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Sen. Tim Kaine: We’re in ISIS war ‘without legal authority’

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Sen. Tim Kaine (D- Virginia) on Senate floor addressing the need for congressional authorization of military force against ISIL

WASHINGTON — Sen. Tim Kaine said Wednesday there’s no legal authority for the current U.S. mission against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“We have been engaged in a war — that is not about imminent defense of the United States — without legal authority,” the Virginia Democrat said at the Wilson Center on Wednesday, ahead of a panel discussion on the legal authority for military intervention, moderated by CNN’s Jim Sciutto.

The mission is not covered by either the wording or intent of the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force as the White House argues, Kaine said, adding that such an argument is “ridiculous” and inconsistent with President Barack Obama’s previously stated interpretation of the AUMF.

Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has proposed a new, limited authorization, specifically targeted to the current mission against ISIS. “We should deal with it right away,” he said, stressing that it could be accomplished in the lame-duck session in Congress.

He’s also calling for changes to the War Powers Resolution that will result in a “better process” for war authorization.

In a statement last week, Kaine said he was “encouraged” by Obama’s recent willingness to work with Congress on a new authorization, but also “troubled by suggestions today that Congress should wait until the new Congressional session in 2015 to take this vote.”

“We have already asked too many U.S. service members to risk their lives without a political consensus behind this mission,” he added.

The current AUMF was passed in 2001, just days after the 9/11 attacks. Though the language of the authorization only covers military action against those who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons,” in recent years it has been used to cover action against any group or individual the administration considers associated with al Qaeda.

A second authorization for use of military force against Iraq was passed in 2002, permitting the president to “defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” and “enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

15 comments

  • Robbie

    Timbo, you ain’t seen nothing yet! The Republican controlled House and Senate will authorize hundreds of billions of dollars in the next two years winding up the war machine. Here at home, the border won’t be sealed and the debt will climb and of course Obama will get the blame. Really it’s the idiotic people in this country that continue to elect the idiotic people telling them they are going to cut taxes and the deficit.

  • Doyle Hargraves

    I guess he missed the beheadings, and forgot about 9/11. Kaine is an embarrassment to all Virginians. He wouldn’t even have won a city council seat without his father- in- law calling in a few favors from the party. Dirt Woman could run against him in two years and beat him, he is a lame duck already.

    • manlishi

      Just as sleazy as Warner. He hasn’t said s**t throughout the disaster. So after bowing to Barry Soertoro for the duration, he pretends to worry about the law? B.S. is the best we will ever get from any democrat.

  • John H

    Tim Kaine is correct on this one. The USA is not in imminent danger of ISIS. ISIS is 7,000 miles from USA. They can’t even take over small towns in the area where they live. They don’t have a navy to float over here to attack us. They don’t have an air force to fly over here to attack us. They don’t have Inter-Continental ballistic missiles, and even if they could shoot a missile at us we have a missile defense system to stop it.
    The simple truth is we are the bully’s, and we want to tell everyone else in the world (who can’t attack us) how they should live. And we tell them while their looking at the end of gun barrel.

    • manlishi

      ” (who can’t attack us)” ??!! Same mentality too many a**holes shared just before 9/11. 13 years later, there’s just way too many liberal democrat a**holes like the ones that graciously allowed the collapse of Iraq by funding and arming ISIS with our weapons and equipment. That’s the “simple truth” your ignoring.
      Obama supporting democrats are all the same.

    • athynz

      Aren’t they trying to tell everyone else how to live? It’s a fundamental part of their religion to convert people to their religion or kill them – there is no live and let live with them. It’s this same exact head in the sand mentality of the liberal progressive that led to the horrific events of 9/11. I have an idea – since you want to champion them so very much why not join them? Get some firsthand experience on how they live, how tolerant they are, and how they just want to be left alone…/sarcasm

      • John H

        Well Athynz, we have spent over $1 trillion dollars and lost 5,000 American lives to this point, and we have accomplished little to nothing. And what about the 40,000+ soldiers that have returned maimed, disfigured and crippled. Can’t you look at this objectively? You and Manalishi are caught up on emotions. The truth is we can’t ever bomb and kill people to convince them to not believe in their religion. Can’t you see it from the other side? What if another country were building military bases on our land and trying to convert you to their religion? Wouldn’t you fight back?

