting to deny the reality of civil war in Iraq.)

A "civil war" is a war between two (or more) organized groups within the same nation-state; or, less commonly, between two formerly-united countries created by a nation-state. In the American Revolution, the conflict was not limited to the 13 Colonies vs England: both "sides" had hired outside individuals and groups, from other nations (aka mercenaries) to assist them.

Hence, you are correct in saying it is a "revolution," but incorrect in saying that I am wrong in identifying it as a "civil war."

Second, debates about "original intent" per the Constitution -- which include the compromising section you note -- are of maximum value when debating a Tea Party/ rabid republican. I trust that we can agree neither of us fits that description. Odd group, they; while they yip about "original intent," they are love to cite the Bill of Rights, which is, of course, the first improvement to the original intent. I prefer those improvements that expand human rights.
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wildbilln864 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
20. k&r eom**************
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
21. Well said as always, H2O Man. Thx. K&R
Peace indeed. :)
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akbacchus_BC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
22. That was a long speil and I really understand what you mean, but man, this
President really squandered his political clout coming into office. For that, I cannot excuse him for his bipartisanship! What a leader he could have been but no, wanted to work with the rethugs and that was his downfall! A leader needs to lead not follow!
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
24. Yes, I was a bit surprised by that citing of our "national interests", too
There were quite a few things that smacked of heartstrings-tugging inflation, too, with all atrocities being mentioned as plurals that made them seem infinite with a sense of repetition to the horizon's vanishing point.

Not to dismiss the brutality of a nasty regime, but just how many hospitals were shelled, how many ambulances were shelled, how many journalists were abducted and raped? Are these all documented incidents, or the embellishments of war?

I wonder if babies' incubators were stolen, too?

The main point, though, is the use of "national interests". Much as I don't like what we're doing, I don't want us to be seen as thoroughgoing rotters to the rest of the world, but what possible meaning can this have other than OIL? They don't lie on any vulnerable trade route, they don't pose us a military threat, they don't have leverage in any way that I can see. Besides, what the hell does the rest of the world think when hearing this, other than our flat assertion of rights to other people's natural wealth? That was a very cold and jarring statement.

The law is not just applicable to us when it's convenient, and it's not a game. A person is not the sum of his/her images and airy feelings, a person is the sum of his/her actions.

The incremental erosion of laws leads us back to savagery; remember: laws weren't invented to save us from the chipmunks and goblins, they were created to protect us from our fellow human beings. So very many here have such convoluted justifications for flagrant disregard for the law, while simultaneously bellyaching about the unfairness of the reactionaries. It's not one of the finest hours of this board in many ways, nor is it for our party, and certainly not for our country.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
29. Very well said
Rec
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Shining Jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 05:05 AM
Response to Original message
31. K&R n/t
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 05:13 AM
Response to Original message
32. Are you saying there are people pulling the strings on this President?
I shudder to think.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #32
59. I am concerned
that the very thought caused you to lay sleepless last night.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
33. As a vociferous detractor of Obama's.
.... whose had several of his posts quietly deleted, and who thinks that other than talk Obama is not much better than his predecessor, I have to say I support this effort. Not happily, not strongly, but all things considered, I'm 51% in favor of stopping gadaffi and I think Obama made a tough decision and took the right course.

I would like to be out of Iraq, a country we should have never gone into to begin with and I'd like to remind EVERY AMERICAN that if you were in support of going into Iraq you are not intellectually or morally qualified to comment on Obama's decision.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
34. There are some
interesting responses here. Thank you for those.

Last night, shortly after I posted this, I saw that someone "unrecommended" my OP. However, at that time, there was no post that disagreed with what I wrote. So I thought that was a giggle.

I hoped the OP would get not only responses from those who agreed with me, but those who diagreed. So reading the thoughtful responses this morning is nice.
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somone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
35. Recommended
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
36. Excellent. k&r
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
37. In short ...
Obama is an Unconstitutional President. I predict most Americans won't care.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
38. k&r
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
39. K&R.
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
40. I thought about your post a lot last night
The conversation with your associate that you speak of keeps coming to mind. I find that very disturbing. The thought that banking interests could have played a role in the decision to involve our military in Libya frightens me.
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alsame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
41. I have to admit that I'm very torn about this involvement in
Libya. The skeptic in me says that US military involvements are usually not really about what any administration says they are about, there is almost always an ulterior motive (at least in my lifetime).

So that comment about banking interests sends chills down my spine. Given the power of the MIC and the corporations, I guess that would qualify as 'national interests', which IMO the President didn't adequately define. I thought the speech was muddled - I still don't know exactly what we're doing and what the endgame is.

And yet the 'bleeding heart liberal' in me says we should assist people who are being killed. But, as has been stated in many DU threads, we haven't intervened for humanitarian reasons in other countries with horrific genocides and slaughters. Hence my suspicion that there are other motives in Libya that don't exist in other countries.

So the Libya involvement is not black and white for me at all. However, my feelings about Presidential authority ARE black and white - I don't want any president circumventing the Constitution or the boundaries of the office, regardless of party affiliation.

k&r
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #41
61. Only time will tell
whether Obama made the right decision.
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
45. Once again, K & R
~PEACE~
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
46. There are elements of this situation which trip my triggers
in an intuitive way that have little to do with the rational and obvious objections.

Why are men educated at American Ivy League schools "returning" to Libya to lead the rebels' council in international negotiations? To lead a broad based democratic movement, really?

