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Oops!

I am more convinced than ever that President Obama is, indeed, highly intelligent and not an idiot.

Because any idiot could avoid accidentally triggering a Constitutional crisis over the War Powers Resolution. Only a genius could stumble into doing that.

The War Powers Resolution,
for those of you who aren't fully versed in its history, was passed by an overwhelming and bipartisan Congress in 1973. President Nixon promptly vetoed it, saying it infringed on the president's Constitutional prerogatives as Commander In Chief. Congress promptly overrode the veto, making it the law of the land.

The law sets up a calendar for presidents to follow when they send the military into action. They must notify the Congressional leadership that he's started military action within 48 hours of doing so. He also has to get Congressional approval within 60 days of the start, or end it within 90 days.

Since then, every single president up through President Obama has played his role in the kabuki dance our politics demands. Each has complied with the Act without explicitly acknowledging its legality. They've discovered the magical words to use when complying with the act: they submit their reports saying they are "consistent with" the Resolution, without saying they are "pursuant to" it. This is kind of like the child telling the parent "I'm doing what you tell me to do, but not because I have to, but because I want to!" It's going along with orders without acknowledging the authority of the person issuing the orders.

It's made things easier all around, but it's left the fundamental question of the constitutionality of the War Powers Act unchallenged -- and that's a festering sore. It's a tremendously challenging question, and -- to be blunt -- one I am really undecided about. I don't have a solid position on the constitutionality of the Resolution, and have for some time wanted to see a president openly challenge it, just to settle the matter.

Which is what President Obama had the opportunity to do so, over his little UnWar in Libya. Instead, he just blew the whole question off.

Let me paraphrase the discussion that apparently happened between the White House and Congress.

White House: "We need to start bombing Libya. I talked with our allies and the UN, and they all agree we gotta help the rebels and get rid of K-Daffy."

Congress: "You talked to all those folks, and then decided? Did it ever occur to you that you might want to talk to us, the elected representatives of the American people, or the American people themselves?"

"Not really. Anyway, bombs away!"

"OK, fine, Mr. President. Go drop your bombs. Just don't forget you've got 60 days to have your fun, then you have to come back and ask our permission to continue your war.'

"No, I don't. Because it's not a war. It's a 'kinetic military action.'"

"'Kinetic military action?' What the hell does that mean?"

"It means that it's not a war, so I don't have to listen to you."

"What the hell does that mean, it's not a war? You're firing missiles and dropping bombs on another sovereign nation, killing their citizens, blowing up their military hardware and destroying their presidential palace. How is that not a war?"

"We don't have boots on the ground, so it's not a war."

"Did you forget that jet that crashed in Libya, and the helicopter that went in to rescue the pilot? Were they wearing Combat Crocs on their feet?"

"That doesn't count. It's not a war because I say so."

"Sorry, that don't wash, Mr. President. We have the law on our side, and we're gonna force you to comply with it."

"Look, John. Can't we settle this on the golf course? 18 holes, winner take all?"


OK, that's a little exaggerated, but not much. The fact is, Obama had the choice of complying with the War Powers Resolution, like each of his predecessors over the last nigh-40 years, or putting up a principled challenge to it and settling the matter once and for all. Instead, he took the third option -- just ignore it, pretend it doesn't exist, and peremptorily announce that it doesn't apply here simply because he says it doesn't.

For nigh on 40 years, neither Congress nor any president has felt like putting the Resolution to the test. They all tacitly agreed to kick the issue down the road. Presidents refused to accept it, but went along with it just to avoid a fight. And Congress let them have their assertions of independence, because in the end they got what they wanted.

Until now. Now President Obama is forcing Congress to push the issue, by asserting that he -- and he alone -- can define just when a law applies to him and when it doesn't.

Back during the days when the War Powers Resolution was passed, President Nixon made a statement that has outlived him, and will long stick in the public memory: "It's not illegal when the president does it."

In many contexts, it's irrefutably true. The first example I can think of is in releasing classified or secret information -- the president is the ultimate decider on such matters.

