Are Obama’s new airstrikes in Iraq legal?

posted at 2:01 pm on August 12, 2014 by Allahpundit

I think it’s charming that a story like this would still appear in American media three years after O waged undeclared war in Libya and maybe three weeks before he decides he has the power to amnestize 10 million people.

Just for funsies, though: Is this war illegal? Expert consensus seems to be “not yet.”

Now in Iraq, most constitutional law experts say Obama had the authority to launch strikes to protect Americans in Erbil.

“That, I think, was a lawful exercise of his powers as commander in chief, even without prior congressional approval,” [Professor Peter] Raven-Hansen said.

Some though question whether he had the authority to launch additional air strikes to protect refugees from the Yezidi sect who have taken refuge from ISIS on Mount Sinjar outside of the city…

[Professor Robert F.] Turner said that Obama can continue ordering air strikes against ISIS, because they are not a foreign state, just a terrorist group.

“What he’s doing, it’s not an act of war,” Turner said. “He’s essentially coming to the defense of Iraq. Nobody recognizes ISIS as a state. They’re not set up as a government, they’re just a band of terrorists.”

I’m not sure why Turner thinks that the War Powers Act should apply only to action against sovereign states. Here’s the key bit from the statute:

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

Blowing up jihadis on the ground while they fire at U.S. jets in the air would seem to me to qualify as “hostilities.” Under the law, once he’s formally reported to Congress that hostilities have begun, the president can wage war on his own for 60 days; at that point, he needs authorization from Congress to continue or else he must withdraw. Obama’s already said that he expects it’ll take years, not weeks, to push ISIS back, so we’re going to hit that 60-day wall inevitably in early October. What happens then?

Let’s refresh our memories of how this played out when he went after Qaddafi in 2011. Early on, in March, the White House simply denied that they were at war in Libya when asked by congressional aides. A week later, Hillary told Congress that the White House’s own lawyers were comfortable with their actions under the War Powers Act and that Obama had no intention of seeking authorization from Congress. Six weeks later, with the 60-day deadline bearing down, the NYT reported that White House aides were searching for some plausible interpretation of the War Powers Act that would let them keep fighting whether Congress liked it or not. (One theory allegedly kicked around at the time was that if O simply “paused” every 60 days, he could reset the WPA’s clock, thereby allowing the president to wage war without legislative approval indefinitely.) At this point, angry conservatives and embarrassed liberals in the House realized that O was laughing in their face, so they passed a bipartisan resolution demanding that he seek congressional authorization for action in Libya. Less than two weeks later, the White House finally spoke up in its own defense: The War Powers Act wasn’t triggered, they claimed, because the months-long U.S./NATO bombing campaign against Qaddafi … didn’t qualify as “hostilities.” It was two days later that the Times dropped another bombshell, that Obama’s own lawyers in the DOJ and at the Pentagon advised him that the campaign did amount to hostilities and that he should have complied with the WPA. He simply ignored them and sided with another advisor who told him what he wanted to hear.

So, as you can see, he takes this stuff seriously.

Given how they weaseled out of the definition of “hostilities” to avoid complying with the Act in 2011, I assume they’ll do the same thing with ISIS. Here’s how the Times described their deliberations over Libya:

The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces have not been in “hostilities” at least since April 7, when NATO took over leadership in maintaining a no-flight zone in Libya, and the United States took up what is mainly a supporting role — providing surveillance and refueling for allied warplanes — although unmanned drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles as well.

They argued that United States forces are at little risk in the operation because there are no American troops on the ground and Libyan forces are unable to exchange meaningful fire with American forces. They said that there was little risk of the military mission escalating, because it is constrained by the United Nations Security Counsel resolution that authorized use of air power to defend civilians.

It’s only “hostilities,” according to the White House, if (1) the U.S. is leading the mission, (2) U.S. forces are at risk, and (3) there’s a risk of escalation. Numbers 1 and 3 are both satisfied in the case of bombing ISIS so expect a heavy White House emphasis on number 2 as they try to ignore the law this time around. In fact, we may end up seeing them argue that U.S. forces are never really at risk unless troops are on the ground (or unless they’re facing an enemy with sophisticated defenses to air attack), which would mean in practice that as long as the president declines to use infantry, he can bomb anyone he wants for as long as he wants from the air without ever needing approval from Congress. Neat!

