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tv   [untitled]    June 15, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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bipartisan group of lawmakers slap the administration with a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the libyan war is illegal so how is all this going to play out we're here to offer his take this blue spot a gruesome find the deputy attorney general under president ronald reagan and the author of her book american empire before the fall welcome to the program thank you so much for being here. in the white house did a response to congress today and they sent a nice little letter saying that basically they're not in violation of the war powers act because libya isn't really a war so we don't have troops on the ground nato is leading the operation so it can't possibly be in violation of the war powers act what's your take well it's an example of orwellian speech the obama administration when the secretary of defense was testifying for congress mr gates and was asked if you throw a. missile into a new york city is that what he basically said of course i mean if libya was doing what they were going to live yes yes of course they would understand that was war also they're there they're caught in this kind of legal paradox if it's not war
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then we are committing murder because it's only war that makes on the side legal so if we're not fighting we're there we're killing people without justification we should be prosecuted ourselves for war crimes moreover the president has already beilby to the constitution of the united states by initiating war without any authorization from congress and the audience needs to know every single member of the constitutional convention every person involved in the ratification the constitution repeatedly said the crown jewel of this document is only congress only a collective body of the house and the senate can get us into war no one person can get us into war and that was what george washington said thomas jefferson james madison everyone said the same thing there's no ambiguity in the constitution whatsoever and now we have the president taking a clause in the constitution that was intended prevent him from going to war unilaterally and saying no it presents me with the ability to declare an initiator or any where i think the national interests are involved. i can't only george
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orwell in one thousand nine hundred four could do the same thing as saying the ministry of war is actually the ministry of peace that's what this is about mr boehner in my judgment has actually been much too weak in the feet in imposing a sanction for this usurpation the founding fathers intended the impeachment clause to utilize a president is committing a high crime and misdemeanor when he flouts the constitution in such a grave way and in violation of his oath of office and this is what the remedy the founding fathers crafted in order to make certain no ever president would commit that same violation the second occasion but what are we dealing with a bigger issue than just obamacare i mean every single president since reagan is a vision of grenada launched a war of his own and congress hasn't declared war since world war two so maybe this is a culture of warfare i. make it legal let me give you an example there's something called a legislative veto that enabled congress by one chamber or two without any congressional i mean presidential veto to frustrate executive banter and these legislative need
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to use had been in bills for sixty years there are six hundred of them and the u.s. supreme court said you know it's been a longstanding practice but they're all unconstitutional simply of the how lation by repetition doesn't make it legal and of course it is true harry truman fought the korean war without any authorization from congress a low he was rebuked in one case by the supreme court but it doesn't make it legal if anything the president on this occasion has announced a much broader policy than just invading libya on his own he said anywhere in the world that i think regional stability is at stake or the credibility un security council i can initiate war on my own just think of them anywhere in the world as regional instability china russia south ossetia bahrain saudi arabia you've got one hundred countries it could invade the next day this is the greatest usurpation of authority in the history of the united states by one announcement of one president and if the congress doesn't respond they will have been reduced to an ink blot on the. constitutional lansky think of all the money that spent under the war powers
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authority of the prez we're spending three hundred fifty million dollars a day in afghanistan. and you talk about potentially reducing congresswomen but what what can they realistically do and more importantly what will they really list if we do in this climate i mean they're not i don't really see boehner initiating impeachment but why not we had president clinton he's impeached because he lied under oath concerning a sex deal surely the paula clause exists not been whited out all you need is courage battery and standard congress in washington d.c. you my gods are no but i understand but without courage then of course you're succumbing to the inevitable one branch of government where the president does everything except earmarks and i can guarantee you we depend upon if this goes on rebute the president will soon spend in tax without any congressional authority to saying commander in chief clause i need the money you like it when we were going into taxing and spending i mean let's stick on the topic of the topic of war here
