Archive for the BLOGS 4 VICTORY Category




I take Fred Schwartz’s decision to distance this newspaper from the cancer that is Blogs4Victory very seriously so after this example of conservative hypocrisy from the disgraced Bill Logan I too will be taking a sabbatical from commenting on their delusions. These people constantly state that the writers and researchers here are living in a fantasy world yet it is the fantasy that is supported by their own religious beliefs. “There cannot be a Heaven without a Hell,” is a constant in this Afterlife. Yet religious Conservatives at B4V mock that their is even a possibility that I, or Fred Schwartz or Pain even exist in the realm where we do live. To sum up, their fantasies, that all of their loved ones go to Heaven must be true because it supports their worldview; our reality is impossible because it is in conflict with their ideal that all Conservatives go to Heaven.

This level of delusion is important to understand when dealing with Conservatives especially ones of an age that lived through the Cold War. The fight against the Marxist-Leninism of the Soviet Union was supposed to be the last great fight that America was ever to have. It would be a winner take all battle between Communism and Capitalism, Christianity versus Atheism and Democracy versus Totalitarianism. Of course, this hasn’t been the case. There were many complexities politically and economically that do not fit into neat little boxes regarding the collapse of the Soviet Union. The same thing would have been true has America been broken up for similar reasons and the Soviets won the ideological battle for Terra.

Bill Logan, aka Neocon1, makes light of many things. He mocks the working poor and their struggle for a Living Wage. What he does is typical of a man who is angry that Death is so close and he has not been rewarded on Terra with what he felt he deserved because he was loyal to his racial tribe and religious tribe. As a Human Being, in that great struggle to become one he has failed because he has chosen the opposite path of Nelson Mandela and now fights for hate rather than love. To be on the side of hate is to relish lying and obscuring the facts to convince the other rotting souls who ally with conservatism that the Progressives are due for punishment for taking away the golden future that white Conservatives were promised. That golden future, sadly for Bill Logan is neither the golden shower he lusts for, nor is it a golden parachute; that future now is being enjoyed by the powerful oligarchs of the American 1%.

Neocon1 in his most recent tour de force of hypocrisy and obfuscation note that McDonald’s is installing 7,000 touch screens at restaurants to replace cashiers. It is a response to last week’s push by fast food workers for a Living Wage in the United States. Neocon1 gives the impression with his post that the hammer is going to come down on McDonald’s workers for standing up to their corporate masters. However, this story is neither about McDonald’s restaurants in the United States nor is it a current reaction to the protests. The story is about restaurants in Europe and was originally written in May of 2011. In the article itself, are the words, “McDonald’s says they have no interest in replacing cashiers with kiosks in Australia, however, or anywhere else for that matter.” So once again Neocon1 depends on the rabid stupidity of the other walking corpses of Conservatism who gobble up the feces of bigotry and anti-intelelctualism at B4V. To me they are to be pitied not to waste digital space on here or anywhere else. For at least a few months, unless their crimes of hypocrisy are grave, I will devote my time to pressing home the Progressive agenda to my American readers and enjoying the warm weather here in Hell.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
55 1 Leviathan 2 AS




I have been debating, I use that term loosely, Amazona at Blogs4Victory over the past few days about what course is right for America politically. I have been watching the events in both the Ukraine and in Thailand closely over the past few days in context with Amazona’s staunch conservative values. This leads me to clear conclusion, and trust me I am as shocked as you are that I have had this moment of clarity. I understand fully now what conservatives need to do to get their way politically in America. They must do what the Ukrainians and the Thais have done– take to the streets.


I understand that this is easier said than done. Americans in the past few decades have grown moribund in their desire to rock the boat politically in the form of mass protests. I large part of this is that protests in America are generally astroturfed events that are born in the minds of those who have too much political power already and far too much money to throw around. The TEA party has staged several events for politically profitable reasons just this year and the causes they “fought” for have been quickly forgotten and the right has moved on to their fallback positions of bigotry and pushing wealth up the hill to the 1% who care very little about the bottom 50%.


