Democrats: Wait, didn’t Obama admit force authorization in Iraq essentially expired?

posted at 3:01 pm on June 17, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Last week, as the news surrounding ISIS’s blitz across Iraq began to dominate the headlines and lawmakers stated contemplating authorizing new military action to stem their advance, a number of Democrats were asked if they would support renewed engagement in Iraq. The responses Democratic representatives gave to this question were mixed.

Some, like Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), said that they would support airstrikes in Iraq. Others, including Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), said they would not. Still others, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) insisted that President Barack Obama must come to Congress with any request to use force inside Iraq. “I would strongly recommend that the administration come to Congress very, very soon, and put some options on the table of what we should be able to do,” he said.

It seems like Kaine’s view is rapidly becoming the consensus opinion among congressional Democrats and even some Republicans.

“I think the president has essentially admitted the Iraq AUMF has functionally expired,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told BuzzFeed reporter Kate Nocera. “I think we have over a dozen AUMFs on the books and we need a comprehensive look at which are functional and which are obsolete. The Iraq AUMF is functionally obsolete.”

Murphy was not expressing his opposition to a new resolution authorizing force, but was insisting that a new resolution was required. His qualification enjoys bipartisan support. Murphy’s sentiment was echoed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has said that he “would not rule out airstrikes,” also said that a new resolution to use force in Iraq was called for.

The White House does not seem to agree with Murphy’s logic. Last week, administration members were asserting that Obama can use the existing AUMF in Iraq to authorize strikes, even though they continue to support its repeal. Of course, Obama could simply ignore Congress.

The question of whether Obama can launch military operations against ISIS under existing legal authority remains an open one. In theory, he could invoke Article II of the Constitution, as he did in launching air strikes against Libya in 2011. But that decision caused a firestorm of criticism in Congress, and the administration could face significant bipartisan backlash.

“Alternatively, the administration could invoke the 2001 Authorized Use of Military Force resolution, which has been used in the increased use of drones,” Nocera reported. “But because al Qaeda has broken with ISIS, that could prove difficult.”

It could also prove difficult for the same logic which Murphy applied to the Iraq AUMF. In May of last year, the president delivered a speech in which he recommended that Congress “refine, and ultimately repeal” the 2001 resolution which authorized America’s war against al-Qaeda.

“Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states,” the president said.

Then again, all of this could prove to be an academic exercise. Majority leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said on Tuesday that the Obama administration has “authority to do what they need to do” in Iraq.

On Tuesday, the White House announced the president will meet with congressional leaders on Wednesday to discuss Iraq. If Obama does decide to pursue strikes against ISIS militants, that may be the only courtesy that the White House extends to Congress.


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All is not well in the world of electric cars, unicorns, and free stuff.

Oil Can on June 17, 2014 at 3:03 PM

The responses Democratic representatives gave to this question were mixed.

Mixed according to whether they were running for re-election in safe districts or not.

kcewa on June 17, 2014 at 3:05 PM

The tell.

Bmore on June 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I won!

cmsinaz on June 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

What? You fools, Dog Eater can use his justification memo from his Libyan Adventure, just cross out Libya and write-in Iraq along with his initials.

Bishop on June 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Obama lies without guilt.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Psychotic pharaohs need authorization ?

viking01 on June 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Congratulations, Democrats.

Your years of devotion have paid off.

You have lost the Iraq War.

George Bush will take the blame, as the media will cover for you, so your electoral hopes will continue to be well founded. All this hot air about Obama authorizing force, etc., will have no impact on the public at large.

shinty on June 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

The Koran teaches those of islam there is no guilt when you lie to infidels.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Yeah, but Dear Liar needs a distraction from the IRS scandal.

rbj on June 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Whatever, I do what I want!

http://www.bankruptingamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/obama_cartman.png

Oxymoron on June 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM

So, do as the Democrats did with Vietnam,cut off the money.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 17, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Rand Paul needs to decide what he’s for and what he’s against and stick to it. He’s all over the place.

crankyoldlady on June 17, 2014 at 3:12 PM

What? You fools, Dog Eater can use his justification memo from his Libyan Adventure, just cross out Libya and write-in Iraq along with his initials.