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you know you brought up russia china of course we are going to go attack our allies here but what about yemen and why isn't anyone bringing up the war powers act or the constitutionality of dropping flying our unmanned drones over again well absolutely not only yemen we claim the authority to send drones anywhere in the world how about pakistan we're killing more so called al qaeda in pakistan and then afghanistan where is the authorization for war against pakistan which is our purported ally so you're right we're to cross the course i mean why why is it that these folks are speaking out on libya but not the covert not so covert anymore wars and you know because libby is the easiest case even the secretary of defense said i don't really know why we're there it's no vital interest and even even the most primitive schoolchild could see libby wasn't creating a danger to the united states you can concoct fears we need to be in pakistan radicals take over their nuclear weapons at least has a pretty you know of just if you can very clearly is unrealistic in that case is congress not serious about ending these unjustified unconstitutional worse. you
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have to start someplace and it's certainly true if they were they would go the impeachment route right now but it's needed moving by progression here and this could be a first step and that's better than simply act we have seen in one branch of government i'm not going to hold my breath but i really do appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today thank you so much thank you well now obama justify the war in libya by saying it was absolutely necessary in order to prevent a massacre but as we speak right now nothing short of a massacre is taking place in another arab nation of syria and some lawmakers are wondering why the president isn't sending tomahawk missiles over there to take a listen to senator lindsey graham on face the nation this sunday so if you really care about protecting the syrian people from slaughter now is the time the words know that all options are on the table it is gotten to the point where could you speak behavior indistinguishable the reason and beyond syria there's also both rainbird another violence crackdown is underway against anti-government
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demonstrators of course instead of taking on that regime obama decided to host bahrain's crown prince at the white house last week so what exactly is our foreign policy in the arab world right now we're here to offer up some answers david swanson activist and the author of the book war is a lie and retired u.s. air force colonel cedric leighton he's a specialist in middle eastern security affairs and the founder and president of cedric leighton associates welcome to the program thank you so much for being here . david i'll start with you i'm not really sure exactly where we're supposed to look amrit two are right david what's your sense on this i mean is there i have a feeling i know you're going to say but isn't there a little bit of a hypocritical stance here when we're calling our one nation and sending our tomahawk missiles and and bombs to libya but turning a blind eye to ongoing massacres in in syria and then bahrain. well if you treat the propaganda seriously then of course there is split when you
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greenlight saudi arabia to go into bahrain and kilt human beings in order to get their support for going into libya supposedly to save human beings here dealing with hypocrisy from the get go we we switched sides we didn't intervene we stopped army a dictator to begin arming and fighting on the side of the earth of a desired opposition and in every other country in the region including bahrain we're continuing to arm and support the dictator or our policy if it were about support for democracy and human rights would begin with unilaterally sisi to support and arm these dictators across the board now not when the next one falls or a cia friendly opposition arises and. what's their take i mean are there certain wars that are the death wars and the right wars there are certain words that are just words and right words indeed you know when you look at what happened to us in the wake of nine eleven there was the response that was necessary now the question
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is have we gone too far is that a response that needs to be tailored to the ongoing situation on the ground or there are things that we need to do differently because of national interest that will occur in the future or are there things that could happen you know in that vein that's what we really need to look at from a national interest perspective i would argue that when you look at what is a potential threat right now the situation in syria is probably much more dangerous for u.s. interests in the situation in libya or in any other part of the middle east at the present time that of course could change what but at the present time i would say what's going on in syria has a huge impact on how we have to play with the rest of the world but what is in question all that libya ever had any impact on us in the first place well i think you have to look at it from a broader nato perspective in this particular case we do does provide a large portion of the oil if we're in the nato countries and push. italy italy has a large segment of its of its oil and it's important from libya and that part is
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true the problem then is of course what are the italians what are the rest of the nato nations on the european continent doing to work and work this issue and that i think was at the heart of secretary gates and statements last week where he talked about european nations not being really the same level of spending as the u.s. is right and of course the united states continues to i'll spend the rest of the world but they would if i can turn back to you are you know we have peace situations in this current day and age where certain countries have these what we call them is a bad guys you know on their arms and they're pressing their people and sometimes things get out of hand at a time pressed to go in but aren't we to some extent as in this country in our previous policy is to blame i mean if we're arming be with the prof raney came to him as a state department report that came out recently so we said we had i think it was something like two hundred million dollars in military states from american firms to bahrain and twenty twelve should we be reconsidering broader policy is.
