Here is what candidate Obama said:
2. 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?)
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.
As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
For once, candidate Obama got it right (though I'd extend it to include protecting and defending the citizens of our allies), and so President Obama should be impeached and removed from office.
MisterFreeze wrote:It's legal under the UN Charter, to which the United States is a signatory. The Security Council made the decision, and the United States is bound to support that decision as a member. It's a fulfillment of a treaty obligation, legally.
Which would require an act of Congress to to carry out that obligation, the president does not have the constitutional right to do so unilaterally. We are part of the UN as treaty signatories, and a treaty cannot overrule the Constitution, ever. For that, we have the amendment process.
Social_Critic wrote:Well Mr Freeze, some of us think the War Powers Act is unconstitutional. I think the president should have gone to Congress to ask for approval to use the country's military assets. But I also think Clinton should have done the same in 1999, and Bush, given the enormity of the funds and the numbers committed to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, should have had congress declare war.
Actually, we did. For Iraq, there was the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1991 for the first one, and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 for the second time around. For Afghanistan, there was the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.
We are divorced, North from South, because we have hated each other so.
—Mary Chesnut, 1861
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.