I suppose O could always argue that the 2002 AUMF in Iraq covers action against ISIS, but given that his team’s been claiming lately that AUMF should be repealed, that would be one awkward argument. Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

They (D)on’t care.

rogerb on August 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

What difference does it make?

NoFanofLibs on August 12, 2014 at 2:07 PM

The media are the scum of the earth, supporting a Muslim, Kenyan POS…

PatriotRider on August 12, 2014 at 2:07 PM

The “I” word is off the table. So, does it even matter?

I didn’t think so.

Meople on August 12, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Legal?
LEGAL?
Are you kidding?

Tard on August 12, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Of course it’s legal; as Judge Dredd Dogeater proudly states, “I AM the law!!”

RoadRunner on August 12, 2014 at 2:09 PM

as long as the president declines to use infantry, he can bomb anyone he wants for as long as he wants from the air without ever needing approval from Congress. Neat!

‘Cowboy diplomacy’ rubbed off on Obama, lefties?

Mark Boabaca on August 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Meanwhile…Not one single anti-war protester has bothered to say one word.

HotAirian on August 12, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Silly question.

King Putt is the Law

/.

RedPepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Meh. Of all that he’s done, bending the rules on presidential authority to blast those bastards to hell doesn’t register on my outrage meter.

LukeinNE on August 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Peace prize.

Nuf sed.

Bigbullets on August 12, 2014 at 2:13 PM

“I’m bound by the constitution”

-President Obama

portlandon on August 12, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Because he’s fundamentally transforming the nation into a banana republic. He wants Congress to be irrelevant except as something to blame.

rbj on August 12, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Are Obama’s new airstrikes in Iraq legal?

As legal as his personal war in Libya.

As legal as the ineligible imbecile’s Precedency.

As legal as Fast&Furious.

As legal as firing AGs who are closing in on his political buddies.

As legal as issuing Oval Office dictats stopping off-shore oil drilling.

As legal as offering federal jobs to Senate candidates to withdraw from the races.

As legal as holding the largest campaign rally of an American political race in a foreign nation … for foreigners … paid in part by a foreign government.

Etc., etc., … etc. (One “etc.” is not enough to convey how much more of this insanity there’s been)

he decides he has the power to amnestize AID AND ABET THE INVASION OF 10 million people.

It isn’t amnesty. It’s TREASON.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 12, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Even asking such a question of Dog Eater is horseshiite.

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Please don’t. This is muddying the issue.

Not the hill to die on. Really.

Bat Chain Puller on August 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Meanwhile…Not one single anti-war protester has bothered to say one word.

HotAirian on August 12, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Not true. WorldCan’tWait and CodePinko have been out protesting this. You just haven’t seen it reported by the media.

JannyMae on August 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Patty Murray, for one.

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

unless troops are on the ground (or unless they’re facing an enemy with sophisticated defenses to air attack), which would mean in practice that as long as the president declines to use infantry, he can bomb anyone he wants for as long as he wants from the air without ever needing approval from Congress. Neat!

He’s already doing that with drones.

butch on August 12, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Meanwhile…Not one single anti-war protester has bothered to say one word.

HotAirian on August 12, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Where is Code Stink?

docflash on August 12, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I’ve been wondering about this myself, since the Iraq war was declared “ended” by Obama, that there should be another formal permission for military action put forth in congress…

…but that doesn’t matter to Obama. We’ve already seen that with Egypt and Libya.

JannyMae on August 12, 2014 at 2:21 PM

LoL, Bishop!

Speaking of imperious reader, his vacation news:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/11/At-Martha-s-Vineyard-Obama-Complains-About-Cold-Ocean

and he complains about republicans. (does that mean he’s not actually on vacation?)

dogsoldier on August 12, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Patty Murray, for one.

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Keith Ellison for another.

butch on August 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Are Obama’s new airstrikes in Iraq legal?

Come on, Allahfunnin’it. You’re just trolling us now.