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absolutely and what we need in war spot for oil is not for other nations to chip in more but for them to be ended they are incredibly illegal and immoral you know the reason that these other nato nations are be pushed harder to come up with phones is because congress hasn't appropriated a dime for the war in libya yes of course we're spending more than everyone else combined you could cut our military by eighty five percent and still have the largest blood on the war in libya we haven't spent a dime on that legally appropriated by congress and so the idea that what needs to be fixed is for the other nations more closely involved to chip in or because we are funding the bulk of nato is to me is the problem that the danger to us is not syria or some other nation that's more unstable that the crazier it kadir and. more little interest the danger to us. and the only accountability cheap equal of this
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nation over this war machine we are against these wars in every old and were only able to end them and they're destroying our economy our environment our civil liberties and our representative government we don't need to pay for any just the machine and colonel if i can ask him if we're trying to yemen for example please correct me if i'm wrong but i understand that you believe that our drone operations in yemen should continue is that correct the prison time yes because the drone operations in yemen already you know some of the cheaper way of dealing with the problem the al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula presents to us you know what david seems to seems to miss here is that we were attacked on nine eleven and with the u.s.s. cole these are wars that happened not because we wanted them to happen they happened because people came after us and we need to do something about that if we are to avoid having the same scenario happen again and again but colonel couldn't you argue that every single time a predator drone flies over again and then drops a bomb and kill some innocent civilians in the meanwhile you're creating more and
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more people who want to harm this country and it's actually perpetuating the training the warfare state well you have to be very careful with that but the key thing to remember about a program drones and the way the targeting process works is it is you know it's as bad as some of the events have been with some of the drone situations there's i'm going to actually are in yemen and in other places it is still a much better and much more focused targeting effort and we've ever had in the history of warfare i mean if you just make this more personal if it's god forbid a child or spouse of yours was killed by a drone that was much more better equipped to target you specifically that's not going to make you feel better and you're still fighting the perception of the u.s. as a war powers and better power isn't it time to perhaps reconsider constantly fighting these battles on foreign lands well the problem is they fall into the eyes of national security well the issue there lucy is that when you are working you know with all of these nation. these nations actually give us permission to operate in these territories you know yemen pakistan all of these places have considerable
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difficulties either through revolution or through you know practically a failed state in the case of pakistan where you still have permission from the local government to do this you know if i were a person you know as you describe of course i'd be angry of course i wouldn't wouldn't like that but the problem is if you you know it's a question of national interest and it's a question of working through each of these particular areas and making sure that we take care of taking eliminating those those folks who are going after us because if we don't eliminate them we're prevent them from doing what they set out to do we're going to have a bigger problem with the world with terrorism right well unfortunately we're out of time but i do have to say that even though these nations may be giving us covert permission to attack on their lands or that they're also the same countries that are suppressing their own people and you know you know they were just perpetuating it seems to me the perception that the united states is operating illegally and not really on a side of the people in these conflicts so it's always
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a big challenge with these kinds of things but that's that's part of the issue that you always have to wrestle with with policy and national security interests have to take precedent over every other consideration unfortunately well colonel david thank you both so much for taking the time david as you're shaking your head i think we might have to have you both on the program later on today someone i'm sorry that we're out of time absolutely we're going to have tom's take on our nation's perpetual war machine in the middle east and how we can shut it down. and after the break a daily take on why engaging in warfare is simply a force of habit for all the united states presidents in our history. twenty four seventh's live streaming news times what to do about the ongoing financial hardship unlimited free high quality videos for download. stories. you'll never find me remove. the piece of meat
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in the previous. post you aren't much just. was time for the good the bad and the very very horribly ugly first up the good by u.s. district court judge james where is the good of their gay marriage advocates scored
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a victory yesterday when he held a ruling that said the proposition eight ban on same sex marriages is illegal back in january a different dog judge vaughn walker will the prop eight violated that state's constitution but after it was revealed a judge walker himself was gay opponents sued saying the that decision was biased and could not stand that argument was shot down yesterday and judge james aware wrote in his ruling the presumption that judge walker by virtue of being in a same sex relationship have some sort of a desire to be married that render him incapable of making an impartial decision is as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief well said and now the bad minnesota state representative tom clark that i don't know how to pronounce his name but that's ok now current republican didn't exactly like an email acct. got from a unionized constituent who didn't want to vote on a massive budget cut aimed at working class families well wasn't exactly pleased
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with the email so here's how he decided to reply if there's any children in the room i might ask you to take them out are you a union member he writes if so i think communists giving you this propaganda do you know who what where when and why and how of fidel castro hitler rose to power using and blaming the jews for the destruction of the german economy castro built his army of murderers by blaming the rich bankers and capitalists for destroying cuba and taking advantage of the cuban people while. illiterate mistakes aside in revisionist history so much for the cordial thank you for your letter thing that most normal lawmakers send back to their constituents and little piece of learning to lawmaker maybe don't play the the card when dealing. and now the very very very ugly turn right usa there's been a lot of hits and misses in the world of campaign as we all know that here especially here in washington but this one against california congressional
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candidate may just be the most offensive political ad of all time take a lot of. different kinds of some to be able to say. for a little. let's keep her out. loud gangbangers and strippers and i guess the whole eight hundred forty seven really ties it together that's are very very likely. i will the war in libya is nearing the ninety day mark and lawmakers are growing a lot more hazards with the purse strings to keep funding that effort now last month as a libyan. that's the sixty day mark tom offered up his take on our nations at the
