Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Did Trump Have Authority to Kill Iranian Terrorist?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns authority to launch military strikes against enemies of the United States. According to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, “the distribution of war powers between Congress and the President” is one of the most “consistently and heatedly debated” constitutional issues. So, we should not be surprised that Democrat leaders in Congress are upset about President Donald Trump’s strike against Iran’s chief terrorist.

… As a matter of history and policy, it is generally accepted that the executive takes the lead in the actual conduct of war. After all, a single, energetic actor is better able to prosecute war successfully than a committee; the enemy will not wait for deliberation and consensus. At the same time, the Founders plainly intended to establish congressional checks on the executive’s war power. Between these guideposts is a question of considerable importance: Does the Constitution require the President to obtain specific authorization form Congress before initiating hostilities?

            In an ideal situation, Congress would be working with the President to do the right thing for the nation. However, we have had nothing had an “ideal day” in our nation since Trump won the 2016 presidential election. The fact is that Democrats have been fighting against Trump every day for more than three years, and they began looking for impeachable offences from day one. The political environment in Washington, D.C. made it difficult to impossible for Trump to give Congress advance notice to the drone strike. With so many people in Congress suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, how could Trump be sure that the information would not be leaked? 

            According to Lawrence B. Brennan, a professor specializing in maritime law at Fordham University Law School, in an interview with The Daily Signal, “It’s not a violation of the law. The president has the right to launch this strike. It’s a question of whether he should act without notification of Congress. Historically, presidents have given some briefing to Congress and allies ahead of time.”

            Brennan was aware of the political environment in Washington when he spoke about Trump ordering the drone strike that killed Gen. Qassim Suleimani. “The political situation right now in Washington is so confrontational, how does the White House notify the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who handled the president’s impeachment, and trust this won’t leak to the press?”

            Brennan asked a pertinent question. Would Trump be wise to trust Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) who is well known for leaking information? As the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he is also one of the eight lawmakers who would be notified. Brennan said that he could argue that both sides were right. 

In fact, there are prior examples of Presidents going to Congress and allies before an attack. President Ronald Reagan did so in 1986 before bombing Libya, and dictator Moammar Gadhafi relocated and survived the attack. Did the leak come from a member of Congress? I guess that no one knows. President Bill Clinton was challenged by members of Congress in 2000 when he authorized military action in Yugoslavia with Congressional approval. 

All Americans want rules in place to control a rogue President, but we also want him to have the power to make split-second decisions, such as the one made by Trump. The War Powers Act requires that the President notify Congress within 48 hours of authorizing military action. It also requires Congressional authority for military action that lasts longer than 60 days. It also allows for a 30-day withdrawal period for military action not approved by Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on this matter and most likely would not take up such a political issue.

            Democrats claim that Trump assassinated a foreign political leader, but Cully Stimson at The Heritage Foundation said that Trump “acted lawfully in ordering the strike against Suleimani.” “This was not an assassination…. This was a lawful killing of a combatant on the battlefield who was responsible for more than 603 American deaths, according to DOD statistics, from his own militias and thousands of American deaths or injuries by his proxies.”

            The fact is that Iran has been at war against the United States since it took over the U.S. Embassy on November 4, 1979. Iran held 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage until January 20, 1981, a period of 444 days. The hostages were released only when President Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. Iran was growing more aggressive, and Trump acted to stop attacks.

            Another fact is that Democrats will do anything to cause problems for Trump. They do not seem to care what is good for America. They just care about taking down Trump. If Democrats in Congress were doing their job, they most likely would have been notified. When they act like enemies to Trump, he must assume that they are enemies.

No comments:

Post a Comment