Skip to comments.Boehner Sends Letter to Obama Seeking Answers on Syria
Posted on 08/28/2013 4:08:13 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Speaker John A. Boehner sent a letter to President Barack Obama Wednesday seeking a clear, unambiguous explanation of how a strike on Syria fits into U.S. objectives and questioning the presidents legal authority to do so absent Congressional authorization.
The Ohio Republican makes clear he believes the consultation with Congress so far has been insufficient, and it comes as numerous House members have signed on to a letter to Obama demanding Congressional authorization before strikes.
It is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of Congressional authorization under Article I of the Constitution, Boehner said.
The speaker also noted that he has supported Obamas policies on Syria, including making the use of chemical weapons a red line and seeking the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. But he also asked a long list of questions of the president, including whether he has contingency plans for a counterattack by the Syrian regime and whether he expects to ask for more funding to pay for military action.
It will take Presidential leadership and a clear explanation of our policy, our interests, and our objectives to gain public and Congressional support for any military action against Syria, Boehner wrote.
Full text of the letter follows:
Dear Mr. President:
I deeply respect your role as our countrys commander-in-chief, and I am mindful that Syria is one of the few places where the immediate national security interests of the United States so visibly converge with broader U.S. security interests and objectives. Our nations response to the deterioration and atrocities in Syria has implications not just in Syria, but also for Americas credibility across the globe, especially in places like Iran.
Even as the United States grapples with the alarming scale of the human suffering, we are immediately confronted with contemplating the potential scenarios our response might trigger or accelerate. These considerations include the Assad regime potentially losing command and control of its stock of chemical weapons or terrorist organizations especially those tied to al Qaeda gaining greater control of and maintaining territory. How the United States responds also has a significant impact on the security and stability of U.S. allies in the region, which are struggling with the large exodus of Syrian refugees and the growing spillover of violence feeding off of ethnic and religious tensions. The House of Representatives takes these interests and potential consequences seriously in weighing any potential U.S. and international response in Syria.
Since March of 2011, your policy has been to call for a stop to the violence in Syria and to advocate for a political transition to a more democratic form of government. On August 18, 2012, you called for President Assads resignation, adding his removal as part of the official policy of the United States. In addition, it has been the objective of the United States to prevent the use or transfer of chemical weapons. I support these policies and publically agreed with you when you established your red line regarding the use or transfer of chemical weapons last August.
Now, having again determined your red line has been crossed, should a decisive response involve the use of the United States military, it is essential that you provide a clear, unambiguous explanation of how military action which is a means, not a policy will secure U.S. objectives and how it fits into your overall policy. I respectfully request that you, as our countrys commander-in-chief, personally make the case to the American people and Congress for how potential military action will secure American national security interests, preserve Americas credibility, deter the future use of chemical weapons, and, critically, be a part of our broader policy and strategy. In addition, it is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of Congressional authorization under Article I of the Constitution.
What standard did the Administration use to determine that this scope of chemical weapons use warrants potential military action?
Does the Administration consider such a response to be precedent-setting, should further humanitarian atrocities occur?
What result is the Administration seeking from its response?
What is the intended effect of the potential military strikes?
If potential strikes do not have the intended effect, will further strikes be conducted?
Would the sole purpose of a potential strike be to send a warning to the Assad regime about the use of chemical weapons? Or would a potential strike be intended to help shift the security momentum away from the regime and toward the opposition?
If it remains unclear whether the strikes compel the Assad regime to renounce and stop the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or if President Assad escalates their usage, will the Administration contemplate escalatory military action?
Will your Administration conduct strikes if chemical weapons are utilized on a smaller scale?
Would you consider using the United States military to respond to situations or scenarios that do not directly involve the use or transfer of chemical weapons?
Assuming the targets of potential military strikes are restricted to the Assad inner circle and military leadership, does the Administration have contingency plans in case the strikes disrupt or throw into confusion the command and control of the regimes weapons stocks?
Does the Administration have contingency plans if the momentum does shift away from the regime but toward terrorist organizations fighting to gain and maintain control of territory?
Does the Administration have contingency plans to deter or respond should Assad retaliate against U.S. interests or allies in the region?
Does the Administration have contingency plans should the strikes implicate foreign power interests, such as Iran or Russia? Does the Administration intend to submit a supplemental appropriations request to Congress, should the scope and duration of the potential military strikes exceed the initial planning?