The left has done no better. The Occupy Wall Street movement too is less about informing voters or agitating than it is about shouting at the wall that is runaway capitalism and greed simply for greed’s sake. These things have to change in America no matter which side wins this major ideological war in American politics. Too much time is being wasted debating people like Amazona who while she admits that she was a Liberal in the halcyon days of her youth and admits as well that she had “bad experiences” and not invested in informing the American people that they actually have choices and don’t have to listen to the loudest voices shouting in the theater that is actually not on fire.


If America were as a ablaze as the conservatives believe it is things like the Knockout Game would be wider spread events instead of random acts of violence. Real issues like the constipation of the job market would be sources of outrage to both Liberals and Conservatives instead of brickbats they use to place blame. The goal really shouldn’t be who wins the grand debate about abortion, gay rights, gun control quantitative easing, the national debt or even what happened in Benghazi last year. The goal is to find a way to renew the power that the middle class held firmly in their graps for the better part of the 20th Century.


Now I know that sounds terribly nostalgic coming from a guy who regularly pounds conservatives over their desire for the good old days but in this case it fits. If the American Right wants to make their belief that America isn’t being run according to the Constitution they need to push away from their computers and smartphones and take to the streets. They need to cast off FreedomWorks and Rush Limbaugh and speak for themselves and let the rest of the nation hear their voices clearly. In doing this they do not need a united front but a united spirit like that being displayed today in the streets of Kiev and Bangkok. Only then will those in the political middle and the young take them seriously. A great man once said, “politics ain’t beanbag” and that witticism still rings true today.

In Hindsight
Personally, I doubt if people like Amazona are going to do this because in the end they don’t want life to be better for all Americans because the only people they feel are “true Americans” are those who share their wish to have more power than they deserve under the terms and conditions that they can accept because of their moral, religious or political beliefs. As a Progressive, I feel that if Americans have a bit more skin in the game, and if the wealthy were to dip their toe in the pool of wealth redistribution just a bit the government could back off a little and allow for a new age of technological prosperity unseen in the history of Terra. There is a lesson for everyone here– if you want change, real change, you have to willing to risk everything.

Pax Terra!

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
48 1 Leviathan 2 AS




I’ll be the very first person to admit that if you want to be a bigot you have every right in the world to be a bigot. Unlike many of the Conservatives that comment at B4V I understand that being a bigot carries certain consequences in the meat world. While I’m sure there are some American companies that will tolerate a bigot in their workforce, the vast majority, out of concern for profit and reputation in that order, will not. See Paula Deen’s meteoric descent into obscurity at the very hint of racial bigotry and you get where I’m coming from.

DB, I’ll excuse you putting words in my mouth but I neither support Oprah Winfrey’s words nor do I feel any need to defend him. Are there Conservative individual citizens of the United States of America who dislike President Obama simply because he is half black? Of course there are. Are there Liberals who dislike black people? Of course there are. My point is that all of black culture isn’t bad anymore than all of Muslim or Jewish or Catholic culture is bad. Sure I’ve made some hay and more than a few shekels pointing out the flaws and foibles of the modern Catholic Church but I am both honest enough and intelligent enough to realize that all Catholics are not evil because of the actions of a few.

Another thing Mr. Schmidt is I understand the reason for your frustration that is moving toward anger. Two things you mustn’t ever discuss in the comments here in the full sunlight of Reason are religion and what an aging American population is doing to the country politically. This is where I see Conservatives burying their heads in the sand. Sure there are millions and I do not exaggerate that number at all, of young 15 to 25 year old future and present voters for Conservative values that will likely never vote for a Liberal candidate if you, pardon the pun, put a gun to their head. Unfortunately for their Conservative parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who outnumber them 15 to 1 these true in the spirit Christian Conservative kids and young adults don’t live in states where their votes really carry the power they should in the numbers that are needed. Schmidt you are going to be swamped by a Latino, black and young white Liberal adult tsunami in the next two decades and there is very little that can be done about it.

