Conor Friedersdorf, of The Atlantic, speaks of the mendacity of the Nation’s First Black President: we do not realize how much his lies have empowered the Warfare State, due to
the peculiar way Obama has set these precedents: he has done so while purporting to be a critic of executive power.
It isn’t just the aura of being a former constitutional-law professor and civil libertarian. He literally declared, “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” And he emphatically stated, “History has shown us time and again that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”
As Goldsmith points out, his words are deeply at odds with his actions. Two years remain in his presidency. And unless Obama alters the course he has followed, he will leave office having set precedents that take the brakes off the war machine. Future presidents will be able to wage war without Congress practically anywhere.