Patterico's Pontifications

3/24/2011

The Newest Euphemism For This War and Obama’s “Willful” Violation of the Constitution

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:39 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Why do people do this?  Why do they have to come up with ever more ridiculous euphemisms designed to take the color completely out of our language, to render it all a dull beige?

Well here, we know why they are doing this: to avoid admitting the obvious fact that we are at war.

In the last few days, Obama administration officials have frequently faced the question: Is the fighting in Libya a war?  From military officers to White House spokesmen up to the president himself, the answer is no.  But that leaves the question: What is it?

In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer.  “I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said.  “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.”

Rhodes’ words echoed a description by national security adviser Tom Donilon in a briefing with reporters two weeks ago as the administration contemplated action in Libya.  “Military steps — and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range — are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gadhafi,” Donilon said.

Read the whole thing, if you think you can resist the urge to beat your head on something while reading it.

You know over a year ago I started a blog that I am badly neglecting these days, called, um…  let’s call it Allergic to B.S. Or as I jokingly call it, the blog that can’t be named.*  And that was because it really captured a big part of my personality, which is where I have little patience for B.S., even when I agree with it.  And of course it grates twice as much when I don’t.

And all of this is designed to avoid the obvious illegality of it—declared by no less than candidate Obama and Senator Joe Biden.  You know, in my day job, I occasionally have had to deal with a certain word: “willfully.”  You might have been told that “ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.”  Well, that’s not entirely true.  In some federal laws, particularly criminal federal laws, it is actually necessary to prove the defendant knew that his conduct was illegal.  From Bryan v. the United States:

A person acts willfully if he acts intentionally and purposely and with the intent to do something the law forbids, that is, with the bad purpose to disobey or to disregard the law. Now, the person need not be aware of the specific law or rule that his conduct may be violating. But he must act with the intent to do something that the law forbids.

And indeed, in some limited cases the courts have even required you to know which exact statute has been violated.  [Warning: this is not legal advice.  Consult with your own lawyer on how this rule might apply to your life.]

My point is this, and maybe this will explain why I have written three posts on the legality of this war (counting this one).  If you believe that Obama is breaking the law, then he is not just accidentally doing it.  This is not a case where the President honestly disagrees about what the Constitution and other laws say and just got it wrong.  He is willfully doing it, as that term is understood in that case law.  He has said he cannot do this.  His Vice President has concurred.  And yet here he is today, doing precisely what they told you he could not legally do.

And these hapless bureaucrats are forced to engage in this degrading euphemism to avoid telling us what we all know: we are at war.  And you can’t deny it.  Our military is attacking their military and not just once, but on a sustained basis.  If you believe that the war with Japan started when they bombed Pearl Harbor, and not when Japanese officials declared war after the fact, or when Congress formally declared war shortly thereafter, then you have to believe we are at war with Libya.**

This is not about whether we believe this war is wise or just.  I believe it is both (although I am with McCain–this would have been a better idea weeks ago).  But it is not the President’s call to make, or the U.N.’s.  Absent an attack or at least an imminent threat of an attack on America, its territories, its forces, or even perhaps its civilians, the President can’t do this without Congressional approval.

And what do we do if a member of the Air Force refuses an order to bomb Libya because the President didn’t have the authority?  Do we jail him or her because they stood up for what the Constitution actually said?  For agreeing with what the President and Vice President themselves have said, and having the courage of his or her convictions?

I think that this might be the time for military civil disobedience.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice repeatedly states our military is only obligated to obey lawful orders (see, e.g., here).  This is not a technicality, but an important bulwark in the protection of this republic.  Free nations are overthrown by soldiers who blindly follow unconstitutional orders.  When the President requires those of you in the military to act unconstitutionally, you have a positive duty to disobey.

Now a complete stoppage could potentially endanger the lives of other members of the military.  I am not contemplating that.  But I am asking if perhaps one or two pilots in the military might decide to take a stand.  I don’t believe two pilots would impact the efficiency of the operation, and I know it is a lot to ask of those individuals.  And this disobedience should be done in the Martin Luther King way: openly and peacefully refusing to obey those orders and offering no resistance as they arrest you.  Don’t hide what you are doing, just say it openly, “I refuse to follow this order because I believe that this engagement is unlawful under the United States Constitution.  Only Congress can declare war and Congress has not authorized force against Libya in any way, shape or form.  Therefore I refuse this order and will peacefully submit to incarceration if necessary.”

And bluntly this would be a great test case.  The courts might be reluctant to step in if it is merely seen as a fight between Congress and the President.  But if a good and conscientious airman’s freedom is on the line, I believe the courts will be more inclined to take these constitutional issues more seriously.

I am not quite ready to endorse this idea, it’s just something I am tossing around.  But one way or the other, the rule of law has to be asserted over the willful lawlessness of this President.

———————————-

As I wrote this, I found a Daily Show clip that made a very similar point, only they were like funny and stuff:

That’s gonna leave a mark.

Also, astute readers will recognize that this is in direct contradiction of a post I wrote yesterday where I accused Jon Stewart of (1) unfairly attacking McCain and two other Republicans as hypocrites, while (2) ignoring Obama’s hypocrisy on the war.  Of course Stewart’s attack on McCain et al is still unfair, but at least Stewart is attacking both sides and I have written my mea culpa and correction at the original post.

———————————–

* Yes, that is a Harry Potter allusion.  Deal with it.

** I am not saying that what we are doing in Libya is as vile as what the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor.  I am just saying that one military attacking another is inherently war, especially when it is a sustained assault like we have here and not a one-off.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

138 Responses to “The Newest Euphemism For This War and Obama’s “Willful” Violation of the Constitution”

  1. Heh John Stewart throwing obama under his bus. wonder what crap Kmanturd will spew?

    DohBiden (984d23)

  2. doh

    well, kman is on record saying that he thinks the war is unlawful.

    yeah, first he and i agree on something and then he says i am wrong… and it turns out he is right and i have to correct myself.

    weird.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. Bottom line: regardless of “the battle of semantics,” it is the taking of action itself that has befuddled the left. No matter what label is applied to it, this action seems to fly in the face of Bambi’s stated foreign policy philosophy. How can he possibly be re-elected if he loses his base?

    Icy Texan (a6f2b4)

  4. this action seems to fly in the face of Bambi’s stated foreign policy philosophy. How can he possibly be re-elected if he loses his base?

    The same way, I suspect, that Bush won re-election: a lot of nose-holding. And a lot of “well, he’s better than the other guy”.

    Kman (5576bf)

  5. But if a good and conscientious airman’s freedom is on the line, I believe the courts will be more inclined to take these constitutional issues more seriously

    Aaron–but wouldn’t such a case be tried by the military courts under the military code of justice? In which case I suspect that they would be as much, or more, concerned about the consequences on military discipline.

