Tuesday, March 14, 2006


September 14, 2001

The attack on the United States this week leaves all of us jolted and angered. To respond to this terror is both our fate and our challenge. Our response to that attack must reflect our national character. As a great nation, we must respond powerfully. But our response must be guided by justice and by our right to self defense, not by vengeance. We must act to hold accountable those responsible for these terrorist attacks. But to be true to our traditions and our Founders, we must act within the confines of the Constitution and the law. I believe that the resolution before us achieves that goal.

The War Powers Resolution of 1973 explicitly recognizes the President's authority to take immediate action as Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces to respond to this unprovoked attack on the United States. As such, there is no reason to suggest that the action we take here today is required in advance of any immediate military response by the President. In the interest of demonstrating our national resolve to act firmly and decisively, however, and as a demonstration of our commitment to working in close cooperation with our Commander in Chief to respond to this aggression, we act today to authorize the use of force, as required by the War Powers Resolution.

I commend the President and his administration for seeking the resolution before us today, for working with the Congress, and for recognizing the requirement under the Constitution and the law for joint authorization. As well, I commend those who negotiated the specific language of this resolution, and in particular, Senators Biden, Levin, and Kerry. They deserve our thanks for insisting that we honor the War Powers Resolution.

Like any legislation, this resolution is not perfect. I have some concern that readers may misinterpret the preamble language that the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism as a new grant of power; rather it is merely a statement that the President has existing constitutional powers. I am gratified that in the body of this resolution, it does not contain a broad grant of powers, but is appropriately limited to those entities involved in the attacks that occurred on September 11. And I am particularly gratified that this resolution explicitly abides by and invokes the War Powers Resolution.

In taking this action today, we are not responding to a distant threat to international peace and security; we are responding to a direct attack on the United States. This is not a humanitarian response to a foreign crisis, but a defensive action to protect the lives of Americans here at home.

At the same time, we must recognize that this war will be unlike any other we have fought in the past. Our enemy is not a state with clearly defined borders. We must respond instead to what is quite likely a loose network of terrorists that do not function according to a strict hierarchy. We must respond to a highly mobile, diffuse enemy that operates largely beyond the reach of our conventional war-fighting techniques.

Given the immense difficulties involved in identifying our enemies, we must take great care to guard against making mistakes as we pursue them across an obscured terrain. We must not act on misguided prejudices or incomplete information. We must not cause needless harm to innocent bystanders. Our response will be judged by friends and foes, by history, and by ourselves. It must stand up to the highest level of scrutiny: It must be appropriate and constitutional.

Within this confusing scenario, it will be easy to point fingers at an ever increasing number of enemies, to believe that the "the enemy" is all around us, that the enemy may even be our neighbor. The target can seem to grow larger and larger every day, before the first strike even occurs. And this, of course, is exactly what the terrorists want. They seek to inflate their numbers and their influence by retreating into the shadows. They seek to turn us against each other, and to turn us against our friends and allies across the world, but we will not allow this to happen.

We must also take great care to maintain a careful distinction between those organizations or states that have knowingly harbored or assisted terrorists, and those that have acted carelessly in providing unintended aid or shelter. We must punish those who have knowingly supported our enemy, we must strengthen the capacity of all others to respond appropriately. We must invite those who have unintentionally harbored terrorists to work with us to locate them, to eliminate them, to renounce them, and to begin a new era of vigilance, if they are to be regarded as friends of the United States.

Our fight against a faceless, shadow enemy also raises another difficult dilemma, for how will we know when we have defeated this enemy? How can we tell whether our enemy has merely regrouped to strike again on another day or at another hour? There can be no peace treaty with such an enemy, but there must be a lasting and discernible peace. We should consider this in determining the frequency and duration of consultations between the Congress and the President over the conduct and status of this demanding struggle.

-Statement of Senator Russ Feingold
On War Powers

Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt in 2005 over wiretaps issue and series of Presidential Powers posts.
For the latest on Senator Feingold (), go to Flopping Aces.

It would have been great if the Senate were able to call for an immediate vote yesterday, the way the House did during Representative Murtha's "cut and run" strategy last year. Looks like Senator Feingold decided to show us firsthand what a cut-and-run strategy really looks like: foolish!

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Blogger Mark said...

