Stop Obama’s Unconstitutional Power Grab!

Date: 05/30/2011

Enabling a Future American Dictator

by Ron Paul

These are truly troubling days for liberty in the United States.

Last week the 60 day deadline for the president to gain congressional approval for our military engagement in Libya under the War Powers Resolution came and went. The media scarcely noticed. The bombings continued. We had a hearing on Capitol Hill on the subject, but the administration refuses to bother with the legality of its new war. It is unclear if Mr. Obama will ever obtain congressional consent, and astonishingly it is being argued that he doesn’t need it.

Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution begs to differ. It clearly states that the power to declare war rests within the legislative branch – the branch closest to the people. The founders were a war-weary people, and the requirement that it would take an act of Congress to go to war was intentional. They believed war was not to be entered into lightly, so they resisted granting such decision making authority to one person. They objected to absolute warmaking power granted to Kings. It would be incredibly naïve to think a dictator could not or would not wrest power in this country.

Our Presidents can now, on their own: order assassinations, including American citizens; operate secret military tribunals; engage in torture; enforce indefinite imprisonment without due process; order searches and seizures without proper warrants, gutting the 4th Amendment; ignore the 60 day rule for reporting to the Congress the nature of any military operations as required by the War Power Resolution; continue the Patriot Act abuses without oversight; wage war at will; and treat all Americans as suspected terrorists at airports with TSA groping and nude x-rays.

Americans who are not alarmed by all of this are either not paying close attention, or are too trusting of current government officials to be concerned. Those in power right now might be trustworthy, upstanding people. But what of the leaders of the future? They will inherit all the additional powers we cede to the current position holders. Can we trust that they will not take advantage? Today’s best intentions create loopholes and opportunities for tomorrow’s tyrants.

Perhaps the most troubling power grab of late is the mission creep associated with the 9/11 attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initiated as targeted strikes against the perpetrators of 9/11, a decade later we are still at war. With whom? Last week Congress passed a Defense Authorization bill with some very disturbing language that explicitly extends the president’s war powers to just about anybody. Section 1034 of that bill states that we are at war with the Taliban, al Qaeda, and associated forces. Who are the associated forces? It also includes anyone who has supported hostilities in aid of an organization that substantially supports these associated forces. This authorization is not limited by geography, and it has no sunset provision. It doesn’t matter if these associated forces are American citizens. Your constitutional rights no longer apply when the United States is “at war” with you. Would it be so hard for someone in the government to target a political enemy and connect them to al Qaeda, however tenuously, and have them declared an associated force?

My colleague Congressman Justin Amash spearheaded an effort to have this troubling language removed, but unfortunately it failed by a vote of 234 to 187. It is unfortunate indeed, that so many in Congress accept unlimited warmaking authority in the hands of the executive branch.


  • PurePressure999

    To not vote for this man would be Un-American.

  • 33115566

    Eisenhower warned of the military/industrial complex. The next General that gets elected may think the Presidential power is his destiny.

  • wetweasel56

    I hope you people have noticed something. All the wrongs Obama is doing, all the laws he is breaking are being ignored by his APPOINTED administration. Eric Holder is the one person that should be like a watch dog for these illegal activities. They do nothing because Obama put them in that position for that very reason.

    If this vote fails in 2012 we MUST take to the streets!

    • Michael

      And what do you plan to do in the streets when Ron Paul doesn’t get elected to be president? You’re not suggesting a little violence are you? Hmmmm?

      • Jim

        You know what? Our constitution guarantees our right to bear arms. Is that so we can go duck hunting? No! That is to allow us the ability to take back our country BY FORCE OF ARMS if necessary.

        It should be a last resort, but if it becomes necessary, it should be considered. Implying that it would not be politically correct is total bs. THAT’S WHY IT’S THERE.

        If you can’t or won’t understand this, then you sir don’t deserve to call yourself an American. That is, if you even are one.

  • hazballs09

    Thank you, both Dr. Pauls for doing the long-forgotten job of representing the PEOPLE.

  • mkgyre

    I believe that the average American (myself included) is tired of our bloated, self-centered and ineffective government needs to be purged and replaced. Ron believes in following and holding true to the constitution…what a novel idea! The Obama experiment has been a disaster as he did not have the experience to be president. The same is true for several others that will be in this race. Ron KNOWS what he is talking about and would be a great president! You have my support Ron…good luck!

  • paulrprichard

    Ron Paul supporters need to teach other Americans that the Federal and State governments are overrun with corporation lackeys who have no affinity with the American people and that if they are not kicked out of office in the next election then America will deserve all the S**T that these parasites will heap on them.

  • katsfanman

    Freedom in *2012* is RON PAUL!

  • NativeAmerican313

    The bill of rights have become ‘collateral damage’ to homeland security and the “war on terror” making the constitution another broken treaty.

  • uguessright

    Support Ron Paul otherwise we are all fucked by this Government. They are committing High Crimes in front of our noses. Please do not be PASSIVE.

  • fr00b91

    Every American politician is the same. Their payrolls depend on the politics of fear. The more they scare you, the more money they make.

  • prw78

    I would rather live in Ron Paul’s New World Order than the one we are currently getting into!! Ron Paul for the WORLD!!!

  • SleepDirtyJazzySet

    His intonation gives me the impression that he’s kinda frustrated, or bummed during this update; not surprisingly, i am as well, considering all the thrashings that liberty in the US has taken in the last couple weeks.

  • King100Joe

    when you say, obama unconstitutional power grab. it’s not even news. of course he’s doing illiit devious acts. the bigger issue, and the real issue is, THE PORTION OF AMERICA WHO IS ALL FOR ILLICIT POWER GRABS. this is about all college population and 90% of state employees. That group doesn’t care what they do. They want illicit power to usurp america and they want to be 1st in line to divide the spoils. THAT’S THE STORY.