    What is needed is a Congressional censure, and that unfortunately will never happen, because the Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, and the outraged pacifist wing of the Democratic party isn’t very influential in the Senate.

    kishnevi (437df2)

  6. Kmart eats boogerz.

    JD (fd2125)

  7. kish

    not sure about the appellate details but the S.C. always gets the last say. Like there was a case a while back where a soldier wanted to wear a yarmulke on duty. he was court marshalled, but eventually it went to the S.C.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  8. Aaron, I would strongly disagree with your comments about the military disobeying Obama. If Congress had in fact adopted resolutions against the military operations, and we had a real constitutional crisis, maybe. But not in these circumstances. These are not “illegal orders”.

    The story here is Obama’s abject hypocrisy and dishonesty. Not the military’s adherence to its orders.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  9. I make a factual statement, followed by a reasonable conclusion; K-Pax responds with an ad hom.

    And the sky is still blue, and the world still spins counter-clockwise.

    Icy Texan (a6f2b4)

  10. SPQR

    well, that is the question. is it lawful or not?

    And in my opinion it is not lawful until congress says otherwise. it is unlawful until congress says otherwise.

    Don’t believe me? ask Obama, in 2008.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. Well, you see, Aaron. I think Obama was a clown in 2008 too. 2009, 2010 and its looks like the red rubber nose and floppy shoes ain’t coming off in 2011.

    I don’t think the military are constitutional scholars. I don’t think that they are in the business of deciding when their orders might be in a gray area. I think that “unlawful orders” are on the order of “Go arrest all the Senators”, “Fire on unarmed civilians” and “Shoot all the Universalist Unitarians”. Not this kind of situation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. Kman is giving obama some verbal fellatio?

    Shocka………….not.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  13. SPQR

    Well, certainly you have outlined more serious dangers to the republic. But i wouldn’t limit it to that, and while this is not as bad as arresting all senators, it is still pretty serious in my mind.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  14. I know how to pay for this war let’s raise taxes on the rich ultra-left.

    Usual suspects cry foul in 5…4…3…2…1…

    DohBiden (984d23)

  15. ….the world still spins counter-clockwise

    It only spins counter-clockwise if you’re in the northern hemisphere :) You might have to take a trip south of the equator to verify this (any excuse for such a journey will do).

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  16. Aaron,

    There was a crisis back in WWII when the first firebombing missions were being planned – I wish I had that reference – but apparently some would not carry out the missions

    EricPWJohnson (dda0dd)

  17. SPQR:

    I

    don’t think the military are constitutional scholars. I don’t think that they are in the business of deciding when their orders might be in a gray area.

    Touche. Like the guy who refused to follow military orders because (according to him) the Commander in Chief was not an American citizen and therefore not a bona fide C-in-C.

    Kman (5576bf)

  18. Seeing as we are clear in the ‘bearded spock universe’ I would check that assumption, You know
    Reagan tried a psyops operation against Kaddafi back in the mid 80s, but he wasn’t crazy enough to do it with live ammo,

    narciso (a3a9aa)

  19. Kman

    1 or 2 officers and enlisted out of a force of nearly 2 million active, reserve, national guard and inactive reserve is a nothing number – not nearly a number like John Tester saying he was the 52nd vote

    EricPWJohnson (dda0dd)

  20. Kman, you really are a f**king moron.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. I’ve been meaning to visit some of those South Australian wineries that I help support.

    Icy Texan (a6f2b4)

  22. SPQR is a wise wise wise man. Kmart and epwj, not so much.

    JD (fd2125)

  23. I will let you know which way it spins in Jamaica next week.

    Kmart and epwj are engaged in kinetic asshattery.

    JD (fd2125)

  24. President Reagan fired missiles on Libya in the 1980s, and named his mission Operation El Dorado Canyon, a name that “sounds like some serious desert ass kicking.”
    As for Odyssey Dawn?
    “That’s not a military operation,” Colbert said. “That’s a Carnival cruise ship.”

    if they are sending in a Carnival cruise ship, this must be “America at Not-War”.

    Rodan (03e5c2)

  25. not sure about the appellate details but the S.C. always gets the last say. Like there was a case a while back where a soldier wanted to wear a yarmulke on duty. he was court marshalled, but eventually it went to the S.C.

    And the court properly declined to interfere in military justice.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  26. milhouse

    absolutely. but they didn’t say they wouldn’t when appropriate.

    and the court feels uneasy about stepping into a matter of military judgment, such as whether non-uniform items like a yarmulke is too much of a distraction. they feel unqualified to judge.

    But on the other hand, they feel quite qualified to judge on the law, which is the key question in my proposed protest.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  27. Interesting — there was a game for the PlayStation called “Lunatic Dawn Odyssey”.

    Strangely appropriate.

    Icy Texan (a6f2b4)

  28. “I don’t think the military are constitutional scholars.”

    “Like the guy who refused to follow military orders because (according to him) the Commander in Chief was not an American citizen and therefore not a bona fide C-in-C.”

    Kman – I have not heard about those. I think it would be closer to the libtards who enlisted after we invaded Iraq in 2003 and then refused to deploy because they claimed it was an illegal war.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  29. daleyrocks, Kman made that reference because he wanted to insinuate that everyone here is a birther.

    Because lying like that is Kman’s practice.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. No… Obama is not ignorant of the law. He’s decided to let the Sec of State run the show.

    He’s voting “present” or, not voting at all.

    I believe he’s so far over his head, and frankly scared of the responsibility he’s finding more and more excuses to check out.

    http://herbegerenews.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/missing-obama-lack-of-leadership/

    Bigol (7660a2)

  31. SPQR:

    daleyrocks, Kman made that reference because he wanted to insinuate that everyone here is a birther.

    It takes a special kind of paranoia to think that someone agreeing with you 100% is actually calling you names.

    Some of you need to lighten up. Like, a lot.

    Kman (5576bf)

  32. “I think that this might be the time for military civil disobedience.”

    I wouldn’t do that if I was you.

    It’s a serious felony to try and incite military personnel to disobey orders, and people have been sent to prison for doing it.

    It’s true that the law that allows the government to put people in jail just for saying stuff is a flagrant violation of the 1A, but they do it anyway, just like they launch military operations against other countries without getting a declaration of war first.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  33. dave

    i didn’t actually advocate it yet, i tossed around the idea intellectually.

    And in any case, they would have to convince twelve of my peers to agree with the government.

    They don’t scare me.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  34. JD

    Reread my comment, I was disagreeing with Kman, alot

    EricPWJohnson (dda0dd)

  35. Kman, no, your trolling was obvious. Anyone with half a brain knows that I’m not a birther and knows that I would not support a lawsuit by a serviceman objecting to his orders based on any such beliefs about Obama. Your attempted snark was a moronic fail. As always.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. SPQR:

    Anyone with half a brain knows that I’m not a birther and knows that I would not support a lawsuit by a serviceman objecting to his orders based on any such beliefs about Obama. Your attempted snark was a moronic fail.

    Again, your own paranoia is make an arse of you.

    My point was your point — if we leave it up to military sevicemen to determine which orders are constitutional or not, we run the risk of a somewhat dysfunctional military.