I have conferred with the chairmen of the national security committees who have received initial outreach from senior Administration officials, and while the outreach has been appreciated, it is apparent from the questions above that the outreach has, to date, not reached the level of substantive consultation.
It will take Presidential leadership and a clear explanation of our policy, our interests, and our objectives to gain public and Congressional support for any military action against Syria. After spending the last 12 years fighting those who seek to harm our fellow citizens, our interests, and our allies, we all have a greater appreciation of what it means for our country to enter into conflict. It will take that public support and congressional will to sustain the Administrations efforts, and our military, as well as their families, deserve to have the confidence that we collectively have their backs and a thorough strategy in place.
I urge you to fully address the questions raised above.
Look, over there!
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If it’s anything other than a letter of IMPEACHMENT, Boehner is a twerp.
One asshole talking to another asshole. I’m sure the conversation is going to be stimulating.
oooh, a letter.
I’m sure answering Boner back is his top priority.
Hugs and kisses ‘til we play golf again,
A letter? Well, I’m sure this will solve everything!
Sends a letter? Why don’t you get off your corrupt, lazy ass Bonehead
and have a vote in the GOP controlled house? You MF coward!
ONE CERTAIN SIGN OF A SICK AND DISFUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION
High level executives sending memos back and forth instead of resolving contentious issues face to face
As the ringmaster said when his trapeze artist fell to the ground.
Don’t get excited folks, it’s all just part of the show.
Now Obama want to save face with a limited strike.
Ever hear of anything so stupid?
Obama is arming al Qaeda.
Boehner is leaving the borders open to them.
This is treason,
and Boehner and the GOP are greedy, whoring enablers
before, during, after the fact
to SAMs and WMD for al Qaeda.
Members of my party and various GOP constituent groups I am in contact with are wondering what our policy is regarding the conflict in Syria and what we hope to accomplish by "punishing" President Assad.
How should I answer them?
The Speaker of the House
Well...I bet it is a very strongly worded letter! /s
Where is this question Boehner? “Who the hell did this and where is your damned proof?”
What should I do?
Your humble servant,
A pitifully long letter when,
“Mr. President, Congress does not appear to support any actions against Syria and we will be holding an emergency session to vote on it within 48 hours. I advise you to stand down until after that vote or our response will be fast and furious.”
...would have been better.
When this letter was sent the Brits had already stalled, the Jordanians said no, the Arab league said we won’t support.... Boner threatening future investigations, but Obomba doesn’t care
Ok....Now, I’ve read the letter. Just as I expect.
Why didn’t Boehner send the letter to Mylee Cyrus? He’d have gotten as comprehensive an answer.
Don’t hold yer breath John-O.
Obama wants to destroy Israel, which is what stirring the Syrian pot is all about.
High level executives sending memos back and forth instead of resolving contentious issues face to face
Because this letter is for OUR benefit. It's meant to be seen by us.
It may not sound very ‘harsh’, but everything has to go on paper, and having the attached 116 signatures helps. It shows solidarity that he is not being given a pass, for once.
“I respectfully request that you, as our countrys commander-in-chief, personally make the case to the American people and Congress for how potential military action will secure American national security interests, preserve Americas credibility, deter the future use of chemical weapons, and, critically, be a part of our broader policy and strategy. In addition, it is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of Congressional authorization under Article I of the Constitution. “
Anyway, it’s a start.
Expect the Speaker to get stiffed.
Just as the world does not respect the Current Occupant of the White Hut, The Won in turn does not respect the Speaker.
And for similar reasons. Nobody likes a shirk.
Tell ya what speaker, get a spine, go on national tv and tell the American people that we are not going to start a BS war on BS information that has nothing to do with this country. Tell us on national tv that if the presidential failure acts without authorization you will impeach. Until then SHUDUP
I get it.
It's nothing more than a high level CYA.
Nothing is actuall put on the line and the letter accomplishes nothing.
Someday down the line, Boehner gets to say "Here's the proof I was concerned at the time."
Because this letter is for OUR benefit. It’s meant to be seen by us.
No. I can’t recall such a pointed, direct letter to the kenyan from Boehner. This is a rare event, unfortunately.
