Rand Paul Takes A Stand Against Unconstitutional War

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential run was extremely disappointing. Rather than take it hard to the establishment, he seemed more interested in playing footsie with neocons and establishment Republicans. That strategy didn’t work and it never will. Rand Paul is best when he’s acting like a statesman and not a politician — that’s what people who like him, like about him. His campaign advisors were clearly incompetent, but at the end of the day the buck stops with him.

That being said, life is all about learning from your mistakes and Rand has truly started coming into his own in the age of Trump. With much of the party fractured and bickering, Paul seems to have found the space to push forward on key issues such as civil asset forfeiture, prison reform and endless war. He’s serving a very important function within a elitist and crony U.S. Congress and we should all take the time to thank him for his efforts.

His latest stand relates to the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been consistently abused for 16 years by multiple presidents in order to start endless military interventions against new enemies without forcing Congress to uphold its constitutional duty to wage war.

As Senator Paul explained in a recent Rare opinion piece:

As Congress takes up the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will insist it vote on my amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.

 

Why?

 

Because these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions.

 

Our military trains our soldiers to be focused and disciplined, yet the politicians who send them to fight have for years ignored those traits when developing our foreign policy.

 

The result? Trillions spent in seemingly endless conflicts in every corner of the globe, while we find ourselves 16 years into the war in Afghanistan wondering what our purpose there even is any more, or if we’ll ever bring our troops home.

 

If we don’t get this rudderless foreign policy under control now, we’ll still be asking the same questions another 16 years down the road.

 

It’s time to demand the policymakers take their own jobs as seriously as the men and women we ask to risk it all for our nation.

 

Doing so means restoring constitutional checks and balances. Congress has no greater responsibility than defending our country, and the Founders entrusted it with the power of declaring war because they wanted such a weighty decision to be thoroughly debated by the legislature instead of unilaterally made by the Executive branch.

 

Yet Congress has largely abdicated its role anyways, and its sidekick status was plainly evident when former President Obama proposed a new AUMF for the fight against ISIS while insisting he really had all the authority he needed – it being more of a “wouldn’t it be nice” afterthought than an acknowledgement of any required step.

For more on this very important issue, see: The New York Times Admits – Despite Going to Congress, Obama is Still Defending Unlimited War Powers

Repealing the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs would restore respect for the balance of power and reassert Congress’ voice by forcing legislators to specifically approve or disapprove the direction of our foreign policy. If my provision passes, the authorizations would sunset six months later, allowing Congress time for a thorough debate about how we will move forward.

 

I say this fully aware Congress could propose a blanket authorization I could never vote for, but that vote needs to at least happen.

 

Let’s hear from those who want that blanket authorization and wish to keep the policy of perpetual war going. Let’s give the American people a chance to see that case laid out and to make their voices known. Their representatives cannot continue to hide behind steps taken 16 years ago to avoid accountability and debating the tough issues now.

To further his point, Paul engaged in a senate floor sit-in. As Reason reported yesterday:

“An attempt was made to run the clock on the bill overnight. I objected and am now sitting on the floor of the Senate to stop that,” he tweeted two hours ago, part of a long series of tweets today on the topic.

 

“The Senate is now in a quorum call, unable to act because of my protest. This is why I sit on the floor, in silent protest,” he further stated. “I will continue this protest and these objections for as long as needed to ensure Congress do its duty, and vote on ending these wars.”

 

About an hour ago as of this posting, Paul announced via tweet that he had a victory: “Senate leaders have agreed not to try to end debate early, and have agreed to four hours of debate under my control to debate these wars.”

 

“The Senate attempted to shorten debate [and] move forward without consideration [and] debate on my amendment to end our AUMF in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he began his series of tweeted critiques of his colleagues. “Where is the anti-war left demanding the wars end? Where is the constitutional conservative right demanding Congress reclaim its war powers?”

 

For the latter he had a special slam: “Hypocrites, they pretend concern over our constitutional duty to declare war and then block any vote on ending any of our 7 current wars.”

These are really important questions and I applaud Rand for asking them. While I hold no illusions about his ability to turn this unhinged imperial train wreck around, he’s doing his best to publicize how the U.S. Congress has unforgivably relinquished its constitutional duties to declare war to the executive branch.

Why would they do this you ask? I happen to have some thoughts about that...