    It wasn’t about you. Frankly, I don’t read nor recall (nor care about) your comments enough to know if you are conservative, libertarian, a moderate, a birther, a tenther, or, well, anything. I was merely agreeing with you on this point. Deal with it.

    Kman (5576bf)

  37. “i didn’t actually advocate it yet, i tossed around the idea intellectually.”

    Well, don’t start advocating it.

    This would not be a good plan.

    “(a) Whoever, with intent to interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States:”

    “(1) advises, counsels, urges, or in any manner causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States; or”

    “(2) distributes or attempts to distribute any written or printed matter which advises, counsels, or urges insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States—
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both…”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sec_18_00002387—-000-.html

    You can get yourself in a world of trouble, and you wouldn’t accomplish anything of value, anyway.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  38. “Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so…” (Title 18, § 2388. Activities affecting armed forces during war)

    Federal laws mean federal prison. They are the better choice if you’re going to say or print something stupid (i.e. “I think that this might be the time for military civil disobedience.”).

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  39. I love how Kman the dolt accused someone of paranoia when he makes paranoid comments about Aaron Worthing all the time.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  40. “Whoever, when the United States is at war kinetic military action, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination…”

    Sorry, corrected.

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  41. It’s a serious felony to try and incite military personnel to disobey orders, and people have been sent to prison for doing it.

    Really? Then why isn’t Mother Sheehan in prison? Why weren’t all the people in the ’60s calling for burning draft cards imprisoned? During the Civil War, Lincoln lamented that he couldn’t touch people who wrote to soldiers asking them to desert. Do you have examples of anyone actually sentenced for merely advocating disobedience, or even for telling a specific soldier that he ought to disobey an order?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  42. Has this purported law been tested in court at any time since the Palmer raids?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  43. “Really?”

    Yes, really.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  44. Aaron,

    If they send you to the big house can I have your comic books?

    EricPWJohnson (dda0dd)

  45. Dave

    the key word is “refusal of duty.”

    They have no duty to obey an unlawful order.

    Seriously, I would LOVE them to arrest me over this. LOVE IT. I would rather put my @$$ on the line for this than ask a soldier or airman to do it.

    i could win that hypothetical case. i only need to cite the President and Vice President as authority.

    Noz

    heh.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  46. Y’know it’s funny when questionable things are happening that involve the armed forces, folks look at the grunt/aircrew like it was his idea to blow stuff up and kill a few bad guys.

    These guys have bosses. In fact they have this head uber dude called the commander-in-chief. Perhaps, and not wanting to offend anyone terribly in love with the guy, he needs to be held accountable per his job description (i.e. the Constitution). Just maybe.

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  47. “Has this purported law been tested in court at any time since the Palmer raids?”

    Yeah. Several people were charged, tried, convicted and sentenced under the statute Pieter just cited, when I was a kid, during the Vietnam War.

    Their convictions were eventually overturned, but the people involved spent several years playing legal games with the government.

    So, I would advise against inciting military personnel to disobey orders or counselling people to not cooperate with the Selective Service, unless you enjoy going to court.

    If the liberal Democrats are in charge of the government, they might decide to go after you, just like they’ve done many times in the past.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  48. Dave

    > unless you enjoy going to court.

    You do know I am a lawyer, right? *EG*

    Joking aside, i understand the spirit in which you are making that point, and needless to say a person should never do that sort of thing lightly.

    But i would positively relish this fight.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  49. Aaron,

    Seriously, I asked first..

    EricPWJohnson (dda0dd)

  50. Their convictions were eventually overturned

    That’s the operative word. So the law has been tested in court and found wanting. That means it can no longer be used. Any prosecutor who brought charges under it today would surely be opening himself up to a section 1983 suit, wouldn’t he?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  51. Even the excuse that we are enforcing a no-fly zone is b/s. A no-fly zone means that we prevent Qdaffy from letting his planes fly all across Libya. It doesn’t involved dropping Tomahawk missiles down on Qdaffy’s compound or his military, which we are doing.

    What bothers me the most about this is not that we are bombing Qdaffy’s headquarters (we should have bombed his ass into hell decades ago), but that we don’t even know who the rebels are that we are supporting. Are they the same faction that was sending people to Iraq to try to kill American soldiers? Are they being encouraged by the Islamists? We already know that the head of AQ has come out in support of the rebels.

    But here is what bothers me the most: last night, Steve Harrigan of Fox News reported that he, and other reporters, had been taken to talk to those Libyans who are supporters of Qdaffy. He said he was surprised by the number of people who not only supported Qdaffy, but who were willing to defend Qdaffy.

    This Libyan thing is going to turn into a civil war and we are going to be right in the middle of it. And how many Libyan citizens are we killing with the bombings?

    Obama said first this was to stop a “humanitarian” crisis. Then it came out last Sunday that around 100 civilians had been killed by Qdaffy troops, not much more than Saturday night in Chicago, with around 200 wounded. A few days later, Obama said it was to avoaid a humanitarian crisis.

    So we are bombing the shit out of Libya for a crisis that was not happening in a situation that is clearly outlined in the UN charter as an internal problem.

    We are also being told that the Marines are there to simply help the refugees. Yeah, I’m buying that one, aren’t you?

    retire05 (63d9af)

  52. Its paranoid to view a comment addressed to me as actually being about me.

    Well, that’s the kind of stupidity we’ve come to expect from Kman.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  53. “Seriously, I would LOVE them to arrest me over this.”

    Well, if you’re the sort of person who likes testing the government, and you don’t mind getting locked up, then go ahead.

    There are people that enjoy doing that, or at least they’re willing to do that. Personally, I’d rather not buy into trouble like that, but whatever floats your boat.

    IMO, though, the principle of soldiers always obeying orders, that ultimately derive from civilian authority, is a lot more important than the issue of presidents initiating military action without having Congress vote on it first.

    Even if it’s technically not kosher for Obambi to fire missiles at K-daffy without running it by Congress first, that’s not nearly as bad as having an army that’s constantly questioning higher authority, or that mutinities when they get orders they don’t care to follow.

    If Obambi was doing something real, real bad, like firing missiles into orphanages in Switzerland, then it might be worth inciting troopers to disobey their orders…but, this ain’t even close to being that bad.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  54. milhouse

    > So the law has been tested in court and found wanting.

    actually, not necessarily. a conviction can be overturned on alot of different grounds.

    Like take the pledge of allegiance case a few years ago. newdow sues to stop the school from saying the pledge. the 9th circuit agrees, but the SC overturns them. why? well, you might rationally argue that they were not willing to see the pledge be struck down, but their official reasoning is that newdow had no right to sue on behalf of his daughter, because he was not her custodial parent.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  55. Dave,

    If it is any consolation, your armed forces are trained to question orders. Per UCMJ, soldiers will be held accountable for obey “unlawful” orders (i.e. obviously criminal in nature). There have been many folks convicted in the past ten years that had no defense in “I was only obeying orders”. Sometimes the system works. Thank goodness, too.

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  56. “You do know I am a lawyer, right?”

    Yes, Aaron I’m aware of that.

