The Constitution And the Executive Branch
Although our Constitution is under great strain right now, and the president would have us believe he has the right and the duty to commit us to war, it just isn’t so. Through lies and deceit the current president of the United States has taken us to war with Iraq, and seems intent on war with Iran, although no formal declaration has been made as the law requires. Instead, there have been Congressional *sense of* statements. bush, in an agenda all his own, has decided he is the *decider* and we are not to question him. But we should and we MUST and need to demand the answers he is refusing to give. Should he continue to refuse to answer, he should be Impeached and jailed. Being President doesn’t put you above the laws of this land, it makes you subject to them.
Our Forefathers knew the propensity of Kings to make war and conscript the people they ruled to fight those wars. This they sought to forestall and so they expressly made it so that the Executive Branch could defend the country against attack, but it could NOT declare war or send out troops without the express permission of Congress. Checks and balance. However, in 1973 the War Power’s Act became public law and a loophole within that law has enabled this president to circumvent the Constitution.
The War Power’s Act came about because of the Vietnam War. I remember that war very vividly. I remember protesting in the streets during that time. The War Power’s Act was SUPPOSED to reign in the president and return war-making ability back to Congress, but instead, it gave the president war-making powers. Here is the loop-hole:
SEC. 5. (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.
If the President doesn’t report to Congress as proscribed in 4(a)(1), the 60 days doesn’t start. How’s that for stupidity? How they managed to pass this law is beyond me. SOMEONE knew exactly what they were doing AND HOW TO WORD IT, in order to put this bit in the Law. The Constitution, as written, was very clear on Presidential authority. It was designed that way so that the President of the United States of America could NOT abuse his power and place himself on a par with Kings and Queens of old. However, bush wasn’t the first to abuse this Act.
Daddy Bush did it with Desert Storm and President Bill Clinton did so when he decided to help Bosnia. Clinton not only DID NOT ask permission of Congress, he didn’t even bother to hide it. Think Hillary is still a good candidate for President? Me either. Here is our problem:
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)(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.
Sec. 4. (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.
Sec. 4. (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.
The Constitution specifically states that the ONLY power the President had was to be Commander and Chief should the United States GO TO war. The war must be declared by Congress, not the President. From the Constitution:
The Congress shall have Power:
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress….
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States….
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….
As you can see, the powers of the President are limited. However, bush is a horse of a different color. He believes he is above the law and we must show him otherwise.
In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v Rumsfield that President Bush exceeded his powers under the Constitution when he ordered that post 9-11 detainees held at Guantanamo, Cuba be put on trial before military commissions. The Court, 5 to 3, rejected the Administration’s claims that the President either had the inherent power to order such trials or that the trials were authorized by Congressional action through its Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) Resolution following the terrorist attacks in 2001. Writing for the Court, Justice Stevens said that trials must comply with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (the code governing court martials) and the Geneva Convention. The three dissenters concluded that Congress had “constitutionally eliminated jurisdiction over this case,” and therefore that Hamdan’s case should be dismissed.
I’m still confused WHY, with this ruling, the man is still president. But GW is only taking a play out of his daddy’s hand book. Desert Storm was Daddy bush’s circumvention of the Constitution. Through lies and deceit, through an appeal to the public, with distorted facts such as the price they would pay at the pumps, he won the approval FROM THE PUBLIC , and Congress fell in right behind to draw our military into Kuwait. Then followed President Clinton’s Bosnian debacle. I guess it isn’t any wonder after watching two other presidents abuse the power of their office that baby bush believed himself above the law. There must have been some heavy cash laid out in order for GW to still be around.
Nor does the President have the right to make any treaties without the consent of Congress:
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;
Anything else is NOT Lawful! I don’t care HOW you try to make it sound, it simply is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
The point is that while bush and company would like you to believe he has the power, he really doesn’t. The law is the law. Popular opinion doesn’t make him right and lies do not make this undeclared *war* legal.
The Presidential Oath of Office is as follows:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Could it be ANY clearer that bush has failed utterly to uphold his office? Is there ANY doubt in anyone’s mind that this president has attempted to set himself up as a king? What will it take for Congress to do their jobs? And if they will NOT do their jobs, then We the People must send these Congress men and women packing.
~ by justmytruth on March 22, 2008.
Posted in Fight for the United States of America
Tags: 1973 War Powers Act, 2006 Supreme Court Ruling against Bush, advice, AUMF, Bill Clinton, Bosnia, Congress, consent, Constitution, Constitution Article 1, Constitution Article 2, Courts, Cuba, Desert Storm, formal declaration of war, Geneva Convention, Guantanamo, Hamdan v Rumsfield, Hillary Clinton, Impeachment, inherent powers, kings, loop-hole in the law, military commissions, President Bill Clinton, President G H Bush, presidential aurthority, queens, reign in the president, Senate, the Executive branch, US armed forces, Vietnam War, War Powers Act