This past Friday, CNN was festooned with the usual bobbing heads kibitzing about whether or not the administration had committed the country to war or not. The quarreling parties did not explain to the viewers whose brains they addle daily, why this distinction mattered. I doubt they know. I mean, if the president indeed possesses all the powers CNN journos often claim for him—why must their Almighty Mulatto bother to seek consent for his actions? Republicans are pretty much on board when it comes to executive overreach, although they’d prefer their guy to be doing the overreaching.
Here is a typical exchange, times 10 a day:
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Is the United States at war with ISIS. It sure sounds from the president’s speech that we are.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I think that is the wrong terminology.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make no mistake. We know we are at war with ISIL.
BURNETT: Is this war?
MCCHRYSTAL: Well, I mean, you can trip over and argue about whether it’s a war for congressional purposes. If you are on the ground and people are getting killed, to a soldier it feels like war and to the population it feels like war. So it’s a struggle.
And here’s the logical extension of the “to war or not to war” debate, which the Moron Media seems incapable of deducing: It matters whether the president has committed the country to war or not, because:
1) While the power to declare war under various statutes like the War Powers Act, the Iraq Resolution, and the Use of Force Act was shifted to the Executive, to comport with a trend toward centralization of power in this branch—according to these statutes, the War Powers Act, in particular, “he cannot lawfully pursue any military action whatsoever after 180 days.”
2) War declared by executive order may be legal, but it is still unconstitutional. It flouts the obligation to get “the consent of the governed,” to quote the Declaration of Independence.
The libertarian’s duty is to reject the law of the state when it is at odds with natural justice. The process adopted so far by the Bush and Obama executive flouts both the U.S Constitution and the natural law. But Just War principles are for another debate, another time.
As for the Constitution, over to James Madison: “‘Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded.’ Thus it is Congress that declares a war. The U.S. government is beholden to the Constitution, which prohibits the president from declaring war.
Explains Louis Fisher, senior specialist in separation of powers at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress: ‘Keeping the power to commit the country to war—and to all the costs of war—in separate hands from the power to wage war once declared was a bedrock principle for the framers.’”
Modern statutes like the War Powers Resolution, the Iraq Resolution, and the Use of Force Act do not displace the constitutional text and the framers’ intent. (From “UNNATURAL LAWLESSNESS”)