The President does not have the power to declare war

The critical corollary to Bush's so-called "preemptive military action" insists that Bush, acting in preemptive self-defense of his country, has a right to use force--that is, declare war--on a potentially aggressive foreign nation. (For the present time, Iran seems to fit the bill.)

But does President Bush have the authority to unilaterally declare war against a foreign nation without the approval of Congress? Not according to our founding fathers. "The Congress shall have Power to…declare War…"--Article I, Section 8, U.S. Constitution

Attempts have been made over time to weaken or redefine the Constitution's definitive statement of who can and cannot make a declaration of war. For example, in 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which gives a president the authority to wage war abroad for 60 days without congressional approval. It is questionable whether this act, if challenged, would hold up to constitutional muster.

Certainly, the framers never intended that a president, acting independent of Congress, have the power to wage war against another country merely on the basis of a potential threat. The framers did not believe in entrusting "a single man" with the decision to commit troops and finances to war, which would, in essence, be a dictatorship. The framers left the war-making decision to the "deliberative process in Congress." In this way, nothing but a clear national interest can draw us into war.

And for Bush to ignore the rule of law under which this nation operates is to ignore our Constitution. To act otherwise--especially in matters of war--is an impeachable offense under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.

[Excerpt of an article by John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute]

No comments: