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Why The War Powers Act Doesn't Work

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posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:42 PM
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Why The War Powers Act Doesn't Work


www.npr.org

It's a fight Congress can't seem to win.

Once again, members of Congress are upset that a president hasn't consulted them to their satisfaction on the question of entering into a war. They are now taking several steps to express their frustration with President Obama about his handling of the bombing campaign in Libya.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:42 PM
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On Wednesday, 10 House members filed a lawsuit designed to block the Obama administration from any further actions taken against Libya...

normally a president has 60 days to seek formal approval from Congress after engaging in hostilities, with the possibility of a 30-day extension. he or she cant just order in the troops for a protracted action

However not matter what happens or how many suites are made... nothing will happen because those who really understand the law (not Me) realize this action is just more political maneuvering
read this other part from this same story

As a result, the debate over violations of the War Powers Act has devolved into a distraction. Hamilton says that the law's intent was valid and that "Congress ought to hold the administration's feet to the fire with regard to Libya."

But he argues that the 1973 law has become a "political tool that allows members of Congress to dodge taking a position on the intervention itself. As is often the case, they argue the process, rather than the substance."

Both the Republican and Democratic congressional caucuses are divided about Libya. Some would prefer a more concerted effort to target Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, while others worry about an expansion of the mission from protecting civilians to seeking regime change.


So it seems these 10 house members who filed a lawsuit didn't do so out of some sense of moral outrage but simply to look good to the voting public

www.npr.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 





So it seems these 10 house members who filed a lawsuit didn't do so out of some sense of moral outrage but simply to look good to the voting public


Come on now, you know Ron Paul didn't sign onto it just to look good!


He would have never allowed our intervention in the first place!

I do agree with you though, the War Powers Act seems to have as much bite as a teacup yorkie.

edit on 16-6-2011 by FTD Brat because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by FTD Brat
 


To be honest I don't know the motives of Ron Paul...
did he really do it because it's the right thing to do... or because that's what he thinks will get him the most votes...

I know I know I'm going to get a lot of flack from Ron Paul fans for saying that... but let me remind all he is a politician... and can any of you say with 100% certainty that his actions are not politically motivated...



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


Than maybe the war powers act needs to be re-written to remove any loopholes presidents are using to get around it. The problem than is getting both sides to get together and agree on it.

When this was done, why didn't congress hold an emergency session and demand a congressional vote before any troops were sent to Libya?



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by WeRpeons
 





When this was done, why didn't congress hold an emergency session and demand a congressional vote before any troops were sent to Libya?


Because they don't give 2 sh#ts for the most part.
I can't believe only 10 congressmen signed on to this lawsuit!
It should have been every single one!
edit on 16-6-2011 by FTD Brat because: added quote



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 01:25 PM
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Everything in politics is about "how to look good."

This is no different.

The foundation of this government was predicated on the notion that no society can lay down a set of immutable laws that can be logically expected to apply to future generations under unknown circumstances.

The checks and balances of our system were imposed (and in many cases hotly debated) because we knew that the power to take any unilateral action taken on behalf of an entire population runs the risk of being abused or misused.

The War Powers act seems logical to me because it ratifies the understanding that as a people we understand this peril. Congressional weakness through entanglements of "political expedience" and the general unpredictability of activism in the Supreme Court (for similar and or competing reasons) must be countered by a President who can, when necessary, take the risk of compelling the nation to respond a certain way to perceived threats.

War cannot be waged, or won by committee. Judges administer law and interpret the effect of policy and action against the intent of the framers of the constitution and their own guiding principles of ethical behavior. The Executive (president) is meant to have the authority to initiate such acts as we have seen.

But all three branches of the government MUST have a say in the action, even if it is only after the emergent situation arises. The President's administration will support the president, that's why he appoints them (or the party does.) But Congress and the Supreme court are under no obligation to agree with what the president does.

I think the so-called loop-hole regarding combating terrorism is the real culprit in this scenario.

What we need is a clear definition that can be used to state unequivocally that there is such a danger that merits risking lives and expending the wealth of the nation. But at this stage that definition is often muddled and obscured by 'secrecy': an expensive and critical political tool in the 21st century.