Voter ID? Fine we can do that. Immigration reform? That will tip the playing field my way if the GOP in Congress blocks it or if by some miracle it gets passed. Gay marriage? Done deal. You’ve lost this battle by being untrue to your libertarian ideals and still living in the 19th Century world of being ashamed to recognize the rights inherent to all people. Straight Christian people own the word marriage? You have got to be kidding me. And this is how more often than not Conservatives expose themselves as being less than intelligent on issues that are important to moderates and independents. Nobody cared about Sandra Fluke until Limbaugh called her a name. Nobody thought Todd Akin was going to lose to Senator Claire McCaskill until he uttered the phrase “legitimate rape.” And sure VP Biden is a master gaffer but his gaffes don’t do half as much harm to the Democrats especially now because he doesn’t have to run for another office ever again unless he chooses to take on Hillary in 2015.

hindsight 2291
In Hindsight
How are you going to hold the House in 2016? MarkNoonan, who knows better than to predict a presidential election ever again after being suckered by Romney’s internal polls which even the pollsters knew were fabricated to keep the party from panicking, right now as I am writing this does not have a potential candidate that supports his values, ideology or political-social beliefs. And here’s a news flash: there isn’t one on the horizon. At best Conservatives will have to throw in for Jeb Bush if he’s willing to run. Rand Paul? Ted Cruz? Really? I say again really? The only hope for the GOP is to beg John Huntsman to come back and run or Mike Pence or even Kelly Ayotte. Anyone more to the right than these people will trigger another feeding frenzy election that ends up in a Chicago 1968 convention battle between the Establishment and the TEA Party. I can only hope that after 2014’s maintaining of the status quo in the House and Senate the TEA Party will feel buoyed enough to scramble out on its own and run Sarah Palin for President in 2016 against Hillary and Christie. Now that would be a race I’d love to cover.

Pax Terra!

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
40 1 Leviathan 2 AS




The MSM is now reporting on a violent trend that has been in the conservative blogosphere for some time now. Conservatives, in their lust to show that American minorities are out for their blood, virginal daughters and property, have brought into the mainstream of American news a crime of violence mostly perpetrated by black youths called The Knockout Game. Mark Noonan at BlogsforVictory thinks that this game, where one tries to knock an unknown and innocent person unconscious with one punch to the head, is a by product of a shadowy but pervasive thing called “liberalism.” Noonan also states his belief that if America would just go back to the days when the Church ruled the lives of Americans and was unquestionable, when public office holders could not be ridiculed and women and minorities “knew their place” all the violence and fear that is now in the minds of Conservatives would be gone and the ship that is America would free itself from its wandering course toward prosperity.

We, Ourselves, of the Collective disagree with Mr Noonan’s assessment. Had he been living one hundred years ago We, and the Meditators, doubt that he would have written a similar article denouncing his Conservative and self proclaimed religious brethren for their bombing of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma or for the lynching of dozens of blacks in 1913. Noonan does not know the names of Henry Mouseon, David Rucker, Andrew Williams or Pastor Charles Tyson who suffered a far greater fate than being punched in the face by an angry and ignorant youth. The men and women and children who flocked to these spectacles, Conservatives all, were seen as people with the intestinal fortitude to “maintain order” at any cost. These were Mark Edward Noonan’s people then and they are the sort of people Mark Edward Noonan, the TEA Party and the helpless whelps of modern middle class white Conservatism poisoned by talk radio and email chains that play around the skirts of bigotry would choose to associated themselves with religiously, politically and ideologically. Maybe, just maybe, the Conservatives should consider the serious issues in their community involving the hundreds of gun related murder suicides and thousands of gun related suicides that are taking place in America annually before they fearmonger on the violent actions of those they feel are not worthy to be Americans?

