Tuesday, October 02, 2007In response to the Webb-Clinton amendment attempting to block an attack on Iran, the Bush Administration had this to say (via Balkinization):
The Administration also notes that provisions of law that purport to direct or prohibit international negotiations, covert action, or use of the armed forces are inconsistent with the Constitution’s commitment exclusively to the presidency of the executive power, the function of Commander-in-Chief, and the authority to conduct the Nation’s foreign policy.
Grrr. I will respond in the simplest way: the Constitution.
Here's the bit that Bush is relying on for to claim unfettered control over foreign affairs and the army:
Article II, Section 1:
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.and
Article II, Section 2:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States...
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...
But notice that the powers of commander in chief and foreign policy are in a different section, AND that the Senate shares part of the treaty power. They aren't part of the grant of inherent powers established in Section 1. This is made more clear by looking at Article I:
Article I, Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power...
To declare War....
...To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
...To provide and maintain a Navy;
...To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
These clearly state that the Congress decides who we attack - they share in the operation of warmaking.
Article I, Section 9:
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law
In other words, Bush can't use money to supply troops for any action without the express authorization of Congress. If he does he should be impeached.
But then we knew that.