"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Friday, April 11, 2008

While The Yoo Revelations and disclosures of the last 72 hours provide more hope for Impeachment that at at any moment so far; we cannot stop in every action we can design to maintain the pressure and increase public focus. The opportunity has never been better as the media cannot avoid this matter in this form!

New Hampshire To The Top Of The Post ABC To The Head Of The Class!

-- Bertrand De Juvenal

Mark Twain Anticipated Fox News

“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing tactics, and will diligently study them,and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.” Mark Twain---

Come To New Hampshire Mon, April 14, 2008 7:00 PM

Listen: http://www.shirley08.com/donations_radio.php

Daniel Ellsberg to Headline Historic Impeachment Event in Concord
By Jodin Morey
Hall has stated, "My failure to vote for the NH House Resolution for the Nixon Impeachment is the absolutely biggest regret of my legislative career. That is why I am so dedicated to doing this now." ...
Impeach Bush For Peace - http://impeachforpeace.org/impeach_bush_blog

Pentagon Papers leaker calls Iraq invasion 'supreme war crime'
By Judit
Later, he assailed those who've ruled out impeaching Bush and Cheney. Both Democratic leaders in Congress -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have said they won't consider impeaching Bush. ...
COUNTERPOINT - http://hazankert.blogspot.com/

Let’s Make History Next Week
By john
On April 16th the New Hampshire House of Representatives will vote on HR 24, a resolution calling for the US House of Representatives to open impeachment hearings on President Bush. If the resolution passes it will trigger section 603 ...
March in My Name - http://www.marchinmyname.org

Not above the law, despite the memo
Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,USA
In 1973 they led the fight to hold impeachment hearings on Nixon. The crimes of Cheney and Bush are far more serious than Nixon's. ...





ABC broke some news yesterday that, more than any news before it, places high-ranking Bush administration officials in the center of a criminal conspiracy:

In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News… — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called water boarding.

The high-level discussions about these “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic….

The advisers were members of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, a select group of senior officials who met frequently to advise President Bush on issues of national security policy.

At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

… this is the first time sources have disclosed that a handful of the most senior advisers in the White House explicitly approved the details of the program. According to multiple sources, it was members of the Principals Committee that not only discussed specific plans and specific interrogation methods, but approved them….

Highly placed sources said CIA directors Tenet and later Porter Goss along with agency lawyers briefed senior advisers, including Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Powell, about detainees in CIA custody overseas.

“It kept coming up. CIA wanted us to sign off on each one every time,” said one high-ranking official who asked not to be identified. “They’d say, ‘We’ve got so and so. This is the plan.’”

Sources said that at each discussion, all the Principals present approved….


Torture Incorporated
By CapitalistImperialistPig(CapitalistImperialistPig)
Lawyers for Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all went to Guantanamo to brief the commander on the torture authorization memos they had ordered from Justice Department (irony!) lawyer John Yoo. The commander of Guantanamo took the message to ...
CapitalistImperialistPig - http://capitalistimperialistpig.blogspot.com/

The Suprema

Can we just get rid of this absurd idea that Colin Powell, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, and Condeleeza Rice were anything but fully culpable members of the Bush criminal gang? David Kurtz of TPM links to this ABC story by Jan Crawford Greenburg, Howard L. Rosenberg and Ariane de Vogue.

It seems that they, together with Cheney and Rumsfeld constituted the Suprema (the so-called National Security Council's Principals Committee) that authorized, prescribed and specified the details of the CIA's torture program.

In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News.

The so-called Principals who participated in the meetings also approved the use of "combined" interrogation techniques -- using different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time -- on terrorist suspects who proved difficult to break, sources said.

Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects -- whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.

The high-level discussions about these "enhanced interrogation techniques" were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed -- down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

The advisers were members of the National Security Council's Principals Committee, a select group of senior officials who met frequently to advise President Bush on issues of national security policy.

At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Ashcroft's moral sensibilities may have been dull, but he still had some feeling for PR.

Then-Attorney General Ashcroft was troubled by the discussions. He agreed with the general policy decision to allow aggressive tactics and had repeatedly advised that they were legal. But he argued that senior White House advisers should not be involved in the grim details of interrogations, sources said.

According to a top official, Ashcroft asked aloud after one meeting: "Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."


The now-infamous John Yoo torture memo, which states that torture isn’t really torture unless it kills the suspect, and that President Bush’s wartime authority trumps torture law, is creating quite a firestorm. Constitutional professor Jonathan Turley joined Keith Olbermann on Thursday’s Countdown where he once again repeats his claim that President Bush broke the law and that the Democrats were afraid to pursue charges because they know it would trigger impeachment hearings and that scares them to death.

Countdown: Yoo Torture Memo Is More Evidence Of Impeachable Crimes
By Logan Murphy
... Thursday’s Countdown where he once again repeats his claim that President Bush broke the law and that the Democrats were afraid to pursue charges because they know it would trigger impeachment hearings and that scares them to death. ...
Crooks and Liars - http://www.crooksandliars.com

Turley:”…It’s really amazing, Congress, including the Democrats, have avoided any type of investigation into torture because they do not want to deal with the fact that the president ordered war crimes. But, evidence keeps on coming out. The only thing we don’t have is a group picture with a detainee attached to electrical wires.”

If Congress Won’t Impeach George Bush, At Least He Could Be Tried ...
By JohnCevette
George Washington constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley examined the legal memorandum on torture written by John Yoo of the Justice Department and recently released to the public by a Court order. The memorandum was used by ...
Observations From The Sidelines - http://cevette.org/cevetteblog

George Washington constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley examined the legal memorandum on torture written by John Yoo of the Justice Department and recently released to the public by a Court order. The memorandum was used by President Bush as the “legal” basis upon which he claimed the torture of prisoners was within the law.

However, given what the memorandum contained, Professor Turley said, “It’s really amazing, Congress, including the Democrats, have avoided any type of investigation into torture because they do not want to deal with the fact that the president ordered war crimes. But, evidence keeps on coming out. The only thing we don’t have is a group picture with a detainee attached to electrical wires.”

On Friday, March 13, 2003, Jay Bybee resigned from his Office as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, to become a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The very next day — a Saturday, mind you — John Yoo, merely a Deputy AAG in the Office, issued his notorious memo to the Pentagon, on behalf of OLC.

The Yoo memo effectively gave the Pentagon the green light to disregard statutory limits on torture, cruelty and maltreatment of detainees. It is, in effect, the blueprint that led to Abu Ghraib and the other abuses within the armed forces in 2003 and early 2004. Here, finally, is Part One of the memo, and here is Part Two.

The secret classification of these memos all these years was unjustified. It appears the sole reason is to protect George Bush from prosecution for war crimes. Unlikely as this scenario is to be played, it certainly is warranted.

US (Congress) Wants Yoo!
Wall Street Journal Blogs - New York,NY,USA
One week later, Detroit Democrat Conyers on behalf of the House’s judiciary committee, in the April 8 letter requested that Yoo, now a Berkeley law ...


I love being first on this one. Yoo is a total sell out. He was completely used like a two-bit hooker by Cheney, Rummy and the boys to write whatever they wanted him to write. The classic case of drafting a memo to justify a conclusion already reached. Any good lawyer can do that. From what I’ve heard his memo is completely absurd and intellectually bankrupt.

Have fun trying to get out of this one, Mr. Yoo, you lackey. So happy they are going after this guy. Can’t go parading around on TV (Frontline) and in Esquire defending your indefensible memos and then refuse to testify to the people’s representatives. can someone say subpoena?

Comment by Love it! - April 9, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Can Congress compel someone to testify just to give an opinion, i.e., “…to explore issues regarding the nature and scope of Presidential power in the time of war….”, or is this really an investigation into Bush’s policies to see if any illegality went on?

Comment by Huh - April 9, 2008 at 3:33 pm

And another thing, if Congress has access to all of Yoon’s public comments, then why ask him to say it again? They already know his feelings.

Comment by And... - April 9, 2008 at 3:34 pm

This is potentially a career problem for Yoo. His torture memo is already widely viewed in academia as intellectually dishonest. Even assuming he has tenure at Berkeley, he presumably has further ambitions, either within the academy or in the public realm. These hearings threaten to fan the flames of ridicule that he has already endured among his academic colleagues, turning him into a much more widely recognized laughingstock. No positive resume value there.

Comment by FromTheWings - April 9, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Conyers Schedules Hearing with John Yoo
TPM, NY - 22 hours ago
By Paul Kiel - April 8, 2008, 4:54PM House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers (D-MI) wants to former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo to discuss his ...

Administration Declassifies 2003 Torture Memo Posted by Dan Slater

The victim must experience intense pain or suffering of the kind that is equivalent to the pain that would be associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions will likely result. — Definition of torture in newly-released legal memo written by John Yoo in 2003

Three months ago, lawyers for Jose Padilla — the so-called dirty bomber who was found guilty on terrorism conspiracy charges — kicked up quite a fuss when they filed suit against John Yoo, an architect of the Bush administration’s terrorism policies. The suit seeks $1 in damages and a judgment declaring that the government’s treatment of Padilla violated the Constitution.

It might not matter much for the merits of Padilla’s suit, but a new piece of evidence emerged yesterday when the Bush administration declassified an 81-page memo from 2003, in which Yoo, then the deputy assistant AG in Justice’s Office of the Legal Counsel, concludes that even if techniques are found to be in violation of U.S. and international laws against torture, “necessity or self-defense could provide justifications for any criminal liability.” (Here are reports from the NYT, the WSJ and the WaPo, where you can click through to the text of the memo.)

According to the reports, the memo was issued to guide the Pentagon on treatment of terror suspects detained overseas. Like an earlier memo issued by John Bybee, the head of OLC, it sanctioned certain techniques that inflict “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” on detainees. The newly declassified Yoo memo states: “In wartime, it is for the President alone to decide what methods to use to best prevail against the enemy.”

The DOJ has since withdrawn both the Yoo and Bybee memos, issuing a 2004 legal opinion that declared “torture is abhorrent both to American law and values and to international norms.” The memos, however, demonstrate how sweeping the Justice Department viewed presidential power in the post 9/11 world.

Peter Carr, a DOJ spokesman, said the department’s current legal view “does not conclude that the President can supersede statutes regulating detainee treatment.”

And in other News…..

Joe Ratzinger is coming to America. And he was certain to get his paperwork in order prior to leaving Rome for the States. Let’s see, diplomatic passport, briefing papers, intinerary, and oh yeah, the Papal Tiera to demonstrate he is the head of the Vatican State.

This last item is assurance some zealous lawyer won’t nab him on the tarmac when his private jet touches down.

The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit by three plaintiffs who allege that Juan Carlos Patino-Arango, a Colombian-born seminarian on assignment at St. Francis de Sales church in Houston, molested the boys during counseling sessions in the church in the mid-1990s.

The lawsuit alleges Ratzinger, who headed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before becoming pope, was involved in a conspiracy to hide crimes and help him escape prosecution.

On May 18, 2001, Ratzinger wrote in Latin to bishops around the world, explaining that “grave” crimes such as the sexual abuse of minors would be handled by his congregation and that the proceedings of special church tribunals handling the cases were subject to “pontifical secret.”

In other words, shut up and we’ll bury this at the Vatican. And Ratzinger did exactly that, covering up more than 10,000 cases of child molestation, involving 4,000 priests. The pesky little problem is this conduct subjected Joe to criminal prosecution and civil litigation in the United States.

Fortunately for him, the white smoke blew in his direction just in time to save his ass. Joe turned into Pope Benedict XVI and as pontiff he enjoys immunity as head of state of the Holy See.

So, with his “get out of jail” card he can freely jet around the United States to preach the morality that he fails to practice.

Former Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-Rhode Island)

As the Bush Administration days wane, its power is dissipated by poll ratings of historic lows, and a vigorous presidential campaign. He is a crippled duck.

Move over James Buchannon, you’re about to be replaced. By most accounts Bush will be remembered as among the worst Presidents–if not the worst–in the history of the country. The sad part is we are just now beginning to learn his dishonesty is as extensive as his incompetence.

How many time did you here George Bush say he was a “uniter, and not a divider”? Yet we watched as played wedge politics in a mean-spirited game that served his interests and fractured our country. It started before he took the oath of office.

Senator Lincoln Chafee’s new book, “Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President” (St. Martin’s Press), adds little to the long list of indictments against Bush and Cheney, but it colors in some of the details we didn’t know.

One day after the Supreme Court sealed the 2000 election for George Bush, Dick Cheney went to the Capitol for a private lunch with five moderate Republican senators. The agenda he laid stunned the Senator.

“I was literally falling off my chair,” Chafee said, recounting the vice president’s proposals for steep tax cuts, missile defense programs and abandoning the Kyoto environmental accords. “There was no room for discussion.”

Chafee said, ‘Well, you’re going to need us; it’s a 50-50 Senate, you’re going to need us moderates.’ Cheney replied, ‘Well, we need everybody.’ The Senator reminded Cheney the President had run on a moderate agenda. Cheney’s response, “Well, we said what we had to say to get elected, but the campaign’s over.”

In other words the Bush campaign promises were a calculated set of lies to the American people. And he continued to lie. The most egregious of his many lies was the weapons of mass destruction after October 6, 2002 when he knew they didn’t exist, dragging us into a 5-year catastrophe that should have never happened.

At 55, Mr. Chafee, who was appointed to the Senate after his father’s death in 1999 and then won easily in an election the following year, was an awkward figure in Washington.

Pensive and intellectual, he was never suited for the world of the mean Washington political arena. Defeated in 2006, he was swept out in the voters’ rebuke of the Republican governance. He could have made a contribution but he was never given the chance by his fellow Republicans.

He has now made his contribution with his first-hand account of Bush and Cheney.

Republican candidate has issues with Bush
Examiner.com - USA
... the first thing he would do if elected to Congress is introduce articles of impeachment against President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. ...

The bleat goes on
By morialekafa(morialekafa)
Bush says we don’t torture. Mukasey refuses to label torture, torture. It would make Bush/Cheney war criminals (which they clearly are). Congress is remarkably silent about all this and refuses to even consider impeachment. ...
morialekafa - http://morialekafa.blogspot.com/

Conyers Schedules Hearing with John Yoo
TPM - New York,NY,USA
By Paul Kiel - April 8, 2008, 4:54PM House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers (D-MI) wants to former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo to discuss his ...

