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A New Lever to Prevent Unnecessary War

James Wilson Policy Research Director, Inc.

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March 20, 2012

Quote of the Day: "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." - Barack Obama, before he became President.

Rep. Walter Jones has introduced a resolution calling for impeachment any time the President - whoever he or she may be - takes the nation to war without Congressional authorization.

This is another lever that advances the goal of's Stop Policing the World campaign.

The campaign's hard-wired letter to Congress says, "Defend America only. Do not manipulate or police the world."

I added these personal comments to promote the Jones resolution. You may borrow from or copy them...

For too long, Congressional cowardice has allowed Presidents to commit acts of war against nations that posed no imminent threat to the United States. Last year's monstrous bombing campaign against Libya, a blatant violation of both the Constitution and War Powers Act, is the most recent, and perhaps, the greatest example.

And now it's gotten worse! Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified before the senate Armed Services Committee about enforcing a no-fly zone (going to war) against Syria... (

"Our goal would be to seek international permission... Whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress -- I think those are issues we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here."

Regrettably, Congress is reluctant to use the power of impeachment to restrain Presidents from going to war without Congressional approval. They're self-centeredly fearful that impeaching the President would backfire on their own party.

Rep. Walter Jones has a solution to the partisanship dilemma.

His resolution, H.Con.Res. 107, expresses a clear-cut, non-partisan principle...

That it is the sense of Congress that, except in response to an actual or imminent attack against the territory of the United States, the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress violates Congress's exclusive power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the Constitution and therefore constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.

This would...

* Restrain the President, of ANY party, from going to war without Congressional declaration or authorization.

* Impel Congress to impeach the President for waging an illegal war, even if Congress is controlled by the same party.

This would ALSO mean...

* Fewer wars, meaning less death and destruction in the world, and fewer tax dollars wasted.

* Better relations with more of the world.

* A return to the use of the military as a national defense force, NOT as a global "police" force.

* A vindication of the rule of law.

You swore an oath to the Constitution, not your political party. Therefore, you must co-sponsor and pass H.Con.Res. 107, IMMEDIATELY. I will be watching to see what you do.


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James Wilson

Policy Research Director, Inc.

P.S. Downsize DC President, Jim Babka, will be a speaker at the Libertarian Party of Ohio convention on Saturday, March 31. Other speakers at this event in Worthington, Ohio include former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch of Reason. Details can be found at  

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