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war and how steering this country apart to iraq last friday marked sixty days two months since the war in libya began and there's still no formal declaration of war from congress. according to our constitution. congress is the only branch of government with the power to declare war not the president. certain right article one section eight of the constitution the congress shall have the power to declare war and to raise and support armies but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years. the framers of the constitution added that little last bit about the two year time limit on appropriations for war just to prevent things like and lists. and for most of american history that separation of powers between the president and the congress remained intact. but then after
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u.s. presidents ignored congress to launch the korean war in the one nine hundred fifty s. and the vietnam war shortly thereafter. congress asserted its constitutional authority to rein in richard nixon with the war powers resolution there's a new law that lets the president commit the nation to war without congress but only for sixty days. it's still a pretty generous handover of power of the executive branch one that in my personal opinion is clearly unconstitutional and should be rolled back by the supreme court that's a little old mother rant it was an affront to nixon however who vetoed the war powers resolution basically saying he was going to play ball with any of these new restrictions on the power he and his recent predecessors have claimed in the oval office. of congress overturned a nixon's veto and passed into law these new checks on presidential power that our founders never. ten to the president to have. from that point on after sixty days
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a president must ask congress for permission to continue a war. so now the sixty days are up in libya is president obama going to cons. know. the white house wrote a letter to the congressional leadership last week arguing that the limited nature of u.s. military involvement does not require approval from congress exactly what the white house is the affirmation of the limited is in a world that's cost american taxpayers over seven hundred fifty million dollars so far and involves our military machine killing a lot of people. you got me but what is know is that president obama is the fifth us president in a row in a row to start his own war overseas send troops abroad with orders to kill and not think twice about asking congress about it's ok in fact congress hasn't stamp
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of approval on a war since world war two the reasons for these unapproved wars over the last few decades have had numerous but most of them at least have had endgames reagan invaded greneda briefly by clea taking a page from his good friend prime minister maggie thatcher in the u.k. who invaded the falkland islands for political capital that little war made her instantly popular great and saw that said hey we can do that and grenada helped reagan in the same way. bush sr went to war in kuwait to kick out the iraqis it was mostly over oil and even set it up by having the u.s. envoy to iraq april glaspie tell saddam hussein that if he invaded kuwait the u.s. would consider the internal affair and not get involved. so much for april's assurances hussein took bush senior's q. and gave bush the excuse he needed to have his own war although we're short only
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a few days. clinton went to war in kosovo a war that was very popular but is still being debated and then george w. bush came to power thanks to the supreme court in two thousand and like reagan bush had plans to start a war for political capital but he told his biographer mickey herskowitz back in one thousand nine hundred nine. before you even started running for president if you became president he was going to invade iraq to earn enough political capital or privatized social security. but then i'm eleven happened instead and instead of a one time war as bush had intended he and his handlers like donald rumsfeld dick cheney opted for a perpetual war a war on terror it would last as long as his presidency was. so afghanistan half of iraq happened and countless other covert military actions in places like yemen happen with the war on terror the george w. bush dreamed up the as they so america was for the first time. involved in
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a war without any clear ending. a recipe for perpetual war or well in perpetual war. listen to how bush justified is a war. we can't really comment on that. he might as well have ripped his words straight from the text of orwell's one thousand nine hundred four and big brother told everyone that war is peace but last week he went on steroids to really commit america to a war ravaged dystopia last week congress took a step toward a shrine in perpetual war into law with the defense authorization act it reads congress affirms that the united states is engaged in an armed conflict with al qaida the taliban and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the united states and its citizens the president has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict pursuant
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to the authorization for use of military force until the terminations of hostilities. in other words war of terror war on terror excuse me until all the terrorists on earth are killed something that will never happen this is the worst nightmare for james madison the father of our constitution the fourth president of the united states madison wrote so eloquently that of all the enemies of true liberty war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises in develops the germ of every other in war madison continued the discretionary power of the president is extended its influence in dealing out offices honors and of all humans is multiplied in all the means of seducing the mines are added to those of subduing the force of the people war is in fact the true nurse of executive of a grand eyes didn't. in war
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a physical force is to be created and it is the executive that would be the president and he spoke about executive and executive branch the president and the it is the executives will which is to direct it in war the public treasuries are to be unlocked and it is the executive the president's hand which is to dispense them ultimately madison said no nation no nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual work for good here we are in the midst of perpetual warfare against terrorism with our current president telling congress that he doesn't need their approval for a billion dollar war in libya it puts american soldiers in harm's way and really has nothing to do with terrorism but as psychologist abraham maslow famously noted . when your only tool is a hammer every problem out there looks like nails and even though some progress is
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made trust obama with perpetual war powers to defeat terrorism. or both the next president will he or she be trusted with the wheel to america's worship. in an interview last year with journalist bob woodward president obama perhaps without realizing its application to himself so. war is hell and once the dogs of war on leashed you don't know where it's going to lead and tragically right now our congress in a republican led effort but with very little resistance from democrats is doing everything it can to prevent the dogs of war. well unfortunately that is it for the big picture for more info on the stories that we've covered please visit our web site at thom hartmann dot com. also catch the whole show on our youtube page at youtube dot com slash the big picture our t. and thom hartmann see you tube channel at youtube dot com slash tom hartman first the entire show is also available as
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