If, but only if, they followed THEIR OWN LAWS, particularly The National Emergencies Act.
Bush, you may recall, took the nation to war under the authority of The National Emergencies Act, when he "proclaimed," on September 14, 2001, a state of national emergency, retroactive to Sept. 11. By law, these states of National Emergency can last for ONLY ONE YEAR--unless the President "renews" it. And that has happened, completely without fanfare or press attention I'd say, for each of the past 13 years. Get that? Every year for 13 years the sitting president has renewed the Proclamation of a state of National Emergency that Bush first issued on September 14, 2001, retroactive to September 11, 2001 (a day that will live in new infamy--after Dec. 7, 1941, the old day of infamy).
Bush issued the proclamation required by the Act, he sent a copy to the Federal Register and to Congress--probably less vital to our nation than the Federal Register is. And he stipulated what laws he was going to invoke under this state of National Emergency. I'll get to those later.
Congress, in that National Emergencies Act (Title 50 USCode Subchapter II §§2611 and 2622) mandated that it--Congress--also have a little bit of responsibility under these two statutes as well. Here's what they signed up to do:
"Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated."So, Congress assigned itself the task – for each house, House and Senate – to meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated.
And the word they used was SHALL. "Each House of Congress SHALL meet…".
Congress was giving itself an order: "SHALL meet to consider a vote… to determine whether that emergency should be terminated." [my caps]
Calculating the passage of time since 9/11/2001--it's 13 years and counting, and it'll be 13 1/2 years come March, 2015, this March. At the rate of one hearing every six months, that amounts to 26 (twenty-six) hearings Congress has reneged on--the 27th will fall on March 11, 2015.
I was watching a YouTube version of Peter Dale Scott's hour-long lecture on "Continuity Of Government," a very secretive suite of planning and plans and Presidential Decision Directives that was secretly set in motion by Dick Cheney (you remember Dick, don't you? And he's not dead yet--and could theoretically, still be prosecuted for his myriad crimes against the state, against other nations and against humanity).
Scott brought up the above "situation", and it grabbed my attention--like a police choke-hold that didn't quite extinguish my life might have done.
It was bad enough that Cheney and Rumsfeld had been plotting with Oliver North and FEMA since the early 1990s--planning that continued even while Cheney was out of office (and oh by the way, you do remember what it means when "two or more persons make plans" to do anything, do you not?) And which plans (including internment/concentration camps all over the US, suspension of the US Constitution, the Writ of Habeas Corpus and all the enumerated (and non-enumerated) rights to due process in the Bill of Rights) were put in motion on 9/11/2001. They still may be operative, Scott speculates. Conceived in secrecy, implemented in secrecy--how would we know the difference? Congress surely isn't paying attention. Nor is our "fourth estate".
It was bad enough, I say, that all this was going on, but even worse is the fact that, in the face of an ever-more suspicious "attack" on 9/11--an "attack" which then gave rise to this proclamation of National Emergency, for one year--which enabled the implementation of a back-door DRAFT of all military members, retired, reserve or active duty--which deployments and draft could be extended by 24 months--two years--by the President--all this was going on, and Congress had the power to stop it.
And not by refusing to pass a National Defense Authorization Act or anything having to do with money. All Congress had to do--AND STILL CAN DO--is decide to declare the National Emergency OVER. O . V . E . R . At hearings the Congress itself mandated itself to do. Once every six months,
I think we need to goad our Congress into action and rectify this shameful non-feasance. I'll bet you, 435 to 1, that no one in Congress actually knows that this is one of their jobs--to "see that the laws be faithfully executed," as the president is directed to do...by that outmoded and quaint document called the Constitution. (Would it not be a good thing if school children could recite, from memory, at least the first sentence or the Constitution?
This National Emergencies law that was passed way back in 1976 and earlier was an attempt to limit the President's arrogated power to declare war just by having his Press Office write a Proclamation and then signing it. Maybe he doesn't even sign it anymore.
Only Congress can declare war (a power they gave up to the President with the War Powers Act--no member of Congress wants to take the responsibility for sending Americans to their death, I suppose–particularly when most of our wars are begun by the Presidents, based upon lies, like the Gulf of Tonkin, 9/11 and WMDs in Iraq and a faked "connection" to 9/11).
Be that as it may, the President can also start wars by Proclaiming a National Emergency.
Why do I call this a "back-door draft"?
Take a look at the statutes Bush invoked (in addition to the National Emergency statute) in that still-in-force-after-thirteen-and-a-half-years proclamation:
I intend to utilize the following statutes: sections 123, 123a, 527, 2201 (c), 12006, and 12302 of title 10, United States Code, and sections 331, 359, and 367 of title 14, United States Code.
Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks
Proc. No. 7463, Sept. 14, 2001, 66 F.R. 48199, provided:
A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001, and, pursuant to the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601et seq.), I intend to utilize the following statutes: sections 123, 123a, 527, 2201 (c), 12006, and 12302 of title 10, United States Code, and sections 331, 359, and 367 of title 14, United States Code.
This proclamation immediately shall be published in the Federal Register or disseminated through the Emergency Federal Register, and transmitted to the Congress.
This proclamation is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.