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Misguided Priorities


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Friday, September 19, 2014, by Frank Kuchar

I was asked when President Obama announced that he was sending thousands of troops to Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak if this was part of the military’s duty and if Obama had the constitutional authority to order this deployment.

Our military has one mission – to protect us from those who seek our destruction and/or enslavement and to utterly annihilate them before they do the same to us. Furthermore, this action not only puts those servicemen/women at risk of exposure, but when they return it also poses a threat to the rest of our population should they unwittingly bring the virus back with them. This is completely irresponsible on the part of Obama.

As for the question about his constitutional authority to order such action, that is a grey area. As commander-in-chief, he can command the armed forces to do, I would suppose since the Constitution is silent on this point, about anything he wants short of armed conflict. That – the War Powers Act of 1973 notwithstanding – requires congressional authorization. The broader question is, since funding will obviously be involved, does the Constitution authorize such expenditure, and the answer to that would be “no”. Nowhere in Article I, Section 8 where the enumerated powers of the government are listed is foreign aid mentioned.

Some might argue that if we have a treaty to provide aid then according to Article VI that treaty would validate such aid. Yet, treaties do not supersede the Constitution. Per the wording of that article, treaties are the supreme law of the land only inasmuch as those treaties are made “under the authority of the United States”, which authority comes to it from the people via the Constitution. So I would argue that even a treaty would not constitutionally authorize such an expenditure. However, having said all of this, being humans and a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, rendering aid when we can to those in need would fit the pattern of the kind of people we Americans are, although in many cases I think aid could be better rendered with more “bang for the buck” when private enterprises and funding are the driving sources. Still, if we want to send funds and supplies, fine, but keep our people out of there, especially since we’ve denied flights and people from that region of the world coming into the US.

It’s time to get our priorities in order. Our open border and the threat coming from Islam should be at the top of the list. It is on mine; unfortunately, it isn’t on President Obama’s.

— Frank Kuchar

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