What’s wrong with this lead paragraph?
“The Pentagon is weighing options in Mali, including intelligence-sharing with France and logistics support, following French air strikes on Friday against Islamist rebels, a U.S. official told Reuters. ‘Discussions are ongoing,’ the official said on condition of anonymity.”
There is no mention of Congress. Whether or not we get “involved” in Mali is a question that is to be resolve between the Pentagon and France.
In a sense this is old news. With regard to Syria, Leon Panetta told the Congress that the question of whether or not to go to war would be decided between the President and trans-national entities like NATO and the UN. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) tried to get Panetta to show that he had some inkling of Constitutional government. Here is part of the exchange, where Sessions asked about the past decision to bomb Libya without consulting with Congress:
Sessions: “We spent our time worrying about the UN, the Arab League, NATO, and too little time worrying about the elected representatives of the United States. Do you think you can act without Congress and initiate a No Fly Zone in Syria, without congressional approval?”
Panetta: “Again, our goal would be to seek international permission and we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this. Whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress, I think those are issues I think we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”
The conversation only got worse from there. Panetta doubled down on his position that he would inform Congress of their decisions and international permissions. No one even suggested that Panetta be immediately arrested. The Republic died.
Or perhaps it was already dead and Panetta thought it was time to bury the body. The way the President is acting, it is as if war has already been declared by Congress on the whole world, so that now, all new “military actions” do not count as wars, but as battles in an already-declared war.
If so, it should be clear that perpetual war is the antithesis of Constitutional government. We’re under martial law. Understanding that fact helps explain a lot. The roll out of indefinite detention and presidential kill lists, etc, are not really legal changes. Rather, those are elements of a PR campaign to slowly adapt us to the legal situation that was already, secretly changed.
Event now the media can still hide our situation by referring to Congress. Thus:
“A leading Republican called Tuesday for President Barack Obama to support France’s military intervention against the “cancer” of al-Qaida-linked militants in North Africa. Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement that he welcomed France’s decision to send troops and warplanes ‘to combat this serious security threat’ in Mali. ‘The vast area of northern Mali gives these al Qaeda-linked militants space to operate, and the weapons flowing out of Libya makes them deadly. This cancer could not go unaddressed,’ he said in the statement.”
This should not impress anyone. This doesn’t show Congress acting; it shows a Congressman lobbying. The job of the Congress is now to lobby and provide PR for the president as he gets us involved in more overseas fights.
Whether or not you want the US involved in Mali is not the issue here. The decision should belong to Congress, not to the President and NATO or any other foreign government.