Obama War Powers Over-Reach! OBAMA WAR POWERS UNDER 2001 LAW IS “ASTOUNDINGLY DISTURBING” SAY U.S. SENATORS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE!
We do not intend to alarm you, but the Obama Administration has a tremendous amount of “leverage” in their “war powers” that give TOTAL, TOTALITARIAN POWER to President Obama’s Department of Defense.
Last week’s hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee surprised even the experts with America’s use of force that came as a direct result of the 9-11 terrorist attacks upon this country.
"This is the most astounding and disturbing hearing that I've been to since I've been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today," Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told four senior U.S. military officials who testified about the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) and what it allows the White House to do.
King and others were literally SHOCKED by answers to specific questions about where President Barack Obama could use force under the key provision of the AUMF -- a 60-word paragraph that targeted those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor, called by the committee to offer independent comments on the issue, stated: "I learned more in this hearing about the scope of the AUMF than in all of my study in the last four or five years. I thought I knew what the application [of the AUMF] meant, but I'm less confident now.”
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked if the AUMF gave President Obama the authority to put “boots on the ground” in Yemen or the Congo.
Robert Taylor, the acting general counsel for the Department of Defense said, “Yes, as long as the purpose was targeting a group associated with al Qaeda that intended to harm the United States or its coalition partners.”
These new regulatory laws supposedly limit executive authority over domestic military action. Yet, last week’s official regulatory changes issued unilaterally by the Department of Defense are a “game-changer.”
U. S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ.) said the AUMF has been stretched past the breaking point. He charged: “This authority ... has grown way out of proportion and is no longer applicable to the conditions that prevailed, that motivated the United States Congress to pass the authorization for the use of military force that we did in 2001. For you to come here and say we don't need to change it or revise or update it, I think is, well, disturbing. I don't blame you because basically you've got carte blanche as to what you are doing around the world."
By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies" the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedence that has been in place for more than two centuries!
U. S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) noted: "I'm just a little old lawyer from Brunswick, Maine, but I don't see how you can possibly read this to be in comport with the Constitution. Under your reading, we've granted unbelievable powers to the president and it's a very dangerous precedent."
U. S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) stated: "The testimony I hear today suggests the administration believes that they would have the authority to go into Syria. But I don't want us to walk out of the room leaving an impression that members of Congress also share the understanding that that would be acceptable."
The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule:
Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.
Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military. It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control!” Eric Freedman, a constitutional law professor from Hofstra University, also calls the ruling “an unauthorized power grab.”
Afran went on to reveal: “These phrases don’t have any legal meaning. It’s no different than the emergency powers clause in the Weimar constitution (of the German Reich). It’s a grant of emergency power to the military to rule over parts of the country at their own discretion.”
Just like President Obama using ILLEGAL Executive Actions, now the Department of Defense – for the first time in history – has granted itself authority to quell a civil disturbance. Please fax to notify our Congress to remove this authority!