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Knight Slayer of Shai’ tan
الافتتاحية من الفتاحات
Majordomo of Hell and Terra’s Skies
Order of the Black Rose of the Empire
Ayatollah of Rham and its Shadow
Fair Judge Executioner of Souls
Quarterer’s Order of the Descending Aorta, 1st Class, with diamonds, rubies, platinum concertina, golden concertina, gilded pancreas, emerald gall bladder, platinum spleen, mesentery and lymph nodes
Lady Gaoler of Dis
Chief Engineer Hellac Power & Light
Womb of Empires
Order of the Superior Vena Cava
先生 立石 上様
Fifth Sea Lord of Hell
Comptroller of the Currency
Chair, Hellac Consumer Products Safety Commission
Oracle of Elections
Order of the Obsidian Heart [Mot. Pict. Arts & Sci.]
Order of the Obsidian Heart [Tort]
Order of the Obsidian Heart [Fluid Dyn.]
Chair, Hellac Commission on Sentient Being Rights
Lady High Justice of the Court of Acts & Merits
Knight Commandrix of the Hellac Gordian Knot of Gold
Knight Commandrix of the Hellac Gordian Knot of Silver
Keeper of the Keys of all the Gates of Hell
Qadi of Hades
Chamberlain Imperial of the Necropontiff of the Universal Fatean Church
Order of the Quartz Heart [Eng.]
Order of the Quartz Heart [Jur.]
Order of the Quartz Heart [Metaphys.]
Order of the Quartz Heart [Philos.]
Countess-Palatine of Sheol
Marquise di Gehenna
Empress Consort
White Rod
President Pro tempore Bax Culdnu
Managing Editor—Breaking News
The Dis Brimstone Daily Pitchfork
39 1 Leviathan 2 AS


Posted in BLOGS 4 VICTORY, CONSERVATIVE LIES, CONSERVATIVE NEWS, FRED SCHWARTZ OPINIONS, IN HINDSIGHT with tags , on 14/11/2013 by Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]


I just got done reading the latest piece of misinformation from Blogs4Victory written by Matt Margolis who I now consider officially an idiot. He writes:

Am I surprised? Not really, Obama overall has done far worse than Nixon, and frankly, the fact Obama’s approval ratings, as dismal as they might be, are as high as they are, is shocking to me.

Margolis clearly doesn’t know anything about politics, history or polling. In 1973, as the creeping reality of defeat in Vietnam was taking hold in the minds of even the most die-hard conservatives in America the need to support their man in the White House became a serious priority. Sound familiar? It happened to George W Bush as well and he plummeted to the third worst President by approval rating in the last seventy years. But as much as the far Right wants me to make this about their embarrassment with their being suckered into thinking that Bush was actually a conservative this is actually about being smart enough to run the numbers and do your journalistic due diligence.

Now I’d be the first to admit I’ve blow stories by wanting to rush to press with a hot tip or a piece of gossip related to a Mylie Cyrus nipple slip that turned out to be utterly incorrect. Mercifully, I’ve caught most of these stories before going to press. This blog has had to retract a story only three times since 28 August 2005 and covering more than 2,500 blog posts. Margolis while he never retracts clearly doesn’t have the integrity to search for ten minutes for the truth because it doesn’t support his political view. In the article he pasted into his post was the hook that Obama is less popular than the worst GOP president of all time Richard M. Nixon.

The reality of this could be found with the same five minutes of searching that I did at There you can compare presidential approval in many fun and eye opening ways. It isn’t that Margolis swallows the hook and then vomits back TEA Party talking points the real tragedy is that Matt Margolis linked to an article from the Examiner and then took out only the reddest meat to sling at the mouth breathers on the far Right.

