Executive Authority & The Military

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  1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
    Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months ago

    Yesterday during the brief after the U.S. deployed missiles in Syria, General Mattis said something to the effect of "After reviewing Article II of the constitution, we are confident that the POTUS had legal authority for this military action"

    Section II of the Second Article of the Constitution states...

    Clause 1: The President of the United States is the commander-in-chief of the military. This clause also creates a Cabinet of senior executive officers who assist the President in his duties.
    Clause 2: This clause is called the Advice and Consent clause, which means that the President can use his powers only by getting help and approval of the United States Congress.
    Clause 3: The President has the power to appoint officers during recesses of the court, but these appointments expire once the next session of the Senate begins.

    Nowhere in these clauses does it state that the POTUS has the authority to engage in acts of war without congressional approval. This may be a tired subject because we've been walking this line since the Korean War but I just don't see how this decision was constitutional. It's like we gloss over this every time it comes up. Is there something I've missed?

    Perhaps my more political/historical savvy friends can help me iron this one out.

    1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image95
      Wesman Todd Shawposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      All you have to do is call it a 'humanitarian mission,' like Obama and Hill Dog did their bombing and regime change in Libya. All it did was open up the North African slave trade. You can buy a healthy, young black male there for $400 now.

      ...so in context, Trump's thing literally was a humanitarian mission. All this requires of us is to believe the crapola the media provides about these chemical weapons attacks. There's no possible way we can prove or disprove to ourselves this information, it's all a leap of faith either way.

      On the upside, we've not been nuked by Russia yet, and so, I've no complaints.

      1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
        Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

        I share your sentiments about the murky reality of those chemical attacks. Having a little Deja Vu.

    2. GA Anderson profile image92
      GA Andersonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      You are going to have to do some work to decide how you feel about this one Jessie.

      I think the answer is, at root, a simple one; Drawing from Article II of the Constitution, the designation as Commander-in-chief, combined with the requirement that an, ("The"),  oath of office be taken, and upheld - it seems simply implied that the President has the "War Power," (as first proclaimed by Lincoln?)

      But ... I think that simple answer is like the proverbial loose thread that unravels the sweater,

      The Constitution does not offer any specifics about this issue. And history has shown this presidential power to be one in which the debate is primarily political. If you support a president's actions, then that  simple answer authorizes the power. If you don't support the action - then the Constitution doesn't support that simple answer - because it doesn't specifically say so.

      Historically, the Courts and the body politic have accepted that, generally speaking, (you will find different pieces of legislation adding definition to the President's "War Power"),  the President does have this "War Power.' (I think the first example was the challenge to Lincoln's Southern ports blockade)

      I think it boils down to supporters tying the "Commander-in-chief" designation to the Presidential Oath's "... will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.", and opponents arguing the validity of the action in question's  application to the requirements of that oath. ie. "preserve and protect."

      I support the simple answer, (I also support the intention of the "War Powers Resolution" )

      GA

      1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
        Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

        I gotcha. It's one of those "open to interpretation" issues. Quite frankly this little loophole is getting old. Nobody asked the American people or our legislators what they thought about something like that. Doesn't seem like we even have all the facts straight. It would be nice if our leaders didn't move unilaterally for 5 minutes. There was no direct threat to the United States.

  2. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 23 months ago

    Trump obstructionist's to the Syrian bombing sound much like pre-WWII  pacifist's . Objecting to stopping the holocaust .

    1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
      Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      Well, the U.S. didn't publicize what was happening in the concentration camps for many years during the war. It wasn't really in the public eye.

      I agree that Assad is a ruthless dictator and should be brought down but to paint everyone who doesn't agree with Trump as pre-WWII pacifists is a gross misrepresentation. Things are more complicated than that. This issue has no bearing on whether you support Trump or not. I like some of the things he does like re-allocating troops to the border and enforcing pre-existing immigration laws. I thought that was just spiffy. But the Twitter dick wagging and the unilateral decision to engage in acts of war is a little too verbose given the murky information we have.

      1. profile image0
        ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

        No  I'd sooner decide the real problem people have is lacking knowledge of Trumps  or any presidents job description one , and two  the latent belief that somehow we all get a vote in deciding just who the enemy is , how bad the infraction was and how we should attack them .

        1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
          Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

          Okay you're running with something I said loosely which should be phrased differently. I don't think these types of difficult decisions should be made at public level but we have to tell our representatives how we feel and then they vote on our behalf. This is the rules. Rules that no one cares about because they're too focused on Trump's prior reputation and his criticizers. That seems to derail any normal conversation. Sanders and Hillary have no business in this conversation.

          1. profile image0
            ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

            Okay...these decisions aren't made at the public level though ?  It's just the open suppositions of an obstructing media for one and the leaking agendas of political office for another.  Yes ! We elect and then hope that they lead according to our wishes and their campaigning declarations . Whatever "pops up " like the Syrian crisis is something we have no say in .

            1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
              Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

              Right. But we do have a say in our own lives. Public opinion must be formed for the long-term outcomes. That's why we're here right now. But if its just going to boil down to political alliances then it will go nowhere just as it always does.