  • terramortim

    My god. This is exactly what I was thinking. They’re going to say that any political opponent is an “associated force” and then send a death squad to murder them, claiming they’re an “associated force”. This means that all the sudden the “tea party” will be an “associated force” and Obama will order all involved extra-judicially assassinated. Why does Barry remind me of a 3rd world dictator these days?

  • studiosinger

    Such a weak, powerless man reading from a few papers. Powerless to stop the evil that’s taken over the country.

  • impalax327

    The American people have a long and woefully poor history of electing “The Wrong Guy” or even worse, electing the total opposite of what it is your country needs at any point in history. The fact that Ron Paul is viewed as an outsider on the fringe by mainstream America is again another example of how you ignore, ridicule and mock those you really need.
    Your insular and narrow minded psyche, believing that “America is the whole world” has kept you in a state of arrested development.

  • 1234dpeck

    Obama should be impeached and charged with war crimes Internationally…
    Bush Jr. & Sr. should also be charged with war crimes Internationally…
    Bernanke should be charged with extortion of revenue and fraud…
    Ron Paul should be elected to the White House as President of the U.S….

  • PaulDem

    Obama has failed us miserably on so many important civil libertarian issues.

    If the libertarians were smart they would build coalitions with the progressives on these issues and call out the statists on them.

    • Jager

      With all due respect I think you need to do some more homework on what you are proposing here with your statement. I agree that Obama has done many injustices to each and every American both by his political views, as well as actions but to suggest that libertarians have anything in common with progressives or that libertarians should join forces with progressives is just down right stupidity. Obama is a progressive, Nancy Polosi is a progressive, Ben Bernakie is a progressive as are so many on both the Republican and Democratic sides alike. Progressives want BIG government and want to take ALL of your civil liberties from you and go about it in ways that are deceiving to the general public. It is NOT the Republicans nor the Democrats that are destroying this country but the PROGRESSIVES and the progressive movement. I respectfully ask you, before you post (I’m sure with good intentions) please do your homework as most people are not and can be easily mislead. Your comment as good intentioned as it may have been can cause great damage to the true REVOLUTION that NEEDS to take place and that Ron Paul’s message talks about. Vote Ron Paul 2012 and Vote NO to progressives.

      • PaulDem

        Paul worked with Bernie Sanders – a well known Progressive – on auditing the Fed. this is just one example but I’m sure there are more. I don’t know for sure but I’d be surprised if Paul hasn’t worked with Kucinich on a few issues.

        Paul aligns with progressives on ending overseas militarism, ending the “war on drugs”, ending corporate welfare/the military-industrial state. Why do you think Fox News hates him?

        It’s a reality that Paul is not one of them, so why pretend to be? Better to work with your allies so you can defeat the statists. Why should Paul be hamstrung by the neocons in the GOP who will NEVER give him a chance?

      • PaulDem

        One more quick example: Paul aligns with Progressives on ending the Patriot Act. Obama failed his progressive base badly. Why doesn’t Paul take advantage of these missteps and broaden his support further?

        • tj

          …because Ron Paul does not build coalitions or make compromises. If liberals/progressives happen to agree w/ him on some issues…it is they who are agreeing with him, he is not agreeing with them….Ron Paul,s only guideline for issues is freedom….

          liberal wimps like Sanders and KUcinich (self-proclaimed communist and socialist, respectively) are pacifists and that is why they agree w/ Ron PAul on bringing the troops home…but libertarians are not pacifists…we believe the only function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property…including strengthening our national security and borders

          so if you supporters of Sanders, Kucinich, and Nader want to vote for Ron Paul, please do…but he will not compromise…he will lower taxes, he will lower government spending, and he will lower corporate and personal regulations…

          Ron Paul 2012…you are either for FREEDOM or you are not…but even if you are not, please vote for him anyway…thank you

  • Gradstud25

    Real straight talk
    is saying that the FED is owned by foreign banks who insist that we keep a strong military presence overseas, including Libya. Most of our congress doesn’t have the courage to admit that we are broke and will say and do anything to avoid cutting programs and military expenditures. Our president and his cabinet of academics, (not businessmen) apparently are foolish enough to think they can provide leadership and solutions (like printing money) in response to the decades of fiscal irresponsibility and corruption.

    Finally, congressmen and presidential candidate Ron Paul, is not a radical libertarian running as a Republican-like some portray him to be. He can see through the muck because he’s been in D.C. for so long. He has the common sense to know that the FED and excessive military spending is not in our best interest. He has the commons sense to say that excessive power to folks in D.C. is the reason where are in this mess. And letting them abuse their power, more and more, only makes things worse for our country and what is was founded upon.

    Gees, he’s only been saying these things for like a decade. It’s about time America listens to his common sense and work to get him sworn in as our next president. He alone can’t save us, but he can help us avoid disaster as a country.

    • Jager

      Just to clarify. Ron Paul has not been saying these things for a decade. It has been more like 30 YEARS. Ron Paul is a republican with this countries best interests at heart and has been saying the same thing for over 30 years, we need to return the power to the states and to the people, reign in both the size of federal government as well as their spending, and return to following the Constitution of These United States of America.

  • hiyukenmusic

    I would like a step by step plan or a detailed answer of the following.

    How would you end the Fed, key word here You?

    How would you get us from here, back to Glass-Steagall, and then finally to a open free market system without breaking up large corporations?

    Is gold, considering its limited quantity, a good backing for a currency?

    Define a monopoly?

    Define the role of government in financial rule enforcement?

    Would you have broken up Standard Oil?

    Define mercantilism and its role?