Skip to comments.Declaration of War Proposed (Flashback to 13 September 2001)
Posted on 06/14/2008 11:11:57 AM PDT by LSUfan
An official Declaration of War has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), along with eight of his colleagues in the House.
"Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, (that) pursuant to Article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution, the Congress hereby declares that a state of war exists," a draft of the resolution states.
Co-sponsoring Rep. Virgil Goode (I-Va.) explained his support for the measure.
"I firmly believe that, if we don't stop them now, they will come after us again, " said Goode. "And the situation, as grim and as horrible as it was on September the 11th, could be much worse in the future in the United States."
Goode said he has no indication that the attack on Tuesday was part of any larger plan.
"This resolution is a firm and deliberate statement by the Congress that we fully support the President of the United States in any efforts he might take against those terrorist organizations, as well as those who sponsor them, who have attacked our nation," Barr said at a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday.
The resolution, if enacted, would officially place the U.S. at war with, "Any entity that committed the acts of international terrorism against the United States on September 11, 2001, or commits acts of international terrorism against the United States thereafter." The proposal also identifies, "any country or entity that has provided or provides support or protection for any entity," described by the language above, as a target of the declaration.
"Those who died as a result of these cowardly acts will not have died in vain," said Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), a co-sponsor of the proposal, referring to the victims of Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. "In their names, and in the name of every man, woman, and child in America we will see that punishment is swift and sure."
Secretary of State Colin Powell has not publicly commented on the proposed Declaration of War, but he did share his feelings on the general subject Wednesday.
"The American people have a clear understanding that this is a war. That's the way they see it. You can't see it any other way, whether legally that is correct or not," Powell said. "We've got to respond as if it is a war. We've got to respond with the sense that it isn't going to be resolved with a single counterattack against one individual."
Rep. Tom Tancredo, (R-Colo.), another of the resolution's co-sponsors, agreed with Powell's sentiment: "Make no mistake about it, international terrorism is as much a threat to America as any foreign despot plotting our demise."
The proposed Declaration of War authorizes the President, "to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the United States Government to carry on war," against the terrorists. The resolution does not, however, specifically identify the actions the President may take, leaving the White House and the Pentagon a broad range of options if the proposal is passed.
At the press conference, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), a third co-sponsor, sought to reassure Americans who might question the motive of the resolution.
"We are not here this afternoon to talk about revenge," Chabot said. "We are here to try to bring an end to international terrorism by striking back and eliminating those who would do harm to the innocent."
Additional co-sponsors of the as-of-yet unnumbered resolution include Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tx.), Rep. Bob Schaffer (R-Colo.), and Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.).
Speaking on Fox News Wednesday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stressed the importance of a formal declaration of the type proposed by Barr.
"When you go to war, you have a whole new set of rules. You can blockade, you can use force, and you communicate to other governments...that the United States is now serious; that killing our men, women and children, killing people in our cities, will never be accepted," Gingrich said.
Barr concluded his remarks at Thursday's press conference with the following warning: "We will not bring these terrorists to justice, we will bring them to their knees, and in doing so, ensure that they never again have the will or the ability to attack our nation."
Note also that Newt Gingrich supported this initiative and I regard him as the de facto leader of the Reagan wing of the GOP today...
Newt is nothing but an unprincipled media whore. He is leader of nothing beyond his own shameless self promotion
Newt and Nancy film an Ad on Climate Change
Bush made an enormous, perhaps fatal mistake by letting the military do all the fighting, while telling the public to act as if nothing had happened, but go out and spend lots of money to keep the economy going. Civilians should have been told “we are at war and things are not going to be the same. No more wasteful domestic spending, no more tolerance of treason at home, no more immigration from 3rd world hellholes.” The Left used to subsequent years to put pictures and facts about 9/11 down the “memory hole,” inventing 9/11 “truth” fantasies, calling Bush a war criminal, etc. Bush has been completely over his head as President.
In this case, a declaration of war under Article 1, section 8, subsection 11, would tie our hands because a declaration of war is a declaration against a specific state or actor, the war on terror is against an enemy that aren’t beholding to a single state or borders. Thus, Article 1, section 8, subsection 10 was used instead (Congress authorized to define and punish offenses against the laws of nations.)
The following were formal declarations:
War of 1812 British Empire
Mexican-American War Mexico
Spanish-American War Spain
World War I Germany, Austria-Hungary
World War II Japan, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania
Please note that there have been no formal declarations since WWII and Congress has authorized military force, i.e. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, but no declarations. While resolutions of force can be applied to regimes, dictatorships, etc there is no legal basis for a resolution against an individual!!!
It has been reported that Osama bin Laden declared war on the US in 1996 why didn't we reciprocate. Ask Pres Clinton. Of course he was "too busy" with the intern under the desk and his "affairs of state" were more important then the rest of the citizens.
I do not believe that a declaration of war has to be against a specific state. If you read the article from 13 Sept 01, their proposal wasn’t aimed at a specific state, that’s for sure.
There is also the precedent of the Barbary Pirates.
Far from tying the president’s hands, a declaration of war would have freed him to act.
The letter of marque proposal was one of the stupidest ideas any member of Congress has ever come up with. Paul doesn’t think we should have fought in World War II. In Paul’s sick mind, capturing or killing Bin Laden would have solved the problem right there.
I got news for you: Bin Laden is dead and has been for some time. But the war goes on.
So, legally, we are NOT 'at war'. No wonder only a few take it seriously.