Conyers Schedules Hearing with John Yoo

By Paul Kiel - April 8, 2008, 4:54PM

House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers (D-MI) wants to former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo to discuss his now-infamous March 14, 2003 memo that broadly authorized the use of torture by military interrogators of unlawful combatants.

Conyers has gone ahead and scheduled a hearing for May 6th on the memo and invited Yoo in a letter today. But it's apparent from the letter that Yoo is not too enthusiastic about the prospect of testifying to Congress. He's apparently raised concerns to committee staff that the topics covered might "implicate executive confidentiality interests" and generally indicated that he'd rather not appear.

But given that Yoo has spoken with a variety of news outlets about the memo and other matters, Conyers points out, there's no reason why he couldn't talk to Congress. And while Conyers has invited Yoo to appear voluntarily, he makes it clear that he will issue a subpoena if Yoo declines.

Hopefully lawmakers will use the opportunity to ask Yoo why it was that he signed the memo himself, bypassing even the attorney general.

The full letter is below.

April 8, 2008

Professor John Choon Yoo
University of California, Berkeley
School of Law
890 Simon Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720

Dear Professor Yoo:

I write to invite you to appear before the Committee on the Judiciary at our May 6 hearing scheduled to explore issues regarding the nature and scope of Presidential power in time of war and the current Administration’s approach to these questions under U.S. and international law. Among the subjects likely to be explored at the hearing are United States policies regarding interrogation of persons in the custody of the nation’s intelligence services and armed forces, matters addressed in some detail in opinions that you authored during your service as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. Given your personal knowledge of key historical facts, as well as your academic expertise, your testimony would be invaluable to the Committee on these subjects.

I understand that, in discussions with my staff, you have expressed reluctance to testify voluntarily on such matters. I am hopeful that you have reconsidered that stance, however, given your extensive public comments on these very issues. For example, on April 3, 2008, Esquire magazine published an interview in which you made frank and on-the-record comments regarding the origination, drafting, and scope of OLC interrogation memoranda. Similarly, you provided on-the-record comments on the recently released March 2003 interrogation memorandum to the Washington Post just last week, describing that document as “near boilerplate” and asserting that, in pulling back from the analysis in that memorandum, the
Department had “ignored [its] long tradition in defending the President’s authority in wartime.” Overall, you have made such extensive public comments on these and related matters, that it is extremely difficult to understand why you would continue to decline to present your views to the Committee.

To the extent you have raised concerns with my staff that some questions on these matters might call for responses that you believe would be covered by executive privilege or that would implicate executive confidentiality interests, I am confident such concerns can be effectively managed in a setting where you are voluntarily appearing before the Committee. Indeed, just two months ago, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Bradbury testified before the Committee on many legal issues raised by Administration policy on the interrogation of detainees. If the current head of OLC was able to testify on these matters, and especially given that OLC’s current interrogation memoranda remain classified unlike at least some of the opinions that you authored, I can see no principled basis on which you might decline to appear.

During your recent executive branch service to the Nation, you played a key role in momentous, and controversial, events of great interest to all Americans. And I am sure that, from your prior service as General Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, you would agree that it is the unique responsibility of Congress, the representative branch, to explore such issues and to bring relevant information to light. As you once wrote,”Congress’ power to conduct such inquiries inheres in its power to study and pass legislation, and it has used this power from the very beginning of the Republic to investigate maladministration in the Executive Branch, to determine whether social conditions require new legislation, and to review the success of existing laws.”

In that vein, let me repeat my hope that you will voluntarily appear before the Committee on May 6. If that date poses a particular scheduling problem, please contact my staff as described below and we will be happy to discuss reasonable alternatives. Should you continue to refuse to testify on a cooperative basis, however, the Committee must of course proceed with its investigation and will be left with no option but to compel your appearance.

Thank you for your careful consideration of this invitation. So that we may plan accordingly, please contact Committee staff at (202) 225-3951 as soon as possible and no later than the close of business on Thursday, April 17, 2008, to discuss the details of your appearance.


John Conyers, Jr.

cc: Hon. Lamar S. Smith
Hon. Brian A. Benczkowski

We Must Impeach Bush and Cheney for Their Disregard of Life on 9/11
By ZenFrog
(George Washington Blog) Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of ALL of the war games which occurred on and coordinated the government’s ”response” to the attacks. Even if you (unlike the military leaders, intelligence professionals ...

If it is true that the power belongs to the people in America, and Congress still answers to the people, then what force prevents the people from rising up to demand that Congress answer to the people’s will? The answer to that question is that the “silent majority” is only silent because they have been kept in the dark; they do not know the truth about the dire predicament we are in.

The American mainstream media has allowed itself to serve as a disinformation service for the promotion of neoconservative (Likud) propaganda to the American people, under the guise of the “free press.” American media dispenses misinformation which promotes the idea of world war against the Muslims, while systematically censoring international news content to propagate the idea of “bad Muslims.” This effectively insulates Americans from any truth that might leak out of the wire services, guaranteeing that graphic images of Iraqi or Palestinian children being pulled out of the American-made rubble or lying stacked-up like cord wood in a local morgue are not seen by many people. It is the powerful censored images of what is being done that will get ordinary, big-hearted Americans to pay attention to our own war crimes.

This is the real unseen war being fought mostly in population centers, where powerful bombs and armor rip through communities to flush-out all the proud patriotic young men who would dare to harbor ideas of self-defense or resistance. This is the cold reality of the war, that we are fighting a war against ideas with heavy bombers and tanks. This is what the self-anointed saints (neocons) describe as a “clash of civilizations.” That is the official story line that is fed to the American people by the nightly news, as they create an illusory vision of the war, in order to mislead.

News about the real war that leaks through the media filter undermines the fake publicity war. The revealed contradictions that seem to undermine “the mission” are written off as “mistakes” by reporters (which politicians immediately deny), even though they showed the real war unfolding according as planned. The war planners counted on chaos and sectarian violence to erupt after the overthrow of regimes. The plan had always been to trigger a series of wars of manageable size, by using local gangsters and mercenaries to foment divisive insurrections. The purpose of this strategy was to target local “extremists,” the official designation of those who would take up arms against the American proxies.

It is the job of the “news”/propaganda organ to build on this idea of self-defense=terrorism, as the foundation for waging the propaganda war against the American people. The American mercenaries become “linked to al Qaida” in the official deception, as they begin to assassinate the targeted leaders of those who resist the coming occupation. Once begun, any one of these local conflicts could be pumped-up into a real war. Eventually, one of these small wars would explode into the desired regional conflict, which would enable America to use of all the weapons in its arsenal, in a massive campaign to seize all the oil fields and potential supply routes.

In their pursuit of the imperial agenda, the mainstream media has used the campaign for president in a masterful stroke of misdirection, to distract the people with the “shiny object” (the false hope of our first “people’s president” since JFK). The false hope of our first independent president obfuscated the fact that today all political candidates are beholden to a foreign power (Israel), because of the power accumulated by the agents of that foreign government (AIPAC, the Israel lobby), as demonstrated in the “bi-partisan support” for an attack upon Iran.

It is because of this illusory national unity for expanding the war, which directly contradicts the common will among the people for shutting-down the war, that the people are becoming aware of the lies. As people begin to awaken to the truth about the war they start to understand that the “war” being described on television by reporters, politicians and military types is not the real war that is unfolding behind the curtain. When enough people awaken to this truth they will represent an irresistible force to the unwanted expansion. Once this new national consensus is created we will demonstrate to Cheney that we really do oppose his war, even though his opinion will once again be “So?”

Even though the American majority clearly wants this war ended now, that is not the intention of the ruling elite. Cheney’s minions have already set tripwires, beyond our reach in the countries that border Israel, for triggering a larger “defensive” conflict. That is the nature of trip wires; once some careless fool sets such a trap, he has no say about when it is who tripped, or by whom. Our fate has been placed in Israel’s paranoid hands, even though Israel is the only country in the world that has consistently pushed our government to attack Iran or its allies on their behalf.

This intolerable situation presents us with an overwhelming problem that must be dealt with immediately, if we are to avoid the accompanying military disruption of our lives that will come with it. How do we inspire the dazed American people to rise-up and stop this new aggression from happening in their name, against their will? How can you convince a nation that has buried its own conscience that it is in its own interest to take a stand against state genocide?

The sleeping sheeple are blissfully unaware that world war may be imminent. They do not know that the day after Cheney visited the royal house, the Saudi Shura Council announced “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards,” because of credible threats to Iran’s Bushehr reactor. Americans will not hear this from the national news, but they will hear every word of Petraeus’ upcoming testimony before Congress, where he will blame everything on Iran once again. This time he may provide the missing catalyst for igniting the war on Iran, since the government has not yet been able to provoke an Iranian misstep to their provocations in Iraq. Somebody has to be forced into fighting back, somewhere, before we can label them “al Qaida” and the use of the really big guns is authorized.

The forbidden reaction of self-defense (which we define as “terrorism”) is more likely to come from one of Israel’s ongoing military provocations against the feisty freedom-loving Arabs, than from Iran. Our government is deeply involved in supporting these Israeli attacks upon the Palestinians and their neighbors, in the hopes that one of these attacks will bring sufficient Muslim retaliation upon Israel to justify our waging a larger genocidal war against Islam, in defense of Israel. The centerpiece of this strategy is guaranteeing Israel’s security. That is the central rationalization for utilizing nuclear weapons to disarm Iran.

The fulfillment of the Likud plans of Ariel Sharon for the land of Palestine remains the central foreign policy goal of the Bush Administration. We are the primary diplomatic force pushing the other nations to support the medieval Israeli seige and strangulation of Gaza, as well as the illegal partitioning of the West Bank (Ariel Sharon called it making a “pastrami sandwich” of the territories). Our government has also intervened militarily, by parking the Fifth Fleet off Lebanon’s coast to support the next Israeli attempt to annex southern Lebanon and to eliminate Hezbollah and Syria along with it.

There is a third world war coming, with consequences for all living things. We have the legal authority under our Constitution to prevent our elected proxies from carrying-out this next planned war in support of Israel, yet the feeble American resistance movement cannot even agree on a common purpose. We all must decide whether we are in this volunteer freedom militia to stop the war machine before it becomes unstoppable, or just to validate our own pet theories and vindicate our own biases. The more time we waste fighting over the divisive questions that keep us apart (and keep us isolated from the American majority), the easier we make it for the enemy to bide their time, until their big opportunity arises.

For now, we must put aside all other divisive issues which separate us and make our message undeliverable to the American sheeple. This means that all issues that do not directly contribute to blocking the attack should be considered secondary issues. We cannot question our current course, which leads to the destruction of American democracy to save Israeli democracy, if we cannot get past distracting questions concerning 911.

Identifying the prominence of Israel in our war upon the world, will automatically repel many heavily-indoctrinated Americans, before they ever hear our arguments for opposing this war. It is true that American media is dominated by pro-Israeli interests who regularly censor pro-Palestinian, or pro-Muslim news. This is the nature of our national news filter, the obstacle that must be overcome. We will not be able to get questions out that cross the “red lines,” or use words like “Zionism, ethnic cleansing,” or “Israeli aggression.”

We cannot deal with the Israeli connections to the “mistakes” we have made in our own war on terrorism if we cannot separate the historical record of Israeli actions from ongoing speculation about Israeli connections made in 911 investigations. Going off on these diversionary tangents merely disrupts the debate about Israeli manipulation of American foreign policy, which is a hostile act that must not go unpunished. The temptation is to go off on side issues such as the “holocaust” or “Jewish supremacy” that are unrelated to stopping Israel’s war, only helps to validate charges of “anti-Semitism.”

The neocon war plan which flowed outward from the Vice President’s office, becoming American foreign policy, began in Israel’s Likud Party. Israel’s war on terror became the template followed in America’s terror war, from the Islamaphobic strategy at its core, to its indiscriminate policy of assassinations using large missiles on crowded streets. The placement of hundreds of neocon ideologues, many of them citizens of both the US and Israel, brought the Likud war plans for America directly into the heart of American government. This amounted to the wholesale infiltration of our government by elements of the Israeli government. This infiltration was by the aggressive party of the expansionist Zionists, the soldier-settlers who are at the center of the current settlement land grab controversy.

If Congress can be pressured into ignoring calls from the White House to attack Iran, because of the deterioration of Iraq, can the people then produce more pressure than the political pressure generated by the Israel lobby? We don’t have to produce a revolution to take back our country, we just have to be able to generate irresistible political pressure to wrestle control our Congress from the lobby’s hands. You see, they’ve all got it turned all around. It is we the people who control our government, not the other way around.

Questions like these are all over the Internet, but the answers given to them can only be enacted outside the Web, within the mainstream media. Our small minority cannot affect change of this magnitude without help from the silent majority (sheeple). The fact remains that we will never reach this mute/deaf majority until we get some of these questions into that controlled media. I believe that we will begin to successfully penetrate that media filter whenever we learn how to simplify our questions so that they fit within the boundaries that have been set by political correctness. If we focus on one all-important line of questioning, carefully choosing the words that we use (aimed at stopping the planned escalation of the war), we may avoid causing reactionary responses, or search for the last real newsman, one with a conscience. The point is, the hammering must not stop. There can be no let-up, no peace for the enablers of our dysfunctional government, until they stop their war upon the world.

Contact author: chamberlin_peter@yahoo.com

President Bush survives Alfred impeachment effort
Hornell Evening Tribune - Hornell,NY,USA
By Rob Montana President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have escaped the wrath of Alfred — at least for now. Trustee Virginia Rasmussen offered ...

If Nancy Won’t Impeach, Your State Can
By Manila Ryce
Constitutional Law Attorney John Kaminski explains how the constitution allows for any state to initiate impeachment. WPvideo 1.10 New Hampshire State Representative Betty Hall, who swore to fast until Conyers begins impeachment ...

Yoo's Torture Memo Fuels Calls to Close Guantanamo

John Yoo, Bush, Cheney, The Key To Impeachment

IMPEACH ??? (by: LoanPro71)
It failed again when the Democrats refused to impeach George Bush and **** Cheney, the two greatest criminals in American political history. Without the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, America can never recover. ..