Bishop on June 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

So you think he should, like, deploy the P E N.

Oh, the humanity. /cries

Tsar of Earth on June 17, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The Koran teaches those of islam there is no guilt when you lie to infidels.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Is that true. It would explain a lot.

crankyoldlady on June 17, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The warmongering Obama must be stopped. I’m sure I’ll be seeing Code Pink protests on the evening news this week.

blink on June 17, 2014 at 3:07 PM

It’s blood for ego, we know there’s a link!
They say Code War, we say Code Pink!

…yeah, not happening.

crrr6 on June 17, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Most of the military gurus I’ve seen interviewed agreed that drone warfare would be pretty weak tea for this deal.

butch on June 17, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Rand Paul needs to decide what he’s for and what he’s against and stick to it. He’s all over the place.

crankyoldlady on June 17, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Yes. You’ve just put words to my growing concern about the man.

yaedon on June 17, 2014 at 3:15 PM

“Of course, Obama could simply ignore Congress.”

What is this ‘Congress’ that you speak of…?

Seven Percent Solution on June 17, 2014 at 3:16 PM

In news today, the president was asked if the ongoing war with the Tea Party could continue using the current AUMF. The president went on to say, “Uhh, wait…. Isn’t the Tea Party dead… err, uhh… dead AGAIN, I meant to say. What? Eric Cantor lost to a Tea Party favorite?

I’m invoking Article II!”

Turtle317 on June 17, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Yes. You’ve just put words to my growing concern about the man.

yaedon on June 17, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Too squishy by half.

crankyoldlady on June 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Deploy the giant paper-mache heads!

OwwwwOOOOOOgggaaaaaaaa

Bishop on June 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM

All is not well in the world of electric cars, unicorns, and free stuff.

Oil Can on June 17, 2014 at 3:03 PM

My unicorn just died. It won’t stop him, Obama is king. /

HornetSting on June 17, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Can’t wait for the nude protests by Breasts Not Bombs and Code Pinko as they sing, “Give Peace A Chance”.

I would strongly recommend that the administration come to Congress very, very soon, and put some options on the table of what we should be able to do

No, the Messiah has a pen and a phone. He don’t need no steenkin’ Congress.

PS Enough already with the autoplay commercials.

formwiz on June 17, 2014 at 3:18 PM

BREAKING: ISIS Surrounds Baghdad on Three Sides – Controls Water Supplies to Capital (Video)

Where are Clinton, Power, and Rice?

Isn’t this a R2P situation? 800 deaths nationwide was enough to trigger their ridiculous R2P actions in Libya.

Resist We Much on June 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

As always, Obama rules by divine right of kings.

VorDaj on June 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Most of the military gurus I’ve seen interviewed agreed that drone warfare would be pretty weak tea for this deal.

butch on June 17, 2014 at 3:15 PM

I don’t know as much as some of you about military hardware but what became of those rockets (?) they used to shoot and blow up buildings and convoys.

crankyoldlady on June 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I don’t know as much as some of you about military hardware but what became of those rockets (?) they used to shoot and blow up buildings and convoys.

crankyoldlady on June 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

The price tag on those Tomahawk missiles can’t be supported by a Pentagon with a watered-down budget and 2% (or less) economic growth.

Turtle317 on June 17, 2014 at 3:21 PM

This is the perfect distraction to launch an amphibious invasion of Brazil. No one will see it coming and we can take all of their sugarcane…

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Maybe if he hadn’t been golfing he could have already had his meeting with Congress.

forest on June 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

BREAKING: ISIS Surrounds Baghdad on Three Sides – Controls Water Supplies to Capital (Video)

Where are Clinton, Power, and Rice?

Isn’t this a R2P situation? 800 deaths nationwide was enough to trigger their ridiculous R2P actions in Libya.

