[8/11/16] It is now plainly evident, incontrovertibly so, that the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government consider what was once known as “federal law” to now be merely “federal suggestions.” Recent events confirm this to be true.
On August 1, the United States military launched airstrikes in Sirte, Libya against ISIS. According to Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook, the action was ordered by the president and came “at the request of Libya’s Government of National Accord.” When asked what legal justification the President based the strikes on, Cook claimed it was the “2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF] similar to our previous airstrikes in Libya.”
Yet that authorization, also known asPublic Law 107-40, explicitly limits the president to use force only against “those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” Recognizing that ISIS didn’t exist in any form in 2001, U.S. Army Capt. Nathan Smith recently filed a lawsuit against the president for violating this law. Perhaps he should also have named the Senate and House of Representatives as accomplices.
Congress routinely surrenders its constitutional obligations to the White House and blithely ignores its own laws. The Constitution, of course, ascribes to Congress the sole authority to declare wars. But more to the point, the 1973 War Powers Resolution restrains the administration’s ability to independently wage war.
The law is explicit and irrefutable in its provisions. It requires that the “President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.” Not “some” instances and not just for major combat operations. It specified…CONTINUE READING