What President Obama seems to be asserting is that that principle holds true in every case -- the president can avoid breaking the law simply by declaring that he isn't doing it.

I have to say "seems to be saying" because he simply isn't making any clear statements on the matter. He simply wants to keep on bombing and insisting that it doesn't count as a "war-war."

As I said at the outset -- any ordinary idiot could have avoided today's Constitutional showdown over the War Powers Act. This whole situation proves that whatever President Obama is, he's no ordinary idiot.

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Comments (48)

I still can't believe he wa... (Below threshold)

I still can't believe he wanted Boehner to play golf with him, built in campaign ads for the GOP...

The Senate Democrats hadn't put together a budget for 2 years. The debt limit was nearly reached. A budget deadline loomed as America's debt crisis grew and unemployment went over 9% again. But, when the time came for the GOP to negotiate with President Obama to try to solve these difficult problems, the only place they could track him down and get him to talk about the GOP's proposed solutions...was on the golf course.

Don't forget the little foo... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Don't forget the little footnote that President Obama used to believe wholeheartedly in the War Powers Resolution. He actually campaigned on it.

Quote:“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.” At least, this was what he said before he was actually President...

Like most Democrats, Barry ... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Like most Democrats, Barry believes the law - in this case the War Powers Act - applies only to Republicans. I tend to agree that the Act is unconstitutional but I didn't campaign on its legality and then, after being elected, deny that it applied to me.

Obama's hypocrisy is capsulized in this sound bite:

"What exactly did George W. Bush do to get us into this recession? Fight two wars? Obama's fighting four. He cut taxes? Well, Obama extended the Bush tax cuts last December. Did Bush increase federal spending too much? He did spend a lot, but whatever Bush spent, Obama's quadrupled it." -Rush Limbaugh

I keep reading that the WPA... (Below threshold)
SteveP:

I keep reading that the WPA is unconstitutional but after giving it considerable thought I don't understand how or why.
Article I, Section 8 grants to Congress the authority to declare war and Article II, Section 2 grants the President command of the military, thereby granting him authority to conduct a war that Congress authorizes. Nowhere in the Constitution is found the authority for the President to initiate war.
The WPA codifies the war powers and grants the President authority to repel invasions but otherwise he must defer to the Congress' authority under Article I, Section 8.
This is consistent with the war powers granted to each in the Constitution.

Professor Thomas Woods argu... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Professor Thomas Woods argues that the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional, but not for the reasons most people think. The WPR has been cast as a limitation on executive powers, when in fact it expands them and actually encourages executive branch aggression.

The president was never intended to have the power to make war, only to act as Commander in Chief of the military after congressional authorization to go to war. This expansion of presidential power to make war only appeared with the Korean War.

Read his take:

Presidential War Powers

The War Powers resolution Fraud

If he can do this without C... (Below threshold)
Maddox:

If he can do this without Constitutional authority, he can do anything...and he is.

Without the rule of law we have no freedom. Without freedom we have no America.
Without America the world is descending into chaos.

I agree that if challenged,... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I agree that if challenged, the War Powers Act would be an interesting case to follow. Having said that, in defense of congress, there is a huge amount of appropriations that have to be made to fund this war or action. The smart idiot should consider that having congress on his side is better than not. ww

I agree with Prof. Woods's ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

I agree with Prof. Woods's assessment, we should have a congressional declaration of war except in the most exigent circumstances like a missile attack. Still, I'm glad to see that Jay Tea is coming around to the limited executive power and non-interventionist side. I doubt it will survive Obama's presidency, though.

Obama is just another front and shill for the warmongers and financial oligarchs. Except for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, all of the aspirant successors are the same or worse.

Loot the resources of the USA, destroy the middle class, impose a total surveillance police state to crush dissent, and use the U.S. military as the muscle for multinational companies to secure resources and markets - that's the permanent agenda of the oligarchy which controls the Republicans and Democrats.


Whoa.What does it ... (Below threshold)

Whoa.