Here’s the part of the Examiner article written by Darren Pope of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that I have the most problem with and should have sent a red flag up to any journalist worth his salt:

To put the numbers in historical context, compare Obama’s approval rating to that of former-President Richard Nixon. In June of 1972, when the Watergate story first broke, Nixon had an approval rating in the high 50s, and six months later it was even higher, rising to 67% in Jan. of 1973. Nixon denied any knowledge of the scandal, a strategy President Obama has employed each time a new scandal has arisen. Nixon was seen as “above the fray” and blameless by his supporters, much like Obama seems to be now.

hindsight 2057
In Hindsight
Apples, meet oranges. Nixon and Obama have only one thing in common. They are both two term presidents. Go back to the Gallup presidential approval comparison site and do what I did. Look at Obama’s approval rating now in his second term as compared to Nixon in November of 1973. On the 2-5 November 1973 poll Nixon’s approval rating was 27%; Obama currently is at 41%. So exactly how is Obama less popular a president than Nixon? Only in the fetid minds of TEA Party conservatives.

Pax Terra!

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
31 1 Leviathan 2 AS





I’m not ignoring anything that Iran has done or is planning to do but you are ignoring history. In America’s blind drive to get where it thought it would be in 2013 the American government overthrew m any governments. It is very likely you were alive when the US CIA overthrew the Mossadegh government in 1953 over the product of oil. This was okay because America wanted an ally in the region to fight communism and access to the petroleum riches in Persia. The return of the corrupt Pahlavis was the cause of the Iranian revolution just as America’s support for Bin Laden was the eventual cause of 9/11. None of that matters to you as a modern far right conservative you simply choose to ignore all of this history and fact because it doesn’t fit neatly into what your fathers thought the world would be today.

Ahmadinejad is no longer the President of Iran and I do not believe the ultimate goal of the Shi’a Iranian government is anymore unreasonable than the ideals held in the minds of religious Americans that they need an Israeli state to exist so that they can be raptured. Both are ridiculous and irrational notions especially when you consider that I am a Jew. My question is what happens to my people if your people are the “chosen ones?” The triumph of Christianity? The triumph of Islam? Why not the triumph of defeating poverty? Of defeating illness? Of defeating war with a triumph of Peace?

Mental patients can get guns in most places in the United States. This is one of the things that actually does make me angry about the state of my former country. I have to go back to the creeping fear that lies in the minds of the children of those men who could not stand a world that had men like Mossadegh and Allende in power and let’s not even mention Castro or this comment will get far to detailed for you to tolerate ideologically. You see communist and socialist aren’t slurs to me and never will be. I honestly do believe that America would be a better country if you solved problems with diplomacy and language vice shooting someone in the head even if that someone is your ex wife kids and dogs.

Laws are made, they should be made to better Society as a whole not to reinforce the beliefs of the majority. Those outside the majority have rights as well. You want guns to hunt? Fine You want guns to kill innocent people and steal from those who have more than you? Not so fine. I have no idea why guns are so important to Americans simply because a document says you can bear them. But, whatever, keep your guns and keep killing each other off because of divorce, or drugs or stupidity or the moral decay of inhumanity that creeps in to your mind when you realize you’ll never rise to be a second class citizen in a first class nation. Yes, I would take your guns away. Lucky for you I don’t make the rules. Yet.

So what makes your rights, sovereign, to have an arsenal or firearms any different from another nation wishing to have weapons either offensive or defense to protect their own national interests? Would you be keen on the idea of the Swiss determining that gun violence is a threat to global commerce and thereby demanding that China, France, England and Russia sit down with a delegation of American diplomats to figure out how to disarm the American people? Oh and let’s just throw in the sanction that would cripple America—no more oil imports until the problem is resolved. I bet you’d be crying from the top of your barn for green energy solutions then.

