Obama Is Not A King, But Lindsey Graham Is A Court Jester

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham recently proposed a bill that is in clear violation of the Constitution.

His bill would give the President the power to fight ISIS “whenever, wherever, and however.” But the President is not a king; Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution says that Congress shall have the power “To declare war.” Congress and Congress alone may constitutionally declare war. The President has the power to direct and command troops after an official declaration of war, per Article 2, Section 2; but he does not have the power to declare war.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said: “This resolution is a total rewrite of the war powers clause of the United States Constitution. Let’s be clear about that. It is essentially a declaration of international martial law, a sweeping transfer of military power to the president that will allow him or her to send U.S. troops almost anywhere in the world for almost any reason with absolutely no limitations.”

One of the most devastating attacks on the checks and balances of our Constitution was when in 2002, Congress voted to give the President the power to declare war on Iraq. In fact, the last Constitutional war was World War II; the so called “wars” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, and the Persian Gulf were simply Congress giving the President the authorization to invade countries without officially declaring war. These technically illegal “wars” caused the death of over 119,000 American citizens.

We certainly should have learned our lesson after 119,000 innocent lives have been lost in the Middle East and beyond. While I am no friend of ISIS, I cannot see our country crumble into a monarchy, with the President being able to order Americans to go and fight in violation of the Constitution. Only Congress can declare war, and even Congress must be hesitant to go into conflicts. Our leaders should take advice from the Scriptures, and “as far as it depends on us, live at peace with everyone.” Senator Graham’s bill takes us one step closer to tyranny.

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Mason Chandler and the “Institute on the Constitution” and receive your free gift.

Is Congress Declaring War On ISIS… Or On You?

Passage of Senator Mitch McConnell’s authorization for war against ISIS will not only lead to perpetual US wars across the globe, it will also endanger our civil and economic liberties. The measure allows the president to place troops anywhere he determines ISIS is operating. Therefore, it could be used to justify using military force against United States citizens on U.S. territory. It may even be used to justify imposing martial law in America.

The President does not have to deploy the U.S. military to turn America into a militarized police state, however. He can use his unlimited authority to expand programs that turn local police forces into adjuncts of the U.S. military, and send them increasing amounts of military equipment. Using the threat of ISIS to justify increased police militarization will be enthusiastically supported by police unions, local officials, and, of course, politically-powerful defense contractors. The only opposition will come from citizens whose rights have been violated by a militarized police force that views the people as the enemy.

Even though there is no evidence that the government’s mass surveillance programs have prevented even a single terrorist attack, we are still continuously lectured about how we must sacrifice our liberty for security. The cries for the government to take more of our privacy will grow louder as the war party and its allies in the media continue to hype the threat of terrorism. A president armed with the authority to do whatever it takes to stop ISIS will no doubt heed these calls for new restrictions on our privacy.

Following last year’s mass shooting in California, President Obama called for restricting the Second Amendment rights of any American on the “terrorist watch list.” The president also used the attacks to expand the unconstitutional gun background check system via executive action. Can anyone doubt that President Obama — or a future anti-gun president — will use the absolute power to do whatever is necessary to stop terrorism as a justification for imposing new gun control measures? Using the war on ISIS to justify more gun control will be particularly attractive since even many pro-gun politicians will support gun control measures if they are marketed as part of the war on terror.

As the American economy faces continued stagnation, and as challenges to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency mount, an increasingly authoritarian government will impose new restrictions on our economic activities and new limits on our financial privacy. In particular, our ability to move assets out of the country will be limited, and new reporting and other requirements will limit our ability to use cash without being treated as criminals or terrorists. Those who carry large amounts of cash will find themselves at increased risk of having the cash confiscated by government agents under civil asset forfeiture laws.

If Senator McConnell’s declaration of perpetual war passes, presidents could use the war on ISIS as a justification to impose new restrictions on our use of cash and our financial privacy via executive action. After all, they will say, the government needs to make sure cash is not being used to support ISIS.

The only way to protect both liberty and security is to stop trying to impose our will on other countries by military force. The resentment created by America’s militaristic foreign policy is ISIS’ most effective recruiting tool. Adopting a non-interventionist foreign policy that seeks peace and free trade with all would enable the government to counter legitimate threats to our safety without creating an authoritarian police state.

© Copyright 2016 Ron Paul

Congress Is Writing The President A Blank Check For War

While the Washington snowstorm dominated news coverage this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was operating behind the scenes to rush through the Senate what may be the most massive transfer of power from the Legislative to the Executive branch in our history. The senior Senator from Kentucky is scheming, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, to bypass normal Senate procedure to fast-track legislation to grant the president the authority to wage unlimited war for as long as he or his successors may wish.

The legislation makes the unconstitutional Iraq War authorization of 2002 look like a walk in the park. It will allow this president and future presidents to wage war against ISIS without restrictions on time, geographic scope, or the use of ground troops. It is a completely open-ended authorization for the president to use the military as he wishes for as long as he (or she) wishes. Even President Obama has expressed concern over how willing Congress is to hand him unlimited power to wage war.