Want a Taste of the McCain Presidency? You've Already Had One

290 days and counting.
By blascapwell
... to his normal self, with only amnesia and tattered clothing as evidence of what just transpired. John McCain reincarnated as The Incredible Hulk. It could be worse. He could become more like Bush and steal the election. Impeach now. Blas Capwell Calls Bullshit - http://blascapwell.wordpress.com

Impeach Them ANYWAY, Conyers!!!
By Margaret
Had the dems been doing what they were ELECTED to do, which was to either END what Cheney/hypnotizedBush/militaryindustrialcomplex/ globalbanking FREAKS were doing, AT LEAST impeach them and bring them all up on charges of treason. ...
Margaret Schaut - http://mschaut.wordpress.com

Nothing Short of a Pile of Iranian Corpses Likely to Satisfy Senators
By davidswanson
Experts, Senators Diverge Over Ways to Impose Tougher Sanctions on Iran By Matt Korade, CQ. A panel of experts at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday dismissed the extremes — war and acquiescence — in the search for answers to ...
AfterDowningStreet.org - Impeach... - http://www.afterdowningstreet.org

By shayera(shayera)
Rights group says CIA rendered 14 suspects to Jordan Lie to me again, George. Tell me that this didn't happen. That our country did not knowingly turn prisoners over to other countries to be tortured. I won't believe it. ...
excuse the mess... that was just my head - http://shayera.blogspot.com/

Citizen News : impeach the President
Robert Bernstein attended a City Council meeting where a group of citizens presented a resolution to impeach the President of the US. [pics]
Edhat Santa Barbara - http://www.edhat.com

By Grayson(Copeland)
Mayor, Council members, I appear for the tenth time asking you to pass a simple resolution calling for the impeachment of the President and Vice President of the United States. In my remarks awhile back, I raised the question of whether ...
THOLOS OF ATHENA - http://tholosofathena.blogspot.com/


by Gordon Bennett

Rosie O’Donnell asked this question, and to date, there’s no answer.

Whatever you think of Rosie O’Donnell, it deserves an answer: “What does it take to impeach someone in this country?”

Apparently it takes more than lying the nation into an immoral, illegal war under false premises; more than approving the torture of “detainees” in the struggle against terrorism while stripping them of their legal rights under the Constitution; and more than engaging in wireless surveillance of American citizens, violating both FISA and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Obviously it takes more than revamping our tax structure to benefit the top one per cent at the expense of the poor and the middle class; more than indifference to the victims of Hurricane Katrina; more than cronyism, more than subverting the Justice Department for political purposes and involving cases which could sway election results; more than “outing” a CIA agent because her husband found evidence contradicting the Administration’s false WMD justification for invading Iraq; more than over 700 “signing statements” written by the president to eviscerate laws Congress had just passed; more than…

But there’s no need to go on and on. Suffice it to say that no laundry list of impeachable offenses has ever been so long in the history of this republic.

And yet Congress, even the Democrats currently in charge of the House and Senate, apparently finds these to be insufficient grounds for impeachment.



Anoint himself King?

Water board Keith Olberman?

Pitch a sack of live kittens into the Potomac?

Attach another 750 “signing statements” to bills passed by Congress?

Appoint Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh to the Supreme Court?

Waterboard Olberman and Dennis Kucinich?

Torch the Constitution on the White House lawn, applauded by Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and Condoleeza Rice?

Eliminate what’s left of Veterans’ benefits to finance new “incursions” into the Middle East?

Reinstate the draft, except for members of the Executive Branch and their children?

Move the US capitol city to Crawford, Texas?

Nominate Donald Rumsfeld for a Nobel Peace Prize?

Waterboard Olberman, Kucinich, and the Dixie Chicks?

Invade and occupy five or six more sovereign nations, including, of course, France and the rest of “old Europe?

Close down the Village Voice, The Nation, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the rest of the “radical leftwing media?”

Burn down the White House and blame it on George McGovern and the leftover liberals from the sixties?

Pardon for life everyone who ever worked in the Executive Branch during the last eight years, including himself?

Elevate Dick Cheney to Grand Inquisitor, Protector of the Realm, and Lord High Executioner?

Declare martial law, cancel the 2008 elections, and appoint himself the Great Decider, Dictator pro temp, and President for Life?

Or…would he just have to have an affair with a sexy intern? Would that do it? Maybe that would arouse (no pun intended) Mr. John Conyers, Jr. He’s the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, from whose loins impeachment springs. Or it might attract the attention of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to whom Mr. Conyers is responsible.

Oh, dear Monica … where are you when we need you?

Gordon Bennett is a retired teacher living in Chester County.

Messages to my Congressional Representatives
By Newsguy(Newsguy)
Boxer, Why have you not taken a strong public position on the impeachment of George W. Bush. He started an unnecessary war that our grandchildren will still be paying for. Some 4000 Americans have died in this war and occupation. ...

The Radio Boys in Yucca Valley - http://democraticnewsroom.blogspot.com/

CAMPAIGN: IMPEACH: Conyers Threatens Impeachment if Iran Attacked
AHRC News Services - San Juan Capistrano,CA,USA
I know it seems bassackwards and we want impeachment before a new war, not after, but this is a way for us to show Conyers the support that will be there ...




Us Alone Can do it! Join the poster campaign to impeach the rat ...
By Michael Caddell(Michael Caddell)
Get all the contact details to get some free posters for your campus, city hall bulletin board, public library, utility poles, use your imagination! Now available at Storming Heaven's Gates!
Fightin' Cock Flyer - http://fightincockflyer.blogspot.com/


"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind...War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today."
-- John F. Kennedy

The Bush/Cheney Scenario
By couchmouse
... will be the front man for Bush’s third term in office. However, if McCain loses, you can count on the US attacking Iran sometime before January 20th 2009. Technorati Tags: Impeach Bush, Impeach Cheney, Iran, Iraq, John McCain, War ...
Couchmouses Corner - http://www.couchmouse.net

Conyers to IMPEACH if Bush attacks Iran
He is circulating a letter among his colleageus for signatures, a letter addressed to Bush letting him know that an attack on Iran will result in impeachment hearings. LET'S ASK EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO SIGN ON! ...
News From Underground - http://markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/

With The Pope About To Arrive Here In DC I Thought I’d JUST OFFER Up This Piece!

The Dignity of Man and the Indignity of Torture

Just a few years ago, no one seriously discussed torture. The Soviet Union, one of the world's last practitioners, had fallen, and only a handful of countries (Iraq notably among them) were still using it. But then 9/11 happened, and the world changed. Within two short years, accused Islamic militants filled Guantanamo Bay, and the United States invaded Iraq. In 2004, stories about Abu Ghraib filled the media, damaging the military's honor, while many thought it curious that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did not take responsibility and step down.

Perhaps now we know the reason why. The United States has been carrying out an official policy of torture -- or, as they call it, "enhanced interrogation techniques" -- for several years now. This year, torture was a political issue in the Republican primary. It is worth noting, and to the credit of the GOP, that the three Republican candidates still in the running (Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Ron Paul) are the only three that opposed torture. But for the first time in over a century, the issue seemed debatable.

Catholics should not be silent viewers of this debate, but should instead stand up for the dignity of man.

Defining Torture

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity" (2297). In our post-9/11 world, torture is apparently being used by the U.S. government to obtain information from suspects -- a goal not literally included in the Catechism's definition, except perhaps to "frighten opponents" into giving up information.

On the "pro" side of the argument, a few passages in Leviticus seem to speak in favor of harsh punishments, such as stoning. Some people take the inclusion of these verses as assurance that torture does not violate the moral law. However, that's an inaccurate interpretation of Scripture, as the Vatican's document "On the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church" (III.D.3) makes clear:

It is not sufficient . . . that the Old Testament should indicate a certain moral position (e.g. the practice of slavery or of divorce, or that of extermination in the case of war) for this position to continue to have validity. One has to undertake a process of discernment. This will review the issue in the light of the progress in moral understanding and sensitivity that has occurred over the years.

The writings of the Old Testament contain certain "imperfect and provisional" elements ("Dei Verbum," 15), which the divine pedagogy could not eliminate right away . . . .

Through the revelation of God's love that comes in Christ, the New Testament sheds the fullest light upon these principles and values.

So what does the New Testament teach about torture? Nothing by name, but the Lord's moral principles are in effect at all times: Love your enemies. Turn the other cheek. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Whatsoever you do to the least of My people, that you do unto Me.

In point of fact, there is nothing to support torture in the entire New Testament. Instead, the moral framework of the gospel compels us to mercy and compassion, seeing Jesus even in those who spit upon us and wish us dead.

Church History

According to historian Rev. Brian W. Harrison, Tertullian and St. Augustine both opposed torture, both without censure by any pope or council. If they had violated Church teaching in their statements, the censure would have arrived by now.

On November 13, 866, Pope St. Nicholas wrote in Ad Consulta Vestra:

If a [supposed] thief or bandit is apprehended and denies the charges against him, you tell me your custom is for a judge to beat him with blows to the head and tear the sides of his body with other sharp iron goads until he confesses the truth. Such a procedure is totally unacceptable under both divine and human law (quam rem nec divina lex nec humana prorsus admittit), since a confession should be spontaneous, not forced. It should be proffered voluntarily, not violently extorted.

After this firm rejection of the practice, no other statement about torture was written for hundreds of years. Then, in 1252, while trends in Italy included returning to the Roman law (part of which included torture), a papal bull by Pope Innocent rejected over a millennium's continuity by authorizing torture in Italy during the Inquisition.

Some say that this bull legitimized torture as doctrine. However, this papal bull was not a teaching document but a temporal policy directive, limited to a particular geographical area. And while the Church cannot err in teaching faith and morals, its members can sin, and its bishops, even the bishop of Rome, may err in prudential, temporal matters.

The mindset of Roman law continued for several centuries, but it is important to note that during this time, not a single document of the Church taught that torture was licit. Especially notable is the lack of censure for anti-torture advocate Louis Vives, who was active at the same time as Galileo, and who certainly would have been called to account if his advocacy violated doctrine. Instead, the Vatican was silent. In fact, it remained nearly universally silent on the issue until the 1900s. Father Harrison adds:

The fact is that in the course of nearly two millennia, no infallible teaching either for or against torture (for any purpose whatever) had ever been laid down by the Church in either her ordinary or extraordinary magisterium. What we have seen is a disappointing magisterial silence during the patristic period, followed by a merely authentic magisterial teaching (cf. B1) against confession-extracting torture which prevailed in the late first and early second.

Recent Teaching

The first formal moral teaching on torture came from the Vatican in Pope Paul VI's Gaudium et Spes:

They [i.e., acts of murder, torture, kidnapping, and terrorism] poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury (27.3).

Pope John Paul II, speaking to the Red Cross in 1982, echoed parts of Gaudium et Spes, but added stronger language:

The disciple of Christ rejects everyrecourse to such methods [torture], which nothingcould justify, and by which the dignity of man is as much debased in the torturer as in his victim (Geneva, 1982).

The mercy expressed in their statements, and their concern for what happens to the soul of the torturer, is a beautiful reminder that a person cannot progress in one's relationship with God through torturing others -- and in the spiritual life, if you aren't ascending, you're descending.

Also, note the words that John Paul II used: "rejects every recourse to [torture] . . . nothing could justify" torture. Recently, the Magesterium elevated this statement to a formal part of the Church's social doctrine when they included it in The Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church (404).

The Catechism, as noted earlier, states that torture is "contrary to respect for the person and human dignity." More recently, a December 2005 article in USA Today discusses a press conference held by Renato Cardinal Martino, head of the Vatican's pontifical council on peace and justice. Asked if one could torture a terror detainee to gain information about future terrorist activities, the cardinal "replied that there was no justification for using torture, which is the 'humiliation of the human person, whoever he is. The church does not allow torture as a means to extract the truth.'"

Torture violates the dignity of the tortured as well as the torturer. Minds like Cardinal Martino and John Paul II oppose torture categorically. It's time for Catholics to follow suit.


Follow the Leader: In Defense of John Yoo
The Baltimore Chronicle - Baltimore,MD,USA
They ALL wrote those memos at the request and direction of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. John Yoo has been getting a bit a guff in the ...

Permissible Assaults Cited in Graphic Detail : Drugging Detainees Is Among Techniques

By Dan Eggen

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 6, 2008; Page A03

Thirty pages into a memorandum discussing the legal boundaries of military interrogations in 2003, senior Justice Department lawyer John C. Yoo tackled a question not often asked by American policymakers: Could the president, if he desired, have a prisoner's eyes poked out?

Or, for that matter, could he have "scalding water, corrosive acid or caustic substance" thrown on a prisoner? How about slitting an ear, nose or lip, or disabling a tongue or limb? What about biting?

These assaults are all mentioned in a U.S. law prohibiting maiming, which Yoo parsed as he clarified the legal outer limits of what could be done to terrorism suspects as detained by U.S. authorities. The specific prohibitions, he said, depended on the circumstances or which "body part the statute specifies."

But none of that matters in a time of war, Yoo also said, because federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes by military interrogators are trumped by the president's ultimate authority as commander in chief.

Did the Reagan Mantra "Get the Government off our Back" Lead to ...
Political Cortex - New York,NY,USA
If an investigation as a prelude to impeachment had revealed that the Iraq War was a fraud from start to finish, where would the trio of Bush, Cheney and ...

A Memorandum of misinformation

In case you doubt that we are subjects of an imperial presidency, a recently released Justice Department memo has confirmed it.

The Washington Post recently reported on the contents of a 2003 memo sent from a deputy in the Office of Legal Counsel to the Pentagon's general counsel. The 81-page memo, written by John Yoo, recited explicit executive powers that deemed the president unaccountable to anyone.

It gave the loyal Bushies a flimsy legal shield from prosecution for actions taken in the war on terror. We have Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Patrick Leahy to thank for urging the government to declassify the memo so that the public could know what this administration has been up to.

Since Sept. 11, George W. Bush's apparatchiks have helped him further questionable policies through the misinterpretation of laws, nullification of the Bill of Rights and unwarranted grants of executive privilege.