Resist We Much on June 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Iran and Syria are waiting for ISIS to over extend themselves……when they do…..Iran and Syria
will be able to destroy ISIS and capture Iraq…..The Iranians know that Obama won’t stop them.
Once Iran controls Iraq then they can plan the invasion of Saudi Arabia, with Russia’s full support.

redguy on June 17, 2014 at 3:24 PM

“But because al Qaeda has broken with ISIS, that could prove difficult.”

So al qaeda terrorist armies can make themselves untouchable just by pretending they’ve split from al qaeda? Or does Zawahiri hold the power to shield terrorists from America’s wrath just by stating that this terrorist or terrorist army is no longer officially sanctioned by al qaeda? That would be nutty.

Buddahpundit on June 17, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Maybe if he hadn’t been golfing he could have already had his meeting with Congress.

forest on June 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Obama and the progressives will have overplayed their hand. What is about to happen in the next few weeks will have everyone in the world questioning Obama about where his loyalties lay.

redguy on June 17, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Wait, didn’t Obama admit force authorization in Iraq essentially expired?

He also said that would keep our insurance and doctors, period.
It’s called taquiyya.
Time to admit it.

burrata on June 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Will the Zero’s blood lust ever be satiated?!
This war mongering, imperialistic, evil, evil douche-king must be stopped!. C’mon Libs help me out here.

Darth Biden, Lurch the conqueror, Susie “slice & dice” Rice, and Killdog all must be tried for war crimes.

Release the Sheehan!!

StubbornGreenBurros on June 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Headline you won’t see on HotAir:

Democrats: Wait, didn’t Obama admit force authorization in Iraq essentially expired? autocratically change duly enacted provisions of the PPACA?

Marcola on June 17, 2014 at 3:31 PM

The best violence is blue-on-blue.

ConstantineXI on June 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM

While golfing, Obama has been trying to come up with a really convincing hash tag to get ISIS in line. This is it:
#StopBullying

Deano1952 on June 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Rand Paul needs to decide what he’s for and what he’s against and stick to it. He’s all over the place.

crankyoldlady on June 17, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Rand Paul is for getting elected President. There, I answered it for you.

will77jeff on June 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

We cannot make events. Our business is wisely to improve them.

Samuel Adams

wisdom (ˈwɪzdəm)

the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight

I would humbly submit to you that given the definition of Wisdom, our current Pres. is simply unable to attain such.

Von Kleist on June 17, 2014 at 3:35 PM

The price tag on those Tomahawk missiles can’t be supported by a Pentagon with a watered-down budget and 2% (or less) economic growth.

Turtle317 on June 17, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Don’t worry…

… Obama’s on it.

Obama to Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs

Cornerstone of U.S. Naval power eliminated under Obama budget

Seven Percent Solution on June 17, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Under the War Powers act, he’s got 60 days before he needs to talk to Congress, no matter what happens. The rate things are developing, I think it’ll all be over by then.

Steven Den Beste on June 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM

By the time Obama finishes dithering, will he be bombing ISIS in Baghdad? He might have to worry about “collateral damage” to human shields.

“But because al Qaeda has broken with ISIS, that could prove difficult.”

ISIS: “Nya nya nya nya nya. We’re not Al Qaeda. You can’t hit us.”

Steve Z on June 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

“But because al Qaeda has broken with ISIS,

What ?
How does anyone even know that ?
Stupid .

burrata on June 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Under the War Powers act, he’s got 60 days before he needs to talk to Congress, no matter what happens. The rate things are developing, I think it’ll all be over by then.

Steven Den Beste on June 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM

At the rate they are advancing and Obama is dithering, the helicopter evacuation of the Embassy will be underway before the end of the week.

ConstantineXI on June 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

“Of course, Obama could simply ignore Congress.”

I wonder what the chances of that would be?

HiJack on June 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Iran and Syria are waiting for ISIS to over extend themselves……

redguy on June 17, 2014 at 3:24 PM

That may take a little longer than everyone thinks…

How long does it take to blow through $500 million dollars worth of weapons…?

Seven Percent Solution on June 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

“Of course, Obama could simply ignore Congress.”

I wonder what the chances of that would be?

HiJack on June 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Pick a number between 100 and 100.