What does it say about Chico that he starts talking like a Paulbot/Ronulan, and he actually makes MORE sense than normal?

Dude...

J.

For the record, Bush did ge... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

For the record, Bush did get congressional authorization to go to war, a fact that many people choose to forget. Although he did flirt with, and argue for, unilateral action.

"just ignore it, pretend it... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"just ignore it, pretend it doesn't exist"

That's Barry's mode of operation in any crisis.

the president can avoid ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

the president can avoid breaking the law simply by declaring that he isn't doing it.

Somehow you didn't seem to see how that idea was in operation when Bush was saying it with regard to the imprisonment of U.S. citizens without due process, using torture, electronically spying in the USA, or in the latest example, using the CIA to spy on political opponents, as Bush did against Juan Cole.

Chico:"using th... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Chico:

"using the CIA to spy on political opponents, as Bush did against Juan Cole."

Sources, please. Preferably not Common Dreams.

If Chico gets any more crit... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

If Chico gets any more critical of Obama, with his caveats, Obama who seems to be in love with the unitary Executive powers, in spite of the Constitution, the Obama White House might start to request damginging information on Chico, ala Bush on Juan Cole?

Sources, please. Prefera... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Sources, please. Preferably not Common Dreams.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/us/politics/16cole.html

Ex-Spy Alleges Bush White House Sought to Discredit Critic By JAMES RISEN Published: June 15, 2011

WASHINGTON — A former senior C.I.A. official says that officials in the Bush White House sought damaging personal information on a prominent American critic of the Iraq war in order to discredit him.

Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war. . .

Jeff Blogworthy:F... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Jeff Blogworthy:
For the record, Bush did get congressional authorization to go to war, a fact that many people choose to forget. Although he did flirt with, and argue for, unilateral action.

You do realize that the story you cite doesn't really support that claim, right? All it does is point out that Ari Fleischer was somewhat vague when he was talking about how Bush went about talking to Congress about it.

The bit about Cheney referring to "not needing Congressional authorization" was mostly about the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, which was following our treaty to defend that country - responding to an approved treaty was considered to be part of that Congressional authorization. You could also make the case that the 2003 Iraq War was just a continuation of the 1991 war, since the whole cease fire from the first one was invalidated many times over those twelve years - by the Iraqis, who shot missiles at our planes and other fun things, any one of which would have been a cause for renewed hostilities on our part.

The biggest issue has been, for a long time, whether the President actually needed Congressional authorization at all in any case. The Democratic policy (while Republicans held the Presidency) has been "yes," but the Democratic policy (while a Democrat was President) was "oh, well, never mind then." Just like the current situation, where President Obama has been really, REALLY in favor of the War Powers Resolution - until he moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Henry Kissinger (1975): I ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Henry Kissinger (1975): I used to say at (National State Security) meetings, The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I'm afraid to say things like that".

If Chico gets any more c... (Below threshold)
Chico:

If Chico gets any more critical of Obama, with his caveats, Obama who seems to be in love with the unitary Executive powers, in spite of the Constitution, the Obama White House might start to request damginging information on Chico, ala Bush on Juan Cole?

I suspect that all of us have at least the potential of an electronic dossier recording our emails, web browsing, blog commenting and phone calls being compiled with the ease of a Google search. For those with the surveillance capabilities of the NSA in cooperation with big telecom and internet service providers, it's not difficult to correlate your "anonymous" web activities with your real name.

There's a reason why the NSA is building massive data storage facilities.

It's what Sen. Ron Wyden said - there is the letter of the PATRIOT act which gives government enormous power to gather information, then there is the PATRIOT Act as interpreted by the government, which gives them even more power, according to him. But he didn't have the balls to blow the whistle on what's really going on.

Bear this in mind - no court have ever clearly ruled that emails, instant messages and comments like this are protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Still, you can't live like a slave.

If Obama's stint as a const... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

If Obama's stint as a constitutional law professor really means anything more than resume padding, he should step up and address the constitutionality of the WPA.