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Comments

BingoBoggins Sep 13, 2017 4:41 AM Permalink

 Where the fuck have you been?! Barbara Lee's amendment to repeal this red herring passed in committee and was on the DOD (Department of Defense) Appropriations bill scheduled. An AUMF vote would have repealed the 2001 authorization 240 days after passage.It would have placed the War Powers back in the hands of Congress;Much like the Amnesty Bills forwarded in Congress in 2006, each voting member would come under the scrutiny of his/her respective constituents.It was for this reason Amnesty was not to be - citizen participation echoed the sentiment of the people, and the "sure thing" was rejected in Congress as well.I remember watching thousands of flag waving Latinos brought in by bus to the Capital. As they disembarked, each mexican flag they carried was hastily replaced with the USA's. I just shook my head. It was a ,massive event, and we were outnumbered at the least by 100 to 1. But that didn't make a difference - concerned constituents outnumbered Congresspeople by the thousands. The word was, "vote for Amnesty and you're fired!"They got the jist. No one was physically harmed, no shots were fired, no fires lit , no bats swung about, no heads cracked or teargas spent. Just like today, all we had to do was speak up!So, anybody ... where's that fuckin Bueller? I blame him for this cock up 'cause otherwise some people might get offended for what I have to say... What?You didn't hear? With all these little mice runnin round scared like, Ryan and company shit canned the amendment. What was I doin'? I had my computer shut down by some funky algorithms on FaceBook - a little glitch occurred when I started a meme for AUMF.  It lasted a week or more. My old lady's, too. I can't get internet service at my new digs. eBay is f'in' up. Lotta funny shit goin' on. Phones go in and out, and my cell service is whack ..Gee, swell article. walks in like a lamb and out like a drama queen - oh, there's nothin' I can dooooo .... no. If you don't stick your neck out, or at least try to organize a simple calling strategy or petitions. Our wins in '06 prove that stance you've taken is full of holes. I t sounds like bullshit to me.Piss off. https://lee.house.gov/news/press-releases/congresswoman-lee-statement-o…   

SmittyinLA Sep 13, 2017 3:47 AM Permalink

Rand Paul is fake like the libertarian movement, he's product like Robocop, wallpaper

Just another shill for open borders and crony socialist treaties.

otschelnik Sep 13, 2017 3:34 AM Permalink

Right on RP, but let's let you in on a little seceret.  You want to solve the unconstitutional war problem - purge the neocons. The MIC financed think tanks which DC is brim full of, the intellectual elite in both parties, 1/3 of the lobbyists on K street, oh, and in congress itself you know, like your colleague McCain, Pat Leahy on Appropriations, Graham....

Maestro Maestro Sep 13, 2017 7:05 AM Permalink

The Pauls NEVER charged Greenspan or Bernanke of violating Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution nor accused them of treason.

The Paul Show (good cop, bad cop) never called a spade a spade, and accused both Congress and the President--and the Supreme Court judges as well--of violating the Constitution either.

Traitors all.

Gobble D. Goop Sep 13, 2017 12:21 AM Permalink

Sent more campaign donations to daddy Paul than I've ever sent to any other candidate in my life combined.Unlike Trump, he let himself get cheated out of the nomination.  Then didn't have the decency to go Independant. Could've won that.Word is he sacrificed my campaign contributions to purchase baby Pauls political career.Look who one anyway. The illegal immigrant from Kenya.  The rest is history.Like the Pauls, but they never get another cent from me.

bbob Sep 12, 2017 10:56 PM Permalink

 "  If we don’t get this rudderless foreign policy under control now, we’ll still be asking the same questions another16 years down the road". Wrong !  This is the same Washington Foreign Policy that has been going on since the 90's...the Wolfowitz foreign policy and it will continue until world hegemeny is achieved , or the Empire falls or WWlll ...and then we're all dead anyway !

arby63 Sep 12, 2017 10:51 PM Permalink

Rand is correct in his assessment. Still, it's not some conspiratorial Zionist bullshit plot like all you ZH loggerheads persist in perpetuating. 

Let it Go Sep 12, 2017 10:43 PM Permalink

Rand Paul has a very valid point.As the world matured, communications improved, and as people traveled more many of us hoped the catalyst for war would diminish. Instead, with new technology, mankind has only expanded our abilities to spread death and destruction. National pride, political agendas, religious and ethnic hatreds are some of the biggest roadblocks to world peace. The article below delves into why we continue to pursue warfare when it has proven to be a pathetic option in bringing about positive change, http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2016/09/war-carries-with-it-huge-hidden-cost.html

