Obama’s Syria Attack Rationale Crumbles
August 29, 2013
New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, stated the obvious on Wednesday — under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war.
Mr. Nadler’s concern was reflected in the following statement issued as Obama and a handful of warmongers, most notably Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Linsey Graham, prepared to attack Syria despite overwhelming opposition by the American people and Obama’s apparent vacillation:
The Constitution requires that, barring an attack on the United States or an imminent threat to the U.S., any decision to use military force can only be made by Congress — not by the President. The decision to go to war — and we should be clear, launching a military strike on another country, justified or not, is an act of war — is reserved by the Constitution to the American people acting through their elected representatives in Congress.
Since there is no imminent threat to the United States, there is no legal justification for bypassing the Constitutionally-required Congressional authorization. “Consultation” with Congress is not sufficient. The Constitution requires Congressional authorization.
The American people deserve to have this decision debated and made in the open, with all the facts and arguments laid out for public review and debate, followed by a Congressional vote. If the President believes that military action against Syria is necessary, he should immediately call Congress back into session and seek the Constitutionally-required authorization.