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 But critics say both versions are outdated and overbroad.The 2001 AUMF, for example, was enacted shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to give then-President George W. Bush the power to target those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Susan Rice, sent a letter to then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in 2014 characterizing the 2002 authorization as “outdated” and called for it to be repealed.As the war has dragged on, the military has bombed ISIS targets while Obama has also deployed troops to Syria, which contradicts his past statements that he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

ÖAMTC: Croatia is the leading foreign destination on the Austrian market

first_imgAccording to the research “Reisemonitoring”, which he conducted ÖAMTC, Austrian National Auto-Moto Club, Croatia is the leading foreign destination on the Austrian market.According to the survey, which was conducted in March and April on a sample of 800 respondents, Italy is in second place, Spain is in third place, while about 18 percent of Austrians for the main holiday remain in their own country. It is a very reference study with comparable data because the same research methodology has been used for the past seven years. The focus of this year’s research was on the organization of annual leave.The survey also showed that two thirds of Austrians plan their longer vacation (up to 14 days) at least once a year, while every fourth respondent also plans an additional shorter vacation (up to 4 days). During the main holiday, they prefer swimming and sunbathing, and use car (42 percent) and air transport (41 percent) as a means of transport, which is an increase in the share of air transport chosen by only one in three Austrian passengers in previous years. Croatia, ie the cities of Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka and Zadar in the summer flying season are connected with a total of 31 scheduled and charter flights, mostly with Vienna, namely the airlines Austrian Airlines and Croatia Airlines.The data further show that Austrians prefer to organize their own holidays, ie without the mediation of agencies. This especially refers to the segment of young people who intensively use the Internet or direct booking, and these trends are followed by the elderly population, because as many as 56 percent of people over 60 also organize their vacation in this way.Austria has an annual share of about 8 percent in the total Croatian tourist traffic, which ranks this market in the high third place of the top markets with the largest tourist traffic, just behind the leading Germany and Slovenia. Also, over 60 percent of Austrians in Croatia are regular guests who prefer accommodation in hotels, then household facilities, and camps. During the last year, Austrian tourists spent the most nights in Rovinj, Poreč, Umag, Medulin and Mali Lošinj.Side dish:1. ÖAMTC Reisemonitoring: Holidays 2018 so bay and travel Austria2. Issue market profile: Austria http://www.cro-diasporacongress.com/last_img read more

Other Sports Praggnanandhaa Wins Gold In World Youth Chess Championships, India End With Record Seven Medals

first_imgMumbai: Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa emerged as unconquered king in the World Youth Chess Championship in Mumbai, claiming the gold in the Under-18 Open category on Saturday. The 14-year-old Grand Master from Chennai settled for a cautious draw in the 11th and final round against ValentinBuckels (Germany) to top the charts with nine points. He, however, will also have to thank compatriot, International Master Arjun Kalyan for achieving a crucial draw against top seeded Shant Sargsyan (Armenia). Praggnanandhaa would have been under pressure if Grand Master Shant had won. But Shant could not unravel a determined Arjun, allowing Praggnanandhaa to annex the title.  The Championship ended on a high note for India, with six other medals, including three silver, coming their way. Only the Under-16 Girls category proved tough for India, although B M Akshaya gave a good account of herself. Akshaya lost the medal to Anousha Mahdian, sufferingan unexpected defeat to her in the final round. But Indian girls in the Under-14 segment compensated for it, with Divya Deshmukh and Rakshitta Ravi winning two medals. Top seed Womens International Master Divya, who seemed to be out of contention midway through the event, pulled off a well thought-out victory in the last round to clinch silver. Rakshitta too beat overnight leader Bat-Erdene Mungunzul on the top board to earn the bronze. Kazakhstan’s Meruert Kamalidenova, however, was the star of this category, registering five straight wins to clinch the gold. Fide Master L R Srihari (Under-14 Open) and Vantika Agrawal (Under-16 Girls) collected other two silver medals for India, playing out draws in their respective matches. Vantika had an outside chance of pocketing the gold, especially after top seed Polina Shuvalova (8.5) settled for a draw.Also Read | Earlier Padma Shri snub motivated me to do better: Harika Dronavalli, India chess grandmasterVantika, with eight points, however, couldn’t beat Alexandra Obolentseva of Russia, and finished half a point behind Shuvalova. Srihari (8), who was in contention for the gold at the start of the penultimate day, endured draws in the last two rounds to slip to the second position. S Maralakshikari won the bronze, after beating the surprise package of the championship, R Abinandhan. CM Aronyak Ghosh (8) claimed the other bronze for the country in the Under-16 Open category after drawing withIran’s Arash Daghli. He will, however, look back at the WYCC as a missed opportunity, after accepting a quick draw in the penultimate round. Winners: U18 Open: Praggnanandhaa R (IND) 9.0; Shant Sargsyan (ARM) 8.5; Artur Davtyan (ARM) 8.0  U18 Girls: Polina Shuvalova (RUS) 8.5; Vantika Agrawal (IND) 8.0; Alexandra Obolentseva (RUS) 7.5 U16 Open: Rudik Makarian (RUS) 8.5; Stefan Pogosyan (RUS) 8.0; Aronyak Ghosh (IND) 8.0  U16 Girls: Leya Garifullina (RUS) 8.5; Nurgali Nazerke (KAZ) 8.5; Anousha Mahdian (IRI) 8.0 U14 Open: Aydin Suleymanli (AZE) 9.0; Srihari L R (IND) 8.0; Sreeshwan Maralakshikari (IND) 8.0 U14 Girls: Meruert Kamalidenova (KAZ) 8.5; Divya Deshmukh (IND) 8.0; Rakshitta Ravi (IND) 8.0. For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