Catahoula Sep 12, 2017 10:37 PM Permalink

Nobody takes Rand Paul seriously. Nor should they. Ineffective and unproductive as a senator. A fart in the wind with a few fart sniffer followers

libertyanyday Sep 12, 2017 10:28 PM Permalink

why is the 2a not defended with even more earnest.?? Why is the army and airforce funded every two years  Rand, you should be outraged.  A standing army is also unconstitutional  , the 2 years funding clause has been abused for so long, but if it were adhered to , you wouldnt have to worry about an ' UNCONSTITUTIONAL WAR '...........nip the problem at the source not at the end.

my new username Sep 12, 2017 10:19 PM Permalink

"The Constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress."However, America and Americans have had war declared upon them, and so the commander in chief is required to wage war in defence of the USA. Islamic war, economic war, and threats of war from China via NK. So let's get it over with.If only Congress could declare peace, and get us out of Afghanistan, without bringing Afghans home once we leave.

I Write Code Sep 12, 2017 10:15 PM Permalink

McConnell can't be expected to make up his mind to vote for anything in less than 110 years, or against it either.  McCain would probably burst into pieces if forced to vote, he's so strongly on both sides.  Same with most of the others.

Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Sep 12, 2017 10:20 PM Permalink

Well that is a step in the right direction, in one way, and a step in the wrong direction in the other way for Senator Paul, the majority of the NDAA is completely unconstitutional and tyrannical! I hope that he just votes nay!Whoever told him to introduce that was once again giving him bad advice and is likely  an establishment mole!

Paul Kersey Sep 12, 2017 10:06 PM Permalink

McCain, Pence, Bush, Cheney and Ryan are Republicans, but Hillary, Kaine, Washerwoman-Schitz, Podesta and Schumer are Democrats. Yet, all are Likudnik warmongering neocons.

Iconoclast421 Sep 12, 2017 10:05 PM Permalink

16 years down the road ... I guarantee we're still in Afghanistan pumping out those poppies, swimming in $45 trillion in national debt, still hosting the world's largest prison population, still morbidly obese and sucking down pills by the truckload.

Dickguzinya Sep 12, 2017 10:02 PM Permalink

A bit of a hump, like his father.  Has some good ideas, just can't get enough people to rally around him.  Has to hold down a state like Kentucky, with a dousche bag  like mcconnell.  Many rinos are not running for reelection, which is a good thing.  But only if conservatives can win the primary and general elections.  

booboo Dickguzinya Sep 12, 2017 11:09 PM Permalink

"Has some good ideas, just can't get enough people to rally around him. Has to hold down a state like Kentucky"
You will notice that if one begins to have a large following they will temper their remarks, like a governor on a small engine, never allow someone to break out, god forbid being labeled a " populist" can't be popular unless you are a rocker or a movie star

In reply to by Dickguzinya

CompassionateC… Sep 12, 2017 9:56 PM Permalink

Fuck Rand Paul!  He, like his father, is a god damned fucking NAZI.  It's anti-semitic not to fight for Israel and is in fact soon to be a hate crime to oppose it.  Ron/Rand Paul are nothing but sickening anti-semitic bastards and I am sick of them. 

JuliaS CompassionateC… Sep 13, 2017 12:09 AM Permalink

Ha! I remember clearly one of my favorite interviews with Ron Paul in the runup to the 2008 election. The press had no idea what they were up against. They thought he'd be easy to intimidate with standard tactics.A reporter had informed RP that he was receiving campaign donations from a white supremacist organization, and wanted to know what he was going to do about it - specifically, whether he'd refund the money. The response was golden!Ron Paul said that in order to connect on key issues, he didn't have to agree with people on everything. He said that if the claim was true, he'd be glad that the white supremacists gave money to him, instead of spending it to advance their agenda with, which he didn't agree, and if he were to refund the donation, then he'd be effectively giving money to white supremacists. "I got the money away from them, didn't I?" he said.Let me tell you, the reporter didn't have a cue card for such rebuttal. I wish I could find an unedited version, but all I see online are clippings. I watched it in entirety when it aired.In another interview, RP proposed complete elimination of the income tax. A media shill asked him what would've paid for government buildings, such as the one where he was being interviewed if taxes were eliminated. RP as brilliant as he is, responded that if the reporter did the research, he'd know that the building he was standing in, had been built before the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and prior to the introduction of personal income tax.Now how in the world did the government manage to pull that off, indeed!I love RP with all my heart. I'm glad he didn't win, because I quite honestly believe this country does not deserve a leader of his caliber. Rand is not his father, but he's better than any alternative I know.I typically do not resort to personal attacks, but go fuck yourself, CompassionateCo!

In reply to by CompassionateC…