hindsight 2293
In Hindsight

I get that someone like you is appalled by the facts of my own social life and that I am not “ashamed” of what I am. Sorry for your bad luck in that because you are simply one Human Being among seven plus billion and your opinion while it counts out to several decimal places has no bearing in power on how I live my life nor should it. I work for Liberal ideals of Peace and Freedom not the Conservative ideals of Control and the Power that can be accumulated from that Control. The language of my homeland? Really? Why do you care? Who I sleep with? Why do you care if not to want to use it as an archaic means by which to shame a currency that is losing value more and more among the two demographics that conservatives can never win back in your dwindling lifetime—the young and women. It is you Amazona not me that is living in a fantasy world one driven by religion and ideas that have long since been cast aside in the new digital technological age. Sit down and talk to an 18 year old from a place with more people in their suburbs than you have in your county and you’ll see what America has become while you worshipped Reagan’s method and knew nothing of his means. That conversation will wipe the scales from even your eyes if you can put aside your fear long enough to listen.

As always I’ll sign off in Hellac:

Profexus ut Liberj [Progress and Liberty]

Puerje futurux [The children are the future]

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil! [May you never suffer!]

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
27 1 Leviathan 2 AS




I’ve heard some really stupid things come out of the mouths of overpaid pundits for this ideology or that over the last few years but this one from Liz Trotta at really takes the cake. Trotta’s commentary states that since people don’t believe in the devil anymore society is just going to keep getting worse and worse. That really means that conservatives are going to keep losing culture war battles over things that the young people and moderates, you know the folks who really make the decisions about society in America, find fully acceptable. As you, loyal reader, know, I am a citizen in good standing, gainfully employed in the breathtaking capitol city of Hell, Dis.

If there’s one thing I know about, with a personal certainty it’s what the state of Old Scratch is. The tyrant who once ruled all twenty city-states of Hell, what you Living folks call the Afterlife on its own special plane of existence with its own cool new rule book, no longer exists having been cast into Oblivion just over 14 Terran standard years ago. Now I know there are conservatives and their most vitriolic bigoted fringe of white male Dominionists that will never accept that this is the case because it doesn’t play well with their end time needs. To them all I can say is sorry for your bad luck pal. Yet and still these people believe in talking snakes, talking fiery bushes and a rapture that isn’t even in the Bible but was made up nearly out of whole cloth in the 1830s. That aside for the moment at least I have to admit that Trotta is moving in the right direction when she says, “Our need to be shocked, though, has spiraled out of control, and death surrounds everyone, especially the children.” The thread is lost when she doesn’t go into why all the guns? Or why not decriminalize marijuana and cocaine? Or why do conservative pundits have to push the fear button every time? Instead Liz Trotta starts to whine and drone on about things in popular culture that she finds annoying or offensive. Liz Trotta does not care about what children see or do her job, her only job is to put a seed of fear in the minds of middle aged white men and women who already feel that the country they are living in is somehow less free, less safe and less prosperous simply because Barack Obama is president and his face is not white.

hindsight 2057
In Hindsight

This commentary by Trotta ought to be must see TV for every Progressive young person who gives any thought to what the real motivations of the Conservative movement are. I like the analogy that the GOP is on its way to becoming a “zombie party” having been infected with the TEA Party virus they are now running around foaming at the mouth like the crazed undead from the Resident Evil movie franchise. [Note to Milla Jovovich: I know these movies pay you a shitload of money but I’d really like to see you “act” again.–V.D.] The chief reason for the concentration of this virus among a single nearly homogeneous demographic is because of delivery systems like Liz Trotta. Why do moderates and Progressives not fall for this nonsense? Well for the most part we;ve built up and immunity to the Limbaugh strain, the Coulter strain and the Hannity strain after many years of constant exposure. But wait! There’s hope! For any conservatives out there hoping they could cure themselves of possibly save their children from becoming political zombies as well I hear a little drug called Reason works every time and has a double effect it relieves the symptoms of bigotry brought on out of anger that one is simply middle class and middle aged.

Pax Terra!