This is one of the biggest mistakes in this whole mess.
Letters of Marque existed as a matter of international law when the Constitution was written. It was effectively outlawed by the mid-1850s. The US did not sign the Declaration of Paris of 1856 which outlawed Letters of Marque but it did invoke the Declaration during both the American Civil War and the Spanish American War.
Bottom line, Letters of Marque work only if all parties agree to them. Without such agreement, privateering is simply called piracy. No one has recognized Letters of Marque in one hundred and fifty years.
You left out the Barbary Pirates.
Try reading the article posted for your answer...
The POTUS cannot now nor has he ever been able to declare war. Period.
You are right, bad wording on my part.
Regardless of your opinion, as always the majority of the silent viewers here will see the Letter of Marque proposed by Dr Paul, viewers who might not have otherwise have been aware of such, despite the vain efforts of the O’Nastys of the I’net.
The Iraq War Resolution and the War on Terror Resolution have the force of declarations of war, even though the exact words were not employed.
There is no specification of the exact words that must be used in the Constitution.
Thus, if it looks like a war, talks like a war and smells like a war -- and there is a Congressional resolution to authorize it -- it's a friggin' war.
Passing a so-called Declaration of War now wouldn't change a thing -- legally or in any other way.
How do you feel about Ron Paul accusing US troops of war crimes in Desert Storm and Somalia?
AMEN BROTHER! Newt is a politician first and foremost.
Just more BDS on parade.
Because he is not worthy of such a diplomatic courtesy and honor.
Yes, a Declaration of War is considered a diplomatic courtesy and honor equivalent to calling out a gentleman to the field of honor for a duel. For the scum of the Earth no such formalities are granted. You just pass the word around that you will shoot them on sight like a rabid dog.
Wars are "Declared" only against sovereign nations in order to formally notify them that a state of war exists between two sovereign states.
A Congressional Authorization to Use Force fulfills all the Constitutional requirements regarding the war making powers of Congress.
Neither the Taliban militia nor the Al Qaeda terrorist network is considered a sovereign nation and therefore a declaration of war is not appropriate in their case.
Likewise, the United States never considered the Confederate States of America to be a sovereign nation and war was never declared by Congress during the Civil War.
Prior to the Barbary War, Congress debated whether or not to declare war on the Barbary States. Congress decided that the Barbary States were no more than a collection of pirates and to declare war would dignify them with the status of sovereign states. Therefore, Congress refused to declare war and instead passed an Authorization to Use Force.
In the same Barbary War, President Thomas Jefferson stated that a declaration of war was unnecessary, whether the Barbary States were sovereign states or not, because the Barbary States had already caused a state of war to exist by attacking the United States and therefore a state of war already existed. In other words, Thomas Jefferson recognized that a Declaration of War was a diplomatic courtesy between sovereign states before the bullets started flying.
Since the founding of the United Nations, the United States has not declared war on anything or anyone.
I guess that’s a way of avoiding having to abide by “international law” and anything like the Geneva Convention, etc.
How can you be accused and tried of violating the rules of war when technically you aren’t at war.
So the United States no longer declares war.
Ask this to Obama and McCain, not to mention the current President Of The United States.
It was the thing to do. I said so at the time. It would have clarified many things including the action in Iraq. Now it all is a matter of subjective opinion.
To a point, but much does not. A Declaration of War, in those words, would clarify the issue Constitutionally.
No clarification necessary. Constitutionally, once hostilities began, the Iraq War Resolution, et al WAS a declaration of war.
It is not clear. To pick one thing, the closest, this discussion wouldn’t be happening.
Well, it is clear. We could call it a War Resolution, an Intent To Engage In Hostilities or a Statement of Belligerency...and they would all be declarations of war.
The underlying premise of this discussion is itself mistaken.
The "Resolution" form was doubtless chosen because, at the time of its issue, the Congress was not declaring war as of that moment. Instead, it was authorizing the President to commence hostilities in the event certain conditions were not met.
Everybody is hung up on constitutional navel lint.
See Post 22.
Declarations of War are diplomatic courtesies reserved for sovereign nations.
Osama bin Ladin does not qualify and neither did the Confederate States of America. To declare war on Osama bin Ladin would be giving him more of a diplomatic and military honor than was ever given to Robert E. Lee and the entire Confederacy.
Also, as okie01 pointed out, a Declaration of War tells a sovereign nation that war has ALREADY started. Even if we desired to do that in the case of Iraq, the point is already moot. The Republic of Iraq was defeated and is now our ally. That war is over. The current insurgency by terrorists and rebels is no longer the same war. It is analogous to the Philippine Insurrection after the Spanish-American War.
In that war, a Declaration of War was issued in regards to Spain (a sovereign nation) but not against the Philippine rebels. Declaring war against the Philippine rebels would have diplomatically acknowledged their sovereign status.
Ditto for the Confederates.
Of course, I didn't think of that at the time.
Who or what is a suitable object for a declaration of war is not a matter of constitutional law, but international law. In 1815, the Quadruple Alliance established the precedent that a declaration of war may target an individual, in that instance Napoleon.
The Man who predicted 9/11 =
9/11 Lifesaver RICK RESCORLA, R.I.P.
Yes, words have meaning.
This would have been the right thing to do, and the Republicans should have done it whether the White House opposed it or not.
Doesn’t Barr claim that he didn’t think we should have been in Iraq?
That would involve having a conservative as president, not an incurious liberal.
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