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Declaring war

Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

“It is about time” should be the response to the decision of the president to seek congressional authorization before attacking Syria with missiles.

It has been a long time coming, that a president realized that attacking a country without authorization from Congress is a violation of Section 8, Article 1 of the Constitution. The only exception would be if there was an attack on the U.S. or an imminent threat to the U.S. existed.

However, before we give the president too much credit, it should be pointed out that he bombed Libya without authorization from Congress.

Section 8, Article 1 of the Constitution details the powers granted to Congress and reads that Congress shall have the power to declare war. In other words, only Congress, not the president, shall have the power to authorize an attack on another country, especially when the U.S. has not been attacked or there no imminent threat to the U.S.

Since 1941, when Congress last issued a declaration of war, Congress has allowed the Executive to assume powers only granted to the Congress. It is also about time that members of Congress be on record when the question is should the U.S. bomb or attack another country that has not attacked the U.S.

Victor Darst

West Dundee

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