WHEREAS, the Constitution for the United States of America clearly grants Congress the exclusive power, “to declare war, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water” (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11); and

WHEREAS, Congress may not delegate this power under any circumstances unless the Constitution is amended (Article 5); and

WHEREAS, the Constitution also clearly declares that the President serves as a Commander-in-Chief only when called into service by Congress during times of invasion or rebellion (Art 2, §2, cl.1); and

WHEREAS, only Congress can initiate war and the President merely executes and administers it; and
WHEREAS, history has proven that war powers are invariably abused when left in the hands of one individual; and

WHEREAS, all war activities should be for the sole purpose of national defense (Art 1, §8, cl.1); and

WHEREAS, the Citizens of the several States and the United States of America have been subjected to a series of declared national emergencies beginning with Executive Order #1 issued by Abraham Lincoln on April 15, 1861 and reactivated by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress in 1933; and

WHEREAS,  these declared states of emergency, many of which have continued uninterrupted to this day, have given successive Presidents a multitude of autocratic powers; and

WHEREAS, Senate Report 93-549, War and Emergency Powers Act, 1973, 93 Congress, 1st Session states, in part:

“These proclamations give force to 470 provisions of Federal law. These hundreds of statutes delegate to the President extraordinary powers, ordinarily exercised by the Congress, which affect the lives of American citizens in a host of all- encompassing manners. This vast range of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to rule the country without reference to normal Constitutional processes…

“Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens…

“Over the course of at least the last 40 years, Presidents have had available an enormous-seemingly expanding and never-ending -range of emergency powers. Indeed, at their fullest extent and during the height of a crisis, these ‘prerogative’ powers appear to be virtually unlimited…Because Congress and the public are unaware of the extent of emergency powers, there has never been any notable congressional or public objection made to this state of affairs. Nor have the courts imposed significant limitations.” [emphasis added]; and

WHEREAS, the 1973 Senate report also expresses concern that in our current state of emergency, we could end up with a totalitarian state:

“If the President can create crimes by fiat and without congressional approval, our system is not much different from that of the Communists, which allegedly threaten our existence…The enormous scope of powers…is a time bomb.” [emphasis added]; and

WHEREAS, Congress has repeatedly violated its war powers through a long series of unconstitutional acts, resolutions and other actions, starting with the Emergency Banking Systems Act and the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1933, resulting in massive unconstitutional powers to the President; and

WHEREAS, the power to both declare and conduct war is thus in the hands of one man resulting in decades of unjust wars with enormous loss of life and expense while being propagandized as patriotism; and

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court in the Guantanamo line of cases (2008), acknowledged that the U.S. has been under War/Emergency Powers, (Military Commissions Act) depriving detainees of their Constitutional due process/habeas rights  (the court preserved Judicial Review of the Constitutional Law claims, and effectively strengthened standing to state a claim in federal court); and

WHEREAS, Congress and past Presidents have persisted in violating this clause by unconstitutionally sending advisors, troops, and/or money, equipment, and other support to aid foreign nations in “wars”, conflicts, police actions, and covert activities, including, but not limited to, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Haiti, Kuwait, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan without a lawful congressional declaration of war as stated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, Congress and the President have engaged in non-defensive military actions by committing U.S. troops in over 130 countries throughout the world, engaging us in foreign entanglements and fomenting animosity and reprisals; and

WHEREAS, Congress and the President have abused their power by committing U.S. troops to serve as mercenaries in foreign conflicts under the auspices of the United Nations.


Learn more about the subject matter of this Article. Read the WAR POWERS Clauses. Read the PETITION for Redress of Grievances Relating to the Application of the Armed Forces of the United States in Hostilities in Iraq Without a Congressional Declaration of War. See the related CC 2009 videos: Dr. David Adler, Professor of Political Science, Idaho State University, author-  The History, Meaning, Effect, Significance and Violations of the War Powers Clauses of the Constitution.

Additional resources for consideration: Petition to the Federal Court Regarding the Unconstitutional Bombing of Kosovo. Dismissed by the Court for “lack of standing.”



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