I think Boehner is PO’d the kenyan had some staffer call him up to “discuss” bombing Syria.
We will see what happens now when the White Hut ignores the letter. Anything that the GOP does to directly engage the kenyan is a good thing. I am no fan of Boehner but think the dumping on Boehner in this thread is a bit unfair at this point. Let’s wait and see what happens.
A letter? A whole, entire letter? Sounds John Wayne to ME-ee. Who woulda thought he would have sent a WHOLE letter?
Did his tears make the ink run?
yet the bonehead won't appoint a special committee to investigate Benghazi, the IRS, or any other crime the obozo is involved in and the fact that the obozo is clearly on the side of the MBH leaves the bonehead suspect of his own loyalty to America. Mr. Bonehead, your ass or the obozo's ass is not worth the damage you two and this entire administration are doing to this country.
Well, we haven’t even got a letter out of Bonehead to the kenyan on the IRS/NSA/DOJ/ETC. abuses. Baby steps...
He sent a LETTER!!!! Ooooooo, that’s very scary! I’ll bet Obama read it with great consternation and soiled his shorts. Not. I had it a long time ago with Boehner and his ilk. Its gotten to the point where I’m not really sure who’s worse, Obama or the Boehners. After all, Obama is supposed to be an America hating POS, and Boehner is supposed to oppose him.
It will be an invitation to play another round of golf together.
Thanks Tailgunner Joe.
The Right Choice? - - The [paleo]conservative case for Barack Obama
The American Conservative | March 24, 2008 | Andrew J. Bacevich
Posted on 03/26/2008 2:51:50 PM PDT by TSchmereL
The letter was sent certified. Boehner means business!!!!!
The only thing Boehner is sure of is that "The Sequester will remain in effect!" He said this 10 days ago, but he won't acknowledge that the Sequester is gutting the military. Before the elections he SAID it would, but then he allowed it to happen anyway.
The GOP has abandoned the military, and yet they wonder why they are clueless.
Is this the strongly worded letter that follows the proverbial line drawn in the sand?
Stiffed? With due respect, Bonehead is the speaker of the GOP controlled house.
What is preventing him from calling a vote?
John - STAWP!
STAWP with the dam sternly worded letters
Call back the Congress from vacation
Hold public hearings on this
and DEMAND the REAL intelligence from the US AND the UN
Listen to the Brit Intelligence- they don’t have the same urgency to wipe the egg off obama’s face that America is being forced to endure
in the meantime, have a sitdown with LTC (ret) Ralph Peters who has been hitting it out of the ballpark as a FOX News military analyst
I can’t even read it. For those of you who did, was it strongly worded? Did the original have tear and/or bourbon stains on it?
Bourbon stains? LOL.
What about fake orange tanning spray.
Was it stained with teardrops?
Now ashes in the circular file, no doubt.
The question is not, “does the President need Congressional authorization?”
The REAL question is, “If the President needs it (technically), is Congress able to refuse?”
In our system as designed, the Congress exercises its delegated powers ACTING AS US. The idea that the People are sovereign is meaningless if our Congress has surrendered all of their delegated powers to the Executive and to the Judiciary.
I am beginning to believe that that is the case.
The WPA was passed by a bunch of lady-men who are afraid to take a stand.
And it is ignored by other girlie men who are afraid to ask the other pansies to do their god damned jobs.
A pox on all of their houses.
Folks, I am in no way a big fan of the speaker. But politically, that letter puts his own ass on the line. If the occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue ignores it, and congress does nothing, there could be a revolt in the streets (tear-jerker already knows his butts in hot water for many reasons). Already Britain, Jordan, and the Arab League are getting cold feet. I see the media stenographers are even trying to provide cover to backpedal on this whole thing.
We’ve been openly warned by Russia and China, and frankly, I don’t think we have the military assets and morale for any kind of long sustained fight.
Permission to speculate? (thank you):
I suspect there is push back coming from both sides of the isle on this, but of course we’re never going to hear that among the scribes. This give the Speaker the onions to write such a letter. With the national debt literally off the charts, even a 30-month campaign (that would include rising prices on raw crude, and going against holders of our debt) a default in short order. They’d have a real problem blaming this on republicans.
In short, I vote let’s give the cry-baby-sellout a pass on this one, and see where it goes.
just my $0.02