Thursday, December 11, 2014

We Have To Start The War So We Can See Who We're Fighting and Why

Obama Wants Authorization for Use of Military Force, But Refuses To Tell Congress Why or What For

From the Washington Times:

Senators to Kerry: Tell Us What You Want to Fight ISIS
The administration criticizes Senate proposals to authorize force, but won't offer a plan of its own.
Senators from both parties pressed Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday on the White House's reticence to put forth a proposal for the fight against the Islamic State.
And while Kerry defended the administration's refusal to outline the confines of the conflict, he also took issue with the boundaries imposed by congressional proposals. If you didn't want Congress micromanaging the war, the senators responded, you should have told us what you wanted in the first place.
Kerry testified at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee--which he used to chair--telling members that an Authorization for Use of Military Force should include no restrictions against the use of ground troops and should not limit operations to Iraq and Syria, as the plan proposed by committee Chairman Robert Menendez does. Though the White House does not intend to violate either of those confines, the restrictions would "preemptively bind the hands of the commander in chief" if unforeseen circumstances arose, Kerry said.
"Had the administration sent us an AUMF, maybe we would have been better versed as to what the administration seeks or does not seek," Menendez responded.
Kerry and Sen. John McCain got into a tiff over historical precedent, with McCain arguing that previous AUMFs have always moved with the impetus of the executive branch, and his longtime Senate colleague disputing that characterization. "It's got to be led by the commander in chief," McCain said. "That's how the system works." Kerry said some previous such actions have in fact originated in Congress.
Others were more forceful. After hearing Kerry's testimony on which congressional proposals the White House would support, Sen. Marco Rubio lamented that it had taken a hearing to garner that information. "You don't have anyone over there who could type that up real quick?" he asked.

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