  3. Live to Learn profile image78
    Live to Learnposted 23 months ago

    We are, literally, caught between a half truth and a lie. The problem is we don't know which is coming from where. But Trump has done no different than those before him. To criticize him rings hollow, since every predecessor politically survived their acts, fairly unscathed.

    All people of good faith can sympathize with the idea of responding strongly to chemical attacks on innocents. But the military industrial complex pushes us closer and closer to war. We will never, in our lifetime, have a moment where lives are lost (on either side) when we can trust either the claims of provocation or justification. Fear of the outcome if we don't stand with our nation as things progress leaves me sad about our collective future. Would that those in authority, on both sides, put the welfare of humanity above their own desires for wealth and power.

    1. profile image0
      ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

      One Question , one answer ;  Where was the U.N. in all of this ? We give them about ten percent more $ per year and equalling almost eight Billion in 2010   Anybody else wondering ?

      1. Live to Learn profile image78
        Live to Learnposted 23 months agoin reply to this

        To believe one universal body would act in the best interests of the citizens of the world was a nice dream.

        1. profile image0
          ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

          Especially with a U.S. budget of eight Billion dollars  -B - in 2010, I mean , why would they act in a responsible way in humanitarian  law enforcement  if they get paid to do nothing anyway ?

          Trump , Get us out of the UN now .

          1. GA Anderson profile image92
            GA Andersonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

            I have a contrarian thought for you ahorseback:
            Is the U.N. Useless, Should The U.S. Get Out

            GA

  4. ptosis profile image68
    ptosisposted 23 months ago

    Trump quotes.

    We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon -- very soon we're coming out. Going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.

    I don't want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is.

    Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can't we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?

    The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!

    What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict?

    Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia,  because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!”

    Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!
    https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/14000556.jpg

    1. profile image0
      ahorsebackposted 23 months ago

      Yet , All too many people think that somehow  we are or Trump is actually  going to war instead of correcting the course of an errant and acting terrorist lead nation by the single act of a bombing his chemical weapon bases ?
      And, you think somehow we should all get a vote in that constitutionally amended and declared  presidential power, perhaps you had your vote and wasted it on Hillary or Sanders ?

      1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
        Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

        It's a lot easier to know who you're talking to if you comment directly to people's comments.

        Having said that, I'm not sure what to make of what you've said here. I maintain that no single person should have the power to wage conflict in other countries. This is a basic constitutional constraint on executive power.

    2. Jessie L Watson profile image91
      Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months ago

      People's blind obsession with Trump makes debating specific issues very difficult. As a Republican who supports much of Trumps decisions, is it okay to disagree with him every once and a while? Is that okay without being labeled something of a Hillary conspirator? Jesus...

    3. Jessie L Watson profile image91
      Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months ago

      “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

      ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      1. profile image0
        ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

        That worked well in the past , but when you're number one , SAYING you are on your way is an important part of strategy too , Notice how quickly the Russians backed away ?

        1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
          Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

          I don't think they backed away necessarily. I just don't think Russia was prepared to sacrifice the entire planet over Syria. It showed us more about how invested they were in Syria and not their resolve when it comes to thwarting the U.S. if they have to. Had there been more collateral damage....

          1. profile image0
            ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

            Russia doesn't care about the planet , they care about Russia and losing face . When all their ships pull out of all  the harbors that's a pretty good picture of their committal to Syrian people . No ?

            Trumps a gambler I wouldn't want to play against , he's proved that over and over but many here think that his acts are dangerous .  No, they are just calculated and brave .
            The difference between a vacillating Obama and Trump "shocks and awes" many  here .

            1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
              Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

              "calculated and brave"

              I'm not sure about all that. If there's anything that gives me peace of mind is that he remains informed by his generals (unlike Obama). If anyone's calculated and brave, its them.

              I understand standing our ground. I even understand not telling people what's really happening and moving chess pieces on a need-to-know basis. But I know Trump. And he has a big problem with his own pride. It's pretty safe to assume that plays some role in his decisions as POTUS. Pride shouldn't drive these decisions.

              1. profile image0
                ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

                Of course !   I agree , and revelation ;    the generals are always there . So are the diplomats ,the John Boultons , the Nikki Haley's, the Henry Kissinger's , we are fortunate in that respect .

                1. Jessie L Watson profile image91
                  Jessie L Watsonposted 23 months agoin reply to this

                  Nikki Haley is go-getter.

                  1. profile image0
                    ahorsebackposted 23 months agoin reply to this

                    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

      2. ptosis profile image68
        ptosisposted 23 months agoin reply to this

        Awesome book, perhaps Trump should take advice from the book of Sun Tzu, "to succeed, know both yourself and your enemy.”

        LOL, what am I saying? Trump's core belief is in himself. He takes a bit of advice from family members, and that is it. Trump appears to ignore the advice of his legal counsel as he twitters away.  Seems to be a lot of wasted money because Trump's 2020 reelection campaign has already spent about $835,000 in legal fees so far in 2018, (22% of total spending) - and it's only April.

     
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