    • BO

      That was a liberal mantra if I ever heard one.Bury your head in the sand far enough and you won’t hear the explosion that kills you.

    • athynz

      “Well Athynz, we have spent over $1 trillion dollars and lost 5,000 American lives to this point, and we have accomplished little to nothing.”

      How to you figure that exactly?

      “And what about the 40,000+ soldiers that have returned maimed, disfigured and crippled.”

      They fought for their country and I for one appreciate their sacrifices – and our country should in turn help them. Which now hopefully we will be able to without all of the corruption and red tape at the VA.

      “Can’t you look at this objectively? You and Manalishi are caught up on emotions.”

      I can’t speak for Manalishi but I’m not entirely caught up in emotions. I do have a prejudice towards those who are willing to kill to promote their religion, those who are willing to kidnap and behead people for simply practicing an opposing religion, those who are willing to use children as human shields and weapons. Objectively it’s far better to end this now rather than let it escalate to the point where we cannot stop it.

      “The truth is we can’t ever bomb and kill people to convince them to not believe in their religion.”

      That I will grant you however it’s far better to do such than to sit idly by and allow them to claim even more innocent lives.

      “Can’t you see it from the other side?”

      The other side is killing people who do not believe or will not convert to their religion. I see it and I reject it. Why can’t you?

      “What if another country were building military bases on our land and trying to convert you to their religion? Wouldn’t you fight back?”

      We ARE fighting back – why can’t you see this very simple truth? ISIS is killing people who are not Muslims. WE are not trying to convert them.

      • John H

        Simply get Congress to vote for a Declaration of War. The President is making all the decisions to attack without the approval of Congress and the people. Can’t he follow the Constitution? Why doesn’t he ask Congress to vote on it?
        You know, the government and media do lie about events. Why should ONE man, the President, have the power to bomb other countries? You shouldn’t be so trusting of the President and the media’s reports.

    • athynz

      “JOHN H
      Simply get Congress to vote for a Declaration of War.”

      That would be the correct way of doing things – something our sitting president has an issue with.

      “The President is making all the decisions to attack without the approval of Congress and the people. Can’t he follow the Constitution? Why doesn’t he ask Congress to vote on it?”

      That is a really good question.

      “You know, the government and media do lie about events.”

      Yes they do – however what I said about ISIS’s goal of converting everyone to Islam by the sword is in the Koran (Quoran, Qoran, however one want’s to spell it) and is not a media/politician lie.

      “Why should ONE man, the President, have the power to bomb other countries?”

      He should not and if one goes by the U.S. Constitution he does not. However our sitting president has already proven that he will not abide by the Constitution.

      “You shouldn’t be so trusting of the President and the media’s reports.”

      Where do you get the impression that I trust that libpro puppet or his bought-and-paid-for media?

      • David

        athynz … you are too ignorant and stupid to have an intelligent thought of your own. You and manalishi are a matched pair. Yeh, let’s hear about how you want me to say this to your face. No one cares what you want ignorant fat athynz.

      • athynz

        “DAVID
        athynz … you are too ignorant and stupid to have an intelligent thought of your own.”

        IOW poor widdle David doesn’t understand anything other than hurling insults and servicing his johns. I note that you never give an opinion on anything relevant to the story.

        “You and manalishi are a matched pair.”

        Just like you and Timmay the woman hating troll.

        “Yeh, let’s hear about how you want me to say this to your face.”

        And let’s hear more about how brave you are behind your keyboard in your room in your mom’s basement.

        “No one cares what you want ignorant fat athynz.”

        You don’t speak for everyone David – just yourself. and quite frankly I could not care less what some cowardly, ignorant, skeezy, trolling man-ho thinks of me. I just think it’s funny how you can call someone names, threatens them, and try to belittle them and lacks the testicular fortitude to back up, the intelligence to offer a different opinion, and contributes absolutely nothing to this forum or society as a whole except as a government funded leech. Get over yourself boy.

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