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.



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351 Comments:

  1. on may 26 2011 just Just before the midnight deadline on May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed a 4-year extension of three key provisions in the USA Patriot Act[2] : roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the "library records provision"), and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves" — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.

    Roving wiretaps are controversial because they can be done under a court order that does not name a specific telephone line or e-mail account but allows the government to tap any phone line, cell phone, or Internet account that a suspect uses. This is problematic because it conflicts with the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However in the case of United States v. Petti, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the particularity requirement can be substituted by the particular person since only the specific media used by the specific target of the investigation can be tapped.[4] However, innocent civilians may also be inadvertent targets of surveillance.[5]

    Due to unauthorized information potentially being gathered in the surveillance, minimization procedures (turning off recordings, deleting non targeted information) need to be spelled out in the application for a roving wiretap and they must be approved by the judge. A roving wiretap is a wiretap specific to the United States that follows the surveillance target. For instance, if a target attempts to defeat surveillance by throwing away a phone and acquiring a new one, by moving, or by any other methods, another surveillance order would usually need to be applied for. However, a "roving" wiretap follows the target, and defeats the target's attempts at breaking the surveillance by changing location or their communications technology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act

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  2. Ron, when are you going to realize that it is not 1811

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  3. NATO, by the terms of our constitution, doesn't tell the President it is ok for the U.S. to engage in war efforts. We have elected officials voted into office specifically to weigh in on these matters. The Presidential is not that if a king or dictator. The constitution provides us with the course of action we as a country are to take in these matters! RON PAUL WILL RESTORE THE SANITY! FOLLOWING WHAT WORKED FOR 200 YEARS AND WHAT MADE US STRONG AND FREE CAN BE LOST FOREVER IF WE DON'T WAK

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  4. TreyParkersBitch

    This guy is a borderline anarchist. He says everything is unconstitutional-even the Civil Rights Act which protects constitutional rights of other Americans. If this guy were President we'd be thrown back into the 18th century. To hell with Ron Paul. He's a quack and he hinders real progress.

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    • please answer this... why was there a requirement for the Civil Rights Act in the first place?

      Because...umm..lets see... the government (states, school boards, counties) enacted unconstitutional laws to segregate black people from white people in stores, buses, schools.

      You're sounding exactly like South Africa. Apartheid was bad, in fact it was SO bad, we're going to renact it (now called Black Economic Empowerment).
      Apartheid was terrible, it should never have been. The government should never have that power in the first place.

      The Civil Rights Act, and BEE are merely extending the same powers that the government had before. Whereas before they were used to force segregation, now they are used to force integration.

      In a libertarians mind, there is no difference. Coercion of any kind is not morally allowable.

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  5. Libya war is good, Bush and republican wars bad.

    Also, Nato is in control, not US, not Obama. Nato doesnt need US congress for war, just the US Military does.

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  6. The War Powers Resolution does not apply to action taken pursuant to a treaty. The UN Charter is a treaty and it created the UN security council which is the body taking action in Libya. Ron Paul is a liar.

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    • You my friend have no idea what you are talking about. You tell the American servicemen and women who are over in Libya right now that they are not fighting a war. You tell them that them being there is just a figment of their imagination. You tell them that Oh your not there because Obama ordered you to be there but because the UN is in control of you. Ron Paul is no liar, you my friend are just mislead and misinformed...dare I say ignorant?

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  7. THUMBS UP FOR THE RON PAUL REVOLUTION!!!!!!

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  8. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    10th Amendment.

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    • I so wish people would read and understand your post (and the 10th Amendment).

      Often, even the Supreme Court has said "no where in the constitution does it RESTRICT congress from enacting" this or that.

      But that's the whole point. The constitution doesn't say what the Congress may NOT do, it EXPLICITLY enumerates what Congress CAN do. Whatever it does NOT explicitly state, means Congress does NOT have the power to regulate, and it falls to the States or to the people.

      That's why there are the 'shall not be infringed' and 'make no law...prohibiting...free speech' clauses, in the bill of rights.

      To explicitly state that Congress cannot abrogate these rights, (9th amendment 'The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.') since they do not fall under Congress' authority.

      They are rights 'to the people'. There is no enumerated power in the Constitution for Congress to reduce or curtail any of the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights. In fact the 9th Amendment even states rights of the people that are NOT enumerated are STILL protected even though not explicitly listed.

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  9. Broken record.

