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28 August 2013

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zanzibar

Considering that Clapper is known to have lied to Congress on the blanket surveillance of Americans, should we trust his assessment of who fired those chemical shells?

Will this turn out to be another case of "fixing" the intelligence to fit the political decision?

Augustin L


The evidence (smoking gun) is provided by Israeli intelligence, SMH. By way of deception thou Shalt Do War, logic dictates these strikes will not end with Syria. Oded Yinon's plans are coming to fruition.

LFS

TNT is a "chemical weapon". It kills quickly. What is all the hypocritical hair splitting about when two sides are recklessly killing civilians simply with different types of chemical weapons. This is a bogus issue beginning with the science and extending to the politics.

no one

Comes from Mossad - enough said.

On a tangent, this would be a perfect time for a Republican to step up and do something; maybe impeach BHO and Biden? I know it sounds crazy, but.......Americans do not support this coming war. Nail POTUS and VPOTUS on circumventing congress. Throw their own 2008 election gas re; needing to involve congress in war making decisions back at them. Kill this insane Syrian intervention and, along with it, Obama Care, Holder, Kerry, Hillary's chances for a WH bid.......it's a window of opportunity that the nation would be behind if framed in terms of avoiding a disastrous and illegal war in Syria.

Rand Paul are you listening?

David Habakkuk

A great day. The House of Commons has shown signs of standing with the people against the abuse of executive power. From the MailOnline:

“David Cameron was forced to delay plans for immediate military strikes on Syria last night after being warned he faced losing a Commons vote.

“The Prime Minister battled desperately to get a consensus for a missile attack, but was forced by Ed Miliband and Tory rebels to allow UN inspectors time to report on last week’s chemical weapons atrocity.

“MPs will vote tonight on a hastily prepared motion which still supports the principle of military action.

“However, it will not now be carried out until ‘every effort’ has been made to secure a UN agreement, and even then, direct British involvement would require a second Commons vote.

“The decision to wait for a second vote is a humiliating setback for Mr Cameron who had privately promised Barack Obama that Britain would stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States.

“British officials had to phone their counterparts in the US last night to explain that President Obama would have to go it alone or wait to see if Mr Cameron can persuade MPs to back him in the coming days. Mr Cameron had little choice, because losing a Commons vote could have triggered his own downfall.”

(See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2404837/Cameron-forced-concede-vote-Syria-military-action-await-UN-chemical-weapons-report.html#ixzz2dKqkO6TL )

Perhaps, on this one occasion, the U.S. Congress might do well to follow the ‘mother of parliaments’.

David Habakkuk

I see there are some signs of U.S. legislators wanting to contest the unconstitutional actions of the executive: Apparently 116 members of Congress have signed a letter pointing out that Obama’s attack on Syria would be unconstitutional if launched without the approval of Congress. Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees are also reported to be saying that they have not been kept properly informed about the putative intelligence underpinning the planned war.

(See http://news.antiwar.com/2013/08/28/more-in-congress-demanding-vote-on-syria-war/ )

What absolutely flabbergasts me is that Barack Obama seems so utterly devoid of respect for the principles of constitutional government, or indeed understanding of a key lesson of twentieth-century history: that unrestrained executive power is prone to lead to catastrophic outcomes.

GulfCoastPirate

Impeachment has to begin in the House and RP is a Senator. Also, if we get rid of Obama and Biden that leaves us with Boehner. You consider that an improvement?

The problem with your analysis is internal US politics. While the Republicans managed to gerrymander their way into a House majority they still received fewer votes nationwide than the Democratic minority. No matter how odious this war may be a government run by Republicans and the social conservatives that would trail in behind them would be much, much worse.

While I agree something needs to be done to slow this war effort down it's not going to be impeachment led by a Republican.

r whitman

http://news.yahoo.com/ap-sources-intelligence-weapons-no-slam-dunk-070731192.html

turcopolier

Obama raised the possibility of a CW attack on the US on the Newshour last night. We are back to the "mushroom shaped cloud." pl

robt willmann

When we hear people talk about the War Powers Act and "consultations" with Congress, there is sometimes misunderstanding about what that law says. At this point regarding Syria, the most important language is in Title 50, United States Code, section 1541(c), in the War Powers Act--

"(c) Presidential Executive Power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to

(1) a declaration of war,

(2) a specific statutory authorization, or

(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/1541

All this talk about "consultations with Congress" is disinformation, unless first the language in the section quoted above is triggered which would then authorize the president "to introduce" the U.S. armed forces into "hostilities".

As is obvious, none of the language in the War Powers Act has been activated. Section 1541(c)(1) and (2) have not happened. Syria has not made an "attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces," and so subpart "c" does not apply either and does not give president Obama the authority to do any attack on Sria.

Matthew

DH: Every American president starts thinking about his library at this point.

Seriously, it seems that Obama's presidency fizzled out when he supplicated himself in Israel. Events since have overtaken him. He's not leading from behind. He's just behind.

Matthew

Col: Does Obama not realize that people like me who voted for him twice would not object to him being impeached over this?

Bill H

It's interesting that Clapper is concerned about the US making an attack on Syria and it later turning out that the chemical use was done by rebels and not by the Assad regime, while BHO has no such concern. His only concern is that his attack might be too small to impress Republicans, thereby exposing him to criticism.

Bill H

Most conversation by Obamabots is that the War Powers Act is not a restraint on presidential power, as you and I know it to be, but is an enabling act, allowing him to use the military in any manner he chooses for 60 days.

It is, after all, the "War Powers" Act, legislation which gives the president "war powers." Get it? I know, us military types are too dumb to understand things like that. We read beyond the title and get confused.

confusedponderer

That's pretty much it and it is a sorry spectacle to behold.

Obama is less concerned with killing and maiming human beings in Syria than about losing face and having to sit through the usual barrage of braindead slander from the "Dems are Pussies" crowd and the professionbal warmongers.

It is precisely because of that craven attitude that Democrats are probably even more murderous than their Republican predecessors (and those guys were the sort of people who enhused, and often still do, about torture).

GulfCoastPirate

Actually, it was those great Republicans, Bush II and Cheney with the help of their lawyer Mr. Yoo who put the War Powers Act aside when they declared if the president does something then it isn't illegal. I don't remember any Republicans complaining about it at that time or calling for anyone's impeachment, etc. Funny how something like that sometimes comes back to bite a person in the ass.

David Habakkuk

Bill H,

"I know, us military types are too dumb to understand things like that. We read beyond the title and get confused."

Presumably I can read this as having an 'irony alert', to use Colonel Lang's phrase. But, as emerges from your and CP's subsequent comments, Obama's appalling behaviour is clearly driven by a panic concern about looking soft.

It is precisely because of this that the role of constitutionalists in the U.S. military is so important, if any kind of sanity is to be restored to the conduct of policy in your country, and also in mine.

It is much more difficult to accuse 'military types' like yourself, TTG and Colonel Lang -- or indeed General Dempsey -- of being soft, than it is to play this trick on civilians.

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