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Thread: Army officer suing Obama over unauthorized war

  1. #1

    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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  3. #2
    Murder is NOT ok..........unless some guy or a bunch of guys dress up in suits and sign papers!
    "One thing my years in Washington taught me is that most politicians are followers, not leaders. Therefore we should not waste time and resources trying to educate politicians. Politicians will not support individual liberty and limited government unless and until they are forced to do so by the people," says Ron Paul."

  4. #3
    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?

  5. #4
    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?

  6. #5
    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...
    Last edited by Natural Citizen; 05-04-2016 at 09:36 PM.

  7. #6
    This guy is 28 and he just noticed this ? Bull$#@! .

  8. #7
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRey View Post
    Do you think it's a coincidence that the most cherished standard of the Ron Paul campaign was a sign highlighting the word "love" inside the word "revolution"? A revolution not based on love is a revolution doomed to failure. So, at the risk of sounding corny, I just wanted to let you know that, wherever you stand on any of these hot-button issues, and even if we might have exchanged bitter words or harsh sentiments in the past, I love each and every one of you - no exceptions!

    "When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will." Frederic Bastiat

    Peace.

  9. #8
    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'



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  11. #9
    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)

  12. #10
    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.
    The wisdom of Swordy:

    On bringing the troops home
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    They are coming home, all the naysayers said they would never leave Syria and then they said they were going to stay in Iraq forever..... just like Trump said.

    On fighting corruption:
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Trump had to donate the "right way" and hang out with the "right people" in order to do business in NYC and Hollyweird and in order to investigate and expose them.
    Fascism Defined

  13. #11
    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.
    Last edited by ZENemy; 05-05-2016 at 12:26 PM.
    "One thing my years in Washington taught me is that most politicians are followers, not leaders. Therefore we should not waste time and resources trying to educate politicians. Politicians will not support individual liberty and limited government unless and until they are forced to do so by the people," says Ron Paul."

  14. #12
    Way cool. Hope it gets legs.

    Seems like a great news bit, I want to support that "troop".
    Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25
    "I think the propaganda machine is the biggest problem that we face today in trying to get the truth out to people."
    Ron Paul

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  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    What if they're really nice suits?
    Most uniforms are nice, though historically gaudy.

  16. #14
    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.

  17. #15
    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. 👿

  18. #16
    They hate us because our freedoms.

    Think he's got a shot? Haw haw haw



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  20. #17
    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.........


  21. #18
    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.
    "I am a bird"

  22. #19
    (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.

  23. #20
    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

  24. #21
    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
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
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  25. #22
    If Congress votes funds to fight ISIS have they authorized the use of force against it- thus authorizing the war?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b0b958f656590a

    Congress Just Voted To Fund The War Against ISIS. Did They Authorize It, Too?

    A prominent legal voice says yes.

    WASHINGTON — Congress has avoided authorizing the war against the self-described Islamic State for nearly a year and a half, but it had no problem voting Friday to spend billions more on it.

    Wait — did lawmakers also just vote to authorize it?

    Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor who previously served in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, says that because lawmakers voted for a $1.1 trillion government spending bill that clearly appropriates money for the fight against the Islamic State, they also voted to approve the war itself.

    Goldsmith explained his reasoning in a Thursday post on the legal blog Lawfare: A 2000 Justice Department opinion states that Congress can “authorize hostilities through its use of the appropriations power” if a spending bill is directly focused on a specific military action. The year-end spending bill that lawmakers passed Friday includes $58.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations for military activities. House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) has specifically said some of those funds will be used to “combat the real-world threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).”

    That means that, at least for the period of time covered by the funding bill — it goes through Sept. 30, 2016 — lawmakers just voted to authorize the war against the Islamic State, Goldsmith said.

    “Of course, Congress is not calling its funding an authorization for the use of force against ISIL, much less debating the authorization,” he said. “But make no mistake: The funding to continue the war against ISIL is an authorization of force against ISIL, albeit a quiet one, designed not to attract attention.”

    The Huffington Post asked lawmakers if they considered their vote to fund the war the same as a vote to authorize it. They weren’t very receptive.

    “No. Funding is not a substitution for authorization,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “The Constitution is pretty clear in its terms that our responsibility is to declare war, not to fund war.”

    “I think it’s maybe a trick question,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “I don’t know the answer to it. Technically, it’s not a separate vote to authorize the war, but again, is that a distinction without a difference? Or not? I’m not sure.”

    Murphy and Smith are both lawyers, so HuffPost thought they might have special legal insights. They did not.

    “I’m a real estate lawyer,” Murphy said.

    “That doesn’t mean I’m familiar with authorizing wars,” Smith said.

    If Goldsmith is right, his argument puts a whole new twist on Congress’ failure to vote on a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force for the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS.

    Congress is in the bizarre predicament of debating the need to authorize a war that’s been underway since August 2014. It has spent billions of dollars on it, and approved the deployment of a few thousand troops. It just skipped over the part where it’s supposed to authorize the war first.

    The dispute stems from President Barack Obama saying he already has the authority to take military action against the Islamic State without congressional sign-off because he’s covered by a sweeping 2001 AUMF, which basically lets the president attack anyone, anywhere, if they’re connected to the terrorists behind the Sept. 11 attacks. ISIS is an offshoot of al Qaeda, argues the administration, and the 2001 AUMF never expired.

    Lawmakers in both parties disagree that Obama can use a 14-year-old AUMF for a fight against ISIS, which didn’t even exist 14 years ago. The Constitution clearly states that Congress declares wars, not the president. Even Obama agrees that using an old war authorization for a new fight is not ideal, and sent lawmakers a draft AUMF proposal in February to get the ball rolling on a new one. But they couldn’t agree on how to amend it, and congressional leaders haven’t prioritized passing a new one. So the war rolls on without any real debate or vote on its parameters, duration or use of U.S. ground combat troops.

    Still, most lawmakers voted to keep funding it in Friday’s spending package. To date, the U.S. has spent more than $5.2 billion on military operations and led more than 8,900 air strikes. Some said it wasn’t fair to treat their vote as a vote to authorize military operations since the war funding is wrapped up in a massive bill funding the entire government.

    “You have a choice here. You can vote on on this and try to shut [war funding] down, but you’d be putting all of this in second place,” said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), motioning around a room outside the House chamber. “So I think it’s a matter of priorities.”

    “Look, people can interpret it any way you want. But we’re voting to fund the entire government,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). “I think we have to have a little more precision in the vote that that.”

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said lawmakers have a responsibility to keep paying for the war against the Islamic State, regardless of whether they take the time to vote on authorizing it.

    “I mean, we have to. We have no choice. The United States has just been attacked,” he said. “After 9/11, we funded immediately and then we authorized.”

    But it’s not looking like Congress will hold a vote specifically on authorizing the war, at least not anytime soon. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he’s not up for it. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said it would probably be a good idea, but conceded it’s a tricky path ahead and isn’t sure how to navigate it.

    Even the most vocal advocates for a new war authorization voted to keep funding the military campaign. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said he’s not willing to shut down the government over the issue. But as lawmakers were bolting out of the Capitol on Friday for a month-long recess, he said he’s disappointed in how easy it is for them to keep throwing money at a war they won’t even stop to debate.

    “It’s cowardly,” McGovern said. “It’s not just the money. It’s knowing that we have Americans that are being put in harm’s way in dangerous situations, yet we can’t find the time here to debate it. I just find that stunning.”

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If Congress votes funds to fight ISIS have they authorized the use of force against it- thus authorizing the war?
    No. That's a weak and pathetic defense of Obama's wars.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Pharma-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul

    Proponent of real science.
    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.



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