Friday, September 06, 2013

Thinking the Unthinkable

The Colonel is thinking the unthinkable these days.

Not hard to go there; not with all of the dithering, denial, and double-speak coming from the Obama Administration.

Referring to this administration's fecklessness as "amateur hour" offends all amateurs everywhere.

Let's look at a real possibility -- the Congress of the United States, the constitutionally empowered war-declaring branch of our federal government may very well tell the President, "No, we do not approve of military action against the Syrian regime."

What then?

Does the President disregard express congressional disapproval and direct the United States' military to prosecute an act of war, anyway?

The White House, as have nearly all administrations in American history, claims that the President has the authority to act without Congressional approval.  Precedent says so.

The Constitution?  Not so much.

While Article II, Section 2 names the federal executive as the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States," the clear intent of the Constitution's framers -- found in their writing in support of the Constitution's acceptance and  ratification -- was that the role of Commander in Chief in war was to be as a result of Congressional authorization of that war in the first place.  

There was NEVER intent to give the President latitude to attack other sovereign nations as he saw fit, no matter how "moral" the cause.   

The Constitution DOES give the President latitude -- moreover, responsibility -- to act in defense of the United States pending Congressional declaration of, and funding for, war against the enemy attacking the United States, its property, its citizens, and its critical national interests.

The current situation in Syria does not meet that test.

Most commentators the Colonel has heard pontificating on the subject seem to assume that our military, given an order contrary to the express will of Congress, will obediently salute and execute.  

And, that is what has the Colonel thinking the unthinkable.

To what authority does the military of the United States owe ultimate obedience? 

The Constitution, of course! 

The Colonel posits that a presidential order contrary to the express will of the Congress of the United States is an unconstitutional -- an illegal -- order.

Commanders should -- must -- refuse it. 

Would that cause a Constitutional crisis?

You betcha!

One brought on by none other than the executive, himself.

He would, of course, fire the refusing commander(s).

What could happen then?

Lots of "unthinkables."              
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