    He said the same thing about Bush Jr, Clinton, Bush Sr and Reagan.

    This man has been elected for over 20 years on fear based on rhetorical bullshit that has been spewed forth since the time John Adams ran against Thomas Jefferson...if you vote for that other guy it will be the END OF THE REPUBLIC!

    Bullshit that will ALWAYS fool the simple minded and they will keep doing it because there is always just enough idiots out there to get them in office.

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  10. Libya war is the only good war.

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  11. Ron Paul 2012

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  12. VOTE RON PAUL 2012 FOR PRESIDENT

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  13. True Mr Paul, but I think you are just trying to throw stuff in so people will elect you. We are still in Libya, but we are in reserve.

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    • You my friend still don't get it. With all due respect Ron Paul is not and I believe would never, just throw something in to help him get elected. He is not your average politician but stands up and believes in the Constitution whole-heartedly. You must understand that what the Obama has done in Libya goes against the Constitution. Although Obama wants you to believe that we are not in a full fledged war with that country and that he went about it with out getting congresses approval but instead "asked" the UN, the UN?? F the UN! Obama was and is in direct violation of the Constitution of These United States of America and is WRONG and should be IMPEACHED for this action alone. READ the Constitution and study it. It will clear up this issue for you.

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  14. will history repeat itself, June 30, 1934 in one way or another looks like we are headed down the same path as Germany, all in the name of freedom. as Mr Bush would tell us. Ron Paul stands for whats right in America. the Constitution. !!! Mr Bush says it's just a piece of paper. as for Obama he is just a puppet.

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    • You my friend still don't get it. With all due respect Ron Paul is not and I believe would never, just throw something in to help him get elected. He is not your average politician but stands up and believes in the Constitution whole-heartedly. You must understand that what Obama has done in Libya goes against the Constitution. Although Obama wants you to believe that we are not in a full fledged war with that country and that he went about it with out getting congresses approval but instead "asked" the UN, the UN?? F the UN! Obama was and is in direct violation of the Constitution of These United States of America and is WRONG and should be IMPEACHED for this action alone. READ the Constitution and study it. It will clear up this issue for you.

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      • Something was up with my computer and could not remove this post after it was automatically posted on your post as well as the post above yours...Sorry for the inconvenience.
        Please disregard this post as a reply for the proceeding post by reginald58

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    • I don't quite understand your post, could you clarify it for me please? What exactly are you trying to say? Are you bashing Bush and Obama, are you tying to somehow say Paul is anything like the Nazi regime? Or are you stating that you feel Ron Paul will be one of those murdered? I don't really understand as Ron Paul nor any of his grassroots people could possibly be considered to be the Sturmabteilung (SA). We are not violent in any way but just looking for Freedom and the Constitution to be followed again. I do believe that you may have had good intentions but I just don't see how anything related to Ron Paul or his movement could possibly be related or construed as the Röhm-Putsch or Nacht der langen Messer or for the english speakers on here, The Night of the Long Knives.
      Just asking you to please explain yourself a little more for everyone that may read this post.
      Thanks, Sincerely
      Jager

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  15. TheViperAndTheFox

    Uncle Ron is a TRUE PATRIOT.

    TheViper™.

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  16. Check out senate bill 679

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  17. Sadly Ron Paul refuses to go to first causes...Roman Catholic subversion of the nation. As such, he's as much a con job and those in DC working for Rome.

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  18. I want Ron Paul to win but I bet the media will bash ron paul and support people like plain cain etc.

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    • That is why you need to contact whatever media you watch or listen to or read and demand they show this man respect. There are many ways to help support a candidate that you believe in. Being here and sharing your views is one way, contacting the media is another. Rally people the same as you do to get them out to vote but instead get them to mass contact these places and DEMAND that they start respecting others views and really start to become "fair and balanced" on every piece of news. The media has become entrenched in the "reality t.v. culture" and news has become more of an entertainment source then actually a NEWS source. Instead of playing politics they should be simply informing the citizens of what is truly going on.

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  19. oregonrider150

    We need to take out political parties all together! We need to start listening to someone for their views not a majority view! Like George Washington said "if you divide into parties you divide the country" and what has truly happened? Oh wait just that no room for guys that really deserve a chance and speak their mind! Ron Paul 2012!!!!!!

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  20. the only people to dislike this are NeoCon's and jews or Neocon jews!!!!
    Who dislikes this SPEAK UP YOU DEVIL! DIE!

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