A tough one for Jen “Promise of Hashtag” Psaki. Her response may not inspire confidence, but it has inspired some amusing photoshops:
— jon gabriel (@exjon) September 2, 2014
There’s an obvious — and constitutionally sound! — means of deflection available to her: “We’re not at war until Congress says we are.” Why she’d rather tap dance around the question by pooh-poohing “new labels” rather than direct James Rosen to Article I is beyond me. Maybe she thought it would look ridiculous, after Obama unilaterally declared war on Qaddafi to ruinous effect in Libya, for State to suddenly start acting like sticklers about which branch controls the war power. She may be a terrible spokesman but, in fairness, she’s holding an awfully bad hand here thanks to O.
Serious question: How many dead Americans does it take to create a casus belli against a terrorist group? Certainly no more than 3,000, per 9/11. Hezbollah killed many more Marines in the 1983 barracks bombing than ISIS has killed journalists, although I suppose you can draw a distinction there between acts of war between military (or paramilitary) forces and outright murder of civilian combatants. Then again, the murder of Daniel Pearl wouldn’t have triggered an AUMF against Al Qaeda had 9/11 not preceded it. If a new AUMF is coming against ISIS, it’ll be because of the strategic terrorist threat the group poses to Americans domestically, not because of what it did to Sotloff and James Foley — although those murders, being so barbaric, will do wonders to build American resolve in smashing these degenerates to pieces.
By the way, Psaki also refused to call Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an “invasion” today, of course.