What these Bushofascists have done in the so-called terror war has been horrifying in scope and reckless in its disregard for military codes of conduct, civil laws and order.

It's criminal how the administration used extraordinary renditions, warrantless searches and seizures, waterboarding, prolonged detainment and other methods to circumvent domestic and international laws. Its use of private telecom firms for state-sponsored terror against law-abiding citizens should have been met with criminal charges, not pleas to lawmakers for immunity from prosecution.

The list of wrongdoing seemed endless even before the release of the 2003 memo pointed to a greater role by the Justice Department in this anti-American extrajudicial enterprise known as the war on terror.

Yoo's memo claimed the Defense Department need not abide by the Geneva Conventions or other international laws or treaties concerning human rights or military conduct. That must've been music to Donald Rumsfeld's ears.

Interrogators could look upon torture as a legally acceptable self-defense, the memo suggested.

"If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network," wrote Yoo.

In other words, the ends justify the means because a government lawyer -- not the Supreme Court -- said so.

Yoo, currently a law professor in California, claimed that the president has "constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack." Therefore, what interrogators do on behalf of their commander in chief would be legal.

Except it's not.

One can argue that the incurious Bush was ill-served by advisers such as Yoo. But the list of bad advisers has included John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Bremer et al. These people who say they "serve at the pleasure of the president" have done so at the expense of we the people.

This is a democracy, not a monarchy, and no lawyer's memo can change that.

The disregard and disdain the executive branch has for the people was obvious when Dick Cheney recently responded to a reporter's question about waning support for the war with a dismissive, "So?"

The "war president" and "The Decider" can claim deniability for what's happened, but his claims aren't plausible. If President Bush wants credit for this war's successes, he also must accept responsibility for its failures, such as the countless citizens mistakenly put on terror watch lists who can't clear their names. Do we still have the Fourth and Fifth amendments?

The Yoo memo sits on a mountain of evidence of a great national betrayal, one worthy of impeachment for its intent to commit high crimes and misdemeanors against the American people.

This administration has found no shortage of little men and women in high places willing to betray their country and what it stands for just to score political capital and a tenuous place in history.

Some of them have left paper trails, should anyone besides Leahy and Levin dare to compel this lawless administration to expose them.

Senate panel approves bill requiring castration for sex offenders
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com - New Orleans,LA,USA
The Judiciary Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 144, sponsored by Sen. Nick Gautreaux, D-Abbeville, that would give a judge the option to order ...
See all stories on this topic


The President has broad constitutional power to take military action in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Congress has acknowledged this inherent executive power in both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution passed by Congress on September 14, 2001.

The President has constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations.

The President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11.

September 25, 2001


You have asked for our opinion as to the scope of the President's authority to take military action in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. We conclude that the President has broad constitutional power to use military force. Congress has acknowledged this inherent executive power in both the War Powers Resolution, Pub. L. No. 93-148, 87 Stat. 555 (1973), codified at 50 U.S.C. �� 1541-1548 (the "WPR"), and in the Joint Resolution passed by Congress on September 14, 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (2001). Further, the President has the constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations. Finally, the President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11.

Our analysis falls into four parts. First, we examine the Constitution's text and structure. We conclude that the Constitution vests the President with the plenary authority, as Commander in Chief and the sole organ of the Nation in its foreign relations, to use military force abroad - especially in response to grave national emergencies created by sudden, unforeseen attacks on the people and territory of the United States. Second, we confirm that conclusion by reviewing the executive and judicial statements and decisions interpreting the Constitution and the President's powers under it. Third, we analyze the relevant practice of the United States, including recent history, that supports the view that the President has the authority to deploy military force in response to emergency conditions such as those created by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Finally, we discuss congressional enactments that, in our view, acknowledge the President's plenary authority to use force to respond to the terrorist attack on the United States.

Our review establishes that all three branches of the Federal Government - Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary - agree that the President has broad authority to use military force abroad, including the ability to deter future attacks.


The President's constitutional power to defend the United States and the lives of its people must be understood in light of the Founders' express intention to create a federal government "cloathed with all the powers requisite to [the] complete execution of its trust." The Federalist No. 23, at 122 (Alexander Hamilton) (Charles R. Kesler ed., 1999). Foremost among the objectives committed to that trust by the Constitution is the security of the Nation. (1) As Hamilton explained in arguing for the Constitution's adoption, because "the circumstances which may affect the public safety are [not] reducible within certain determinate limits, . . . it must be admitted, as a necessary consequence that there can be no limitation of that authority which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community in any matter essential to its efficiency." Id. (2)

"It is 'obvious and unarguable' that no governmental interest is more compelling than the security of the Nation." Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280, 307 (1981) (citation omitted). Within the limits that the Constitution itself imposes, the scope and distribution of the powers to protect national security must be construed to authorize the most efficacious defense of the Nation and its interests in accordance "with the realistic purposes of the entire instrument." Lichter v. United States, 334 U.S. 742, 782 (1948). Nor is the authority to protect national security limited to actions necessary for "victories in the field." Application of Yamashita, 327 U.S. 1, 12 (1946). The authority over national security "carries with it the inherent power to guard against the immediate renewal of the conflict." Id.

We now turn to the more precise question of the President's inherent constitutional powers to use military force.

Constitutional Text. The text, structure and history of the Constitution establish that the Founders entrusted the President with the primary responsibility, and therefore the power, to use military force in situations of emergency. Article II, Section 2 states that the "President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." U.S. Const. art. II, 2, cl. 1. He is further vested with all of "the executive Power" and the duty to execute the laws. U.S. Const. art. II, 1. These powers give the President broad constitutional authority to use military force in response to threats to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. (3) During the period leading up to the Constitution's ratification, the power to initiate hostilities and to control the escalation of conflict had been long understood to rest in the hands of the executive branch. (4)

By their terms, these provisions vest full control of the military forces of the United States in the President. The power of the President is at its zenith under the Constitution when the President is directing military operations of the armed forces, because the power of Commander in Chief is assigned solely to the President. It has long been the view of this Office that the Commander-in-Chief Clause is a substantive grant of authority to the President and that the scope of the President's authority to commit the armed forces to combat is very broad. See, e.g., Memorandum for Honorable Charles W. Colson, Special Counsel to the President, from William H. Rehnquist, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: The President and the War Power: South Vietnam and the Cambodian Sanctuaries (May 22, 1970) (the "Rehnquist Memo"). The President's complete discretion in exercising the Commander-in-Chief power has also been recognized by the courts. In the Prize Cases, 67 U.S. (2 Black) 635, 670 (1862), for example, the Court explained that, whether the President "in fulfilling his duties as Commander in Chief" had met with a situation justifying treating the southern States as belligerents and instituting a blockade, was a question "to be decided by him" and which the Court could not question, but must leave to "the political department of the Government to which this power was entrusted." (5)

Some commentators have read the constitutional text differently. They argue that the vesting of the power to declare war gives Congress the sole authority to decide whether to make war. (6) This view misreads the constitutional text and misunderstands the nature of a declaration of war. Declaring war is not tantamount to making war - indeed, the Constitutional Convention specifically amended the working draft of the Constitution that had given Congress the power to make war. An earlier draft of the Constitution had given to Congress the power to "make" war. When it took up this clause on August 17, 1787, the Convention voted to change the clause from "make" to "declare." 2 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 318-19 (Max Farrand ed., rev. ed. 1966) (1911). A supporter of the change argued that it would "leav[e] to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks." Id. at 318. Further, other elements of the Constitution describe "engaging" in war, which demonstrates that the Framers understood making and engaging in war to be broader than simply "declaring" war. See U.S. Const. art. I, 10, cl. 3 ("No State shall, without the Consent of Congress . . . engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."). A State constitution at the time of the ratification included provisions that prohibited the governor from "making" war without legislative approval, S.C. Const. art. XXVI (1776), reprinted in 6 The Federal and State Constitutions 3247 (Francis Newton Thorpe ed., 1909). (7) If the Framers had wanted to require congressional consent before the initiation of military hostilities, they knew how to write such provisions.

Finally, the Framing generation well understood that declarations of war were obsolete. Not all forms of hostilities rose to the level of a declared war: during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Great Britain and colonial America waged numerous conflicts against other states without an official declaration of war. (8) As Alexander Hamilton observed during the ratification, "the ceremony of a formal denunciation of war has of late fallen into disuse." The Federalist No. 25, at 133 (Alexander Hamilton). Instead of serving as an authorization to begin hostilities, a declaration of war was only necessary to "perfect" a conflict under international law. A declaration served to fully transform the international legal relationship between two states from one of peace to one of war. See 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries *249-50. Given this context, it is clear that Congress's power to declare war does not constrain the President's independent and plenary constitutional authority over the use of military force.

Constitutional Structure. Our reading of the text is reinforced by analysis of the constitutional structure. First, it is clear that the Constitution secures all federal executive power in the President to ensure a unity in purpose and energy in action. "Decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch will generally characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number." The Federalist No. 70, at 392 (Alexander Hamilton). The centralization of authority in the President alone is particularly crucial in matters of national defense, war, and foreign policy, where a unitary executive can evaluate threats, consider policy choices, and mobilize national resources with a speed and energy that is far superior to any other branch. As Hamilton noted, "Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks." Id. at 391. This is no less true in war. "Of all the cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand." Id. No. 74, at 415 (Alexander Hamilton). (9)

Second, the Constitution makes clear that the process used for conducting military hostilities is different from other government decisionmaking. In the area of domestic legislation, the Constitution creates a detailed, finely wrought procedure in which Congress plays the central role. In foreign affairs, however, the Constitution does not establish a mandatory, detailed, Congress-driven procedure for taking action. Rather, the Constitution vests the two branches with different powers - the President as Commander in Chief, Congress with control over funding and declaring war - without requiring that they follow a specific process in making war. By establishing this framework, the Framers expected that the process for warmaking would be far more flexible, and capable of quicker, more decisive action, than the legislative process. Thus, the President may use his Commander-in-Chief and executive powers to use military force to protect the Nation, subject to congressional appropriations and control over domestic legislation.

Third, the constitutional structure requires that any ambiguities in the allocation of a power that is executive in nature - such as the power to conduct military hostilities - must be resolved in favor of the executive branch. Article II, section 1 provides that "[t]he executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States." U.S. Const. art. II, 1. By contrast, Article I's Vesting Clause gives Congress only the powers "herein granted." Id. art. I, 1. This difference in language indicates that Congress's legislative powers are limited to the list enumerated in Article I, section 8, while the President's powers include inherent executive powers that are unenumerated in the Constitution. To be sure, Article II lists specifically enumerated powers in addition to the Vesting Clause, and some have argued that this limits the "executive Power" granted in the Vesting Clause to the powers on that list. But the purpose of the enumeration of executive powers in Article II was not to define and cabin the grant in the Vesting Clause. Rather, the Framers unbundled some plenary powers that had traditionally been regarded as "executive," assigning elements of those powers to Congress in Article I, while expressly reserving other elements as enumerated executive powers in Article II. So, for example, the King's traditional power to declare war was given to Congress under Article I, while the Commander-in-Chief authority was expressly reserved to the President in Article II. Further, the Framers altered other plenary powers of the King, such as treaties and appointments, assigning the Senate a share in them in Article II itself. (10) Thus, the enumeration in Article II marks the points at which several traditional executive powers were diluted or reallocated. Any other, unenumerated executive powers, however, were conveyed to the President by the Vesting Clause.

There can be little doubt that the decision to deploy military force is "executive" in nature, and was traditionally so regarded. It calls for action and energy in execution, rather than the deliberate formulation of rules to govern the conduct of private individuals. Moreover, the Framers understood it to be an attribute of the executive. "The direction of war implies the direction of the common strength," wrote Alexander Hamilton, "and the power of directing and employing the common strength forms a usual and essential part in the definition of the executive authority." The Federalist No. 74, at 415 (Alexander Hamilton). As a result, to the extent that the constitutional text does not explicitly allocate the power to initiate military hostilities to a particular branch, the Vesting Clause provides that it remain among the President's unenumerated powers.

Fourth, depriving the President of the power to decide when to use military force would disrupt the basic constitutional framework of foreign relations. From the very beginnings of the Republic, the vesting of the executive, Commander-in-Chief, and treaty powers in the executive branch has been understood to grant the President plenary control over the conduct of foreign relations. As Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson observed during the first Washington Administration: "the constitution has divided the powers of government into three branches [and] has declared that the executive powers shall be vested in the president, submitting only special articles of it to a negative by the senate." Due to this structure, Jefferson continued, "the transaction of business with foreign nations is executive altogether; it belongs, then, to the head of that department, except as to such portions of it as are specially submitted to the senate.

Exceptions are to be construed strictly." Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Powers of the Senate (1790), reprinted in 5 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, at 161 (Paul L. Ford ed., 1895). In defending President Washington's authority to issue the Neutrality Proclamation, Alexander Hamilton came to the same interpretation of the President's foreign affairs powers. According to Hamilton, Article II "ought . . . to be considered as intended . . . to specify and regulate the principal articles implied in the definition of Executive Power; leaving the rest to flow from the general grant of that power." Alexander Hamilton, Pacificus No. 1 (1793), reprinted in 15 The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, at 33, 39 (Harold C. Syrett et al. eds., 1969). As future Chief Justice John Marshall famously declared a few years later, "The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations. . . . The [executive] department . . . is entrusted with the whole foreign intercourse of the nation . . . ." 10 Annals of Cong. 613-14 (1800). Given the agreement of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Marshall, it has not been difficult for the executive branch consistently to assert the President's plenary authority in foreign affairs ever since.

In the relatively few occasions where it has addressed foreign affairs, the Supreme Court has agreed with the executive branch's consistent interpretation. Conducting foreign affairs and protecting the national security are, as the Supreme Court has observed, "'central' Presidential domains." Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 812 n.19 (1982). The President's constitutional primacy flows from both his unique position in the constitutional structure, and from the specific grants of authority in Article II that make the President both the Chief Executive of the Nation and the Commander in Chief. See Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731, 749-50 (1982). Due to the President's constitutionally superior position, the Supreme Court has consistently "recognized 'the generally accepted view that foreign policy [is] the province and responsibility of the Executive.'" Department of the Navy v. Egan, 484 U.S. 518, 529 (1988) (quoting Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. at 293-94). "The Founders in their wisdom made [the President] not only the Commander-in-Chief but also the guiding organ in the conduct of our foreign affairs," possessing "vast powers in relation to the outside world." Ludecke v. Watkins, 335 U.S. 160, 173 (1948). This foreign affairs power is exclusive: it is "the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations - a power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress." United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S. 304, 320 (1936).

