Why an Army Captain Is Suing Obama

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Last week, Nathan Michael Smith, a U.S. Army Captain, sued his commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, claiming that the war against ISIS is illegal because Congress has yet to authorize it.In court papers filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Smith, stationed at the command hub in Kuwait at the center of the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, argues that the Obama administration has been fighting an illegal war since Aug. 8, 2014, therefore violating Smith’s oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.”Smith, who joined the Army in 2010, cites the Vietnam War-inspired 1973 War Powers Resolution stipulating that the president has up to 60 days to involve armed forces in a conflict before ceasing military action if Congress does not act within 30 days.“The President did not get Congress’s approval for his war against ISIS in Iraq or Syria within the sixty days, but he also did not terminate the war,” Smith’s suit states. “The war is therefore illegal.”This is not the first time the legality of Obama’s unauthorized war has been scrutinized.Several members of Congress have criticized their colleagues for failing to hold a single vote on the war and have also questioned Obama’s own legal interpretation claiming existing law permits him to fight ISIS.Since the White House began bombing ISIS positions in Iraq—and later in Syria—in August 2014, the administration has presented both the 2001 and 2002 authorizations to use military force to justify its war on the so-called Islamic State. But critics say both versions are outdated and overbroad.The 2001 AUMF, for example, was enacted shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to give then-President George W. Bush the power to target those responsible for killing nearly 3,000 Americans on US soil—meaning al Qaeda. The 2002 AUMF essentially authorized the US to go to war with Iraq.In fact, Obama’s own National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, sent a letter to then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in 2014 characterizing the 2002 authorization as “outdated” and called for it to be repealed.As the war has dragged on, the military has bombed ISIS targets while Obama has also deployed troops to Syria, which contradicts his past statements that he would not put soldiers on the ground in the battle-scarred region.The president has not only used the 2001 AUMF to legalize unauthorized wars but also to justify drone strikes across the Middle East and Africa. The highest profile case involved a drone strike that killed a US citizen in Yemen who had become a radical cleric. That targeted strike also killed Samir Khan, former Westbury, L.I., resident who had  become editor of al Qaeda’s propaganda magazine. The so-called drone memo approving the strike, which the administration fought in court to keep secret, revealed that the cleric was the intended target, not the editor.Although Smith is now suing Obama, the Army captain said in a letter accompanying the suit that he “was ready for action” after the president ordered air strikes against ISIS in 2014.“In my opinion,” Smith wrote, “the operation is justified both militarily and morally. This is what I signed up to be part of when I joined the military.”Capt. Smith holds the so-called Islamic State in contempt.“They are an army of butchers,” he said. “Their savagery is sickening.”Smith comes from a family with three generations of military officers, but he says he grew concerned once people back home began questioning the legality of the war. In his suit, he wrote, “I began to wonder, ‘Is this the Administration’s war, or is it America’s war?’”Given the lack of action from elected officials, Smith says he hopes that the court will order the president to get proper authority from Congress to fight ISIS.The suit was reportedly inspired by an article published last August in The Atlantic by Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman that suggested US soldiers have the legal standing to challenge a war they deem illegitimate.“Existing case-law establishes that individual soldiers can go to court if they are ordered into a combat zone to fight a war that they believe is unconstitutional,” Ackerman wrote.In an Op-Ed for The New York Times published last week, Ackerman doubled down on his claim and backed the suit brought by Smith, whom he’s serving as a consultant in the case.“My aim is simply to insist that Captain Smith is right to believe that the federal courts provide the proper forum for relieving him, and other conscientious soldiers, of the terrible dilemma posed by their oaths of office,” he wrote.For his part, Obama proposed his own AUMF in February 2014 that would sunset after three years. But Congress still has not voted on it. And when Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), a critic of Congress’ refusal to vote on the war, proposed a measure that would have forced his colleagues to hold a vote on the AUMF’s merits, it failed.Now Smith believes it is his duty to force the White House and Congress to act.“The Constitution tells us that Congress is supposed to answer that question,” he wrote. “But Congress is AWOL.”(Featured photo credit: White House/Pete Souza)last_img read more

