Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Unchallenged Continue

These are some of the legal arguments floating around over whether the President does or does not have the authority to wage war in Iran.

Note the similarity with the AUMF/9-11-NSA Spying nexus: Tenuous, and warranting Congressional review.

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The danger of Congress not challenging and defeating the President's legal arguments is the continued assertion of flawed legal policy.

The same lines of questions asked about Iraq WMD and the FISA issues need to be raised now. The showdown is needed, otherwise the same defective legal theories behind the GTMO abuse, illegal rendition, illegal FISA surveillance, and unlawful warfare in Iraq will continue.

The issue isn't only illegal activity, but the continuation of defective legal arguments. Where the law does not cooperate, the NeoCons and Cheney view themselves above the law, as they did with the Iran-Contra affair.

Ref Filibuster threat is to avoid the concurrent resolution, possible under Section 5 of the war powers act.

9-11 AUMF does not discuss Iran, only attacks related to 9-11.
"(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."Ref

- Iran hand nothing to do with 9-11;
- Iran offered to help in Afghanistan;
- Iran cannot be construed to have been intended to be covered by the AUMF.

The President, as with NSA, is stepping on thin ice with the Iran invasion plans. The AUMF does not include the language.

2006 legislation does not permit attack on Iran. Ref

Yoo's comments: Congress has a role. Ref

As with Geneva, the President and others are asserting the requirements do not apply. Hamdan defied the President asserting the requirements must be respected. Ref

___ If the law does not apply, Mr. President, why did you change the position of the prisoners after Hamdan?

___ Once the illegal planning was known, and there was no case that the US President had informed the Congress of imminent combat operations, what effort, if any, did Members of Congress take to follow-up up on this violation; or review the Title 28 and Title 50 exception reports that should have been submitted, but were not?

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Unresponsive to Legal Questions

Ref Same as with FISA and Feb 2006 Gonzalez hearings. Feingold finds out Gonzalez was doing something.

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FISA Lesson: AUMF Expansion

President may view his accusation about Iran as fact; he's using his accusation that Iran is involved in Iraq as a pre-text to broaden to footprint to Iran Ref

Weasel words: Sept 2001 AUMF, GWOT, and Iran. Ref

President may have already met, in his mind, his legal requirement to "consult." Ref: Executive order, and apparent briefing to Senior leadership. The NSA briefings were not fully informed, and unclear if Members of Congress had full access to counsel.

The President has a loose interpretation of what "consult" means. Ref His signing statements have asserted he need not consult if the requirement intrudes on his power. The requirements of the war powers resolution do not appear to have been complied with. Ref

The "necessity" theory does not apply when there is no imminent threat, and the proposed military action is not related to the asserted problem. Ref This is the danger of Congress not having challenged the same defective legal arguments over the Iraq WMD, Geneva, FISA, and rendition.

The asserted legal theory is not consistent with the President's conduct. Even if the Unitary Theory of government were valid, POTUS cannot explain why he is giving deference to Iraqi rules, but not US rules. Ref Ref

As with Iraq WMD, the President is (a) twisting reality to make the apparent conditions match what the original AUMF authorized; and (b) only going through the motions to make it appear as though he has exhausted all non-military options Ref The legal approach fails when comparing it with the NSA surveillance -- the illegal activity started before Sept 2001.

Recall the approach POTUS and Gonzalez took on the FISA. They argue, after they got caught, that they didn't go to the FISA court because they feared the courts would reject the approach; and they didn't go to Congress because they feared a Constitutional confrontation. Ref The legislation is 1998 calling for "regime change" in Iran [?]. Ref

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QuestionWhat can we, as citizens do, if the President takes us to war without the blessings of Congress? And, can he, realistically, take us to war with Iran if Congress doesn't fund it?Ref

Answer We NEED a "Constitutional Crisis" to clarify in no uncertain terms exactly what the Constitution says.Ref

UN Sec. Counsel Resolution -- False Diplomacy

Ref Recall the US didn't get authorization for Iraq invasion from UN.

Iran and the AUMF Links

Ref Update IV: Greenwald mentions the AUMF specifically rejected including Iran and Syria. DoJ will likely input language, as was done with the FISA issues. [ T/B ]

Ref The Congressional authorization is being broadly applied, even if it makes the problem worse.

Ref Snow attacked on AUMF broad application with Iran.

Ref Gates says the Iran war is four [4] wars.

Ref Covert ops against Syria and Iran have started.