President Obama has already far surpassed even his predecessor, George W. Bush, in taking the country to war without even the fig leaf of an authorization. In 2011, the president invaded Libya, overthrew its government, and oversaw the assassination of its leader, without even bothering to ask for Congressional approval. Instead of impeachment, which he deserved for the disastrous Libya invasion, Congress said nothing. House Republicans only managed to bring the subject up when they thought they might gain political points exploiting the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi.

It is becoming more clear that Washington plans to expand its war in the Middle East. Last week, the media reported that the U.S. military had taken over an air base in eastern Syria, and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that the U.S. would send in the 101st Airborne Division to retake Mosul in Iraq and to attack ISIS headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. Then on Saturday, Vice President Joe Biden said that if the upcoming peace talks in Geneva are not successful, the U.S. is prepared for a massive military intervention in Syria. Such an action would likely place the U.S. military face to face with the Russian military, whose assistance was requested by the Syrian government. In contrast, we must remember that the U.S. military is operating in Syria in violation of international law.

The prospects of such an escalation are not all that far-fetched. At the insistence of Saudi Arabia and with U.S. backing, the representatives of the Syrian opposition at the Geneva peace talks will include members of the Army of Islam, which has fought with al-Qaeda in Syria. Does anyone expect these kinds of people to compromise? Isn’t al-Qaeda supposed to be our enemy?

The purpose of the Legislative branch of our government is to restrict the Executive branch’s power. The Founders understood that an all-powerful king who could wage war at will was the greatest threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is why they created a people’s branch, the Congress, to prevent the emergence of an all-powerful autocrat to drag the country to endless war. Sadly, Congress is surrendering its power to declare war.

Let’s be clear: If Senate Majority Leader McConnell succeeds in passing this open-ended war authorization, the U.S. Constitution will be all but a dead letter.

© Copyright 2016 Ron Paul

BREAKING: 8 D.C. Workers Hospitalized After ‘Suspicious Substance’ Is Discovered

Investigators descended upon one of the major buildings in the Capitol complex Friday morning after a suspicious substance was reported in the Longworth House Office Building.

The U.S. Capitol Police Hazardous Materials Response Team was at the building.

Washington, D.C., Fire Department spokesman Timothy Wilson said fire crews evaluated 10 people and took eight to the hospital. He could not immediately describe the symptoms, but said they were minor.

Captain Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police, had no immediate information on what the substance might be. Police said the substance was found in Suite B-227, the First Call Service Center. WJLA reported that all of those sickened were workers in the building’s kitchen.

No offices were evacuated, although Congress was not in session and many members were not in town.

According to the Washington Post:

No offices at the building on Independence Avenue were evacuated. It is located just south of the U.S. Capitol and near the Capitol South Metro station.

Police had briefly closed the eastbound lanes of Independence Avenue SE between Washington Avenue and First Street. The road was reopened by 12:15 p.m.

In an email to House employees, the House Sergeant at Arms said that the area had been cleared, and that the cafeteria had been undergoing construction overnight for several weeks.

The email from the House Sergeant at Arms also indicated that lead exposure caused by debris from sanding could be a possible cause of the symptoms experienced by the staff of the building. Additionally, the email said the building’s cafeteria should be closed for some time until officials complete their evaluation of the incident.

No further details about the substance were available as of Friday morning.

h/t: Washington Post

Wow: GOP Rep. Delivered Ultimate Slap To Obama’s Face DURING SOTU- TV Cameras Hid It…

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, walked out of the State of the Union message Tuesday night to leave his seat empty in memory of the victims of abortion and to protest Barack Obama’s lawless presidency. The representative added that he would be in the Members’ chapel, praying that a better leader will follow the current chief executive.

As reported by Western Journalism, last week, President Obama announced that he would be leaving a seat next to his wife open to recognize the victims of gun violence. “They need the rest of us to speak for them. To tell their stories. To honor their memory,” the White House said in a written statement. 

Yesterday, Rep. King released a statement indicating that he too would be leaving an empty seat: his own. “I can’t abide being lectured to one last time,” he said. 

King further explained, “President Obama’s first official act, immediately upon his inauguration was to sign an executive order to accelerate abortions world-wide.” He continued, “The first tears we have seen him shed in seven years were for the victims of the tragic Sandy Hook School shooting. As far as we know, Obama has never shed a single tear for even one of the more than 9 million babies aborted under his watch. He is the most pro-abortion president ever.”

The Iowa representative juxtaposed the emotion the president displayed for the children killed at Sandy Hook with his vow last fall to veto the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, H.R. 3504 that would protect the lives, at least of those who survived the attempt on their lives, by abortionists.”

King closed his statement, announcing:

There will be another empty seat in the gallery during Obama’s last State of the Union address. I have reserved it to commemorate the lives of more than 55 million aborted babies, ‘the chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world.’

My seat on the floor of Congress will also be empty. I will be in the Member’s chapel praying for God to raise up a leader whom he will use to restore the Soul of America.

The representative also told Charlie Spiering in an interview Tuesday night that Obama’s execution of allegedly unconstitutional acts was an additional reason for him to avoid being lectured to by the president. “He took his oath of office twice…to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and he’s done anything but, even when he knew he was wrong,” said the conservative firebrand.

h/t: The Gateway Pundit