ConstantineXI on June 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Obama to Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs

Cornerstone of U.S. Naval power eliminated under Obama budget

Seven Percent Solution on June 17, 2014 at 3:36 PM

O_O

O_O

Though the slingshot can be deadly in properly trained hands.

Bishop on June 17, 2014 at 3:49 PM

I know I know…Dude that was like so 2000 years ago…

Von Kleist on June 17, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.
Hold on …reverse that.

Von Kleist on June 17, 2014 at 3:52 PM

These Democrats are either up in arms about this because:

A). They are up for re-election in hotly contested districts.

or

B). Obama stopped leaving cab fare on the nightstand when he was done with them.

Left Coast Right Mind on June 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Democrats: Wait, didn’t Obama admit force authorization in Iraq essentially expired?

In related news, odds of Teh SCOAMT’s use of force in Iraq drastically increased.

Steve Eggleston on June 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM

As always, Obama rules by divine right of kings Sultans.

VorDaj on June 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

ReWrite™ engaged for perspective (or should I have put in “gods”?).

Steve Eggleston on June 17, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Cue Cindy Sheehan camped on the White House lawn and 24/7 news reports about it.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

KMC1 on June 17, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Sure, Dems asked that, but then they remembered it’s all Bush’s fault.

brentspolemics on June 17, 2014 at 4:06 PM

The White House does not seem to agree with Murphy’s logic. Last week, administration members were asserting that Obama can use the existing AUMF in Iraq to authorize strikes, even though they continue to support its repeal. Of course, Obama could simply ignore Congress.

Well, of course. The King does whatever the King f*cking wants to do.

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 4:13 PM

What’s this? Democrats showing a bit of spine? Too bad we never saw the GOP critique the Bush admin during their wrongheaded lead up to war.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Obama to Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs
 
Cornerstone of U.S. Naval power eliminated under Obama budget
 
Seven Percent Solution on June 17, 2014 at 3:36 PM

 
O_O
 
O_O
 
Though the slingshot can be deadly in properly trained hands.
 
Bishop on June 17, 2014 at 3:49 PM

 
From the link:
 

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”

 
Dreams from his father.

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:18 PM

What’s this? Democrats showing a bit of spine? Too bad we never saw the GOP critique the Bush admin during their wrongheaded lead up to war.
 
libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

 
The one that Congress debated, voted on, and approved?

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

He just can’t help himself…..

Barred on June 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Twice even, if memory serves.

Left Coast Right Mind on June 17, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Authorization?

Stupid gringos.

Obama don’t got no stinking authorization. Obama don’t need no stinking authorization.

novaculus on June 17, 2014 at 4:27 PM

The one that Congress debated, voted on, and approved?

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Yes, that one. Which Republicans called for the Bush admin not to invade Iraq again? Or questioned the legality of the war?

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

What’s this? Democrats showing a bit of spine? Too bad we never saw the GOP critique the Bush admin during their wrongheaded lead up to war.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Since when do turds have spines?

bimmcorp on June 17, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Headlines comment threads are getting poofed.

slickwillie2001 on June 17, 2014 at 4:29 PM

The question of whether Obama can launch military operations against ISIS under existing legal authority remains an open one. In theory, he could invoke Article II of the Constitution, as he did in launching air strikes against Libya in 2011. But that decision caused a firestorm of criticism in Congress, and the administration could face significant bipartisan backlash.

Like ANYONE on EARTH is supposed to “trust” Obama.

Fer gats sake… YAK!

/He’s a traitor to our nation.

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 4:35 PM

What’s this? Democrats showing a bit of spine? Too bad we never saw the GOP critique the Bush admin during their wrongheaded lead up to war.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

the authorization to go to war was overwhelmingly bipartisan based on all known intelligence at the time. Were we fed incorrect intelligence? Likely. Did we rise against Bush after Katrina? Definitely. Did we rise against Bush during the bank bailouts? Absolutely.

Lib, you are a pure partisan. At some point you are going to have to realize that the people you are supporting are incapable of decision making. They are fully adept at tweeting, chirping, leaking, dithering, blathering and botching… but completely incapable of anything other than a boy in the 11th grade.

