[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Down comes Australia's Donald Trump

Schlafly unloads on Rubio: 'He betrayed us all'

DONEGAN: Debunking the Lesser-of-Two-Evils Voting Theory

Trump: I’ve always liked Cruz and haven’t ruled him out as VP [not a Canucki anchor baby?]

People Have A 'Fundamental Right' To Own Assault Weapons, Court Rules

Marco Rubio’s 7 Top Achievements in U.S. Senate

New 3D-printed 9mm semi-automatic pistol debuts

Cruz’s ‘consistent conservatism’ is contagious with his supporters

Trump resists staff calls to change course

Another unarmed Michael Brown killed by cops!

Anger and Citizenship

Rapper Chief Keef calls on Twitter followers to attack Minneapolis home, and now innocent women are homeless

Ted Cruz tries to seize Rand Paul's libertarian mantle

Shock PPP national poll: Trump 25, Cruz 21, Rubio 21

‘Multicultural Toilets’ For ‘Global Defecation’ Seek To Stop Migrants Pooping On The Floor

Watch: Santorum Struggles to Name Rubio’s U.S. Senate Accomplishments

Old man died while having sex with a prostitute

NYPD Cop Wins $15M After Fellow Cops Falsely Arrested & Beat Him at His Daughter’s Birthday

Border agent: 'We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether'

Clinton on $675G Goldman Sachs speech fee: 'That's what they offered'

Why Glenn Beck’s Media Empire Is Burning Down

Freight Truck Orders Plummeted 48% in January

Jeb Bush Has to Tell New Hampshire Crowd ‘Please Clap

7News/UMass Lowell New Hampshire tracking poll [Rubio surges]

Politicians Have Numerous Options for Unused Campaign Cash After Leaving Elected Office

Jimmy Carter: I would choose Donald Trump over Ted Cruz

Trump last night: In retrospect, we could have done much better with our ground game in Iowa [cheap bastich]

CNN, NOT Cruz staff, responsible for Ben Carson campaign suspension ‘rumor’

Santorum gives up... endorses Rubio

WHAT OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING FOR IN AFGHANISTAN

Cruz: Let’s face it, Trump is “losing it” and might nuke Denmark on a whim as president

Hamas Says It Has Captured An Israeli Spy Dolphin Off The Coast Of Gaza

Progressivism’s Vanquished Foe—Conservatism GOP Politics in a Nutshell (Part 3 of 3)

Sanctuary, what does it mean in a modern age

Obama rebuts anti-Muslim rhetoric in first U.S. mosque visit

Donald Trump ‘nominated for Nobel Peace Prize’ for 'vigorous peace through strength ideology'

Donald Trump claims Ted Cruz 'stole' Iowa caucuses and calls for new election

On Groundhog Day: Conservatism Inc. Thinks It Can Move On With Marco Rubio—But It Can’t

Phyllis Schlafly on 2016: America Won’t Get Another Chance

Rand Paul Suspends 2016 Presidential Campaign

The Big Loss For Donald Trump: The Dog That Didn't Bark [new voters, Iowa]

Smiling Bill Cosby waves and gives a thumbs up as he drives off after hearing in sex assault case where former district attorney testified he agreed to NEVER prosecute the actor

DC bill would pay people stipends not to commit crimes

Microsoft Helped Rubio Cheat in Iowa

Falling from High Places

Cops Use Taser On Innocent Cleaning Woman Then Charge Her With ‘Evading Arrest’

Evita won on a coin toss

Trump Campaign Is Still Spending a Fortune on Hats

Carson accuses opponents of 'lies and dirty tricks'

Huckabee ends campaign: 'Voters are sick of me'


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

U.S. Constitution
See other U.S. Constitution Articles

Title: Sen. Jim Webb: Congress Must OK Military Intervention
Source: [None]
URL Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl ... -ok-military-intervention.html
Published: May 18, 2012
Author: by Sen. Jim Webb
Post Date: 2012-05-20 15:40:19 by We The People
Keywords: None
Views: 228

The Obama administration exploited a constitutional loophole by taking action on its own during Libya’s uprising. New legislation must end this defiance of the balance of power.

The most important constitutional challenge regarding the balance of power between the president and Congress in modern times comes down to a simple question: When should the president have the unilateral authority to decide to use military force, and what is the place of the Congress in that process?

In the decades following the height of the Vietnam War, our constitutional process fell apart. Year by year, skirmish by skirmish, the role of the Congress in determining where the U.S. military would operate, and when the awesome power of our weapon systems would be unleashed has diminished. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, especially with the advent of Special Operations forces and remote bombing capabilities, the Congress seems to have faded into operational irrelevance.

