• Army officer suing Obama over unauthorized war

    An Army Captain Takes Obama to Court Over ISIS Fight
    By CHARLIE SAVAGE
    MAY 4, 2016

    WASHINGTON — A 28-year-old Army officer on Wednesday sued President Obama over the legality of the war against the Islamic State, setting up a test of Mr. Obama’s disputed claim that he needs no new legal authority from Congress to order the military to wage that deepening mission.

    The plaintiff, Capt. Nathan Michael Smith, an intelligence officer stationed in Kuwait, voiced strong support for fighting the Islamic State but, citing his “conscience” and his vow to uphold the Constitution, he said he believed that the mission lacked proper authorization from Congress.

    “To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” he wrote.

    The legal challenge comes after the death of the third American service member fighting the Islamic State and as Mr. Obama has decided to significantly expand the number of Special Operations ground troops he has deployed to Syria aid rebels there…

    more: - http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/05/us...smtyp=cur&_r=1
    Here's the complaint: https://www.documentcloud.org/docume...-as-Filed.html


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    Comments 22 Comments
    1. ZENemy's Avatar
      ZENemy -
      Murder is NOT ok..........unless some guy or a bunch of guys dress up in suits and sign papers!
    1. tod evans's Avatar
      tod evans -
      Quote Originally Posted by ZENemy View Post
      Murder is NOT ok..........unless some guy or a bunch of guys dress up in suits and sign papers!
      What if they're really nice suits?
    1. charrob's Avatar
      charrob -
      Congress should vote to go to war. But how about the much more predominant U.S. intervention where U.S. soldiers ""train"", arm, and fund one group of people in a country against another group and cause a civil war? That's normally how the U.S. goes to war. Does the Constitution require Congress to vote on that if U.S. soldiers are merely in the "training" position?
    1. Natural Citizen's Avatar
      Natural Citizen -
      Quote Originally Posted by charrob View Post
      Congress should vote to go to war. But how about the much more predominant U.S. intervention where U.S. soldiers ""train"", arm, and fund one group of people in a country against another group and cause a civil war? That's normally how the U.S. goes to war. Does the Constitution require Congress to vote on that if U.S. soldiers are merely in the "training" position?
      Stuff like this is why it is so important to understand the difference between military spending and defense spending. I'm just generally speaking, charrob. There are so many ways of getting around the constitution and congress that it boggles my noggin sometimes.

      Of course, then, you have the private sector, too. They're selling millions and billions of dollars worth of arsenal and other varying technology. War Incorporated. As far as they're concerned any government interference from congress and such would be too much government over reach. Right? Don't want to violate their liberty to freely trade/contract or anything. Heh. Whackobirds...
    1. oyarde's Avatar
      oyarde -
      This guy is 28 and he just noticed this ? Bull$#@! .
    1. Henry Rogue's Avatar
      Henry Rogue -
      Quote Originally Posted by ZENemy View Post
      Murder is NOT ok..........unless some guy or a bunch of guys dress up in suits and sign papers!
      It's ok, if a majority votes for it.
    1. vita3's Avatar
      vita3 -
      Release the 28 pages exposing Saudi Arabia & 911 Attack.

      Declare war on Daesh, bring in the A10's for Raqqa & Iraq & work with Russia & Kurds & lets party dude'
    1. tod evans's Avatar
      tod evans -
      Quote Originally Posted by Henry Rogue View Post
      It's ok, if a majority votes for it.
      Only if they have nice suits.......

      (Pantsuits count now too)
    1. Todd's Avatar
      Todd -
      Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
      This guy is 28 and he just noticed this ? Bull$#@! .
      You know some people never open their eyes at all. Not all of us "got it" from the very start.
    1. ZENemy's Avatar
      ZENemy -
      Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
      Only if they have nice suits.......

      (Pantsuits count now too)
      Yah, Armani Preferred.

      Also if they happen to be using a 230 year old document that dead guys wrote than its also OK to kill entire city blocks full of people.
    1. bunklocoempire's Avatar
      bunklocoempire -
      Way cool. Hope it gets legs.