Conducting military hostilities is a central tool for the exercise of the President's plenary control over the conduct of foreign policy. There can be no doubt that the use of force protects the Nation's security and helps it achieve its foreign policy goals. Construing the Constitution to grant such power to another branch could prevent the President from exercising his core constitutional responsibilities in foreign affairs. Even in the cases in which the Supreme Court has limited executive authority, it has also emphasized that we should not construe legislative prerogatives to prevent the executive branch "from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions." Nixon v. Administrator of General Servs., 433 U.S. 425, 443 (1977).


Executive Branch Construction and Practice. The position we take here has long represented the view of the executive branch and of the Department of Justice. Attorney General (later Justice) Robert Jackson formulated the classic statement of the executive branch's understanding of the President's military powers in 1941:

Article II, section 2, of the Constitution provides that the President "shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." By virtue of this constitutional office he has supreme command over the land and naval forces of the country and may order them to perform such military duties as, in his opinion, are necessary or appropriate for the defense of the United States. These powers exist in time of peace as well as in time of war.

Thus the President's responsibility as Commander in Chief embraces the authority to command and direct the armed forces in their immediate movements and operations designed to protect the security and effectuate the defense of the United States. . . . [T]his authority undoubtedly includes the power to dispose of troops and equipment in such manner and on such duties as best to promote the safety of the country.

Training of British Flying Students in the United States, 40 Op. Att'y Gen. 58, 61-62 (1941).(11) Other Attorneys General have defended similar accounts of the President constitutional powers and duties, particularly in times of unforeseen emergencies.

Attorney General William P. Barr, quoting the opinion of Attorney General Jackson just cited, advised the President in 1992 that "[y]ou have authority to commit troops overseas without specific prior Congressional approval 'on missions of good will or rescue, or for the purpose of protecting American lives or property or American interests.'" Authority to Use United States Military Forces in Somalia, 16 Op. O.L.C. at 6 (citation omitted).

Attorney General (later Justice) Frank Murphy, though declining to define precisely the scope of the President's independent authority to act in emergencies or states of war, stated that:

the Executive has powers not enumerated in the statutes - powers derived not from statutory grants but from the Constitution. It is universally recognized that the constitutional duties of the Executive carry with them the constitutional powers necessary for their proper performance. These constitutional powers have never been specifically defined, and in fact cannot be, since their extent and limitations are largely dependent upon conditions and circumstances. . . . The right to take specific action might not exist under one state of facts, while under another it might be the absolute duty of the Executive to take such action.

Request of the Senate for an Opinion as to the Powers of the President "In Emergency or State of War," 39 Op. Att'y Gen. 343, 347-48 (1939).

Attorney General Thomas Gregory opined in 1914 that "[i]n the preservation of the safety and integrity of the United States and the protection of its responsibilities and obligations as a sovereignty, [the President's] powers are broad." Censorship of Radio Stations, 30 Op. Att'y Gen. 291, 292 (1914).

Finally, in 1898, Acting Attorney General John K. Richards wrote:

The preservation of our territorial integrity and the protection of our foreign interests is intrusted, in the first instance, to the President. . . . In the protection of these fundamental rights, which are based upon the Constitution and grow out of the jurisdiction of this nation over its own territory and its international rights and obligations as a distinct sovereignty, the President is not limited to the enforcement of specific acts of Congress. [The President] must preserve, protect, and defend those fundamental rights which flow from the Constitution itself and belong to the sovereignty it created.

Foreign Cables, 22 Op. Att'y Gen. 13, 25-26 (1898). Acting Attorney General Richards cited, among other judicial decisions, Cunningham v. Neagle, 135 U.S. 1, 64 (1890), in which the Supreme Court stated that the President's power to enforce the laws of the United States "include[s] the rights, duties and obligations growing out of the constitution itself, our international relations, and all the protection implied by the nature of the government under the constitution."

Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel. Our Office has taken the position in recent Administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, and Nixon, that the President may unilaterally deploy military force in order to protect the national security and interests of the United States.

In 1995, we opined that the President "acting without specific statutory authorization, lawfully may introduce United States ground troops into Bosnia and Herzegovina . . . to help the North Atlantic Treaty Organization . . . ensure compliance with the recently negotiated peace agreement." Proposed Deployment of United States Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 19 Op. O.L.C. 327, 327 (1995) (the "Bosnia Opinion"). We interpreted the WPR to "lend[] support to the . . . conclusion that the President has authority, without specific statutory authorization, to introduce troops into hostilities in a substantial range of circumstances." Id. at 335.

In Deployment of United States Armed Forces into Haiti, 18 Op. O.L.C. 173 (1994), we advised that the President had the authority unilaterally to deploy some 20,000 troops into Haiti. We relied in part on the structure of the WPR, which we argued "makes sense only if the President may introduce troops into hostilities or potential hostilities without prior authorization by the Congress." Id. at 175-76. We further argued that "in establishing and funding a military force that is capable of being projected anywhere around the globe, Congress has given the President, as Commander in Chief, considerable discretion in deciding how that force is to be deployed." Id. at 177. We also cited and relied upon the past practice of the executive branch in undertaking unilateral military interventions:

In 1940, after the fall of Denmark to Germany, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered United States troops to occupy Greenland, a Danish possession in the North Atlantic of vital strategic interest to the United States. . . . Congress was not consulted or even directly informed. . . . Later, in 1941, the President ordered United States troops to occupy Iceland, an independent nation, pursuant to an agreement between himself and the Prime Minister of Iceland. The President relied upon his authority as Commander in Chief, and notified Congress only after the event. . . . More recently, in 1989, at the request of President Corazon Aquino, President Bush authorized military assistance to the Philippine government to suppress a coup attempt.

Id. at 178.

In Authority to Use United States Military Forces in Somalia, 16 Op. O.L.C. at 8, our Office advised that the President had the constitutional authority to deploy United States Armed Forces into Somalia in order to assist the United Nations in ensuring the safe delivery of relief to distressed areas of that country. We stated that "the President's role under our Constitution as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive vests him with the constitutional authority to order United States troops abroad to further national interests such as protecting the lives of Americans overseas." Id. at 8. Citing past practice (further discussed below), we pointed out that fom the instructions of President Jefferson's Administration to Commodore Richard Dale in 1801 to 'chastise' Algiers and Tripoli if they continued to attack American shipping, to the present, Presidents have taken military initiatives abroad on the basis of their constitutional authority. . . . Against the background of this repeated past practice under many Presidents, this Department and this Office have concluded that the President has the power to commit United States troops abroad for the purpose of protecting important national interests.

Id. at 9 (citations omitted).

In Overview of the War Powers Resolution, 8 Op. O.L.C. 271, 275 (1984), we noted that "[t]he President's authority to deploy armed forces has been exercised in a broad range of circumstances [in] our history."

In Presidential Power to Use the Armed Forces Abroad Without Statutory Authorization, 4A Op. O.L.C. 185, 187 (1980), we stated that

[o]ur history is replete with instances of presidential uses of military force abroad in the absence of prior congressional approval. This pattern of presidential initiative and congressional acquiescence may be said to reflect the implicit advantage held by the executive over the legislature under our constitutional scheme in situations calling for immediate action. Thus, constitutional practice over two centuries, supported by the nature of the functions exercised and by the few legal benchmarks that exist, evidences the existence of broad constitutional power.

In light of that understanding, we advised that the President had independent constitutional authority unilaterally to order "(1) deployment abroad at some risk of engagement - for example, the current presence of the fleet in the Persian Gulf region; (2) a military expedition to rescue the hostages or to retaliate against Iran if the hostages are harmed; (3) an attempt to repel an assault that threatens our vital interests in that region." Id. at 185-86. See also Presidential Powers Relating to the Situation in Iran, 4A Op. O.L.C. 115, 121 (1979) ("It is well established that the President has the constitutional power as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief to protect the lives and property of Americans abroad. This understanding is reflected in judicial decisions
. . . and recurring historic practice which goes back to the time of Jefferson.").

Finally, in the Rehnquist Memo at 8, we concluded that the President as Commander in Chief had the authority "to commit military forces of the United States to armed conflict . . . to protect the lives of American troops in the field."

Judicial Construction. Judicial decisions since the beginning of the Republic confirm the President's constitutional power and duty to repel military action against the United States through the use of force, and to take measures to deter the recurrence of an attack. As Justice Joseph Story said long ago, "[i]t may be fit and proper for the government, in the exercise of the high discretion confided to the executive, for great public purposes, to act on a sudden emergency, or to prevent an irreparable mischief, by summary measures, which are not found in the text of the laws." The Apollon, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 362, 366-67 (1824). The Constitution entrusts the "power [to] the executive branch of the government to preserve order and insure the public safety in times of emergency, when other branches of the government are unable to function, or their functioning would itself threaten the public safety." Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304, 335 (1946) (Stone, C.J., concurring).

If the President is confronted with an unforeseen attack on the territory and people of the United States, or other immediate, dangerous threat to American interests and security, the courts have affirmed that it is his constitutional responsibility to respond to that threat with whatever means are necessary, including the use of military force abroad. See, e.g., Prize Cases, 67 U.S. at 635 ("If a war be made by invasion of a foreign nation, the President is not only authorized but bound to resist force by force . . . without waiting for any special legislative authority."); Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. at 336 (Stone, C.J., concurring) ("Executive has broad discretion in determining when the public emergency is such as to give rise to the necessity" for emergency measures); United States v. Smith, 27 F. Cas. 1192, 1230 (C.C.D.N.Y. 1806) (No. 16,342) (Paterson, Circuit Justice) (regardless of statutory authorization, it is "the duty . . . of the executive magistrate . . . to repel an invading foe") (12); Mitchell v. Laird, 488 F.2d 611, 613 (D.C. Cir. 1973) ("there are some types of war which without Congressional approval, the President may begin to wage: for example, he may respond immediately without such approval to a belligerent attack") (13); see also Campbell v. Clinton, 203 F.3d 19, 27 (D.C. Cir.) (Silberman, J. concurring) ("[T]he President has independent authority to repel aggressive acts by third parties even without specific statutory authorization."), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 815 (2000);id. at 40 (Tatel, J., concurring) ("[T]he President, as Commander in Chief, possesses emergency authority to use military force to defend the nation from attack without obtaining prior congressional approval."); Story, supra note 9, 1485 ("[t]he command and application of the public force . . . to maintain peace, and to resist foreign invasion" are executive powers).


The historical practice of all three branches confirms the lessons of the constitutional text and structure. The normative role of historical practice in constitutional law, and especially with regard to separation of powers, is well settled. (14) Both the Supreme Court and the political branches have often recognized that governmental practice plays a highly significant role in establishing the contours of the constitutional separation of powers: "a systematic, unbroken, executive practice, long pursued to the knowledge of the Congress and never before questioned . . . may be treated as a gloss on 'executive Power' vested in the President by 1 of Art. II." Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., 343 U.S. at 610-11 (Frankfurter, J., concurring). Indeed, as the Court has observed, the role of practice in fixing the meaning of the separation of powers is implicit in the Constitution itself: "'the Constitution . . . contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government.'" Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 381 (1989) (citation omitted). In addition, governmental practice enjoys significant weight in constitutional analysis for practical reasons, on "the basis of a wise and quieting rule that, in determining . . . the existence of a power, weight shall be given to the usage itself - even when the validity of the practice is the subject of investigation." United States v. Midwest Oil Co., 236 U.S. 459, 473 (1915).

The role of practice is heightened in dealing with issues affecting foreign affairs and national security, where "the Court has been particularly willing to rely on the practical statesmanship of the political branches when considering constitutional questions." Whether Uruguay Round Agreements Required Ratification as a Treaty, 18 Op. O.L.C. 232, 234 (1994). "The persistence of these controversies (which trace back to the eighteenth century), and the nearly complete absence of judicial decisions resolving them, underscore the necessity of relying on congressional precedent to interpret the relevant constitutional provisions." Id. at 236. Accordingly, we give considerable weight to the practice of the political branches in trying to determine the constitutional allocation of war making powers between them.

The historical record demonstrates that the power to initiate military hostilities, particularly in response to the threat of an armed attack, rests exclusively with the President. As the Supreme Court has observed, "[t]he United States frequently employs Armed Forces outside this country - over 200 times in our history - for the protection of American citizens or national security." United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 273 (1990). On at least 125 such occasions, the President acted without prior express authorization from Congress. See Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331. Such deployments, based on the President's constitutional authority alone, have occurred since the Administration of George Washington. See David P. Currie, The Constitution in Congress: Substantive Issues in the First Congress, 1789-1791, 61 U. Chi. L. Rev. 775, 816 (1994) ("[B]oth Secretary [of War] Knox and [President] Washington himself seemed to think that this [Commander in Chief] authority extended to offensive operations taken in retaliation for Indian atrocities.") (quoted in Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331 n.4. Perhaps the most significant deployment without specific statutory authorization took place at the time of the Korean War, when President Truman, without prior authorization from Congress, deployed United States troops in a war that lasted for over three years and caused over 142,000 American casualties. See Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 331-32 n.5.

Recent deployments ordered solely on the basis of the President's constitutional authority have also been extremely large, representing a substantial commitment of the Nation's military personnel, diplomatic prestige, and financial resources. On at least one occasion, such a unilateral deployment has constituted full-scale war. On March 24, 1999, without any prior statutory authorization and in the absence of an attack on the United States, President Clinton ordered hostilities to be initiated against the Republic of Yugoslavia.