As such he's blown a great opportunity.

I keep telling you Barry is... (Below threshold)
glenn:

I keep telling you Barry is thumbing his nose. Just like the California legislature Dems with their phony "Budget"

The best comment I read was... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The best comment I read was that according to obama's reasoning we could nuke someone and still not be at war with them.

This should convince anyone that obama does not consider himself a servant of the people. He is a dictator and does not believe that he is under the law.

Cirby:The bit a... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Cirby:

The bit about Cheney referring to "not needing Congressional authorization" was mostly about the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, which was following our treaty to defend that country - responding to an approved treaty was considered to be part of that Congressional authorization. You could also make the case that the 2003 Iraq War was just a continuation of the 1991 war, since the whole cease fire from the first one was invalidated many times over those twelve years - by the Iraqis, who shot missiles at our planes and other fun things, any one of which would have been a cause for renewed hostilities on our part.

Good point. Thanks for pointing that out.

Glenn Carle is a very quest... (Below threshold)

Glenn Carle is a very questionable source right now, one that the left is getting a big kick out of trotting out. He was publicly contradicted by the agency he used to work for on the Osama investigation. He publicly campaigned for Obama by attacking McCain. Oh, and he just happens to have a new book whose sales just might be affected by splashy accusations in the New York Times. His accusation, that Bush's White House devoted massive efforts to getting the CIA to discredit a little-known blogger, has no other sources. Funny that.

"indeed, highly intelligent... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"indeed, highly intelligent and not an idiot."


Let's pull a Lieberman and compromise. Barry is a highly intelligent idiot.

Hell, even Chico is startin... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Hell, even Chico is starting to see the light.

Because any idi... (Below threshold)
Because any idiot could avoid accidentally triggering a Constitutional crisis over the War Powers Resolution. Only a genius could stumble into doing that.
I have to agree -- this presidency has been one long string of monumental stupidities of which only genius is capable.
Wow. So a single person wit... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Wow. So a single person with questionable motivations comes out with a mere accusation, no proof, and it is uncritically deemed a "fact" by our visiting denizens of the left-wing fever swamp. What a surprise.

Free speech in America, esp... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Free speech in America, especially if you are prophetic, can be personally very unrewarding. Most politicians want to live in their delusions of grandeur and not be told otherwise.

Juan Cole, for all his efforts at warning the White House, as a Cassandra, in an open blog, the mess they would soon find themselves in, in Iraq, was never listened to or read..only clumisly smeared. Chico, you may have missed my earlier link to Cole's blog, so here is a passage from it.

I should point out that my blog was begun in 2002 with an eye toward analyzing open source information on the struggle against al-Qaeda. In 2003 I also began reporting on the unfolding Iraq War. My goal was to help inform the public and to present sources and analysis on the basis of my expertise as a Middle East and South Asia.. expert..Apparently, one of the purposes of spying on me to discredit me, from the point of view of the Bush White House, was ironically to discourage Washington think tanks from inviting me to speak to the analysts, not only of the CIA but also the State Department Intelligence and Research and other officials concerned with counter-terrorism and with Iraq...

It seemed likely to some colleagues, according to what they told me, that the Bush administration had in fact succeeded in having me blackballed, since the invitations rather dropped off, and panels of a sort I had earlier participated in were being held without my presence.

And naturally the witless Obama administration were caught completely unaware by what occurred in Egypt and Libya, even though Cole had perceptively written last January, long before the Arab Spring The First Middle Eastern Revolution since 1979 "In some ways, the Tunisian Revolution is potentially more consequential for the Middle East than had been the Iranian one."

Thankfully, they only ignored him and didn't try to smear him, as far as we know, though nothing would surprise me about the Obama White House, these days...They seem to be behind every crisis. Perhaps, this is not surprising considering spending much of their intelligence energy, going after whistle blowers even more fiercely than the Bush adminstration.

Wow. So a single person ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Wow. So a single person with questionable motivations comes out with a mere accusation, no proof, and it is uncritically deemed a "fact" by our visiting denizens of the left-wing fever swamp. What a surprise.