We have now reached the point that the unprecedented—and quite frankly contorted—constitutional logic used by this administration to intervene in Libya on the basis of what can most kindly be called a United Nations standard of “humanitarian intervention,” was not even subject to full debate or a vote on the Senate floor. Such an omission, and the precedent it has set, now requires us to accept one of two uncomfortable alternatives. Either Congress must reject this passivity and live up to the standards and the expectations regarding presidential power that were laid down so carefully by our Founding Fathers, or it must accept a redefinition of the very precepts upon which this government was founded.

The conflict in the balance of power between the president and the Congress has always been an intrinsic part of our constitutional makeup. Article One, Section 8, of the Constitution provides that the Congress alone has the power to declare war. Article Two, Section 2, of the Constitution provides that the president shall serve as commander in chief. In the early days of our republic, these distinctions were clear. We retained no large standing army during peace time. Article One, Section 8, also gives the Congress the power to “raise and support armies.” This phrase expressed the clear intent of the framers that large ground forces were not to be kept during peacetime but instead were to be raised at the direction of Congress during a time of war.

Only after World War II did this change. Our rather reluctant position as the world’s greatest guarantor of international stability required that we maintain a large standing military force, much of it in Europe and in Asia, ready to respond to crises whose immediacy could not otherwise allow us to go through the lengthy process of mobilization in order to raise an army. That reality made the time-honored process of asking the Congress for a declaration of war in most cases obsolete.

123554686WM013_OBAMA_ADDRES

U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) addresses a Joint Session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol September 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama addressed both houses of the U.S. legislature to highlight his plan to create jobs for millions of out of work Americans. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

But any logical proposition can be carried to a ridiculous extreme. The fact that some military situations have required our presidents to act immediately, before reporting to the Congress, does not give a president blanket authority to use military force whenever and wherever he decides. This is not a political issue. We would be facing the exact same constitutional challenges no matter the party of the president. In fact, unless we resolve this matter, there is no doubt that we someday will.

This administration's argument that it has the authority to decide when and where to use military force without the consent of the Congress, using the fragile logic of “humanitarian intervention” to ostensibly redress domestic tensions inside countries where American interests are not directly threatened, is gravely dangerous. It does not fit our history.

I cannot conclusively define the boundaries of a “humanitarian intervention” and neither can anybody else. Where should it apply? Where should it not? Rwanda? Libya? Syria? Venezuela?

The historically acceptable conditions under which a president can unilaterally order the military into action are clear. If our country or our military forces are attacked; if an attack, including one by international terrorists, is imminent and must be preempted; if treaty commitments specifically compel us to respond to attacks on our allies; if American citizens are detained or threatened; if our sea lanes are interrupted, then—and only then—should the president order the use of military force without first gaining the approval of the Congress.

The recent actions by this administration, beginning with the months-long intervention in Libya, should give us all grounds for alarm about the potential harm to our constitutional system itself. We are in no sense compelled—or justified—in taking action based on a vote in the United Nations, or as the result of a decision made by a collective security agreement such as NATO when none of its members have been attacked.

I cannot conclusively define the boundaries of a “humanitarian intervention” and neither can anybody else. Where should it apply? Where should it not? Rwanda? Libya? Syria? Venezuela? Some of these endeavors may be justified, some may not. But the most important point to be made is that in our system, no single person should have the power to inject the United States military, and the prestige of our nation, into such circumstances.

I make this point from the perspective of someone who grew up in the military, and whose family has participated as citizen soldiers in most of our country’s wars, beginning with the American Revolution. I was proud to serve as a Marine in Vietnam. I am equally proud of my son’s service as a Marine infantryman in Iraq. I am also grateful for having had the opportunity to serve five years in the Pentagon, one as a Marine, and four as assistant secretary of defense and as secretary of the Navy. I am one of the strongest proponents of the refocusing of our national involvement in East Asia, and sponsored a Senate resolution condemning China’s use of force with respect to sovereignty issues in the South China Sea. I am not advocating a retreat from anywhere.

Modern circumstances require an adroit approach to the manner in which our foreign policy is being implemented. Legislation I introduced this week requires that the president obtain formal approval by the Congress through an expedited process before introducing military force for “humanitarian interventions,” where the historically acceptable conditions for unilateral action are absent.

Despite repeated calls from other senators and myself, the Congress—both Democrat and Republican—could not bring itself to have a formal debate on whether the use of military force was appropriate in Libya. Meanwhile, the administration conducted month after month of combat operations in Libya, with no American interests directly threatened and no clear treaty provisions in play. The administration—which spent well over $1 billion of taxpayer funds, dropped thousands of bombs on the country, and operated our military offshore for months—claimed that “combat” was not occurring, and rejected the notion that the War Powers Act applied to the situation.

My legislation addresses this loophole in the interpretation of our Constitution. It will serve as a necessary safety net to protect the integrity and the intent of the Constitution itself. It will ensure that Congress lives up not only to its prerogatives, which were so carefully laid out by our Founding Fathers, but also to its responsibilities.

(1 image)

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com