The President informed Congress that, in the initial wave of air strikes, "United States and NATO forces have targeted the [Yugoslavian] government's integrated air defense system, military and security police command and control elements, and military and security police facilities and infrastructure. . . . I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive." Letter to Congressional leaders reporting on airstrikes against Serbian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), 1 Pub. Papers of William Jefferson Clinton 459, 459 (1999). Bombing attacks against targets in both Kosovo and Serbia ended on June 10, 1999, seventy-nine days after the war began. More than 30,000 United States military personnel participated in the operations; some 800 U.S. aircraft flew more than 20,000 sorties; more than 23,000 bombs and missiles were used. As part of the peace settlement, NATO deployed some 50,000 troops into Kosovo, 7,000 of them American. (15) In a News Briefing on June 10, 1999, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen summarized the effects of the campaign by saying,

[t]hree months ago Yugoslavia was a heavily armed country with a significant air defense system. We reduced that defense system threat by destroying over 80 percent of Yugoslavia's modern aircraft fighters and strategic suface-to-air missiles. NATO destroyed a significant share of the infrastructure Yugoslavia used to support[] its military with, we reduced his capacity to make ammunition by two-thirds, and we eliminated all of its oil refining capacity and more than 40 percent of its military fuel supplies, Most important, we severely crippled the military forces in Kosovo by destroying more than 50 percent of the artillery and more than one-third of the armored vehicles. (16)

General Shelton of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that "about half of [Yugoslavia's] defense industry has either been damaged or destroyed. . . . [A]viation, 70 percent; armored vehicle production, 40 [percent]; petroleum refineries, 100 percent down; explosive production, about 50 percent; and 65 percent of his ammunition. . . . For the most part Belgrade is a city that's got about probably 70 percent without [electrical] power." (17) A report by General Ryan, Air Force Chief of Staff, on June 8, 1999, stated that:

Serbia's air force is essentially useless and its air defenses are dangerous but ineffective. Military armament production is destroyed. Military supply areas are under siege. Oil refinement has ceased and petroleum storage is systematically being destroyed. Electricity is sporadic, at best. Major transportation routes are cut. NATO aircraft are attacking with impunity throughout the country. (18)

Estimates near the time placed the number of Yugoslav military casualties at between five and ten thousand. (19) In recent decades, no President has unilaterally deployed so much force abroad.

Other recent unilateral deployments have also been significant in military, foreign policy, and financial terms. Several such deployments occurred in the Balkans in the mid-1990s. (20) In December 1995, President Clinton ordered the deployment of 20,000 United States troops to Bosnia to implement a peace settlement. In February 1994, sixty United States warplanes conducted airstrikes against Yugoslav targets. In 1993, United States warplanes were sent to enforce a no-fly zone over Bosnia; in the same year, the President despatched United States troops to Macedonia as part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

Major recent deployments have also taken place in Central America and in the Persian Gulf. In 1994, President Clinton ordered some 20,000 United States troops to be deployed into Haiti, again without prior statutory authorization from Congress, in reliance solely upon his Article II authority. See Deployment of United States Armed Forces into Haiti, supra. On August 8, 1990, in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the consequent threat to Saudi Arabia, President Bush ordered the deployment of substantial forces into Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Shield. The forces were equipped for combat and included two squadrons of F-15 aircraft and a brigade of the 82d Airborne Division; the deployment eventually grew to several hundred thousand. The President informed Congress that he had taken these actions "pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct our foreign relations and as Commander in Chief." Letter to Congressional Leaders, 2 Pub. Papers of George Bush 1116 (1990). President Bush also deployed some 15,000 troops into Panama in December, 1990, for the purpose (among others) of protecting Americans living in Panama. See 2 Pub. Papers of George Bush 1722 (1989); see generally Abraham D. Sofaer, The Legality of the United States Action in Panama, 29 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 281 (1991).

Further, when Congress has in fact authorized deployments of troops in hostilities, past Presidents have taken the position that such legislation, although welcome, was not constitutionally necessary. For example, in signing Pub. L. No. 102-01, 105 Stat. 3 (1991), authorizing the use of military force in Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, President Bush stated that "my request for congressional support did not, and my signing this resolution does not, constitute any change in the longstanding positions of the executive branch on either the President's constitutional authority to use the Armed Forces to defend vital U.S. interests or the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution." Statement on Signing the Resolution Authorizing the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, 1 Pub. Papers of George Bush 40 (1991). (21) Similarly, President John F. Kennedy stated on September 13, 1962, that congressional authorization for a naval blockade of Cuba was unnecessary, maintaining that "I have full authority now to take such action." Pub. Papers of John F. Kennedy 674 (1962). And in a Report to the American People on October 22, 1962, President Kennedy asserted that he had ordered the blockade "under the authority entrusted to me by the Constitution as endorsed by the resolution of the Congress." Id. at 807 (emphasis added). (22) Thus, there is abundant precedent, much of it from recent Administrations, for the deployment of military force abroad, including the waging of war, on the basis of the President's sole constitutional authority.

Several recent precedents stand out as particularly relevant to the situation at hand, where the conflict is with terrorists. The first and most relevant precedent is also the most recent: the military actions that President William J. Clinton ordered on August 20, 1998, against terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan. The second is the strike on Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters that President Clinton ordered on June 26, 1993. The third is President Ronald Reagan's action on April 14, 1986, ordering United States armed forces to attack selected targets at Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya.

(A) On August 20, 1998, President Clinton ordered the Armed Forces to strike at terrorist-related facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan "because of the threat they present to our national security." Remarks in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Military Action Against Terrorist Sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, 2 Pub. Papers of William J. Clinton 1460 (1998). The President stated that the purpose of the operation was "to strike at the network of radical groups affiliated with and funded by Usama bin Ladin, perhaps the preeminent organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today." Address to the Nation on Military Action Against Terrorist Sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, 2 Pub. Papers of William J. Clinton 1460 (1998). The strike was ordered in retaliation for the bombings of United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which bin Laden's organization and groups affiliated with it were believed to have played a key role and which had caused the deaths of some 12 Americans and nearly 300 Kenyans and Tanzanians, and in order to deter later terrorist attacks of a similar kind against United States nationals and others. In his remarks at Martha's Vineyard, President Clinton justified the operation as follows:

I ordered this action for four reasons: first, because we have convincing evidence these groups played the key role in the Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; second, because these groups have executed terrorist attacks against Americans in the past; third, because we have compelling information that they were planning additional terrorist attacks against our citizens and others with the inevitable collateral casualties we saw so tragically in Africa; and fourth, because they are seeking to acquire chemical weapons and other dangerous weapons.

Id. In his Address to the Nation on the same day, the President made clear that the strikes were aimed, not only at bin Laden's organization, but at other terrorist groups thought to be affiliated with it, and that the strikes were intended as retribution for other incidents caused by these groups, and not merely the then-recent bombings of the two United States embassies. Referring to the past acts of the interlinked terrorist groups, he stated:

Their mission is murder and their history is bloody. In recent years, they killed American, Belgian, and Pakistani peacekeepers in Somalia. They plotted to assassinate the President of Egypt and the Pope. They planned to bomb six United States 747's over the Pacific. They bombed the Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan. They gunned down German tourists in Egypt.

Id. at 1460-61. Furthermore, in explaining why military action was necessary, the President noted that "law enforcement and diplomatic tools" to combat terrorism had proved insufficient, and that "when our very national security is challenged . . . we must take extraordinary steps to protect the safety of our citizens." Id. at 1461. Finally, the President made plain that the action of the two targeted countries in harboring terrorists justified the use of military force on their territory: "The United States does not take this action lightly. Afghanistan and Sudan have been warned for years to stop harboring and supporting these terrorist groups. But countries that persistently host terrorists have no right to be safe havens." Id.

The terrorist incidents of September 11, 2001, were surely far graver a threat to the national security of the United States than the 1998 attacks on our embassies (however appalling those events were). The President's power to respond militarily to the later attacks must be correspondingly broader. Nonetheless, President Clinton's action in 1998 illustrates some of the breadth of the President's power to act in the present circumstances.

First, President Clinton justified the targeting of particular groups on the basis of what he characterized as "convincing" evidence of their involvement in the embassy attacks. While that is not a standard of proof appropriate for a criminal trial, it is entirely appropriate for military and political decisionmaking. Second, the President targeted not merely one particular group or leader, but a network of affiliated groups. Moreover, he ordered the action, not only because of particular attacks on United States embassies, but because of a pattern of terrorist activity, aimed at both Americans and non-Americans, that had unfolded over several years. Third, the President explained that the military action was designed to deter future terrorist incidents, not only to punish past ones. Fourth, the President specifically justified military action on the territory of two foreign states because their governments had "harbor[ed]" and "support[ed]" terrorist groups for years, despite warnings from the United States.

(B) On June 26, 1993, President Clinton ordered a Tomahawk cruise missile strike on Iraqi Intelligence Service (the "IIS") headquarters in Baghdad. The IIS had planned an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate former President Bush in Kuwait in April, 1993. Two United States Navy surface ships launched a total of 23 missiles against the IIS center.

In a Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Strike on Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters, 1 Pub. Papers of William J. Clinton 940 (1993), the President referred to the failed assassination attempt and stated that "[t]he evidence of the Government of Iraq's violence and terrorism demonstrates that Iraq poses a continuing threat to United States nationals." He based his authority to order a strike against the Iraqi government's intelligence command center on "my constitutional authority with respect to the conduct of foreign relations and as Commander in Chief," as well as on the Nation's inherent right of self-defense. Id.

President Clinton's order was designed in part to deter and prevent future terrorist attacks on the United States - and most particularly future assassination attempts on former President Bush. Although the assassination attempt had been frustrated by the arrest of sixteen suspects before any harm was done, "nothing prevented Iraq from directing a second - possibly successful - attempt on Bush's life. Thus, the possibility of another assassination plot was 'hanging threateningly over [Bush's] head' and was therefore imminent. By attacking the Iraqi Intelligence Service, the United States hoped to prevent and deter future attempts to kill Bush." (23)

(C) On April 14, 1986, President Ronald Reagan, acting on his independent authority, ordered United States armed forces to engage in military action against the government of Colonel Gadhafi of Libya. (24) Thirty-two American aircraft attacked selected targets at Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya. Libyan officials reported thirty-seven people killed and an undetermined number injured. More than sixty tons of ordnance were used during the attack.

For some time Libya had supported terrorist groups and organizations and indeed had itself ordered direct terrorist attacks on the United States.

Under Gaddafi, Libya has declared its support of 'national liberation movements' and has allegedly financed and trained numerous terrorist groups and organizations, including Palestinian radicals, Lebanese leftists, Columbia's M-19 guerrillas, the Irish Republican Army, anti-Turkish Armenians, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Muslim rebels in the Philippines, and left-wing extremists in Europe and Japan. (25)

It had harbored a variety of terrorists, including Abu Nidal and the three surviving members of the Black September group that had killed eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. (26) Libya's attacks on the United States included the murder of two United States diplomats in Khartoum (1973), the attempted assassination of Secretary of State Kissinger (1973), the burning of the United States Embassy in Tripoli (1979), the planned assassination of President Reagan, Secretary of State Haig, Secretary of Defense Weinberger, and Ambassador to Italy Robb (1981), and the hijacking of T.W.A. flight 847 (1985). (27) Libya had also been linked to terrorist events close to the time of the April, 1986, airstrike in which Americans and other had lost their lives. In January, 1986, American intelligence tied Libya to the December 27, 1985, bombings at the Rome and Vienna airports in which nineteen people, including 5 Americans, had died, and one hundred and twelve persons had been injured.

The particular event that triggered the President's military action had occurred on April 5, 1986, when a bomb exploded in the "Labelle," a Berlin discotheque frequented by U.S. military personnel. The blast killed three people (two Americans) and injured two hundred and thirty others (including seventy-nine Americans). Intelligence reports indicated that the bombing was planned and executed under the direct orders of the Government of Libya. The United States Ambassador to the United Nations stated that there was "direct, precise, and irrefutable evidence that Libya bears responsibility" for the bombing of the discotheque; that the "Labelle" incident was "only the latest in an ongoing pattern of attacks" by Libya against the United States and its allies; and that the United States had made "repeated and protracted efforts to deter Libya from its ongoing attacks," including "quiet diplomacy, public condemnation, economic sanctions, and demonstrations of military force." U.N. SCOR, 2674th mtg. at 16-17, U.N. Doc. S/PV.2674 (prov. ed. 1986).

Like the two unilateral Presidential actions discussed above, President Reagan's decision to use armed force in response to a terrorist attack on United States military personnel illustrates that the President has independent constitutional authority to use such force in the present circumstances.


Our analysis to this point has surveyed the views and practice of the executive and judicial branches. In two enactments, the War Powers Resolution and the recent Joint Resolution, Congress has also addressed the scope of the President's independent constitutional authority. We think these two statutes demonstrate Congress's acceptance of the President's unilateral war powers in an emergency situation like that created by the September 11 incidents.

Furthermore, the President can be said to be acting at the apogee of his powers if he deploys military force in the present situation, for he is operating both under his own Article II authority and with the legislative support of Congress. Under the analysis outlined by Justice Jackson in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., supra (and later followed and interpreted by the Court in Dames & Moore, supra), the President's power in this case would be "at its maximum," 343 U.S. at 635 (Jackson, J., concurring), because the President would be acting pursuant to an express congressional authorization. He would thus be clothed with "all [authority] that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate," id., in addition to his own broad powers in foreign affairs under Article II of the Constitution.

The War Powers Resolution. Section 2(c) of the WPR, reads as follows:

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

50 U.S.C. 1541(c) (emphasis added).

The executive branch consistently "has taken the position from the very beginning that section 2(c) of the WPR does not constitute a legally binding definition of Presidential authority to deploy our armed forces." Overview of the War Powers Resolution, 8 Op. O.L.C. at 274. (28) Moreover, as our Office has noted, "even the defenders of the WPR concede that this declaration [in section 2(c)] - found in the 'Purpose and Policy' section of the WPR - either is incomplete or is not meant to be binding." Deployment of United States Armed Forces into Haiti, 18 Op. O.L.C. at 176; accord Bosnia Opinion, 19 Op. O.L.C. at 335 ("The executive branch has traditionally taken the position that the President's power to deploy armed forces into situations of actual or indicated hostilities is not restricted to the three categories specifically marked out by the Resolution."); Presidential Powers Relating to the Situation in Iran, 4A Op. O.L.C. at 121 ("[T]he Resolution's policy statement is not a comprehensive or binding formulation of the President's powers as Commander-in-Chief."). Nonetheless, section 2(c)(3) correctly identifies one, but by no means the only, Presidential authority to deploy military forces into hostilities. (29) In the present circumstances, the statute signifies Congress's recognition that the President's constitutional authority alone would enable him to take military measures to combat the organizations or groups responsible for the September 11 incidents, together with any governments that may have harbored or supported them.