Mr. Lunt, the owner of the radio station in "O Brother, Where art Thou?" (the movie) might have been talking about purported Senator, Russ Fool'sgold's hasty retreat from the Senate floor, when he said, "...sang in yonder can, and skedaddled"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 8:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

"Cut and Run" is what all liberals do. Cowards, the entire lot of them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:14:00 AM  
Blogger The_Bos'un said...

(Mark I really like the name and am writing an open letter to the good liberal sentor below)

Dear Sentor "Fools Gold,"

The world has changed and the threat has changed. We have to be right every time, they (Islamofacists and their perverted religious views) have to be right only once. Apparently Senator "Fools Gold" you have not yet figured that out.

Hello Senator!!! We are now engaged in Asymmetric warfare!!

Theoretically, a weaker party should relent to the will of the stronger and the world would settle into a hierarchy with a clearly delineated pecking order. Unfortunately to the chagrin of many an economist, man is not a rational creature and fights even when he cannot possibly hope to win. This sets the stage for desperate polities and non-state actors to take enormous gambles and recreate themselves to effectively wage asymmetric warfare. History teaches us that the weaker party generally adopts the most radical transformations as opposed to the conservative strategy of the stronger power. Stronger powers utilize asymmetric warfare to a lesser degree; they have no need to take risks on technological revolutions as opposed to technological evolutions, as guarantors of the world system they are less likely to attack the infrastructure of the world system or undermine the nation-state model for fear of creating safe havens for non-state actors like Al-Qaeda (1) (and other enemies of the United States.)

We have not heard the worst or the last of those piss ants who flew airplanes into the Pentagon and World Trade Center. They want to destroy us and our society.

If they (our enemies in the war on terror) find a way to do it, it is going to be over in a complacent flash…..

There are a lot of factors we have to figure into the NSA equation.
I would rather be protected and safe, and think that our policy should have some degree of oversight by government agencies, such as NSA.

It seems to me that if someone calls a cave on the Afghan - Pakistan border (or a hotel in Manila, Singapore, Vancouver, Toronto, Mexico City, etc. etc,) and the person on the other end is an enemy of our country, we would be negligent not to listen in and find out what the heck is going on.

We have a history of the Clinton administration (Janet Reno and her legal beagles) pursuing terrorism as a simple criminal issue, and look what happened. Perhaps you do not agree because, after all you are a liberal kool-aide drinker.

Senator "Fools Gold", I understand that eventually we will have a democrat administration and I still would want the ability to listen in on known threats as soon as possible (ASAP) Does not change my position on the matter.

I know as soon as you and your left leaning liberal party dumps President Bush, your position will undoubtedly change. The responsibity of command unsually does that. However you and Johnny Kerry may want to cede the United States to France and wave a white flag for the next 150 years. Heck, I don't know where you are coming from.

Your party is the cowboy party (brokeback cowboys, that is)

Footnote (1): Asymmetric warfare From Wikipedia


Wednesday, March 15, 2006 1:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Bosun, I got that from Mark Levin.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Very well said, especially liked the last paragraph:

"It would have been great if the Senate were able to call for an immediate vote yesterday, the way the House did during Representative Murtha's "cut and run" strategy last year. Looks like Senator Feingold decided to show us firsthand what a cut-and-run strategy really looks like: foolish!"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:24:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

It seems like 20 years ago since they were all in agreement to let the President do what he needed to do to protect the American people. Shame on Feingold. I read somewhere today that it isnt even Constiutional to Censure the President of the United States. I may be wrong on that, but if that's the case Feingold is really going to look like a Lunatic.

Friday, March 17, 2006 9:48:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I saw Feingold interviewed by Charlie Rose last night, spouting the same garbage he's been regurgitating for almost a week now. Enough already!

The guy is an embarrassment to the state of Wisconsin.

Marie is right. Censuring a president isn't in the Constitution. Censure is an option for members of the House and Senate to police their own. Impeachment is the only form of punishment outlined in the Constitution for a president.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger The Angry American said...

Great article!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

godammit! I've been trying to post responses for the darn'dest time; and I couldn't access my dashboard either. I'm beginning to see why blogger gets badmouthed by so many former-blogspotters.

I suppose this was as good a time as any for problems to arise, as I really haven't been in the mood to post, anyway, let alone keep up with all the news.

Sunday, March 19, 2006 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Feingold or fool's gold?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 8:26:00 PM  

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