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
15 1 Leviathan 2 AS


Posted in BLOGS 4 VICTORY, DIANE VALENCEN OPINIONS, MARK EDWARD NOONAN with tags , , , , , on 19/10/2013 by Diane Valencen, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H [Journ.], ArF J., M.F.


This one first:

The true freeloaders cannot, at this point, be converted…but the single mom working 40 hours a week who also gets $200 a month in SNAP can be brought over…not by an appeal for lower taxes (she pays hardly any) or by an appeal to the Constitution (she probably couldn’t accurately give even one of the rights in the Bill of Rights), but by explaining to her that she’s struggling because the liberals she votes for are stealing from her.

As I see it the true freeloaders in America are not those who cannot work, or even those who refuse to work. Instead they are the corporations who make millions and sometimes billions in profits yet feel they need tax breaks from the government while refusing to hire new workers even when that new income would inject new steam in the US consumer economy. Those entities who want the rights of individuals cannot be converted.
Regarding the single mother who gets SNAP benefits Mark Noonan assumes many things with his statement. He assumes that single mothers are ignorant of history while not taking into account the revisionist notions that he himself holds as truth regarding the Constitution. An appeal to the document that governs the United States simply does not interest anyone save for those who feel there is no other means by which to argue against a President that they feel is the Other. Keep in mind that there were not any such appeals during the Clinton years save from those of militias and fringe groups like the Branch Davidians.

Then there’s this:

I presume you mean that there are non-negotiable items which God has decreed and we must follow, come what may. I agree with that. We Christians have been tossed to lions before and if we’re to be so tossed again for our faith, then we’ll give glory to God for the honor. But our duty does lie in escape if that be possible – we are never to court martyrdom. As long as we are not being directly complicit in an immoral act, we’re fine – that immorality will go on all around us does not effect us unless we participate. This, I think, is what liberals don’t get – we don’t have a reason to stop people from doing wrong, but we must never be compelled to in any way, shape or form participate in it…so, we can’t bake a cake for gay marriage, nor pay for things which will buy abortion for others. If it comes down to that where I am to be forced by our government to participate in evil, then I’ll refuse and suffer what I must…though I hope, if it ever comes to that, that I’ll have the courage of a Cristero.
But we can still work with people – even, at times, with people who are ok with immorality. Tactical alliances can be made in the service of the larger good – if having a libertarian in favor of gay marriage yet gets me to the point where the laws will forbid anyone from forcing me to participate directly or indirectly in gay marriage, then that libertarian is my ally. I think we can cobble together a majority which will allow us to save the nation and, in the by and by, restore it to Judeo-Christian morality…but it will be an odd assortment of people, to begin with.

Mark Noonan has said many times that he will not side with liars. Anyone who is in favor of marriage equality is in Noonan’s eyes a liar. But now he is willing to “negotiate” on some things as long as this negotiation leads to the sort of Theocratic governmental success that he feels is the only true path for America. This is sad when you consider that the vast majority of problems that America faces these days are not simply moral issues but are issues of economics and secular law.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Diane Valencen, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.], ArF J., M.F.
Editorial Page Editor
The Dis Brimstone Daily Pitchfork
3 1 Leviathan 2 AS




I hate to start this post off sounding like Andy Rooney but . . .

Have you ever noticed that when pious conservatives write or speak they always talk in terms of what “should” be? These people have invented a cottage industry centered around telling other people how they should live their lives and what they deserve to have and not to have. Noonan is catholic but I think if he were a Lutheran it would not make a difference. Mark Noonan wants to be able to tell everyone what they can and cannot do based solely on what frightens him and what he knows he wants but should not wish to have. In his comment below the reader will get a glimpse into the mind of a Dominionist:

That is because you don’t understand that Big Government and Big Corporation are two sides of the same coin – they are in it together and against the rest of us. But here’s the thing – a 26 year old ISN’T A CHILD. For crying out loud, someone at 26 should be married, working, owning their own home, have a couple kids. My dad at 17 was a United States Marine being sent to fight on Saipan…he wasn’t a little boy who needed mommy, any more.