    Take it from me, there’s a big difference between pleading a case in court, and standing accused in court, and there’s a big difference between visiting a client in jail, and actually being in jail.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  57. actually, not necessarily. a conviction can be overturned on alot of different grounds.

    Not relevant. I’m willing to bet these convictions were overturned because they blatantly violated the first amendment. And that those decisions are enough to sustain a Bivens suit against any policeman or prosecutor who relied on this law to arrest or charge someone today.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  58. “Kinetic military action”-why didn’t they say so in the first place.Must’ve taken a whole dorm’s worth of interns mainlining Mountain Dew for 15 sleepless hours to come up with that kind of gibberish.

    Bugg (9e308e)

  59. “So the law has been tested in court and found wanting.”

    No, the law wasn’t found wanting, which is why it’s still on the books.

    Obviously.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  60. Per my reading of the War Powers act currently in force, I would wait a good 60 days from the first well-defined military action (planes flying over Libya) to see if, by that time, Obama has taken a rationale to Congress and gotten an authorization to use military force in some verbiage.

    Less than sixty days, not worth it.

    We toppled Saddam in 39 days or whatever? So what? The First Amendment doesn’t only cover Gutenberg printing presses, the Second Amendment doesn’t only cover muskets and flintlocks, and the War Powers act doesn’t change its numbers just because we can topple a regime faster than 60 days if we want to.

    Now, that wanting is a problem, and the lack of basic military understanding at the highest levels is what can make this a cluster- that takes longer than 60 days. But that is another question.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  61. Take it from me, there’s a big difference between pleading a case in court, and standing accused in court, and there’s a big difference between visiting a client in jail, and actually being in jail.

    Well, in some Louisiana Parishes

    EricPWJohnson (dda0dd)

  62. “I’m willing to bet these convictions were overturned because they blatantly violated the first amendment.”

    Well, you would lose that bet.

    The convictions in the cases I’m talking about were overturned because an appeals court decided that there was insufficient evidence to show that the people convicted had conspired to incite people to resist the copmplying with the Selective Service Act.

    Of course, that’s not the real reason the convictions were overturned, but it’s the bullshit reason the court gave.

    And, that law is still the law, ready to be used the next time liberal Democrats feel like tossing people in jail for resisting the authority of the liberal Democrats.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  63. “resist the copmplying”

    Whoops.

    Should read “resist complying”

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  64. Dave Surls, lots of statutes have been found unconstitutional and yet remain codified in US and state codes.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  65. Perhaps you folks can help clarify/frame this entire issue Constitional Powers and statute regarding the War Powers Act.

    It would appear the President has resorted to semantics to relieve himself of responsibility. I’m nearly 45 and am trying to recall past hostilities in my lifetime and the actions by the respective administrations. It would appear there is clear difference in many of the scenarios, some were clearly briefed to People and the Congress prior to “acts of war”, some involved the rescue of americans in dire straits (Bosnia, Grenada and the Hostage Rescue Attempt), some were humanitarian or peace keeping (Lebanon and Somalia), some were reciprocity for attacks (Afghanistan by Clinton and Bush, and Libya for Lockerbie), some were clearly seeking to secure american strategic interests and security (Panama and Iraq).

    What I have trouble wrapping my nugget around is the lack of precedence for what our current administration is undertaking. Military action on behalf of the UN without any (none) authorization or explanation to constituents who pay and sacrifice for such an effort.

    No “my fellow americans…”, no speech to congress, nothing. Is this wierd to the point of worry, bordering on impeachable for gross incompetence?

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  66. Pieter, throw in Clinton’s Serbian air campaign without both congressional authority and without UN authority.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  67. “Dave Surls, lots of statutes have been found unconstitutional and yet remain codified in US and state codes.”

    Why does that not surprise me?

    The statutes we’re discussing, however, have not been found to be unconstitutional…even though they obviously are.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  68. (Afghanistan by Clinton and Bush, and Libya for Lockerbie)

    We actually bombed Libya before the Lockerbie incident, not after.

    The proximate cause of the air strikes carried out in 1986 was the bombing of a night club in Germany by agents of the Libyan government.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  69. Noz

    in other words, no “scare the crap out of you” speech, like they said in the Daily Show clip.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  70. Eh, I wasn’t writing a term paper. The point was whether there is lack of precedence in this present situtation. No imminent attack or requirement for super secret ops…the possibility has existed for our military involvement, there was time to brief his nation and the congress as to the reasons WE should be involved. Personally, the fact the UN desires action matters not at all to me, thier vote to have americans pay the dues for acts of war means absolutely nothing.

    The president owes me an explanation is what I’m thinkin’.

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  71. Funny stuff from IMAO:

    And now we got this whole Libya thing, which maybe we should be involved in, but we definitely should have a different president for that. I mean, for the longest time, he wouldn’t even make a statement about Qdaffy, and then suddenly we’re in a war. And no one has any idea what they’re doing. It was like they’re were just talking big about how something had to be done about Libya but didn’t really expect to actually do it themselves.

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: “We should totally do something about Libya.”

    OBAMA: “Yeah, it’s like awful there. We should do something.”

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: “We should pass a resolution to enforce a no fly zone.”

    OBAMA: “Yeah. Totally.”

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: “So here we go to the U.N. We’re going to pass this.”

    OBAMA: “Good. We’re doing the right thing. I’m voting yes.”

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: “Well, it’s passed.”

    OBAMA: “That’s a good thing.”

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: “…”

    OBAMA: “…”

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: “WHAT DID WE JUST DO?!!! ARE WE IN A WAR LIBYA!! WHAT DID WE JUST DO?!!!”

    OBAMA: “I DON’T KNOW! I’M JUST A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER! …Wait. I know what we’ll do. We’ll not call it a war. We’ll call it a ‘kinetic military action‘.”

    INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: “HOW DOES RELABELING IT FIX ANYTHING?!!!”

    OBAMA: “I DON’T KNOW!!! STOP YELLING AT ME!!! Man, I hope this doesn’t affect my vacation in Brazil.”

    I think we’ve got the rest of the world — especially Europe — used to the idea that America is in charge and will handle anything serious. But when we have an unserious president, basically no one’s in charge and it’s a big mess. You want to know why Obama didn’t consult Congress before going to war? Because he doesn’t know how war works. This is not something he ever took seriously; he expected a presidency full of passing big liberal programs like health care, not any new military action. Still, the guy spent eight years whining about our wars and then goes ahead and starts his own with not exactly on what he’s doing or trying to accomplish — which is just another drop in the bucket with all the other problems he can’t handle. So of course he’s focused on “winning the future”; what other message does he have right now then, “This will all work out awesome… long after we’re all dead.”

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  72. I’m probably going against the grain here, but I don’t support this action at all. And it isn’t because I didn’t vote for Obama, or because he has big ears, happens to be black, is a democrat, blah, blah, blah.

    I just don’t see how this is going to work. As in achieve any of the stated objectives, which seem to vary from time to time.

    We’re going to enforce a stalemate belatedly, now that Ghaddafy has retaken all the important cards?

