Sunday, April 03, 2011

Declaration of War, What is it Good For?

We're fighting another war. The United States Nations is paying for it. The Republicans are ironically weary. This is my favorite related statement:
Question: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?) 
Answer: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. 
As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.
That's from now President Obama in 2007. I'm not surprised that Obama acted like every war president of the last 65 years, fighting without a formal declaration of war, but I do blame him for not being different.

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