Friday, March 13, 2009

Obama Changes Terms of War

The AP reported today that the Obama Administration is changing terminology.

The Obama administration said Friday that it is abandoning one of President George W. Bush's key phrases in the war on terrorism: enemy combatant. The Justice Department said in legal filings that it will no longer use the term to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

But that won't change much for the detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba _ Obama still asserts the military's authority to hold them.

That's fine. He can call them whatever he wants, and the longer he keeps them in Gitmo, the better.

What concerns me, however, is this paragraph farther down in the article:

There are some changes in legal principles in Obama's stance. The Justice Department said authority to hold detainees comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president's own wartime power as Bush had argued.

This is a sea change. A polar shift. A quantum leap.

President Obama, as Commander in Chief, has the constitutional duty to prosecute war and command the military. And yet he as just abdicated his authority over the captives of war to the US Congress and international law. This is unconstitutional, and it's a dangerous precedent to set, because it puts the safety and the sovereignty of the USA in the hands either of idiot politicians or those of nations that don't have our best interest at heart. Neither of these should be allowed to be in a position to hamstring our military's ability to prosecute a war.

Let's hope this new policy is challenged and is thoroughly discredited by the US Supreme Court.


paw said...

Constitutional scholar SkyePuppey, please explain how this is unconstitutional. For extra credit, explain how Bush's stance did not violate the Constitution (see Article 2 Section 2).

paw said...

OOoops! sorry about that typo in your {psuedo}name. I try to mind my P's and Q's, but it's the extended St. Patrick's day weekend and I missed that.

janice said...

paw, I just read and reread article 2 section 2 and don't understand your beef with GWB?

Can YOU explain, for no credit what-so-ever.

Seems to me section 2 has to do with his appointments and getting the senate to approve treaties. And has NOTHING to do with Skye's post. Do you thing you may have the wrong section?

paw, what are you talking about?

janice said...

If you're talking about pardoning these gitmo scumbads, BHO hasn't done that. He just gave them another name.

Seriously, I can't get where you're coming on this, paw.

janice said...

paw, it says nothing about abdication his authority OVER the military to another nation or ever the senate.

I think you're wrong on this one, paw.

janice said...

Thus, I stand with Skye and render BHO's actions unConstitutional!

SkyePuppy said...


Apology accepted about the typo.

Here's the crucial line in Article 2 Section 2: "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"

Our military was called into the actual Service of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. Enemy combatants (make that: people who were fighting us and were captured during combat) are being held by our military as part of the ongoing war, so the holding and interrogation of them is the President's arena.

For Obama to delcare that the authority over the detainees belongs to Congress runs contrary to the Article and Section you cite.

SkyePuppy said...


Good to see you back again, BTW!

ChuckL said...

Usurping the Constitution seems to be the emerging pattern of this administration (ie, appointing Rodham-Clinton as Secty. of State [Article 1 Section 8]).