    Say goodbye to fresh water, food, natural gas, fuel, and electricity, citizens of Benghazi. Say hello to NATO. Who have preemptively delcared they will provide none of those things Muammar will be cutting off.

    Steve (49173f)

  73. Aaron,

    I would suggest that you take a look at the case law that took US Navy Third Class Petty Officer Pablo Paredes and Lt. Ehren Watada to a Court-Martial. Both of them claimed that being sent to Iraq was an “Illegal” order and they would not be party to potential war crimes charges post war. Paredes is still awaiting an appellate ruling on his case and Lt. Watada was discharged by the Army in 2009 because the government lost on the double jeporady rules. However, the government judge ruled that the defense that Watada was taking was a testiment to guilt of sedition (if my memory serves me right) along with conduct unbecoming.

    Charles B (84ebcd)

  74. Steve,

    I don’t think you’re going against the grain. Most are dumbfounded that the mess has been initiated in the first place. Primarily due to the fact the administration never bothered to inform us as to why the hostilities are in our national interest. The last president might have mentioned that it was worth the sacrifice of revenue and lost lives to safeguard those that oppose tyranny. But for all we know, those rebels that are fighting the libyan government are worse than those defending the dictatorship.

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  75. Steve, you need to take some sensitivity courses to deal with your obvious racism (just kidding).

    You’re right. It’s difficult to see how Obama’s ‘plan’ is going to have a wonderful outcome. Good outcomes from wars are not easy to come by. they do not just accidentally happen, and there are a lot of savvy entities that do not want them to happen to a resource rich country in that region.

    Some on the left pretend Iraq was as successful as it was (mixed) on accident, or despite Bush, and perhaps this is why they don’t seriously plan for victory in Libya (though that seems to be how democrats go to war, usually).

    We had better hope Qaddafi hasn’t kept any special devices or material from his nuclear program.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  76. More funny stuff compliments of AoS:

    Top Ten Rejected Obama Euphemisms For Illegal War of Choice In Oil-Rich Muslim Country
    —Ace

    10. Multilateral Limited-Theater Kineticized Response Protocol

    9. It’s not a war, the president just has a bad case of Kaboomey-Pants

    8. Extreme Diplomacy

    7. Peace Strikes

    6. Full-Spectrum Combined-Arms Enhanced Humanitarian Relief Effort

    5. A strongly-worded communique spraypainted on the side of a clusterbomb

    4. “The Greatest Game of Golf Ever Played”

    3. It’s like giving your kid a “time out” except instead of taking away his TV privileges you bomb his presidential compound

    2. Really just a kind of sanctions, but “dark, edgy” sanctions with “attitude” and a “troubled, mysterious past”

    And the number one rejected euphemism for war…

    1. Andrea Mitchell’s Dirty Snootch

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  77. “I’m probably going against the grain here, but I don’t support this action at all.”

    You’re allowed to go against the grain, I think.

    I disagree, though. Killing K-daffy, and as many of his henchmen as possible and/or destroying the Libyan government is top priority for me.

    I’ll back Obambi and co. if they try and do that. And, I’ll back them if they want to go after Iran and Syria too.

    You want to fight state sponsors of terrorism and terrorist groups that have killed Americans…I’m down for that all the way.

    All other considerations (including following the law to the letter) are secondary.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  78. Dave,

    The only problem with your idea is the last ten years. No coherent policy, no national will, no end game.

    You’re talking worldwide regime change at the expense of untold amounts of money and war dead. Since when have we become an Imperial State? We can be the shining city on the hill without waging war on every single crap hole on the planet. Where does the list stop after Myanmar, most of Africa, N Korea, most of the middle east, some of the south pacific, portions of latin america, and canada.

    -Noz

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  79. All other considerations (including following the law to the letter) are secondary.

    Comment by Dave Surls

    I think it’s worth mentioning that this is not a conflicting consideration, Dave. Obama can EASILY follow the law, and it is very important.

    Is fighting Qaddafi more important than the Constitution to you? I can see where that comes from. But part of the reason he’s avoiding a legal warfare authorization is that he doesn’t need the GOP oversight ensuring his war is conducted a lot closer to how you’d like it to be, with things like realism and results.

    So, it actually happens to be that the Constitution is the means for the American people to get what they want via their elected representatives, rather than a way to block Obama from saving us from Qaddafi or Iran.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  80. “The Newest Euphemism For This War”

    And, they can call the war a tea party for all I care, as long as K-daffy dies screaming in a hail of American napalm somewhere along the way.

    The life of Stacie Denise Franklin (a 20 year flight attendant who was one of many Americans murdered in cold blood by the Libyan government) was important. Bringing her killers to justice and making them pay with their lives for taking her life is important. The word games played by our candyass POTUS and his lackeys ain’t all that important.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  81. “I am not saying that what we are doing in Libya is as vile as what the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor.”

    OK, may I go off on a tangent for a moment? I’m not painting the Japanese as victims. I’m not going to wring my hands about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But could we please stop calling the attack on Pearl Harbor “Unprovoked”?

    When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, we had been heading for a war with them for some time, and everybody in FDR’s administration or the military that had any common sense whatsoever knew it. We had put the Japanese under enormous diplomatic and economic pressure over their invasion of Manchuria, and on balance we were right to do so. But that doesn’t change that when we call Pearl Harbor ‘unprovoked’ what we mean is “We stole their lunch money, spread lies about them at recess, and called their a goat molesting whore, but we hadn’t actually hit them yet.”

    FDR, his administration, and the Military were getting ready to fight a war with Japan, but they were getting ready to fight a war in the Philippines. We didn’t think they could strike as far as Pearl, and when they did FDR and the Military threw the word ‘unprovoked’ around to cover their collective, bigoted, ass. A realistic response would have been “Boy, that bully we were gonna fight has a good punch, doesn’t he?”

    I don’t excuse the Japanese. Their Imperial government committed all kinds of atrocities in Manchuria, and their subsequent governments have done everything they can to duck those issues. Every time I hear about somebody fussing over the display of Enola Gay, I want to propose we add a banner that says in Japanese “You rape Nanking again, we bomb you again. Got it?”. But this “Pearl Harbor was unprovoked” is distorting discussions of other military actions. It needs to die.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  82. But this “Pearl Harbor was unprovoked” is distorting discussions of other military actions. It needs to die.

    A) you’re right

    B) the propaganda value of demonizing the Japanese was tremendous. That theater was incredibly difficult. Some of those Marine fought battles were Civil War level horrible. We were carried through that war on rage at the Japanese’s ‘unprovoked’ attack on our city.

    It was a very good idea to let this lie be told, IMO. That’s not to say you shouldn’t correct it for posterity.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  83. dave

    today you are worried about Stacie Franklin and to a degree rightly so. I said, i support the policy of fighting libya, but not the method by which we entered this war.

    But in the name of a short term gain you would free the executive from critical checks and balances. This makes it easier for a President to engage in an unwise or even potentially unjust war in the hopes of political gain. What of the lives affected by that decision?