Further, Congress's support for the President's power suggests no limits on the Executive's judgment whether to use military force in response to the national emergency created by those incidents. Section 2(c)(3) leaves undisturbed the President's constitutional authority to determine both when a "national emergency" arising out of an "attack against the United States" exists, and what types and levels of force are necessary or appropriate to respond to that emergency. Because the statute itself supplies no definition of these terms, their interpretation must depend on longstanding constitutional practices and understandings. As we have shown in Parts I-III of this memorandum, constitutional text, structure and practice demonstrate that the President is vested with the plenary power to use military force, especially in the case of a direct attack on the United States. Section 2(c)(3) recognizes the President's broad authority and discretion in this area.

Given the President's constitutional powers to respond to national emergencies caused by attacks on the United States, and given also that section 2(c)(3) of the WPR does not attempt to define those powers, we think that that provision must be construed simply as a recognition of, and support for, the President's pre-existing constitutional authority. Moreover, as we read the WPR, action taken by the President pursuant to the constitutional authority recognized in section 2(c)(3) cannot be subject to the substantive requirements of the WPR, particularly the interrelated reporting requirements in section 4 and the "cut off" provisions of section 5, 50 U.S.C. �� 1543-1544. (30) Insofar as the Constitution vests the power in the President to take military action in the emergency circumstances described by section 2(c)(3), we do not think it can be restricted by Congress through, e.g., a requirement that the President either obtain congressional authorization for the action within a specific time frame, or else discontinue the action. Were this not so, the President could find himself unable to respond to an emergency that outlasted a statutory cut-off, merely because Congress had failed, for whatever reason, to enact authorizing legislation within that period.

To be sure, some interpreters of the WPR take a broader view of its scope. But on any reasonable interpretation of that statute, it must reflect an explicit understanding, shared by both the Executive and Congress, that the President may take some military actions - including involvement in hostilities - in response to emergencies caused by attacks on the United States. Thus, while there might be room for disagreement about the scope and duration of the President's emergency powers, there can be no reasonable doubt as to their existence.

The Joint Resolution of September 14, 2001. Whatever view one may take of the meaning of section 2(c)(3) of the WPR, we think it clear that Congress, in enacting the "Joint Resolution [t]o authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States," Pub. L. No. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (2001), has confirmed that the President has broad constitutional authority to respond, by military means or otherwise, to the incidents of September 11.

First, the findings in the Joint Resolution include an express statement that "the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States." Id. This authority is in addition to the President's authority to respond to past acts of terrorism. In including this statement, Congress has provided its explicit agreement with the executive branch's consistent position, as articulated in Parts I-III of this memorandum, that the President has the plenary power to use force even before an attack upon the United States actually occurs, against targets and using methods of his own choosing.

Second, Congress also found that there is a "threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the[] grave acts of violence" on September 11, and that "such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy" of this country. Insofar as "the President's independent power to act depends upon the gravity of the situation confronting the nation," Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., 343 U.S. at 662 (Clark, J., concurring in judgment), these findings would support any presidential determination that the September 11 attacks justified the use of military force in response. Further, they would buttress any Presidential determination that the nation is in a state of emergency caused by those attacks. The Constitution confides in the President the authority, independent of any statute, to determine when a "national emergency" caused by an attack on the United States exists. (31) Nonetheless, congressional concurrence is welcome in making clear that the branches agree on seriousness of the terrorist threat currently facing the Nation and on the justifiability of a military response.

Third, it should be noted here that the Joint Resolution is somewhat narrower than the President's constitutional authority. The Joint Resolution's authorization to use force is limited only to those individuals, groups, or states that planned, authorized, committed, or aided the attacks, and those nations that harbored them. It does not, therefore, reach other terrorist individuals, groups, or states, which cannot be determined to have links to the September 11 attacks. Nonetheless, the President's broad constitutional power to use military force to defend the Nation, recognized by the Joint Resolution itself, would allow the President to take whatever actions he deems appropriate to pre-empt or respond to terrorist threats from new quarters.


In light of the text, plan, and history of the Constitution, its interpretation by both past Administrations and the courts, the longstanding practice of the executive branch, and the express affirmation of the President's constitutional authorities by Congress, we think it beyond question that the President has the plenary constitutional power to take such military actions as he deems necessary and appropriate to respond to the terrorist attacks upon the United States on September 11, 2001. Force can be used both to retaliate for those attacks, and to prevent and deter future assaults on the Nation. Military actions need not be limited to those individuals, groups, or states that participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon: the Constitution vests the President with the power to strike terrorist groups or organizations that cannot be demonstrably linked to the September 11 incidents, but that, nonetheless, pose a similar threat to the security of the United States and the lives of its people, whether at home or overseas. (32) In both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution, Congress has recognized the President's authority to use force in circumstances such as those created by the September 11 incidents. Neither statute, however, can place any limits on the President's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.


Deputy Assistant Attorney General

Office of Legal Counsel

1. "As Lincoln aptly said, '[is] it possible to lose the nation and yet preserve the Constitution?'" Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 662 (1952) (Clark, J., concurring in judgment).

2. See also The Federalist No. 34, at 175 (Alexander Hamilton) (Federal government is to possess "an indefinite power of providing for emergencies as they might arise"); id. No. 41, at 224 (James Madison) ("Security against foreign danger is one of the primitive objects of civil society. . . . The powers requisite for attaining it must be effectually confided to the foederal councils.").

Many Supreme Court opinions echo Hamilton's argument that the Constitution presupposes the indefinite and unpredictable nature of the "the circumstances which may affect the public safety," and that the federal government's powers are correspondingly broad. See, e.g., Dames & Moore v. Regan, 453 U.S. 654, 662 (1981) (noting that the President "exercis[es] the executive authority in a world that presents each day some new challenge with which he must deal"); Hamilton v. Regents, 293 U.S. 245, 264 (1934) (federal government's war powers are "well-nigh limitless" in extent); Stewart v. Kahn, 78 U.S. (11Wall.) 493, 506 (1870) ("The measures to be taken in carrying on war . . . are not defined [in the Constitution].

The decision of all such questions rests wholly in the discretion of those to whom the substantial powers involved are confided by the Constitution."); Miller v. United States, 78 U.S. (11 Wall.) 268, 305 (1870) ("The Constitution confers upon Congress expressly power to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules respecting captures on land and water. Upon the exercise of these powers no restrictions are imposed. Of course the power to declare war involves the power to prosecute it by all means and in any manner in which war may be legitimately prosecuted.").

3. See Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U.S. 763, 789 (1950) (President has authority to deploy United States armed forces "abroad or to any particular region"); Fleming v. Page, 50 U.S. (9 How.) 603, 615 (1850) ("As commander-in-chief, [the President] is authorized to direct the movements of the naval and military forces placed by law at his command, and to employ them in the manner he may deem most effectual"); Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748, 776 (1996) (Scalia, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment) (The "inherent powers" of the Commander in Chief "are clearly extensive."); Maul v. United States, 274 U.S. 501, 515-16 (1927) (Brandeis & Holmes, JJ., concurring) (President "may direct any revenue cutter to cruise in any waters in order to perform any duty of the service"); Massachusetts v. Laird, 451 F.2d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 1971) (the President has "power as Commander-in-Chief to station forces abroad"); Authority to Use United States Military Forces in Somalia, 16 Op. O.L.C. 6 (1992).

4. See John C. Yoo, The Continuation of Politics by Other Means: The Original Understanding of War Powers, 84 Cal. L. Rev. 167, 196-241 (1996).

5. See id. ("He must determine what degree of force the crisis demands."); see also Eisentrager, 339 U.S. at 789 ("Certainly it is not the function of the Judiciary to entertain private litigation - even by a citizen - which challenges the legality, the wisdom, or the propriety of the Commander-in-Chief in sending our armed forces abroad or to any particular region."); Chicago & Southern Air Lines v. Waterman Steamship Corp., 333 U.S. 103, 111 (1948) ("The President, both as Commander-in-Chief and as the Nation's organ for foreign affairs, has available intelligence services whose reports are not and ought not to be published to the world.

It would be intolerable that courts, without the relevant information, should review and perhaps nullify actions of the Executive taken on information properly held secret."); Ramirez de Arellano v. Weinberger, 745 F.2d 1500, 1561 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (Scalia, J., dissenting), vacated by 471 U.S. 1113 (1985); Ex parte Vallandigham, 28 F.Cas. 874, 922 (C.C.S.D. Ohio 1863) (No. 16,816) (in acting "under this power where there is no express legislative declaration, the president is guided solely by his own judgment and discretion"); Hefleblower v. United States, 21 Ct. Cl. 228, 238 (Ct. Cl. 1886) ("The responsibility of declaring what portions of the country were in insurrection and of declaring when the insurrection came to an end was accorded to the President; when he declared a portion of the country to be in insurrection the judiciary cannot try the issue and find the territory national; conversely, when the President declared the insurrection at an end in any portion of the country, the judiciary cannot try the issue and find the territory hostile."); cf. United States v. Chemical Found., Inc., 272 U.S. 1, 12 (1926) ("It was peculiarly within the province of the Commander-in-Chief to know the facts and to determine what disposition should be made of enemy properties in order effectively to carry on the war.")

6. See, e.g., Louis Fisher, Presidential War Power 185-206 (1995); John Hart Ely, War and Responsibility: Constitutional Lessons of Vietnam and Its Aftermath 3-5 (1993); Michael J. Glennon, Constitutional Diplomacy 80-84 (1990); Louis Henkin, Constitutionalism, Democracy, and Foreign Affairs 109 (1990); Harold Hongju Koh, The National Security Constitution: Sharing Power After the Iran-Contra Affair 158-61 (1990); Francis D. Wormuth & Edwin B. Firmage, To Chain the Dog of War: The War Power of Congress in History and Law (2d ed. 1989).

Other scholars, however, have argued that the President has the constitutional authority to initiate military hostilities without prior congressional authorization. See, e.g., Edward S. Corwin, The President: Office and Powers 1787-1984 (5th ed. 1984); Philip Bobbitt, War Powers: An Essay on John Hart Ely's "War and Responsibility: Constitutional Lessons of Vietnam and Its Aftermath," 92 Mich. L. Rev. 1364 (1994); Robert H. Bork, Erosion of the President's Power in Foreign Affairs, 68 Wash. U. L. Q. 693 (1990); Henry P. Monaghan, Presidential War-Making, 50 B.U.L. Rev. 19 (1970); W. Michael Reisman, Some Lessons from Iraq: International Law and Democratic Politics, 16 Yale J. Int'l L. 203 (1991); Eugene V. Rostow, "Once More unto the Breach:" The War Powers Resolution Revisited, 21 Val. U.L. Rev. 1 (1986); John C. Yoo, Kosovo, War Powers, and the Multilateral Future, 148 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1673 (2000); Yoo, supra n.4.

7. A subsequent version made clear "that the governor and commander-in-chief shall have no power to commence war, or conclude peace, or enter into any final treaty" without legislative approval. S.C. Const. art. XXXIII (1778), reprinted in 6 The Federal and State Constitutions 3255 (Francis Newton Thorpe ed., 1909).

8. Of the eight major wars fought by Great Britain prior to the ratification of the Constitution, war was declared only once before the start of hostilities. See Yoo, supra note 4, at 214-15. See also W. Taylor Reveley, III, War Powers of the President and Congress: Who Holds the Arrows and Olive Branch? 55 (1981) ("[U]ndeclared war was the norm in eighteenth-century European practice, a reality brought home to Americans when Britain's Seven Years' War with France began on this continent." ); William Michael Treanor, Fame, The Founding, and The Power to Declare War, 82 Cornell L. Rev. 695, 709 (1997).

9. James Iredell (later an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) argued in the North Carolina Ratifying Convention that "[f]rom the nature of the thing, the command of armies ought to be delegated to one person only. The secrecy, despatch, and decision, which are necessary in military operations, can only be expected from one person." Debate in the North Carolina Ratifying Convention, in 4 Jonathan Elliott, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787, at 107 (2d ed. 1987). See also 3 Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States 1485 (1833) (in military matters, "[u]nity of plan, promptitude, activity, and decision, are indispensable to success; and these can scarcely exist, except when single magistrate is entrusted exclusively with the power").

10. Thus, Article II's enumeration of the Treaty and Appointments Clauses only dilutes the unitary nature of the executive branch in regard to the exercise of those powers, rather than transforming them into quasi-legislative functions. See Constitutionality of Proposed Conditions to Senate Consent to the Interim Convention on Conservation of North Pacific Fur Seals, 10 Op. O.L.C. 12, 17 (1986) ("Nothing in the text of the Constitution or the deliberations of the Framers suggests that the Senate's advice and consent role in the treaty-making process was intended to alter the fundamental constitutional balance between legislative authority and executive authority.").

11. At the time Attorney General Jackson delivered his opinion, the United States was a neutral, and thus his conclusions about the President's powers did not rest on any special considerations that might apply in time of war. Although he stated that he was "inclined to the opinion" that a statute (the Lend-Lease Act) authorized the decision under review, Jackson expressly based his conclusion on the President's constitutional authority. Id. at 61.

12. Justice Paterson went on to remark that in those circumstances "it would I apprehend, be not only lawful for the president to resist such invasion, but also to carry hostilities into the enemy's own country." Id. at 1230.

13. The court further observed that "in a grave emergency [the President] may, without Congressional approval, take the initiative to wage war. . . . In such unusual situations necessity confers the requisite authority upon the President. Any other construction of the Constitution would make it self-destructive." Id. at 613-14. Accord Massachusetts v. Laird, 451 F.2d at 31 ("[t]he executive may without Congressional participation repel attack").