Remember… if we get Shariah law in the USA, you’ll be the first to hang. Maybe next to your savior, Obama

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM

What’s this? Democrats showing a bit of spine? Too bad we never saw the GOP critique the Bush admin during their wrongheaded lead up to war.
 
libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

 
The one that Congress debated, voted on, and approved?
 
rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

 
Yes, that one. Which Republicans called for the Bush admin not to invade Iraq again? Or questioned the legality of the war?
 
libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

 
One would hope an academic would know he could consult the congressional record for both (R) and (D) votes on the war Obama ended in 2011, professor.
 
What does your distraction have to do with Obama’s 2014 situation again?

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Iran and Syria are waiting for ISIS to over extend themselves……

redguy on June 17, 2014 at 3:24 PM

That may take a little longer than everyone thinks…

How long does it take to blow through $500 million dollars worth of weapons…?

Seven Percent Solution on June 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Exactly. Not only that, but ISIS is consolidating its gains as it goes. It is less like an army on the march than, as its name implies, an expanding nation-state. These guys are not going to over-extend themselves. They’re home.

de rigueur on June 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Unequivocally correct. And then he should’ve had the stones to tell the American people “this is what occupation looks like, this is how it ends, always.” But he doesn’t exactly have a career that oozes political bravery…

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Schadenfreude on June 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Yes, that one. Which Republicans called for the Bush admin not to invade Iraq again? Or questioned the legality of the war?

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Biden, Hillary and Kerry voted for it, Einstein. The UN did too.

Schadenfreude on June 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

What’s this? Democrats showing a bit of spine? Too bad we never saw the GOP critique the Bush admin during their wrongheaded lead up to war.

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Because most of the intel generated claiming Iraq had WMDs came from the previous (Democrat) administration? That’s the intel that Mrs. Clinton based her yes vote on.

F-

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

The one that Congress debated, voted on, and approved?

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Yes, that one. Which Republicans called for the Bush admin not to invade Iraq again? Or questioned the legality of the war?

libfreeordie on June 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

6 House Republicans and one Senate Republican voted against. 2 House Republicans and 1 House Democrat didn’t vote on the Resolution at all.

58% of the Senate Democrats voted for the Resolution. 6 in 10.

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Obama and his Regime pissed away everything our military fought and died for in Iraq. In a matter of days, he pissed it all away.

Congratulations Barry, you ensured that every soldier that died or was maimed in Iraq over the last 12 years, did it for NOTHING.

Meople on June 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Of course, Obama could simply ignore Congress.

He will. The King has a pen and a phone.

GarandFan on June 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

If we have learned anything in the years since 2009 it should be clear that Obama will do has he pleases, and the legislative branch will squawk about this or that but will not do diddly to stop him.

Anything short of launching a nuclear strike in Iraq is not going to cause Obama any problems. Then again, I’m not sure a few tactical nukes tossed at ISIS would stir up much trouble in D.C., although the Nobel Committee in Oslo might try to rescind that Peace Prize award.

But can’t you remember the days when the Democrats were so big on getting the United Nations to pass resolutions for stuff like this? Seems I remember lots of things about the ‘necessity of a consensus’, and not ‘going it alone’. They hardly seem to notice the UN exists anymore, at least when it might go against their plans. But what nostalgia for the old days! Ah, good times, good times.

Yet never fear, those days will surely return if a Republican wins the White House in 2016. I anticipate a resurgence in the popularity of the concepts of ‘rule of law’, ‘checks and balances’, and ‘separation of powers’ as well as the idea that the US should be ruled by the UN instead of being a sovereign nation.

s1im on June 17, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Obama will just Article II some guys into the fray. But with all the rules of engagement restrictions, it’ll come off something like this.

OccamsRazor on June 17, 2014 at 8:51 PM

If you have children whatever you do NOT let them join the military with King Barky the Incompetent as CIC or as Obama would say commander and chief. Ask any corpse man he will tell you that.

jukin3 on June 17, 2014 at 10:28 PM