Let's face it, the president can do this. But he also MUST submit his 'authority' for scrutiny by the representatives of the people, who, ostensibly, will see a reasonable threat should one exist. Not wanting to explore this, or subject a decision to kill hundreds, if not thousands, reeks of the lack of transparency that causes citizens to lose faith in the notion that they have any voice in the matter at all.

We cannot shy away from scrutiny because the people we have elected are duplicitous and often, part of a systemic political jury-rigging to simply do what is best for themselves and their associates... without regard for the population the are supposed to represent. Yes they will engage in populism, demagoguery, and pandering - we are geared by both the "press" that exists to inform us, and the conditioning of consumerism to DEMAND such behavior from politicians. If they fail to please us, we might take away their most precious commodity - public power.

In effect, it is not the War Powers Act that doesn't work. The act is meant to be a tool to direct the course of public conduct we expect of our government. The tool is fine, even with the ability of one party to bend it to whatever need they are willing to define as critical. That's why we have the review process - the rule of accountability.

What doesn't work is not the tool... it's those who wield it. This country cannot be administered and 'used' by a politically aligned agenda. It must never be allowed to be the convenient plaything of any narrow interest. Yet, for all intents and purposes - that is exactly where we are today. Political parties need to be eliminated completely, the electorate must be directly represented, not through some political social club whose primary concern will be inevitably for the continuance of their own governance model.

Frankly, if I had my way, there would be no "party" as a standing institution. Such things are not necessary for a government based on compromise and the sanctity of human dignity. "Parties" are a convenience for peddlers of interest and con-men.



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


I can tell you were just itching to reply to this thread wrent ya???
Very eloquently said BTW

...no country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more.
- The Gilded Age

Samuel Clemens AKA Mark twain said that over 100 hundred years ago....
his quote is just as valid then as it is now... maybe more so...
Today we have the worse possible majority to draw from for our citizen government...
The people I see in office suffer apathy, avaricious, and arrogance....
why do they get away with it time and time again... because the general public has already given up... let someone else handle those problems... well no one is gonna solve our problems... we the people will have to step up and say "Enough".... or things will only get worse...



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by FTD Brat
 





I can't believe only 10 congressmen signed on to this lawsuit! It should have been every single one!


It kind of makes you wonder what the hell is going on behind the scenes?



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by WeRpeons
reply to post by FTD Brat
 





I can't believe only 10 congressmen signed on to this lawsuit! It should have been every single one!


It kind of makes you wonder what the hell is going on behind the scenes?

It's almost like it was in Rome and Germany. We all know what happened there and it wasn't pretty for the world.

When I would say 95% of US citizens sit there when they are told something and say it will never happen here. Most of US people are in their own little world and somehow think we are oblivious to outside influences and such. This is why everything is happening right now and it's because the arrogance and ignorance of US populace allowing elected officials to do whatever they want thinking they can do nothing.



posted on Jun, 16 2011 @ 07:20 PM
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This is a case of using the spirit of the law to try to fight the letter of the law. And what is worse is that Congress, knowing that this gives them problems does nothing to repeal it. Ultimately, it is a point where both sides are wrong. The first part is Congress, cause they ultimately gave the President of the US the authority and power to use this. Like the old saying, never give a person a loaded weapon unless you know where they are going to point it. The other part is the President, as he is exercising and pushing his authority to the limits of the law. Both sides are wrong and correct in their assessment. In this case congress, and the 10 that decided to jump the gun, did so for political grand standing, chances are they are up for re-election in 2012. Ultimately they should have waited till it was day 91, before launching a law suit, that way they are supporting both the spirit and the letter of the law. And there could be no doubt that they are following all legal avenues before getting involved. There other considerations that have to be taken into account, the first being what about NATO? We are allied with them, they are engaged fully, do we ignore the treaty with NATO, or do we honor the treaty and agreements with them? That too will weight heavy in the courts mind, hence why the court is going to be hesitant on making any sort of decision. But as it was pointed out, congress did have the power, by holding the purse strings, and could easily cut all funding to the department of defense to force the White House to comply. It is by an act of congress that wars are declared, but the power of the military lies within the president. And both need to quit playing politics with peoples lives and start governing wisely.



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