14. As the Supreme Court has noted, "the decisions of the Court in th[e] area [of foreign affairs] have been rare, episodic, and afford little precedential value for subsequent cases." Dames & Moore, 453 U.S. at 661. In particular, the difficulty the courts experience in addressing "the broad range of vitally important day-to-day questions regularly decided by Congress or the Executive" with respect to foreign affairs and national security makes the judiciary "acutely aware of the necessity to rest [judicial] decision[s] on the narrowest possible ground capable of deciding the case." Id. at 660-61. Historical practice and the ongoing tradition of executive branch constitutional interpretation therefore play an especially important role in this area.

15. See Campbell v. Clinton, 203 F.3d at 40 (Tatel, J., concurring) (quoting testimony of Secretary of Defense Cohen that "'[w]e're certainly engaged in hostilities [in Yugoslavia], we're engaged in combat'"); Exec. Order No. 13119, 64 Fed. Reg. 18,797 (Apr. 16, 1999) (designating March 24, 1999, as "the date of the commencement of combatant activities" in Yugoslavia); John C. Yoo, US Wars, US War Powers, 1 Chi. J. Int'l L. 355 (2000).

16. News Briefing, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), June 10, 1999, available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jun1999/t06101999__t0610asd.html (remarks of Sec. Cohen).

17. Id. (remarks of Gen. Shelton).

18. General Michael E. Ryan, It may take time, but it's inevitable, Air Force News (released June 8, 1999).

19. See Nick Cook, War of Extremes, in Jane's Defence Weekly (July 7, 1999), available at http://www.janes.com/defense/news/kosovo/jdw990707__01__n.shtml.

20. See Yoo, supra n.15, at 359.

21. Further, in a press conference on January 9, 1991, President Bush was asked if he believed that he needed congressional authorization in order to begin offensive operations against Iraq. He answered, "I don't think I need it. I think Secretary Cheney expressed it very well the other day. There are different opinions on either side of this question, but Saddam Hussein should be under no question on this: I feel that I have the authority to fully implement the United Nations resolutions." The President's News Conference on the Persian Gulf Crisis, 1 Pub. Papers of George Bush 17, 20 (1991).

22. An unsigned, unaddressed opinion in this Office's files, entitled Blockade of Cuba (Oct. 19, 1962), states that "the President, in the exercise of his constitutional power as Commander-in-Chief, can order a blockade without prior Congressional sanction and without a declaration of war by Congress." Id. at 9. Thus, the writers of the memorandum (presumably, either this Office or the State Department Legal Adviser's Office) determined that no Congressional authorization either existed or was necessary for the blockade ordered by President Kennedy.

23. Robert F. Teplitz, Taking Assassination Attempts Seriously: Did the United States Violate International Law in Forcefully Responding to the Iraqi Plot to Kill George Bush?, 28 Cornell Int'l L. J. 569, 609 (1995) (citation omitted).

24. See generally Wallace F. Warriner, U.S.M.C., The Unilateral Use of Coercion Under International Law: A Legal Analysis of the United States Raid on Libya on April 14, 1986, 37 Naval L. Rev. 49 (1988); Teplitz, supra n.23, at 583-86.

25. Teplitz, supra n.23, at 617 n.112.

26. See id.

27. See id. at n.113.

28. Thus, the State Department took the view, in a letter of November 30, 1974, that section 2(c) was a "declaratory statement of policy." Further, in 1975, the Legal Adviser to the State Department listed six (non-exclusive) situations, not enumerated in section 2(c), in which the President had independent constitutional authority to deploy troops without either a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization. See id. at 274-75.

29. We note that section 2(c) cannot itself qualify as a statutory authorization to act in national emergencies. It is rather a congressional acknowledgment of the President's nonstatutory, Article II-based powers. Section 8(d)(2) of the WPR, 50 U.S.C. 1547, specifically provides that nothing in the WPR "shall be construed as granting any authority to the President . . . which authority he would not have had in the absence of this [joint resolution]."

30. True, the reporting requirement in section 4(a)(1) purports to apply to any case in which U.S. armed forces are introduced into hostilities "[i]n the absence of a declaration of war." 50 U.S.C. 1543(a)(1). Further, the "cut off" provisions of section 5 are triggered by the report required by section 4(a)(1). Thus, the language of the WPR indicates an intent to reach action taken by the President pursuant to the authority recognized in section 2(c)(3), if no declaration of war has been issued. We think, however, that it would be beyond Congress's power to regulate the President's emergency authority in the manner prescribed by sections 4(a)(1) and 5.

31. See Prize Cases, 67 U.S. at 670 (whether a state of belligerency justifying a blockade exists is to be decided by the President); see also Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 399 (1932) ("By virtue of his duty to 'cause the laws to be faithfully executed', the Executive is appropriately vested with the discretion to determine whether an exigency requiring military aid for that purpose has arisen."); Moyer v. Peabody, 212 U.S. 78, 83 (1909) ("[T]he governor's declaration that a state of insurrection existed is conclusive of that fact."); Campbell, 203 F.3d at 26-27 (Silberman, J., concurring) (The Court in the Prize Cases "made clear that it would not dispute the President on measures necessary to repel foreign aggression"); cf. Martin v. Mott, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 19, 30 (1827) (President had unreviewable discretion to determine when "emergency" existed under statute enabling him to call up militia).

32. We of course understand that terrorist organizations and their state sponsors operate by secrecy and concealment, and that it is correspondingly difficult to establish, by the standards of criminal law or even lower legal standards, that particular individuals or groups have been or may be implicated in attacks on the United States. Moreover, even when evidence sufficient to establish involvement is available to the President, it may be impossible for him to disclose that evidence without compromising classified methods and sources, and so damaging the security of the United States. See, e.g., Chicago & Southern Air Lines, Inc, 333 U.S. at 111 ("The President . . . has available intelligence services whose reports are not and ought not to be published to the world."); see also Ruth Wedgwood, Responding to Terrorism: The Strikes Against Bin Laden, 24 Yale J. Int'l L. 559, 568-74 (1999) (analyzing difficulties of establishing and publicizing evidence of causation of terrorist incidents).

But we do not think that the difficulty or impossibility of establishing proof to a criminal law standard (or of making evidence public) bars the President from taking such military measures as, in his best judgment, he thinks necessary or appropriate to defend the United States from terrorist attacks. In the exercise of his plenary power to use military force, the President's decisions are for him alone and are unreviewable.

This nation is bleeding profusely; it is literally hemorrhaging. We are on the road to national bankruptcy as our national debt is over $9 trillion, our annual trade deficit is at $800 billion, our housing industry and associated financial institutions are in a chaotic state. The Federal Reserve continues to pour hundreds of billion of dollars into the black hole of unregulated, devious financial practices. The foundations of our economy are structurally unsound. And we have no clue on how to extricate ourselves from the quicksand of Iraq. We are digging ourselves into a massive hole but we cannot stop digging.

At the same time that we are going through domestic shock and awe, Bush & Cheney smirk and sneer and laugh at the people of America for our gullibility, our naive inaction as far too many of us watch them recklessly spend $12 billion a month on the illegal, immoral and unconscionable war in Iraq. We watch as they thumb their noses at us and we silently and subserviently accept the continuing madness of endless killing of our troops and innocent Iraqis. By our continued silence and subservience we are, in reality, condoning these actions that should be totally reprehensible and unacceptable.

Let's talk about lying. The Bush/Cheney "administration" has perfected lying, turned it into political art and taken it to heights never reached by anyone in this nation's history. Just a few reminders: Iraq (Bush) war, mission accomplished, WMD, yellowcake from Niger, Saddam involved in 911, the surge is working, America does not torture -- and on and on and on with no end.

And, then, we have the chief facilitators of spreading these lies incessantly to America. The craven, despicable corporate-controlled media that has lost any semblance of journalistic integrity and ethical practice has bought into these lies and has used all the resources at their disposal to spread them into the American mind. And in doing so these pseudo-journalists have infected the American electorate with a state of fear and paranoia.

And what of this American electorate, including that 70 percent of us who continually feed those polls that indicate that the majority of us want to end this war, stop the endless killing and return our troops to their families? Several thousand Americans contributing their opinions every now and then to pollsters has no real effort, none whatsoever, no real sacrifice. When confronted with the need to do something personal about the war the standard response often is, "But what can I do?" Well, just how many of this 70 percent of Americans have called, written or emailed their congressional representatives? How many have written letters to the editor, how many have expressed their strong opinions around the water cooler, in discussions with family (horrors, we can't offend a family member, can we?) or in any way?

The answer is that America apparently can get upset, can get vexed, and frustrated -- but we as a body of people just cannot seem to act in responsible, vocal ways of communication to our leaders and the media. We now have more channels of communication than ever before but we do not have the drive or the willingness to expend minimal time and effort to help in bringing about change. Our answer is to let the other guy do it, but the other guy apparently has too many more important things to do, so we just let the lies and the media lapdogs continue to mislead America.

I firmly believe that if, in the elections of 2008, America does not rise up with a massive voice and demand radical changes in the direction that our government has taken us, then, pure and simple, we as a nation will begin a painful descent that will bring about the end of our democracy as we have known it. We not only need change, but we must have radical change in governmental policies to preserve this democracy.

The specter of global warming and Peak Oil are threatening to make dramatic changes to our lifestyle and to the very future of our planet's existence. Do we Americans understand what the issues of global warming and Peak Oil mean to our future? Have Americans taken the time to educate themselves about these threats looming on the horizon? The impact that these twin impending disasters will have on every element of our daily lives and our very existence into the future? And not only the impact upon ourselves but also the lasting, terrible impact that they will have on future generations?

If you do not know now you better prepare yourself for the future. It is not the least bit difficult to spend some time to research these critically important issues and anyone can easily do so by simply Googling these two terms on the Internet. Doing so will open up a window into a knowledge of things to come that most of us cannot even begin to imagine. Doing so will prepare you to face up to the future that is coming your way and one that is unavoidable. What is so difficult about getting educated about critical issues endangering our future?

America has silently watched the steady erosion of our democracy as this most corrupt administration in U.S. history has initiated a sinister agenda to make the Constitution irrelevant and meaningless. The USAPATRIOT Act, the elimination of habeas corpus, promotion of torture and rendition, continuous expansion of wiretapping of all Americans. This has been a cleverly planned agenda that, coupled with the dastardly compliance of the mainstream media, and the complete lack of courage and failure to uphold our Constitution by Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues to initiate the impeachment of both Bush and Cheney, have contributed greatly to bringing America to the point of no return.

America cannot and must not continue on this foolhardy course that is taking our nation into financial and moral collapse. We have to stop this intense bleeding and hemorrhaging and begin the long and very painful process to heal the grievous wounds that Bush & Cheney have inflicted upon America.

It is becoming clear that we will soon have to choose between Obama or McCain to lead our nation as it appears that Hillary Clinton in now in the process of self-destruction. So we will have to choose between Obama, the shooting star of the Democratic Party (but now wounded by his association with his pastor), the agent of hope and change, the candidate that some call an empty vessel with no real substance. Or we will have the option of choosing McCain, the standard bearer of the Dinosaur Party, he being the zealous supporter of more war in Iraq (how about 100 years or so?) and the man that has admitted that he knows little about economics -- in other words, a perfect clone of Bush.

This is a critical choice for America. Do we want a relative unknown who exudes optimism, hope and new ideas, who has the ability to lead and inspire, but who has little Washington experience and has not really been tested? Or do we want a life-long politician who is in the process of selling his soul to the Christian Right, John Hagee and Pat Robertson? And who now is becoming the master of gaffes as he rapidly approaches senility with Liebermann desperately trying to prop him up? McCain is a well-known warhawk who clearly has no intention to reverse the misguided direction of the Bush administration.

Maybe Obama vs. McCain is not the best choice for America. But we in America can no longer run, we can no longer hide -- trying to remain comfortable with the status quo and stay the course in an atmosphere where total collapse is looming on our horizon. This can no longer be tolerated. It is totally unacceptable. We must step up, stop our procrastinating, and we must accept total responsibility for the future of America.

Just think, if we stop the insanity in Iraq, we can save the lives of untold troops, actually victims, untold innocent Iraqis and prevent a possible preemptive, attack on Iran that Bush & Cheney may well be planning -- a strike that would be a complete disaster and could turn the entire Middle East into a hellfire.

If we can somehow bring an end to the Iraq war, we will free up that $12 billion and more per month that could be used in America to rebuild our infrastructure, our education system, provide universal healthcare, reduce our massive debt and bring America back from the abyss that we now face.

But, as crucial as it is, the most important decision for America is not who will lead America. The most important decision is for us to decide just what we want to be, do we want to put a stop to the neocon war machine that aims to perpetuate wars to control resources, do we want to restore our moral compass? Do those of us who call ourselves Christians want to actually adhere to the commandments, "thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal?"

This is a most critical time in the history of our nation. Let me make this very clear. If the 70 percent of Americans who have consistently stated their opposition to this Iraq war, want it ended and the troops brought home -- in poll after poll -- somehow choose to back off that most important position by reversing it and choosing a bloodthirsty warhawk like John McCain, then America will get exactly what it deserves.

If the American electorate can once again be duped and manipulated then it has not learned a thing during the last five years of infamy. America will continue on a reckless course of national bankruptcy; we will continue the unconscionable slaughter of innocents in the Middle East.

We will have lost our moral compass and this nation will begin a rapid descent that will spell the end of our American democracy.

But if we Americans finally have the courage and will to say, "enough is enough" and demand change, then there is a good chance that we can still turn our nation back on course. And to do so we will need leadership with the vision, courage, conviction and wisdom to show us the way in restoring honesty, integrity and moral principles. We are at that critical crossroads, that point of no return right now. There is no escaping it; this is something that we must face. Are we up to the task or will we continue to let "whatever will be will be, business as usual, stay the course, don't rock the boat" remain our national theme song? Very soon each and every one of us will have to make this monumental decision. Think about that very deeply. What will you do when you consider that your decision will be critical in determining the future direction of this nation?

KOA's "Gunny" Bob asserted "[t]here's a lot of raw hatred and ...
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. August 8, 2006: Newman said that former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), who was defeated in an August 8, 2006, primary election, is a "psychotic, hate-mongering, racist, ...
Colorado Media Matters - http://colorado.mediamatters.org/

Think Progress: Bush: “I am the Decision Maker” Well I guess this is supposed to mean that the Congress, the Courts and the people need not apply for the job!