Carle had the highest security clearances the USA has, which require polygraphs and psychological evaluations. So far, all I've seen are "non-denial denials" by the parties Carle alleges to be involved.

Cole is right, there should be a Congressional investigation. It's a sign of how far the country has fallen that there probably will not be one, as bipartisan collaboration in the surveillance state will quash it.

An arrogant, would-be dicta... (Below threshold)
Oldpuppymax:

An arrogant, would-be dictator will only become MORE arrogant and less concerned about rules/laws when faced with perpetual cowardice from the opposition.

Carle had the highest se... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Carle had the highest security clearances the USA has, which require polygraphs and psychological evaluations.

Just like such great men as Aldrich Ames, Robert Lipka, and David Barnett...

I see Chico and Steve got t... (Below threshold)

I see Chico and Steve got the same memo and are trying to change the subject away from the great Constitutional scholar stumbling into triggering a Constitutional crisis...

J.

Chico, Chico, Chico. Why a... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

Chico, Chico, Chico. Why are you still obsessing over what the Bush administration may, or may not, have done when the house is on fire?

Even Debbie Wasserman Schultz (she chairs the Democratic National Committee, if you don't know) has taken possession of the economy. Don't you think it is time for Barack Hussein Obama to take responsibility for his actions, or lack of action? He and his surrogates can't keep throwing rocks at Bush forever; he is history. Time to quit looking backward. We are heading for an iceberg at flank speed. Time for the Administration and its apologists to look ahead and start steering the ship--to starboard that is.

Likewise, as voters we have only limited control. Actually, since Barack Hussein Obama has demonstrated that he drifts with the prevailing breeze we can affect his actions with current polling. Come 2012 we better make "CHANGE" the order of the day.

Wish I could throw a few more metaphors in this post, but I weary.

Cole, who has minimal incom... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Cole, who has minimal income and resources- whom I read everyday, was about the only expert who was writing continously and uncaniily about Iraq, the mideast, everyday for the American public. This is the only reason that Bush/Cheney administration wanted him smeared and blackballed. He was far more knowledgeble, accurate and detailed about what would happen in the mid-east than the multi-billion dollar intelligence industry, (many of whose computers according to surveys are focused on porn, according to surveys) who were leaned on to provide favorable intelligence. This was another reason for investigating Cole, he was like the child in the Emperors New Clothes fable, by Christian Anderson, who exposed the fraud and false premises.

Obama won't investigate these abuses because he wants plenty of room for himself to act to do the same, Bush lite or Bush 2, and he would be thought unpatriotic, if he didn't mouth these half truths about our prospects, blah blah and it might hurt CIA morale.

The fact Juan Cole is a cer... (Below threshold)

The fact Juan Cole is a certifiable kook couldn't possibly have had anything to do with his being shunned. Oh no, not at all.

Jay, I have come to the con... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay, I have come to the conclusion that Obama doesn't care a whit about the Constitution, now that he is President, unless it would give him more powers.

The Constitution is like some family heirloom cup on the mantlepiece of fireplace. Everybody publicly worships it, as a totem, but privately they ignore it or try to use it to serve their own purposes.

The fact Juan Cole is a ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

The fact Juan Cole is a certifiable kook couldn't possibly have had anything to do with his being shunned.

Please quote one kooky thing he ever wrote.

Why are you still obsessing over what the Bush administration may, or may not, have done when the house is on fire?

Because Bush set the fire, while Obama has fiddled while it burns.

Even Debbie Wasserman Schultz (she chairs the Democratic National Committee, if you don't know) has taken possession of the economy.

According to you, the unelected Ben Bernanke has nothing to do with the economy, I suppose. The Fed's Open Market Actions and printing money has nothing to do with anything. The massive borrowing for the wars has nothing to do with the economy, I guess. It's all Debbie Schultz.

Because Bush set the fir... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Because Bush set the fire, while Obama has fiddled while it burns.