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first_img Top Stories A guest of Doug and Wolf on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station, Hayes said the Cardinals have used him at corner but he would not mind moving back to running back at some point.But really, he just wants to be on the field.“As long as I’m on the field and I can make plays and put the team in a situation to win ballgames, I’m fine,” he said.Hayes’ road to doing so will not be an easy one.After collecting three interceptions along with 42 total tackles, seven tackles for loss and nine passes defensed as a redshirt senior in 2016, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound defensive back was not expected to hear his name called during the draft.He has impressed in his short time with the Cardinals, where after one of the final mini-camp practices in which Hayes made some plays, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians praised his quickness.“He shows up every day and he’s another young guy that’s — I don’t care how you get here, just show that you put good tape out there (and) you’ve got a chance.”Hayes is confident his time with the Sun Devils helped prepare him for this opportunity.“Just the whole mentality that Coach Graham used to always just feed to us, just the character and just the whole discipline,” Hayes said. “When you talk, you say, ‘yes sir,’ that transitions a lot to the league. Gump Hayes filled a variety of roles with the Arizona State Sun Devils upon transferring to the school from Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania, beginning his career as a running back before transitioning to cornerback as a senior.He also returned punts and kicks during his two seasons in Tempe, but when it was all over with, he did not do enough to convince a team to spend a draft pick on him.That does not mean Hayes, whose given name is De’Chavon, will not have a chance to make it in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent, and now having gone through rookie mini-camp, OTAs and regular mini-camp, he’s ready for what could lie ahead. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Your browser does not support the audio element. 1 Comments   Share   Cornerback Gump Hayes during Arizona Cardinals OTAs Tuesday, May 16. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)center_img “Coming into the league and just playing, just having fun but just having that mentality that you’ve got to play this game hard. You can’t give these guys nothing.”That includes stars like Larry Fitzgerald, who Hayes said he was not starstruck by but does feel fortunate to have lined up against on the field and sat next to in team meetings.Hayes said it’s nice how the team’s veterans have been willing to help out, lending the kind of advice that comes with experience.It should all help his future and now, with his first training camp less than a month away, Hayes draws motivation from his past.“Just knowing where I came from and everything I’ve been through to get to this point,” he said. “Coming out of high school, I missed a season coming out of high school, then going to junior college, then missing a season at ASU to just going from running back to cornerback.“Everything I’ve been through to get to where I’m at now, that’s my motivation.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo LISTEN: Gump Hayes, Arizona Cardinals rookie defensive back Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more