M240H on August 12, 2014 at 2:23 PM

How dare you question The Great Fascist if it is legal or not!All that matters it’s legal cuz he says so!

jeffinsjvca on August 12, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Tragedy

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Anyone else remember when one of our smart and intellectually honest (D)s came right out and admitted how he believed that until the Supreme Court heard a case and determined Obama’s actions to be unconstitutional, anything, ANYTHING, he does is 100% absolutely fine and perfectly legal?

rogerb on August 12, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Susan Rice’s timing sucks.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Silly question.

King Putt is the Law

/.

RedPepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Apparently, Ned has a ‘red state’ brother.

M240H on August 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Let’s get Congress on the record..

Who in Congress is ready to authorize another war just 84 days before election?

The last time Obama asked Congress to authorize strikes against Syria they all chickened out.

Come on, Congress, do your job.

Let’s see who the warmongers are..
The American people want to know.

Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Has he ever done anything constitutional, legal, ethical or otherwise proper?

He is the one. Don’t forget that and question him!

Otherwise IRS will be up your azz

txdoc on August 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders, Sheila Jackson Lee and a band of wacky misfits whose mere existence as elected officials is an indictment of democracy itself?

trubble on August 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

So we’ve got a trigger happy cowboy in the White House fighting an illegal war and not a peep out of liberals/democrats.

Weird.

HumpBot Salvation on August 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Are Obama’s new airstrikes in Iraq legal?

That’s a point of interest for legal scholars I’m sure, but it’s meaningless minutiae to everyone else.

Stoic Patriot on August 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders, Sheila Jackson Lee and a band of wacky misfits whose mere existence as elected officials is an indictment of democracy itself?

trubble on August 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Heh.

Pure poetry.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 12, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Aren’t there troops on the ground now for training purposes and that’s why he is protecting citizens??????

cmsinaz on August 12, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Every terrorist Dubya killed only created more terrorists.

Every terrorist Dog Eater kills creates more peaceful balloon-animal makers.

THIS is how you scatter people across the landscape via GBU, with the imprimatur of the Nobel Committee, the victims die happy and content. Dubya didn’t have a Nobel because he was a warmonger.

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Because it would mean that Repubs would be agreeing on something with him. Can’t have that. Gotta keep showing ‘em who da boss. .

31giddyup on August 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?


This is precisely why

H/t Bmore

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

That’s not the issue, or rather the pathology.

As far as he is concerned, he is Emperor Golfswing I, and emperors don’t ask for authorization.

Kensington on August 12, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Re: Why Not Just Ask Congress for Authorization?

I think the real issue here is that the executive branch has always strongly objected to the WPR on separation of powers grounds as an unconstitutional incursion on their Article II powers. The WPR was passed over Nixon’s veto, and every President since then (including Obama) has generally tried to do as little as necessary to comply with it, while attempting to keep as much as possible within their own discretion.

To that end, I don’t think there is any real issue here with Obama seeking Congressional authorization — a few lefties would get riled up, but the political impact would be de minimis — I think it’s really more of a general inclination to resist seeking Congressional authorization unless absolutely necessary, lest set the precedent for further oversight in the future.

pwh on August 12, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Robert Turner is Reagan’s former lawyer, teaches National Security law at UVA. Anyway, he has wrote before that the 1973 War Powers Resolution itself is Unconstitutional.

http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/detail/the-war-powers-resolution-an-unnecessary-unconstitutional-source-of-friendly-fire-in-the-war-against-international-terrorism

Which is the traditional conservative Constitutionalist position

jp on August 12, 2014 at 2:33 PM

McCain might vote against liquidation too considering he posed with ISIS not too long ago.

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:33 PM

The reason Presidency has become so powerful is because the Congress critters are totally gutless. They do not want to take a stand.

They do not want to vote ‘NO’ on airstrikes.

They do not want to vote ‘YES’ on airstrikes.

They are just scared $hitlless how this will affect their re-election chances.

They simply want someone take that decision. And President Obama is glad to do it for them.

Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

This war will be legal until January 2016 when a Republican takes over. Then it’ll be the worst form of treason ever.

