Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Senator Jim Webb, D-VA

Here is a letter from Senator Jim Webb to our Secretary of State. It seems to me that he is asking a rather simple question. It also seems to me that any high school freshman should be able to answer the question. If you need any help, I will give you a link after the letter:

January 29, 2007

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of StateDepartment of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Rice:

During your appearance before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on January 11, 2007, I asked you a question pertaining to the administration’s policy regarding possible military action against Iran. I asked, “Is it the position of this administration that it possesses the authority to take unilateral action against Iran, in the absence of a direct threat, without congressional approval?”
At that time you were loath to discuss questions of presidential authority, but you committed to provide a written answer. Since I have not yet received a reply, the purpose of this letter is to reiterate my interest in your response.
This is, basically, a “yes” or “no” question regarding an urgent matter affecting our nation’s foreign policy. Remarks made by members of this administration strongly suggest that the administration wrongly believes that the 2002 joint resolution authorizing use of force in Iraq can be applied in other instances, such as in the case of Iran. I, as well as the American people, would benefit by fully understanding the administration’s unequivocal response.
I would appreciate your expeditious reply and look forward to discussing this issue with you in the near future.


James Webb

United States Senator

Here is the relevant part of our Constitution (I have highlighted in bold the parts I found interesting):


Section 8.

  • The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts
    and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and
    general welfare of the United States
    ; but all duties, imposts and
    excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
  • To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
  • To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states,
    and with the Indian tribes;
  • To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the
    subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
  • To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix
    the standard of weights and measures;
  • To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and
    current coin of the United States;
  • To establish post offices and post roads;
  • To promote the progress
    of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and
    inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
  • To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
  • To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high
    seas, and offenses against the law of nations
  • To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make
    rules concerning captures on land and water
  • To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to
    that use shall be for a longer term than two years
  • To provide and maintain a navy;
  • To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and
    naval forces
  • To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of
    the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions
  • To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the
    militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service
    of the United States
    , reserving to the states respectively, the
    appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according
    to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
  • To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such
    District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular
    states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the
    United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the
    consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the
    erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful
  • To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for
    carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by
    this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department
    or officer thereof
    . "

Now here is the part of the Constitution that pertains to the Presidential Power:

Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following
oath or affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my
ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Section 2.
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United
States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual
service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the
principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject
relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to
grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in
cases of impeachment.

It seems to me that the answer is clear.

Dear Secretary of State;

Seems to me the answer, to the good Senator's question, is "no."



Prospect Park Project

No comments: