Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jokers to the Left of Me

Dave Dayen at FDL unleashes his ODS in response to the LRA mission:
The Administration’s claimed legal justification comes from a law called the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, originally sponsored by Russ Feingold. Human Rights Watch were among the endorsers of the bill. I’m not sure this is what they had in mind....

This furthers a long, slow decline whereby the President becomes a unitary executive in matters of foreign policy, even though Congress has explicit rights regarding war powers. If Congress fails to use them, it only emboldens the executive, who then feels free to inform Congressional leaders after the fact that he deployed troops to central Africa.
Sadly, no. The LRA Disarmament & Northern Uganda Recovery Act, as it happens, authorizes
(1) providing political, economic, military, and intelligence support for viable multilateral efforts to protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army, to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield in the continued absence of a negotiated solution, and to disarm and demobilize the remaining Lord’s Resistance Army fighters
In other words, this is exactly not just "what they had in mind" but what they authorized in the text of the bill. There are arguments to be made against doing this, but they don't involve the "unitary executive".

Let's stipulate that the left is not nearly as deranged or mendacious or aggressively stupid as the right. Let's also stipulate that derangement, mendacity, and aggressive stupidity are not wholly absent from the left. Finally, let's stipulate the bullshit is bullshit, and is worth calling out even if the intentions behind it appear to be noble and pure.

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