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It's official...James Baker has lost his mind

By Frank Salvato
web posted July 14, 2008

Anyone familiar with the threat posed by the advancing American Fifth Column understands all too clearly that our Constitution is under attack. Whether it is the insistence that the Constitution is a living document meant to conform to the will of the times or the institution of political correctness – a shadow set of laws effectively usurping the laws of our Constitutional Republic – the American Fifth Column is slowly, incrementally, systematically, chipping away at the wisdom as set forth by our Founders and Framers. With news that a non-governmentally charged commission is introducing a measure that would impose "group think" on the Commander-in-Chief, it is evidenced that the American Fifth Column is on the march.

Recently, a story surfaced regarding the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

The resolution states:

"... the President of The United States of America can send troops into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the United States of America is already under attack or serious threat. The War Powers Act requires that the president notify Congress within 48 hours of committing troops to military action and forbids troops from remaining for more than 60 days without an authorization of force or a declaration of war."

This is already a stretch on the authority placed in the Executive Branch by our Framers. Article II, Section 2 of the United State Constitution states:

"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;..."

The check and balance to this authority rests exclusively in Article I, Section 8 whereby Congress is charged with the authority:

"To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

"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;

"To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;..."

As is made clear – beyond any reasonable argument – the Executive Branch is charged with commanding the Armed Forces and the Legislative Branch is charged with the funding of the Armed Forces.

Check. Balance.

Should the will of the people be that an armed conflict is unjust, the representatives of the people have the wherewithal to defund the Armed Forces, thus denying them not only compensation but the ability to procure weapons, tactical and sustainable goods and ammunition. This ability to defund presents both an intentional and moral pressure on the Commander-in-Chief. No able leader would deprive his soldiers of arms, ammunition or the security in knowing provisions are in place for their families.

Of course, the above passages from the US Constitution were enacted during a time of honor; during a time when it was unheard of and, in fact, disgraceful for one to abdicate either their personal or civic responsibility. These articles and sections were created and enacted in a time when good government was placed before the narcissism of the politically opportune.

We do not live in a time when politicians can be expected to give a damn about honor. We live in an age when taking responsibility for ones actions is seldom a reality and usually the exception to the rule. We live in an age of "group think" and "truth by consensus." If those responsible for enacting and executing the laws of our land deem a situation too politically damaging you can bet the farm they will establish a commission or a blue ribbon panel to "group think" the issue. By creating the "group think consensus" politicians avoid having to take a stand that may be unpopular, abdicating their responsibility to their constituency to a faceless, nameless "commission."

(As an aside, the ideas of "group think" and "truth by consensus," although Orwellian in their tone, are in fact Marxist/Leninist leaning notions based in moral relativism.)

While many commissions and blue ribbon panels are seated by our elected officials, others are formed by private institutions, institutions of higher learning and philanthropic institutions. Where the recent story of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 is concerned, we are faced with a commission from all three.

It would appear that the Miller Center for Public Affairs, emanating from the University of Virginia, has assembled one National War Powers Commission. The commission is co-chaired by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker, III and Warren Christopher. Those seated on the commission include: Sen. Slade Gorton, US Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, Carla A. Hills, John O. Marsh, Jr., Edwin Meese, III, Abner J. Mikva, J. Paul Reason, Brent Scowcroft, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Strobe Talbott.

This commission, touted as non-partisan, has issued a report suggesting that the War Powers Resolution of 1973 be replaced with the War Powers Consultation Act.

The War Powers Consultation Act:

  • Provides that the president shall consult with Congress before deploying US troops into "significant armed conflict" – i.e., combat operations lasting, or expected to last, more than a week.
  • Defines the types of hostilities that would or would not be considered "significant armed conflicts."
  • Creates a new Joint Congressional Consultation Committee, which includes leaders of both Houses as well as the chair and ranking members of key committees.
  • Establishes a permanent bipartisan staff with access to the national security and intelligence information necessary to conduct its work.
  • Calls on Congress, to vote up or down on significant armed conflicts within 30 days.

When one understands the authorities granted to the Executive and Legislative Branches of the United States Government, it is painfully obvious that not only does the War Powers Consultation Act continue the unconstitutional usurpation of the Commander-in-Chief's authority to command our Armed Forces; it proposes a further encroachment on the separation of powers.

"Provides that the president shall consult with Congress before deploying US troops into "significant armed conflict," provides a literal seat at the table where Executive Branch military decision making is concerned.

"Defines the types of hostilities that would or would not be considered ‘significant armed conflicts,'" effectively limits the Commander-in-Chief in the ability to act should our nation find itself, "already under attack or serious threat," both definitions being subjected to Legislative Branch interpretation.

"Creates a new Joint Congressional Consultation Committee, which includes leaders of both Houses as well as the chair and ranking members of key committees," attempts to transition the onus of declarative responsibility regarding military action from the singular voice of the Commander-in-Chief to "group think consensus" of a committee plus one.

 And, "establishes a permanent bipartisan staff with access to the national security and intelligence information necessary to conduct its work," not only encroaches on the privilege granted to the Commander-in-Chief and his staff in times of conflict, it opens any and all military operations up to politicalization; even more so than it is already.

In fact, the only provision in this absurdly unconstitutional proposal, that exists within the boundaries of the Constitution is the right for "Congress to vote up or down on significant armed conflicts within 30 days."

That James Baker, Warren Christopher and the rest of the National War Powers Commission believe they know better how to vest constitutional powers than the Framers of our Constitution is a testimony to the definition of arrogance. That they would consider usurping the authority of the United States Constitution by allowing the partisan Congress to encroach upon the awesome and singular responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief places them squarely at the service of the American Fifth Column.

The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief. He alone commands the US Armed Forces. The Congress funds the Armed Forces. Should Congress ever feel that the US Armed Forces are engaged in a dishonorable action they have the wherewithal to defund it mission and thus bring it to an end. All they have to do is actually have the courage to do so. Today, there is no courage on Capitol Hill...only consensus. ESR

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for Basics Project a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, Basics Project, partnered in producing the first ever national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the host of the NMJ Radio show broadcast global on NetTalkWorld global talk radio and broadcast live on BlogTalk Radio. He is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, syndicated on over 25 stations nationally and on The Captain's America Radio Show catering to the US Armed Forces around the world, as well as an occasional guests on radio programs across the country. His opinion-editorials are syndicated nationally and he is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at newmediajournal@comcast.net.




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