    There is no exception to the Declaration of War Clause for actions against really, really bad guys.

    Don’t you get it? This is how tyranny is created. First they break the rules because they have a really good reason. then they just ignore the rules or any need for a reason. The founders knew something of tyranny and did their best to try to prevent it.

    We cannot be fair weather constitutionalists.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  84. “Is fighting Qaddafi more important than the Constitution to you?”

    Yup.

    Smashing terrorists who kill 20 year American girls is more important to me than ANY piece of paper.

    And, what use is the Constitution. if foreign governments can murder my people and get away with it as we blithely follow it, as his been going on for decades?

    “Obama can EASILY follow the law, and it is very important”

    Consider it so stipulated that Obambi, a dictator at heart, like pretty much all lefties, could have easily gone to Congress, and what’s more, I suspect they would have backed him up.

    However, his failing to do so is a petty matter compared to the lives of my kids, grandkids, ex-wives, friends, and fellow countrymen.

    Protecting them from being killed by terrorists, or killing the terrorists in the event we aren’t able to protect them, isn’t just more important than legal abstractions (like declaring war according to Hoyle) it’s INFINITELY more important.

    At least it is to me.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  85. it’s INFINITELY more important.

    Like I said, I understand your point theoretically, but as a practical matter, the constitution is your best friend right now. You want Obama’s staff to explain to the oversight committees with they are going to use our military to accomplish. We need him to be pushed into a defined goal, hopefully that goal being a regime change.

    You’re absolutely right that Obama could have gotten the backup from congress.

    So why didn’t he? Just because he’s a jackass? I think that is a realistic possibility, but I also think it’s possible he doesn’t want to commit to anything right now.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  86. “We cannot be fair weather constitutionalists.”

    I concur. This doc is all we have and should expect our true faith and allegiance. And not when it is politically expedient to obey or ignore certain portions that suit our purposes.

    -Noz (birther)

    Pieter Nosworthy (e55bb6)

  87. And take Pieter’s point, Dave. Obama is helping establish a precedent for violating the constitution. Our military’s leadership is being pushed to violate the constitution they are supposed to uphold.

    Baby steps towards tyranny. In the long run, for your family’s sake, those legal abstractions should be honored. Yes, that leads to a lot of short term conflicts that tick any good man off sometimes.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  88. He has said he cannot do this. His Vice President has concurred. And yet here he is today, doing precisely what they told you he could not legally do.

    AW, you ignorant ****. That is wrong, wrong, wrong. Obama never said he couldn’t do what he is doing. Biden never said Obama couldn’t do what Obama is doing.

    They said Bush couldn’t do what Bush was doing. How dense does one have to be to not know this?

    steve (369bc6)

  89. Wadda? Obama finally shows some balls and you get on his ass? Khadaffi should have been gone 42 years ago.

    nk (db4a41)

  90. this isn’t about getting rid of daffy though this is about bombing stuff for so everyone can be friends

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  91. No, the law wasn’t found wanting, which is why it’s still on the books. Obviously.

    When the courts strike down a law it doesn’t get removed from the books. Police and prosecutors just stop trying to enforce it. Because they rather like their houses.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  92. @28

    Wasn’t too long ago (the case where the officer refused deployment because he questioned Obama’s status).

    A Lieutenant Colonel threw away his career, and I don’t recall seeing much sympathy for him in the milblogs I read.

    malclave (1db6c5)

  93. When the goverment starts calling a war a “kinetic military action”, you know you’re living in the Twilight Zone.

    Rochf (f3fbb0)

  94. “but as a practical matter”

    As a practical matter 20 year American flight attendants are more important than every law that ever was written or ever will be written.

    By the way I value things.

    Obambi plays the tyrant and starts firing missiles at Libya without getting Congress to approve it. Small deal (as a practical matter). Especially, since American presidents do such things about as often as they take a leak.

    20 year old American girls are murdered by Libyan despots, who then proceed to keep on breathing because we can’t be arsed to blow them to hell like we ought. Big deal (as a practical matter).

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  95. ‘But could we please stop calling the attack on Pearl Harbor “Unprovoked”?’

    Hey, don’t holler at me just ’cause Roosevelt said it.

    I ain’t his speech writer.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  96. Comment by malclave — 3/24/2011 @ 1:27 pm

    Birtherism doesn’t usually receive much sympathy from reasonable people; I would have been surprised if it was any other way.

    However, asserting that POTUS is acting ultra vires because there is no Congressional authorization or declaration is a very different kettle of fish from asserting that POTUS is actually a Kenyan love-child. So reactions might be different if an airman took the course that Aaron hypothesized; but even if he was acquitted at a court-martial (which I doubt he would be, and Aaron please note the correct spelling), I think most, but not all, military personnel would be unsympathetic, and said airman would soon need to find a completely different line of work very soon.
    And frankly, from what I know of the military, taking on the role of heroic pundit at HuffPo or PajamasMedia, for that matter, would be less than appealing to most.

    kishnevi (cc1ec4)

  97. David, if we waited this long to revenge that airline attendant, we could have waited a few more days for Congress to formally vote its agreement.

    [The name doesn't ring a bell with me. Am I correct in assuming she's one of the victims on Pan Am 103?]

    kishnevi (cc1ec4)

  98. As a practical matter 20 year American flight attendants are more important than every law that ever was written or ever will be written.

    Are they? You’d burn the constitution for revenge from decades ago?

    I think that’s unwise, and I again note you’re being irrational anyway. You act like honoring the constitution will kill a 20 year old flight attendant, but I’m saying that it would allow the oversight Obama needs to get his ass in gear properly. Which would save some lives.

    You do realize that we’re not really talking about the lives of flight attendants, right? We’re talking about the lives of our military.

    In my book, their lives have value, and tearing up the constitution that places deploying them into war as congress’s power is spitting in their faces.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  99. As a practical matter 20 year American flight attendants are more important than every law that ever was written or ever will be written.

    You’d think so. And yet, with that attitude the USA would still be part of the UK. Because every life lost in that war, on both sides, was worth more than the fine constitutional points they were fighting over. For that matter, the English Civil War would never have been fought either, and we wouldn’t have fine constitutional points to argue over. And is it really worth lives to prevent a few states from going their own way? If Maine or Hawaii wanted to secede today, would anyone justify spilling blood to prevent them?

    Also, if a 20-year-old flight attendant’s life is worth more than any law or constitution, then say goodbye to the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments, and all the protections that have been added around them. Because every one of them prevents criminals from being taken off the street, and thus to 20-year-old flight attendants being killed. If we just lock up everyone suspected of a crime, forever, 20-year-old flight attendants will be safe, at least until they get suspected of a crime.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  100. Anyway, what’s FDR going to do?

    Tell the truth?

