Saturday, August 8, 2015

Barack Obama's Illegal Covert War in Syria

Barack Obama and his administration's secret war against Assad in Syria will always be framed in a different light.  The coup in Libya under the guise of the 'responsibility to protect doctrine' or R2P and the resulting chaos in Libya has been a disaster for the entire middle east.  The attack on the Special Mission in Benghazi and the transfer of weapons from Libya to Syria, via Turkey, exposed Obama's secret and unconstitutional war long ago. Just as Turkey is using the war on ISIS as an opportunity to attack the Kurds, Obama is now using the war on ISIS to target Assad. 

 This RAT LINE of military arms from Libya directly and indirectly aided ISIS in Syria, a group that Obama has done little to confront and who the POTUS called the 'jayvee team'.  ISIS, a group that this administration uses to fight Assad.  Obama's ISIS army only became a problem for him when they streamed into Iraq when the POTUS withdrew our troops, thus surrendering the territory to ISIS and Iran.

The Obama administration's power under the AUMF to conduct war in Syria have been questionable from the beginning and the actions under Article 2  now are politely described as ' blurry' as the following story excerpted from TheHILL describes

White House Legal Strategy for ISIS Fight Gets Blurry
President Obama has shifted his legal rationale for justifying military force to defend Syrian rebel forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as the prospect has increased that they could come into conflict with Syria’s government.

The administration had been using a 2001 authorization approved by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks to justify air strikes against ISIS.

But the administration now says it will also rely on Article II of the Constitution as the legal backing for air strikes against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s forces if Assad attacks the rebel groups.

“If Syrian government forces attack the Syrian fighters we have trained and equipped while they were engaging ISIL, the President would have the authority under Article II of the Constitution to defend those fighters,” a senior administration official told The Hill, using another acronym to describe ISIS.

The legal shift comes as the Syrian rebels are beginning to deploy back into Syria from their training sites.

This is raising the prospect that they will come into conflict with Assad’s forces, prompting the need for a U.S. response.

And the U.S. is not only protecting the rebels they've vetted and trained, but the entire groups that they were recruited from and return to — many of which the U.S. has not vetted.

In fact, a U.S. official said, the U.S.-led coalition already is providing those groups with air support against ISIS – even though they do not yet have U.S.-trained rebels embedded with them.
The diplomatic official said some of the groups may target Assad — which would bring the U.S. closer to war with the regime.

Already, things have not gone as planned. Although the rebels were trained to fight ISIS, the first rebels to return almost immediately came under attack by al Nusra — an al Qaeda affiliated group, prompting coalition airstrikes. 
The administration maintains the U.S. can defend the rebels from al Nusra — al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria — using the 2001 AUMF.

So far, there has been no conflict with Syrian forces.
Both the expansion of the fight, and the shifting rational for its legality has drawn criticism from Congress.
Legal scholars said using Article II to justify defensive actions as protecting the rebel groups from Assad is a stretch.
“That means nothing. That’s pretty bad when you have to cite Article II…You have to be more specific than that,” said Louis Fisher, scholar in residence at the Constitution Project and former Congressional Research Service researcher.

He and other legal experts say Article II has been interpreted to allow a president to “repel sudden attack” against U.S. troops, the U.S.mainland, and its interests.

Using it to defend Syrian rebels would not fit under that previous interpretation, he said.
“Invoking Article II is question-begging,” agreed Stephen Vladeck, law professor at American University.

Vladeck said Article II has also been interpreted to allow the U.S. to defend its “assets.”
However, he said “by that logic any person or piece of military equipment used by anyone on a side of a conflict with which we agree is all of a sudden covered by Article II. And that cannot be right.” 
As recently as last month, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. did not have the authority to conduct airstrikes against the Syrian regime. 
“My understanding is that we don't have the legal authority at this time to go after the Assad regime. And it's also the policy of the administration not to go after the Assad regime militarily,” he said at a hearing on July 7. 
The administration now is saying it will conduct “offensive” strikes against ISIS that would be justified by the 2001 AUMF, use the same AUMF to justify “defensive” strikes against al Nusra, and use Article II to justify “defensive” strikes to defend the rebels against the regime.
Some lawmakers are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the blurred lines, one year after the airstrikes against ISIS first began.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama and his administration has wanted to directly attack Assad for years and only when they sought political cover by involving Congress at the last minute was this averted. The reasons for opposing Obama's 'intervention' in Syria were numerous and the public opposed his actions as well. 

The Obama administration has never been honest about Syria. In fact, they have always lied about Syria at every opportunity. The claims that the Assad regime solely using chemical weapons against the Syrian people and was a cause for war or Obama and his administration claiming they destroyed Assad's chemical weapons arsenal and enforced the chemical weapons treaty are lies. Further 'blurring' the lines of Constitutional power really isn't a problem for this corrupt and dishonest administration.