      Seems like a great news bit, I want to support that "troop".
    1. PierzStyx's Avatar
      PierzStyx -
      Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
      What if they're really nice suits?
      Most uniforms are nice, though historically gaudy.
    1. charrob's Avatar
      charrob -
      Quote Originally Posted by J.Michael View Post
      Stuff like this is why it is so important to understand the difference between military spending and defense spending. I'm just generally speaking, charrob. There are so many ways of getting around the constitution and congress that it boggles my noggin sometimes.

      Of course, then, you have the private sector, too. They're selling millions and billions of dollars worth of arsenal and other varying technology. War Incorporated. As far as they're concerned any government interference from congress and such would be too much government over reach. Right? Don't want to violate their liberty to freely trade/contract or anything. Heh. Whackobirds...
      Well the private ""defense"" industries are not really private since its the U.S. taxpayer who pays for all the R&D before weapons ever hit the assembly line. I've always opposed the ""defense"" industries being allowed to sell their munitions to other countries. And if they do, the U.S. taxpayer should get partially reimbursed for it since we funded the most expensive R&D part of the life cycle. But then we have so many countries (Egypt, Pakistan, Israel, etc.) where the U.S. taxpayer not only doesn't get reimbursed, but actually pays for the weapons systems being sent to these countries. I'm completely at odds how anyone can think this benefits the average American who doesn't work for a defense company or own defense company stock.

      As for the military, my personal opinion is that if the U.S. military or CIA is sent anywhere to ""train"", arm, assist or fund non-U.S. mercenaries, that the U.S. Congress should have to vote on it even if it isn't formally called a "war". Because most often this "training" is what causes civil wars in countries. And if Congress would have to vote on it, then we the people could have a greater voice in this process.
    1. cajuncocoa's Avatar
      cajuncocoa -
      And blood red neocons cheer wildly over the prospect of Obama getting sued....but don't ever suggest Bush/Cheney should suffer the same consequences, you unpatriotic pinko hippie. 👿
    1. Slave Mentality's Avatar
      Slave Mentality -
      They hate us because our freedoms.

      Think he's got a shot? Haw haw haw
    1. tod evans's Avatar
      tod evans -
      Quote Originally Posted by cajuncocoa View Post
      And blood red neocons cheer wildly over the prospect of Obama getting sued....but don't ever suggest Bush/Cheney should suffer the same consequences, you unpatriotic pinko hippie. ��
      I'm good with converting the lot of 'em into Soylent Green and feeding them to congress.........

    1. luctor-et-emergo's Avatar
      luctor-et-emergo -
      Quote Originally Posted by vita3 View Post
      Declare war on Daesh, bring in the A10's for Raqqa & Iraq & work with Russia & Kurds & lets party dude'
      It's a shame those birds are going to be scrapped. IMHO it's one of the best military aircraft designs ever, perfectly designed for what it does, not some multi-role crap design.. And yeah, they could do a lot of damage to those terrorists.
    1. vita3's Avatar
      vita3 -
      (A10 Warthog). "It's a shame those birds are going to be scrapped. "

      I believe they have been saved for now & fight is not over to keep them long term.
    1. enhanced_deficit's Avatar
      enhanced_deficit -
      This should be stopped quickly or could become slippery slope and set dangerous precedence for other lawsuits going forward about recent freedom spread initiatives.

















      Trump: Families Of Soldiers Killed In Iraq Should Sue NYT For WMD Reporting, US made Iraq mess



      Iraq/Afghanistan wars disabled 624,000 US troops , Divorces up 42%, Foreclosures up 217%


      VA Stops Releasing Data On Injured Vets As Total Reaches Grim Milestone
      November 01 2013
      The United States has likely reached a grim but historic milestone in the war on terror: 1 million veterans injured from the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But you haven't heard this reported anywhere else. Why? Because the government is no longer sharing this information with the public.
      http://www.ibtimes.com/va-stops-rele...lusive-1449584
    1. Brian4Liberty's Avatar
      Brian4Liberty -
      Is America’s War on ISIS Illegal?
      By BRUCE ACKERMAN, MAY 4, 2016

      New Haven — IN May 2010, Nathan Michael Smith joined the Army, swearing an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” He took up this mission on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and is now serving as a captain in Kuwait at the command headquarters of Operation Inherent Resolve, the campaign against the Islamic State that President Obama initiated in 2014.