Granit Xhaka reveals Unai Emery reaction in Arsenal’s dressing room after Europa League final defeat to Chelsea

first_imgGranit Xhaka and Arsenal’s players suffered defeat in the Europa League final (AMA/Getty Images)Granit Xhaka has revealed that Unai Emery and Arsenal’s players were in silence after their defeat to Chelsea in the Europa League final on Wednesday evening.The Gunners have missed out on Champions League qualification once again after they were hammered 4-1 by Maurizio Sarri’s side in Baku.Chelsea went 3-0 up before Alex Iwobi scored an excellent goal to hand Arsenal a lifeline, but the Gunners’ hopes were extinguished as Eden Hazard scored his second of the game just three minutes later.Arsenal’s players and Emery looked dejected after the final whistle and Xhaka has revealed the reaction inside their dressing room following the defeat.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Him [Emery], the players, nobody speaks in the dressing room,’ said Xhaka. Unai Emery said nothing to his players inside Arsenal’s dressing room (AMA/Getty Images)Asked why Emery did not say anything, Xhaka said: ‘I don’t know. He was disappointed of course.‘I think we know how we played. We know we lost the game.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘It is not about shouting. It is not about shouting everything if we lose.‘You can say a lot now but it is not the time to explain why and what happens.‘I think it was a big chance for us and we didn’t take it.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 30 May 2019 12:33 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Comment Granit Xhaka reveals Unai Emery reaction in Arsenal’s dressing room after Europa League final defeat to Chelsea Advertisementlast_img read more

Randy Gregory reportedly will apply for reinstatement, hopes to be at Cowboys camp

first_imgRandy Gregory is hoping the NFL will end his latest suspension in time for him to participate in training camp. According to a Dallas Morning News report, the Cowboys defensive end plans to petition the league for reinstatement within the next 10 days. The Morning News cited an unidentified source saying Gregory hasn’t failed or missed a drug test during his current suspension, but that doesn’t mean he’ll automatically get a pass from the NFL. The report notes the league could allow the 26-year-old to participate in training camp and preseason games but force him to sit out a to-be-determined number of games once the regular season begins.Either way, the Cowboys clearly haven’t given up on the defensive end. They signed him to an extension through the 2020 season in April, more than a month after the NFL handed down his most recent disciplinary action.  Dolphins’ Kendrick Norton’s condition upgraded from critical to stable, report says Ezekiel Elliott won’t face NFL discipline over Las Vegas incident “I don’t think you can count on him right now,” coach Jason Garrett said of Gregory this spring. “Hopefully we’ve built our team up to the point where we don’t have these blatant needs. … There’s certainly a point [you cut ties] with different players. We don’t think we’re at that point with Randy right now.“He’ll continue to work and try to get professional help for his issues. I do believe he’s made great strides in this area and the way it’s been explained to me is sometimes, relapse is part of rehab. I think that’s something he’ll continue to work through.”The Cowboys’ first preseason practice is scheduled for July 27 in Oxnard, California. He is serving his fourth suspension since entering the league in 2015 after violating the terms of the conditional reinstatement that allowed him to return to the field in 2018 after missing all of the previous season. A second-round pick by Dallas in 2015, Gregory previously was suspended for 14 total games in 2016 after failing a pair of drug tests (four games the first time, 10 the second time). After a brief return to the field, he was then banned for the entire 2017 campaign as well. In 16 regular-season NFL games, he has seven sacks and 34 total tackles. Related News Eli Manning: ‘I’m not rushing into retirement’last_img read more

Policeman in hot water for shooting Itaballi man

first_imgA Police constable is in hot water after he allegedly used excessive force on a man with whom he had an argument at Itaballi Check Point, Region Seven. The incident occurred at about 20:00h on Friday evening.According to reports, the constable was responding to a report of domestic violence in the area when he came into contact with the accused, resulting in an argument.During the heated argument, the Policeman was accused of hitting the man to the head with his service revolver, causing him to fall. The Constable then discharged a round, hitting the man to his upper chest.After the shooting, the constable took the man to the Bartica Regional Hospital where he was admitted, and is now in a stable but serious condition.The rank, according to reports, fled the area but was later arrested at the Tiperu Crossing.The Office of Professional Responsibility has launched a probe into the purported breaches of standard operating procedures in relation to the report of domestic violence.last_img read more