Vanceone on August 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

As if his base wasn’t depressed enough, the spectacle of Dems inaugurating the Third Iraq War would keep them at home through 2016.

Or worse: suppose base-conscious Dems refused to vote for authorization? Obama cut off from his own party (probably depressing that part of the base which comprises his die-hard supporters) with 2 years to go. Beyond lame, his would be a dead duck presidency.

de rigueur on August 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

pwh on August 12, 2014 at 2:33 PM

The WPA is Unconstitutional….and political.

In this post-60′s era, Foreign Policy and War are highly Politicized. The WPA ends up serving as a defacto way of building political support, even though its Unconstituitonal

Charltans like Rand Paul and company on the other hand actually believe the Liberal position on this

jp on August 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Barry could get authorization from Congress for these strikes – but I don’t think he will do so because it will upset the narrative that Congress is being mean to him because they don’t like him, the color of his skin, or whatever.

TarheelBen on August 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Bishop, God keep you, you heathen, you.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Justin Amash

jp on August 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Seas are lowered when people are blown to bits by Hellfire missiles; FACT.

The more people Dog Eater explodes the safer South Pacific atolls will be, why do you homophobes hate the South Pacific?

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Oh the sad, sad irony when the House vote goes 0 yeas 0 nays and 435 voting “present”

trubble on August 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Ned Pepper might have died, from agony.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 2:39 PM

The more people Dog Eater explodes the safer South Pacific atolls will be, why do you homophobes hate the South Pacific?

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Love the word “atoll”. Thanks for being.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I’m for an American president depositing ordnance on Jihadis at will. Even if he’s pursuing some kind of Manchurian agenda, dead Jihadis are always a positive development.

Immolate on August 12, 2014 at 2:40 PM

“Hey, it’s not an Act of War! It’s an act of….wacky hijinks, ‘r something.”

orangemtl on August 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Latrine rats, must be hell to be you these days.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Great post, Allah.

I think we must give some consideration to the accusation one reason he has left US diplomatic personnel on the ground is to justify military action. That would justify tactical ops but not strategic bombing. Given Obama’s scrupulous respect for the letter of the law that wouldn’t stop him from some strategic attacks. But he’s got a bigger personal problem with what is happening in Iraq.

That problem is why he doesn’t just ask for an authorization. He simply can’t bring himself to go to Congress and admit he needs to use force in Iraq. He just can’t. It’s the elephant in his room. He was wrong, and he can’t be wrong. Not on anything big or important.

He obviously loathes being forced to ask for Congressional action on anything (unless it’s strictly political posturing), but this request would be much worse: An undeniable admission to the entire nation of his failure. So long as he preserves his bubble he can rationalize his failure, but even he can’t ignore the massive consensus of his failure that would be the consequence of going begging to Congress.

I don’t think he can do that. Not yet, maybe not ever. He’s too small to admit he was wrong.

novaculus on August 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

The more people Dog Eater explodes the safer South Pacific atolls will be, why do you homophobes hate the South Pacific?

Bishop on August 12, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Oh, Oh, I know this one. Because the traditional Haka War dance is misogynistic. Wait, who ranks higher on the grievance scale? Indigenous People or Women? I seem to have misplaced my Victimhood Status Slide Rule..

trubble on August 12, 2014 at 2:42 PM

He should be able to bomb The Islamic State ( I decided that term might be better than ISIS, now ), so the House should pass specific authority for that and authority to seize some Iraqi oil fields to pay for it. Then the Senate would have to do something.

Make Iraq pay for the previous war, too. Forbid any new nation building.

Buddahpundit on August 12, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Let’s get Congress on the record..
Who in Congress is ready to authorize another war just 84 days before election?
The last time Obama asked Congress to authorize strikes against Syria they all chickened out.
Come on, Congress, do your job.
Let’s see who the warmongers are..
The American people want to know.

Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Great idea.
For the record, the Iraq War resolution in 2002 had the following Dem warmongers in the Senate vote in favor:

Sens. Lincoln (D-AR), Feinstein (D-CA), Dodd (D-CT), Lieberman (D-CT), Biden (D-DE), Carper (D-DE), Nelson (D-FL), Cleland (D-GA), Miller (D-GA), Bayh (D-IN), Harkin (D-IA), Breaux (D-LA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kerry (D-MA), Carnahan (D-MO), Baucus (D-MT), Nelson (D-NE), Reid (D-NV), Torricelli (D-NJ), Clinton (D-NY), Schumer (D-NY), Edwards (D-NC), Dorgan (D-ND), Hollings (D-SC), Daschle (D-SD), Johnson (D-SD), Cantwell (D-WA), Rockefeller (D-WV), and Kohl (D-WI).

dentarthurdent on August 12, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Dems. That’s the problem.

taznar on August 12, 2014 at 2:48 PM

I suppose O could always argue that the 2002 AUMF in Iraq covers action against ISIS, but given that his team’s been claiming lately that AUMF should be repealed, that would be one awkward argument

No more awkward than “Getting out of Iraq was not my idea”.

AtTheRubicon on August 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Apparently, Ned has a ‘red state’ brother.

M240H on August 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

No relation, other than surface similarity.

Ned Pepper was the outlaw gang leader in True Grit. Kind of odd to see him trolling here at Hot Air.

RedPepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I don’t have a issue with blowing ISIS to hell.

sorrowen on August 12, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Exit question: Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Ron Paul, definitely.
Rand Paul, maybe.

Bitter Clinger on August 12, 2014 at 2:54 PM

No relation, other than surface similarity.

Ned Pepper was the outlaw gang leader in True Grit. Kind of odd to see him trolling here at Hot Air.

RedPepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

John Wayne shot his sorry a$$.

Bitter Clinger on August 12, 2014 at 2:55 PM

OK, so all that whining in ’66 about ‘Nam being illegal and immoral and stuff was just as legal because the VC were a terrorist organization, too.

formwiz on August 12, 2014 at 2:55 PM

The reason Presidency has become so powerful is because the Congress critters are totally gutless. They do not want to take a stand.
They do not want to vote ‘NO’ on airstrikes.
They do not want to vote ‘YES’ on airstrikes.
They are just scared $hitlless how this will affect their re-election chances.
Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Do you mean sorta like Senator “Present” Obama?

dentarthurdent on August 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I don’t have a issue with blowing ISIS to hell.

sorrowen on August 12, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Normal people agree with you.

Obomba and the Marxist contributors at his fundraisers, not so much.

Meople on August 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I don’t have a issue with blowing ISIS to hell.
sorrowen on August 12, 2014 at 2:53 PM
Normal people agree with you.
Obomba and the Marxist contributors at his fundraisers, not so much.
Meople on August 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM
He only reluctantly started bombing them and arming the Kurds to the teeth.

sorrowen on August 12, 2014 at 2:59 PM

AP, your lede on the front page should be “Shuck and aw.” instead of just “Aw.”

GWB on August 12, 2014 at 2:59 PM

The reason Presidency has become so powerful is because the Congress critters are totally gutless. They do not want to take a stand.

They do not want to vote ‘NO’ on airstrikes.

They do not want to vote ‘YES’ on airstrikes.

They are just scared $hitlless how this will affect their re-election chances.

They simply want someone take that decision. And President Obama is glad to do it for them.

Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

By next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

UnstChem on August 12, 2014 at 3:00 PM

He only reluctantly started bombing them and arming the Kurds to the teeth.

sorrowen on August 12, 2014 at 2:59 PM

You’re right, it was VERY reluctantly. Even that was bare minimum, even for him. If those people trapped on the mountain weren’t publicized in the media, he wouldn’t have lifted a finger. Guaranteed.

Meople on August 12, 2014 at 3:02 PM

The reason Presidency has become so powerful is because the Congress critters are totally gutless.

Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Interestingly, you’re right on this one. Congress could rein in 0bama if they really wanted to.

GWB on August 12, 2014 at 3:02 PM

The reason Presidency has become so powerful is because the Congress critters are totally gutless. They do not want to take a stand.

They do not want to vote ‘NO’ on airstrikes.

They do not want to vote ‘YES’ on airstrikes.

They are just scared $hitlless how this will affect their re-election chances.

They simply want someone take that decision. And President Obama is glad to do it for them.

Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

How long did Obama dither before reluctantly going forward with the limited airstrikes?

Bitter Clinger on August 12, 2014 at 3:06 PM

No relation, other than surface similarity.

Ned Pepper was the outlaw gang leader in True Grit. Kind of odd to see him trolling here at Hot Air.

RedPepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

John Wayne shot his sorry a$$.

Bitter Clinger on August 12, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Rooster shot him, but Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) knocked him off his horse with a Sharps Carbine at 400 yards just as Ned (Robert Duvall) was about to shoot Rooster, who was trapped under his fallen horse.

novaculus on August 12, 2014 at 3:14 PM

The Iraq war is an illegal war.

weedisgood on August 12, 2014 at 3:17 PM

The last time Obama asked Congress to authorize strikes against Syria they all chickened out.

Come on, Congress, do your job.

Let’s see who the warmongers are..

The American people want to know.

Led Zepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:25 PM

In fact, one of the Senate Warmongers in the Syria debate was Democrat Babs Boxer.

As was NJ Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, as well as former Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Other Warmonger Democrat Congresscritters in that 2013 debate:

Senate:

Carper (D-DEL)

Feinstein (D-CA)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV)

Nelson (D-FL)

Schumer (D-NY)

Deutch (D-FL)

Engle (D-NY)

Israel (D-NY)

Cardin (D-MD)

Durbin (D-IL)

Leahy (D-VT)

Levin (D-MI)

As for the House, even Democrat Looney Toon Alcee Hastings wanted O’bama to strike Syria.

Must suck to have the intelligence of a piece of lawn furnitnure, Led.

F-

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2014 at 3:17 PM

The reason Presidency has become so powerful

Led Zepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Thanks again for admitting you’re not an American citizen.

A+

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2014 at 3:19 PM

They simply want someone take that decision. And President Obama is glad to do it for them.

Ned Pepper on August 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Which makes it totally OK, amirite?!

stvnscott on August 12, 2014 at 3:21 PM

The Iraq war is an illegal war.

Dave’sStillNotHere on August 12, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Tell that to the current Democrat Secretary of State, who as a Senator believed Bush’s lies and signed off on that war.

Also ask his Democrat predecessor, who as the Junior US Senator said she signed off on Bush’s war not because of what his intel people told her, but on what her husband’s intel people told her. You;ll happily vote for that warmonger for pResident in 2016.

F-

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2014 at 3:23 PM

John Wayne shot his sorry a$$.

Bitter Clinger on August 12, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Which is amusingly ironic, considering.

stvnscott on August 12, 2014 at 3:26 PM

ROFL You actually think Obama cares about any laws anymore?

JeffinSac on August 12, 2014 at 3:32 PM

…the power to amnestize 10 million people.

.
I feel woozy just thinkin’ about it.

ExpressoBold on August 12, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I miss Cindy Sheehan.

AcidReflux on August 12, 2014 at 4:03 PM

n fact, we may end up seeing them argue that U.S. forces are never really at risk unless troops are on the ground (or unless they’re facing an enemy with sophisticated defenses to air attack), which would mean in practice that as long as the president declines to use infantry, he can bomb anyone he wants for as long as he wants from the air without ever needing approval from Congress. Neat!

So they would be arguing that they could have a replay of Nagasaki and Hiroshima without Congressional Authorization for war?

airupthere on August 12, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Why bother even to ask this of one with such delusions of godhood so far above the law, like most of his lawless, fascist party and the majority of clueless ones that “elect” them. If America were a civilized, educated country, such treason would properly be dealt with by execution; no danger of that here in loony tunes land.

russedav on August 12, 2014 at 7:25 PM

If he asks for congressional authorization that would be acknowledging the existance of Congress. O needs to show that he doesn’t need Congress even when they are on his side like when he extended the employer mandate.

mattmillburn on August 12, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Er, why doesn’t he just ask for congressional authorization? Who’s going to vote no on liquidating these savages?

Because he is a narcissist who doesn’t believe that he needs to ask permission from anybody to do anything. That is the way he operates. He doesn’t ask permission, he simply changes the law by diktat.

Theophile on August 13, 2014 at 12:37 AM