    “Yeah, we provoked the Nip bastards every chance we got, then they sucker-punched us when we weren’t looking, even though we’d broken their diplomatic codes, knew what they were about to do, and should have been ready. They caught us with our panties down around our ankles in Hawaii, the Philippines, and I don’t even wanna think where else. And now, because we geniuses in the executive branch completely fucked up, getting thousands of our guys killed in the process, we want you Congresscritters to declare war on Japan, so we can try and salvage something out of this Godawful mess, preferably by blowing a couple of million of the little yellow bastards to hell. Besides, you fellas might as well go ahead and declare war anyway, seeing as how our pilots are already fighting the Japanese in China, and our navy is sinking German U-boats in the Atlantic. I mean, we;’re already fighting a war, so might as well declare it too. And, even though a declaration of war isn’t going to make a hell of a lot of practical difference at this point, it’ll soothe a lot of old fussbudgets who get all huffy about the formalities.”

    I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have the balls to go in front of Congress and say that.

    I’d do what Roosevelt did, and tart it up a bit to save face.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  101. “Am I correct in assuming she’s one of the victims on Pan Am 103?”

    Yes.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  102. From A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS:

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  103. I think that Obama is acting within the range of gray area of this part of constitutional law that Presidents have always acted within.

    So I see no new precedent and no crisis.

    The utter incompetence of Obama’s actions, and his bizarre way to trying to throw away leadership of the operation as fast as possible indicate a new low in feckless, stupidity from this clown of a President.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  104. #101

    You might want to check out what happens to Sir Thomas More at the end of that play.

    And, then think about the implications as it relates to the passage you just cited.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  105. Surls, eventually he is sainted. In fact, from law school I’m a “St. Thomas More Honor Society” member.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  106. The historical Sir Thomas More and the Man for All Seasons were distinctly different people.

    The real More was (1) a Tudor propagandist (his descriptions of Ricard III bear NO resemblance to reality) (2) a religious zealot to put Bin Laden to shame (he wore a hair shirt and scourged himself daily) (3) a willing tool for Henry VIII political and military aspirations (look at the extra-legal death of Tyndale for example).

    The man of conscience described by Bolt and expanded by Hollywood is an honorable man steadfastly defending a religious principle. If that was so it was for damn sure the only principle the real man ever had.

    The list could go on but More was no saintly man – no matter the opinions of the Catholic Church – to my mind saints need far less worldly ambition and much cleaner hands.

    Old Bob (07c536)

  107. Old Bob, so according to you why was he killed? Why didn’t he just accept the new order and prosper?

    Milhouse (4ab35c)

  108. Milhouse –

    He was a religious zealot – anxious to obtain martyrdom – just like contemporary zealots of the Islamic kind.

    Remember – Henry was busy declaring himself head of the English church, not subject to Papal decrees. He was ridding himself of his Spanish Catholic wife to marry that ‘Boleyn whore’. The Protestant Reformation was sowing disorder in European christendom and threatened the established power of the church.

    Martyrdom for a man who scourged himself was hardly something to be feared.

    Old Bob (07c536)

  109. ______________________________________________

    And all of this is designed to avoid the obvious illegality of it—declared by no less than candidate Obama

    It’s hard taking anything seriously out of the current occupant of the Oval Office. To do so would require having confidence in and respect for that person’s judgment, honesty and common sense.

    The following pretty much symbolizes everything about the joker in the White House…

    newsnet5.com, March 24:

    President Barack Obama gets locked out of White House

    President Barack Obama had to try a couple of doors at the White House before finally gaining access to the Oval Office on Wednesday. Returning from a five-day trip to Latin America, video shows the president strolling up to french doors at the White House and trying the handle on a locked door. He appeared to be whistling as he made his way down to another set of doors that were open.

    White House staff was apparently not informed that the President was coming back to work before his arrival.

    Mark (411533)

  110. “Surls, eventually he is sainted.”

    The play ends with More’s beheading.

    In the play, More puts the law above all else, so much so that he states he would rather adhere to the law than fight evil (kinda like some folks here are doing), and indeed would go so far as to give the Devil the benefit of law, and he also believes that he can rely on the law as his shield.

    And, then the law cuts his head off, while evil (in the form of Henry VIII and Cromwell) does as it will, unrestrained by the abstraction of More’s precious law.

    Although it isn’t mentioned in the play, in real life, William Roper, who did as he thought right, and to hell with the law, managed to live to the ripe old age of 80.

    Kind of ironic, especially in light of some of the concepts being discussed here.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  111. If I was trying to make a case for the value of the law, I don’t think I would be citing passasges from A Man For All Seasons.

    The law doesn’t come off too well in that piece of fiction.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  112. Mr. Surls -

    Ahhh, but the Divine Rights of Kings gave power of The Law to the King.

    The arguments here are re: Obama’s unilateral decision – a very kinglyesque action.

    Old Bob (07c536)

  113. he would rather adhere to the law than fight evil (kinda like some folks here are doing)

    If you want to phrase it in terms like that–then I’d put it this way:

    You can not always defeat evil through using the law, but you can never defeat evil through bypassing the law–because bypassing the law is itself an evil.

    kishnevi (437df2)

  114. “because bypassing the law is itself an evil.”

    So, if I refuse to abide by Fugitive Slave or Jim Crow laws, I’m an evil dude, eh?

    I think not.

    You guys put a little too much blind faith in that old rule of law thing.

    Dave Surls (bbbd48)

  115. Dave

    > So, if I refuse to abide by Fugitive Slave or Jim Crow laws, I’m an evil dude, eh?

    no, not every law should be obeyed. MLK validly said an unjust law is no law at all.

    But is the constitution unjust in expecting the president to get permission to start a war? or just inconvenient? It seems to me that you have adopted an attitude of the ends justifying any means because you really, really want Qdaffy. As though there was no alternative but to bypass congress.

    I mean shouldn’t the president at least have tried talking to congress and asking for a war powers resolution before ignoring them and we the people?

    You are so focused on the desire to get Gdaffy, that you literally can’t see anything else. I don’t get that.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  116. So, if I refuse to abide by Fugitive Slave or Jim Crow laws, I’m an evil dude, eh?

    The proper course is to work to repeal those laws. While it took the Civil War to effect the repeal of the Fugitive Slave laws, the Constitution was able to get rid of Jim Crow all on its own, once people paid attention to what the Constitution said.

    Do you really think getting rid of Kdaffy ranks on the scale of moral endeavor with abolishing slavery? Is it worth totally screwing up the Constitution to get rid of him?

    kishnevi (437df2)

  117. I cited the play because it made a point better than I could in my own words. Regardless of what you think of the real man, or of the character from the play, the point remains.

    There are times when defying the law is justified, but you want to consider them very carefully. Even when such times are the present moment, beware the man who scorns the Law, for he may well be an evil old bastard like John Brown (who, history tells us – or ME, anyway – was far more interested in killing than he was in freeing anybody. Look up a good history of “Bloody Kansas”, if you don’t know what I’m talking about.).

    Obama may have the finest motives in the world, but I am uncomfortable with the way he’s going about this …. on several levels. If nothing else, he could have waited until his political opponents turned out to be clenched sphincters about making war on Q’daffy (how ARE we spelling his name this week, BTW?) and THEN flouted Congress.