      The president claims that Congress’s authorizations in 2001 and 2002 for the wars against Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein can be stretched to cover his current campaign. But many legal experts question his unilateral assertion of power. Captain Smith became increasingly troubled as he saw the president failing to persuade the House and Senate to stand up and be counted. Does the captain’s participation in this undeclared war involve him in a mission to destroy, not “defend,” the Constitution?

      Captain Smith, 28, has now brought suit in federal court to request an independent judgment on whether he is betraying his oath.

      He did not make this decision lightly. He comes from a long line of military officers. His father, mother and sister have all served with distinction; his grandfather flew 30 missions as a fighter pilot during World War II. Captain Smith continues to believe that the American military is a force for good in the world — but, he began to believe, not if it engages in wars that have failed to win the approval of Congress and the American people.

      Enter the Internet. In August I published an essay in The Atlantic explaining that soldiers during the Vietnam War faced a similar predicament — and that two federal courts of appeal had considered their challenges to the war’s legality on the merits. The war ended before the issue could be decisively resolved by the Supreme Court, but I argued that these decisions would serve as precedents for a comparable lawsuit today.

      Months passed before my article flitted across Captain Smith’s screen, but in the meantime he was reflecting on a different legal precedent from a distant era. In 1802, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, first confronted the question of whether a military officer had a duty to disobey illegal orders from his commander in chief. The court’s answer: “A commander of a ship of war of the United States, in obeying his instructions from the president of the United States, acts at his peril. If those instructions are not strictly warranted by law he is answerable in damages to any person injured by their execution.”

      As Captain Smith reflected on that decision, he first thought that only one path was open to him: As an officer devoted to the Constitution, he had an overriding obligation to disobey orders issued as part of the Inherent Resolve operation — despite the threat of immediate detention and serious punishment if his view of the law was ultimately rejected by military tribunals and civilian courts.

      My essay suggested that modern law provided him with a better way of dealing with his problem. After all, Captain Smith is not a trained jurist. Perhaps his view was mistaken, and President Obama was indeed acting within his powers as commander in chief. If this turned out to be the case, his heroic defense of the Constitution would have been utterly counterproductive, leading only to punishment and the humiliating destruction of his military career.
      Continue reading the main story

      This is precisely why he has now filed an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia requesting the court issue a declaratory judgment on his constitutional responsibilities — pledging to continue his dedicated service while the judges resolve the decisive legal issues raised by the undeclared war (he is represented by David H. Remes; I am acting as a consultant).

      The Vietnam War-era precedents should encourage today’s judges to take Captain Smith’s case seriously — especially since the argument on the merits is much stronger this time around. During the last months of the Nixon administration, a bipartisan congressional majority passed the War Powers Resolution over the president’s veto. Its aim was to prevent future presidents from following Nixon’s example in escalating the Vietnam War far beyond the limited authorization provided by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

      The 1973 resolution requires the commander in chief to gain the approval of the House and Senate within 60 days of introducing forces into situations involving “imminent hostilities.” If he fails to gain congressional authorization, he must terminate his campaign within the next 30 days.

      To his great credit, President Obama has repudiated the extreme claims made by former Vice President Dick Cheney and John Yoo, a deputy assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush, who have denounced the War Powers Resolution as unconstitutional. He has instead expressly recommitted his administration to the more sober views elaborated by Jimmy Carter’s Office of Legal Counsel, which found that the 60/30 day time clock was fully consistent with the president’s “constitutional function as commander in chief.”

      This is not the place to counter the legal arguments that the president’s lawyers will make on his behalf. My aim is simply to insist that Captain Smith is right to believe that the federal courts provide the proper forum for relieving him, and other conscientious soldiers, of the terrible dilemma posed by their oaths of office.

      Ordinary Americans don’t face the same tragic choice. But they will greatly benefit from the judicial effort to provide Captain Smith with an answer. At the very least, the prospect of judicial review will encourage the leading presidential candidates to make their own positions clear on the fundamental issues involved. If they intend to return to the presidentialist excesses of the Bush era, this is the time to let the voters know. But if they stand firm on the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution, this will prepare the way for a renewed effort to comply with its demands after the elections.
      ...
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/05/op...s-illegal.html


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