Why is Human Rights Watch sticking its oar into the political arena, asking why Obama is not getting credit for avoiding an atrocity? This shouldn't be their concern although it is their pattern.

Why are the rebels making oil deals with the express approval (if not direction) of the US government? I thought they were in immanent danger.

This whole thing stinks to heaven.


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Vattel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
47. You are so right.
He should have sought Congressional authorization. Setting that aside, my biggest worry about the intervention is that it is a part of an irrational pattern of exxagerating the value of military force. In almost every case, you can benefit the innocent more by nonviolent uses of resources than by intervening in conflicts in other nations. Maybe Libya is a rare exception. I hope so.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. The rebels have cut their first oil deal. I know if I was in mortal danger
that isn't the first survival strategy I'd reach for.
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #48
81. yes it would be.


if you were in their shoes.


It takes money and friends to revolt against a standing army and an extremely wealthy and entrenched dictator.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #81
84. You're talking about funding a revolt. I'm talking about mortal danger
that requires a physical rescue by the Western powers. These are not identical.

And it's a little strange that the international community is falling all over itself to approve the standing of any group in such an oh, so precarious situation to sell off Libya's oil. :)
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South End Liberal Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
51. BP has it's finger in the pot too.

In spite of the civil war that has broken out in Libya (and I do believe it is now a civil war), BP seems to be stating with confidence that its $900 million exploration and production deal with Libya's National Oil Co. remains valid and the terms are unchanged.

http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=105225


I agree with H2O Man, that the president's actions are in violation of the Constitution.

I keep coming back to Orwell's "war is peace." Drop DU bombs on thousands of innocent people to "save" them.
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
52. Thought provoking, as always. K&R
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
53. K&R n/t
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South End Liberal Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
54. Rebels have time for oil contracts & now a new bank?

http://www.activistpost.com/2011/03/wow-that-was-fast-l...

Wonder if their new bank is going to charge customers interest on loans???
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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
57. "But the system the Machine exercises more control of them, than they do over the system."
The Powers That Be have definitely laid their hands on this president, IMO.

I just wish I knew more about how the PTB operates and pulls the strings.

K&R
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
63. We coulda had an election, instead.
Let the people of Libya decide through the ballot box.

Then, again, that hasn't been working all that well of late.
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BetsysGhost Donating Member (176 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
66. One question I have
hearing the Secretary of State on the news talking about Gaddafi ending up in the ICC. Isn't that the Court with the Rome Statute?

Didn't we unsign that Statute? Isn't she talking out of turn mentioning The ICC since we are not a Member State?

Slippery language coming from the Obama Administration, so I'd take everything they say and most things they do as questionable, especially adhering to that quaint document known as The Constitution.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. That's right. We are not signors. n/t
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #66
70. Very important point.
Thank you for that!
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
75. K&R. This *should* be debated, not simply shouted down.
A pleasure to read, as always. :thumbsup:
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
79. You're one of the reasons I stick around here and read this forum.
Even though there are some disagreements between people at DU, most of them couldn't be any nicer to disagree with than you.

I think that Obama did the right thing in Libya.
I may be wrong, but I think the UN had passed a resolution calling for action.
And I think that if the UN calls for action to stop genocide, we should join in to stop it.

The UN didn't exist in the 18th century, of course. So, it's a little hard to see what our founding fathers would think of the UN. Hopefully, they are proud of us trying to be good neighbors to the rest of the world.

I am not a Constitutional scholar by any means.
But, I agree with you that we need to follow the Constitution, and all of the laws that have been passed in the past 222 years since the Constitution was adopted, in March of 1789.





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2banon Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
82. Excellent, Cogent Piece Mr. Waterman
Dear Mr. Waterman, I've been reading your erudite writings for what seems like a long time. It's hard not to praise you without sounding like a sycophant. Be that as it may, this piece speaks volumes on this current debacle and I'm not sure any of us can say how all this will fall out, except as you so clearly noted, the very notion that we as a country allow our leaders to ignore the Constitution will be to our peril.. (my words).

One thing people tend to forget, that once we the people relinquish our rights and our voice, we the people will never get it back. Not without shedding of blood. I want very much to see that age old truism proven wrong, unfortunately I know it won't be. Socio-economic and justice issues will continue to be huge issues to be debated and struggled for, but the Constitution is something we have to have as our foundation with which to rely on as we continue to struggle. When it comes to matters of War and Peace, it is vital that we are on solid ground, as War always impacts every aspect of our communities nation wide, and world wide. We are not on solid ground with any of the wars we are involved in, much less our involvement in Lybia.


Btw, I missed your poll. If you see this post and have the time to provide a link that would be great..

Thank you again for weighing in as you do..

:thumbsup:
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-29-11 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
83. Thanks.
Yes, the imperial presidency keeps advancing. The erosion of checks and balances has rendered them virtually non existent currently in regards to constitutional matters involving war and rights. There seems to be no voting alternative to change this course and this should trouble everybody. When the parties are on board for making it this way, I am at a loss on how to get through to the American people that seem oblivious, confused, and see a false reality created before them to debate.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
88. K&R...!
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SusanaMontana41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-11 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
89. Impeachment is the constitutional remedy for abuse of power. Obama should be impeached.
Other than that, the essay was milquetoast. What principles do you hold dear? When your party and your principles are in conflict, which one do you follow? I can't tell from your essay.

Impeach.
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