Wrong. Bush may have started the fire, but Obama locked the doors to the fire hall, stoked the fire with anything he could find, and poured gasoline on it. He now has the fire burning so hot that he threatens to incinerate himself, and us with him. I wish to God that he had only fiddled.

McGehee, Cole <a href="http... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

McGehee, Cole predicted in July 2002, 9 months before the invasion, and when the Bush/Cheney were fist bruiting the idea, exactly what would happen in Iraq. Yes, it is wonder he was not locked up for me being so clairvoyant!

If the Bush administration (or Obama) had any sense, they would have hired him, rather than trying to dismiss, blackball and smear him , but then then would have not had their "slam dunk" war, what the the the head of the CIA said about their case for WMD. Of course for you Cole is the kook, for revealing what was likely to happen to the NEO-CON'S slam-dunk war.

Who get's illegally investigated, naturally after the Iraqi fiasco, by the CIA? Why Cole of course? Typical!
Cole, in July 2002:

While it seems likely that Bush will go to war, the outcome of such an action is very much in doubt and could haunt him (and us) in the future. The negative possibilities include:

1) Iraq could be destabilized, with ethnic forces becoming mobilized and squabbling over resources, as happened in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion.

2) Iraq could be reconstituted as an unpopular American-backed dictatorship, as happened in Iran in the 1950s. So far, close US allies in the War on Terror in the Middle East include Egypt, which is a military dictatorship that just jailed Saad Eddin Ibrahim for human rights work; Pakistan, a military dictatorship whose leader is attempting to manipulate the fall elections to keep himself in power; Saudi Arabia (nuff said); and other countries with extremely bad human rights records or which are involved in imperial occupations. A Pinochet in Iraq would potentially harm the US diplomatically for decades to come.

2) The loss of civilian life will be significant, further turning much of the world against the United States and losing any sympathy generated by September 11.

3) Recruitment of terrorists to strike the U.S. in the Muslim world may well be easier in the aftermath of a bloodbath in Iraq.

Obama is getting used to ru... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Obama is getting used to ruling by fiat with the EPA, NRLB, FCC, and DOJ all ignoring the written law and acting upon their own.

He wants to be a dictator like his heroes, Castro and Chavez.

Never mind, of course, that... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Never mind, of course, that Cole's "uncanny accuracy" extended to the one point (ethnic squabbles, which was being predicted by pretty much everyone on the planet), since Saddam's biggest "strength" was murdering tens of thousands of people per year to keep the "squabbles" down), while ignoring the fact that loss of civilian life actually went down when compared to Saddam's record, and the lack of a current dictatorship and no proof of increased terror recruitment in Iraq pretty much kills the other two points...

So, to sum up: "uncanny accuracy" means "only got one out of four points correct, and that was the one point everybody knew was going o happen." That, and Cole is lousy at numbering points. 1,2,2,3?

Cirby, maybe predicted by... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Cirby, maybe predicted by everyone on the planet but not by, Bush's mentor 'We Will, In Fact, Be Greeted As Liberators',Dick Cheney.

These were general predictions made by Cole of what would likely happen nine months before the invasion. I am unable to quote a post closer, (unless you want to press me,) but there is no doubt he made firm critques of the occupation -I'll include one here for reference, among the most robust- on the avalanche of mistakes, made in the occupation Iraq.

Bad memes die hard.<p... (Below threshold)

Bad memes die hard.

LT.COL. BRYAN MCCOY, U.S. MARINE CORPS: “What has surprised me the most is the closer we got to Baghdad, the more effusive the people were about welcoming us here. We thought it would be the opposite.

AL-JAZEERA REPORTER DIMA KHATIB: "Yes, I was actually very surprised...A lot of my colleagues also were surprised. People are surprised all over the Arab world. Everyone thought the Iraqis were not receiving the Americans and British with smiles and with flowers. Actually, I think the people who were the most surprised are those mothers and wives of men who lost their lives who are from Syria or Lebanon or Egypt or Tunisia or other Arab countries who actually went to Iraq and volunteered to defend the Iraqi people and then, when they saw the reaction of the Iraqi people, they were disappointed in a way because they, well, we thought we sent our men to defend the Iraqi people and look at them -- they are actually very welcoming to the Americans and the Brits."