    I really wish I thought this would go well.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  118. CSP

    on the spelling of his name, i picked Qdaffy for the childish reason of making fun of the man. fwiw. i think imao came up with that first, fyi…

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  119. “You guys put a little too much blind faith in that old rule of law thing.”

    Dave Surls – You mean like that Hague Convention stuff about a war is not a proper war unless you tell somebody in advance you are going to start shooting?

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  120. “Dave Surls – You mean like that Hague Convention stuff about a war is not a proper war unless you tell somebody in advance you are going to start shooting?”

    Sure. It’s a good rule. It’s a treaty, and therefore part of the Supreme Law of the Land. We ought to follow it.

    But, killing terrorists, like K-Daffy, is more important than strict adherence to a treaty.

    At least it is to me.

    Also to our presidents, who play fast and loose with the official rulebook all the time.

    The Hague Convention we’re discussing, which talks about declarations of war, isn’t an issue in this case, but if it was, it would take a back seat to smashing Libya or any other state sponsor of terrorism we take on.

    Dave Surls (b851ad)

  121. “The proper course is to work to repeal those laws.”

    Well, excuse me, but if the law tries to make me a slave, I’m going to repeal it by blowing somebody’s head off, and to hell with the damned law.

    Dave Surls (b851ad)

  122. “It seems to me that you have adopted an attitude of the ends justifying any means because you really, really want Qdaffy.”

    Seems that way to me too.

    With any luck, Obambi will keep pushing and drive K-daffy out of power, and with a little more luck, K-daffy will wind up dead, along with a bunch of his minions.

    And, then we can start looking forward to the crisis which will get the morons who run our government motivated to take out Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and the Pals, plus any other scumbags who are long overdue for a slow, painful death that I’m forgetting about, on account of it’s getting late and all.

    Dave Surls (b851ad)

  123. “Sure. It’s a good rule. It’s a treaty, and therefore part of the Supreme Law of the Land. We ought to follow it.”

    Dave – Sure, you just seem happy to pick and choose the ones you want to follow so I was yanking your chain.

    daleyrocks (9b57b3)

  124. I don’t recall the portion of the military oath that included “support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the treaties we have signed onto“…

    The idea they’re equivalent is flat-out wrong. That should be obvious just by how much harder it is to amend the Constitution than to make a treaty. Also, withdrawing from a treaty is easier than repealing a Constitutional amendment. There is only one supreme law of the land… by definition. As others have noted, you can’t have a treaty that violates the constitution because it would be struck down. Insisting they’re equal to support an argument doesn’t make it true.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  125. “Dave – Sure, you just seem happy to pick and choose the ones you want to follow…”

    You got that right.

    There’s a whole lot of laws and treaties that I don’t want to follow.

    Dave Surls (509777)

  126. Dave, there are people who are just as willing to tear our constitution up for Obamacare or taking your guns or restricting your comments about politicians close to election day.

    I don’t want to play your game, where everyone ignores the law and just argues to respect or argues to power. Sure, the real world works that way to some extent, but we need both ‘sides’ of any political disagreement to work within the law.

    You can’t beat ‘them’ this way. They are more ruthless and powerful than you. Chicago is a good example.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  127. “Also, withdrawing from a treaty is easier than repealing a Constitutional amendment.”

    Depends on the treaty, if I remember how it all works correctly.

    I’m too lazy to look it all up today, so working from memory…

    1.) There is no mechanism in the Constitution for withdrawing from a treaty, only a mechanism for entering into one.

    2.) Treaties usually have a mechanism contained within the treaty so that a signatory can withdraw from the treaty.

    3.) Some treaties, like the one that put us into the United Nations, for example, contain no provision for withdrawing, therefore we’re bound to that treaty in perpetuity with no legal way to pull out of the treaty (which I strongly suspect was done deliberately).

    That’s how I remember it, anyway, possibly wrongly.

    As for the Article VI discussion, like I said, I’m not in the mood to argue about it any more (though I know I will be in the future…I’m just bored with it for the present), so I’m not going to make an argument, I’m just going to say: that I’m right, you’re wrong, and that’s it.

    Same thing I say to lefties who try to deny that the 2A says what it says, when I get tired of arguing with them about it.

    Dave Surls (509777)

  128. “I don’t want to play your game, where everyone ignores the law…”

    I don’t ignore the law.

    I obey the laws about 99.9% of the time, if only to avoid trouble.

    Dave Surls (509777)

  129. I obey the laws about 99.9% of the time, if only to avoid trouble.

    Comment by Dave Surls

    Well, that’s smart, but you aren’t really obeying the law. You’re obeying power. You have rejected the notion of working with the legal system if you think you can get away with it for your political goals.

    And I am pointing out that we can’t win that way because the ‘other side’ is more ruthless.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  130. ome treaties, like the one that put us into the United Nations, for example, contain no provision for withdrawing, therefore we’re bound to that treaty in perpetuity with no legal way to pull out of the treaty

    Wrong. Congress can unilaterally abrogate any treaty. And at least since Goldwater v Carter or whatever the case is called, the one about the Taiwan treaty, so can the president.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  131. “Wrong.”

    Could be.

    “Congress can unilaterally abrogate any treaty.”

    I’m looking through Article I, and I don’t see that power listed anywhere. Maybe I’m missing it. Where does Congress get that power from? Please elaborate.

    “Goldwater v Carter”

    Irrelevant to the point at hand. The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty had a withdrawal provision (contained in Article 10 of the treaty), as most treaties do. The issue at hand was who had the power to exercise that provision, the POTUS alone, or the POTUS with the consent of the Senate. The issue wasn’t: how do we withdraw from a treaty that has no withdrawal provision.

    I might well be wrong in my analysis…but, you haven’t shown that I am.

    Not yet, anyway.

    Dave Surls (ff2147)

  132. kishnevi’s #115 is one of the silliest things EVER written.

    Icy Texan (722f65)

  133. “kishnevi’s #115 is one of the silliest things EVER written.”

    Well, I don’t know about that, but, I think he fired that one off without thinking it all the way through.

    There’s been a law or two in the history of the world that damned well needed to be bypassed.

    Dave Surls (ff2147)

  134. “Goldwater v Carter”

    Btw, that case never would have come up, if there was a legal method to withdraw from treaties, a method described in the Constituion.

    We need to amend the Constitution so that we have a method to pull out of treaties, just as we have a method to enter into treaties.

    If we don’t do that, then one of these days the nine dolts in black are going to consider a case like Goldwater v Carter, and then they’ll set their own method, and it won’t be based on the law, it’ll be based solely on their whim.

    Dave Surls (7344d4)

  135. Surls, he’s saying that the ends NEVER justify questionable means — and I’m calling shullbit on him.

    Icy Texan (b75196)

  136. I’m looking through Article I, and I don’t see that power listed anywhere. Maybe I’m missing it. Where does Congress get that power from? Please elaborate.

    It’s in the nature of treaties. All treaties are abrogatable; the only question in the USA is who gets to do it. Back in the 1790s the view was Congress gets to do it, not the president.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)


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