Our children might be our greatest asset, but someone in his 20′s isn’t “our children” anymore…he’s an adult and can darn well look after himself like an adult.

This theocrat begins in the right direction because on of the biggest problems in America today is the merger of corporation with elected officialdom. You have to keep in mind that this is the opinion of a neutered drone who has lived the best years of his life more than two decades ago. He has no hope of passing his genes on and seeing his grandchildren grow up in his old age. All he has to look forward to is that decline that ends in death. So to punish you young people out there who are doing all the things he wishes his religion of choice allowed him to do he and millions of other like minded dominionists demand they put aside their personal freedom in the name of far right nostalgia and power concentrated in the hands of white men.

Of course a 26 year old is a child if he or she is your child. A 26 year old shouldn’t be married unless they want to be. They should be working and thousands of 26 year old who work for the federal government would be working if it weren’t for crazy conservative voters who scare the crap out of establishment GOP members of Congress who fear primaries in 2014 more than they fear polls in 2013. As far as where mark Noonan’s father was when he was 17 i have to say who gives a fuck? I say the same thing about the grandstanding right wing stunt about veterans at the WWII memorial. Who gives a fuck? I really wish Americans would stop death worshipping and begin life honoring.

Qu’ul cuda praedex nihil!

Sarah Bloch, D.S.V.J., J.F., O.Q.H [Jur.]
Amici Bax Demvolu Comnu
Politics & Culture Wars Managing Editor
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
140 Colnu 2 AS




I’m sure you don’t know who Robert Sherbondy is. I wouldn’t have know either if Pain hadn’t floated into my office as I was about to leave this evening and asked if I had read his comment at B4V regarding the latest thing they could beat the President over the head with. After saying I hadn’t Pain just sort of hovered there blinking that weird magenta and cerulean that equates to eye rolling and saying “really?” Okay so here’s the comment.

You say, “he can’t be re-elected again”, but I don’t think that he believes that. He has proven himself to be very successful in getting around any legal restrictions in our Constitution that would hamper his power and popularity. Note how economic policies and marriage laws and customs and health care and other basic practices of our society and government have been changed in the last 5 years. And he still thinks that he has the authority to launch a military strike against another sovereign nation without congressional approval. Unless there is some significant change in the way many Americans think about our government and our Constitution, the next national election for our president may not be any better than the last two have been.

And now for those of you who are also rolling your eyes at this point, especially after reading the first eight words on his blog and realizing that “well what the fuck?” here’s an explanation in plain English from the Department of Justice in response to President Bush regarding his executive power to wage war and strike countries without Congressional Approval:

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

[f]rom 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 warmaking 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

Now keep in mind that Robert is old and doesn’t know shit other than that he’s afraid of death and really, really loves his religion which, of course is the only true religion as he sees it. And since he’s white male and old that’s all that matters. The fact that he is ignorant of virtually everything that doesn’t have anything to do with his religion keeps him from being equal to anyone in al Qaeda only in the previously stated fact that he is utterly terrified of dying and that despite KNOWING that he has a lovely place up in the clouds waiting for him.

hindsight 2290
In Hindsight

Okay, where in the name of really good sandwiches on Brooklyn am I going with this? Oh, right the War Powers Resolution of 1973. Hey Bob I bet you didn’t know that Reagan [ who Bob may think is a close cousin of the son of his chosen Deity] used his presidential powers which had to be limited by this resolution. You know since bombing someone or sending the military by executive fiat is only something that has happened in the last five years. Speaking of with a memory that bad can you imagine not remembering what the Constitution says? That’s enough for me Bob. I’m going to relax and get a blowjob now and drink some really good Scotch.

Pax Terra!

Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
Managing Editor—Research
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
116 Colnu 2 AS

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