Paul Kengor: "I recall a June 27, 2003 piece by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times, titled, “The Man With No Ear.” A few weeks after the apparent cessation of war, Kristof visited Iraq. Like The Times, he adamantly opposed the war. Now, he had to come to grips with the undeniable freedom wrought by the liberation, and the gratitude that Iraqis felt for George W. Bush. One Iraqi told Kristof: “A thousand thanks to Bush! A thousand thanks to Bush’s mother for giving birth to him!”...

He tracked down a man named Mathem Abid Ali. For deserting the Army, Ali’s ear was amputated. “Children looked at me, and turned away in horror,” he told Kristof. But now, at last, Ali was free. He told Kristof: “I’d like to make a statue in gold of President Bush.”

...Now, all that said, here’s a critical rest-of-the-story: George W. Bush eventually became unpopular in Iraq, as did the occupation/reconstruction, especially in the 2005-6 timeframe. No question. The situation deteriorated. But that’s a different argument. The fact is that we were indeed greeted as liberators..."

Steve, I just read your com... (Below threshold)

Steve, I just read your comments, and came to a rather startling conclusion:

They don't have jack shit to do with the topic -- Obama's incompetence in stumbling into a Constitutional crisis. Instead, they're part of an effort to derail the topic to one of your own choosing.

Christ, man, do you miss having your own blog that much? Take it up with Lee Ward -- he's the venomous little shit that drove the nail into that coffin.

In the meantime, try and at least stay close to the topic, OK?

J.

J. I'm afraid part of the p... (Below threshold)

J. I'm afraid part of the problem is that even those of us that are more likely to stay on topic just aren't that interested in this topic on a Friday afternoon ;) Yes, he's violating the Constitution. Yes, everyone knows it, including The Won. There's just not much to debate here. Next!

"Carle had the highest secu... (Below threshold)
boqueronman:

"Carle had the highest security clearances the USA has, which require polygraphs and psychological evaluations. So far, all I've seen are "non-denial denials" by the parties Carle alleges to be involved."

So because this dude had a Top Secret clearance(No, SCI is NOT higher than Top Secret) that means he never tells an untruth?!? Wow! An Evel Knievel leap of logic if ever there was one! Or are you trying to make some other point that is too deep for us mere mortals?

As to your second point, Wikipedia says "a 'non-denial denial' is a statement that seems direct, clearcut and unambiguous at first hearing, but when carefully parsed is revealed not to be a denial at all, and is thus not untruthful. It is a case in which words that are literally true are used to convey a false impression..."

Sorry, your declaration's not enough. You need to supply a "denial" from a perpetrator which we can examine to see if it fits the definition.

"Please quote one kooky thing he ever wrote."

Quote: "Juan Cole, a professor at the University of Michigan, wrote a piece for Salon, the online magazine, 'What's the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.'"

And when you respond, please don't weasel out of what the plain language in this statement of equivalency is actually saying. Stay within the context of current events. Don't get all "well, like they're both religious 'zealots.' ya know"

Crick, when Juan Cole said ... (Below threshold)

Crick, when Juan Cole said those things they weren't predictions, they were threats. And he spent the next nine years doing everything he possibly could to turn Iraq into failure.

He's a kook.

The problem is that there i... (Below threshold)
Clint:

The problem is that there isn't really a proper remedy for this.

Even if the House wanted to impeach him over this, the Senate would never convict.

Even if the House votes to bar funding, the Senate probably wouldn't pass it, and the President's autopen wouldn't sign it.

Of course, the House could just strip it from the budget, and refuse to pass a budget that includes funding for operations in Libya --- but that only works if we pass a budget.

So...

Yes. President Obama is in criminal violation of the War Powers Act.

Now what?




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