Biden alleged to have broken the law with Yemen strikes

 January 13, 2024

Some are accusing President Joe Biden of breaking the law with his recent strikes on Yemen, Reuters reports

The claim is that Biden violated the U.S. Constitution by not getting Congress's approval for the airstrikes.

The argument is that the airstrikes could be considered an act of war or, at least, an act that could lead to war, and the Constitution gives Congress - not the president - the power to authorize war.


In case you missed it, Biden first ordered airstrikes to be carried out on a number of targets in Yemen on Thursday. Then, he ordered more airstrikes to be carried out on Friday.

"Today, at my direction, U.S. military forces—together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands—successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways," Biden said on Thursday.

Biden, here, is referring to the fact that, in recent months, Houthi forces - who are backed by Iran - have been carrying out attacks on Red Sea shipping. The airstrikes are said to be in response to these attacks as well as to the recent attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria.

Did Biden break the law?

As Reuters correctly points out, the matter is not a simple one.

The outlet reports, "[T]he Constitution's Article 2 designates the president as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and gives him the authority to use military force without congressional authorization for defensive purposes."

But, "Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution requires that Congress authorize war."

So, the question is whether Biden's authorization of the airstrikes was an act of war or whether it was done for defensive purposes. We'll leave this question to the experts to debate.

Biden hypocrisy?

While the law on the subject may be unclear, the bad news for Biden is that his ordering of the airstrikes would seem to be at odds with his own beliefs on the subject.

Fox News highlights the fact that Biden, in January 2020, criticized then-President Donald Trump for Trump's bombing of Iran without congressional approval. This was the airstrike in which the U.S. military killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani.

Biden wrote:

Let's be clear: Donald Trump does not have the authority to take us into war with Iran without Congressional approval. A president should never take this nation to war without the informed consent of the American people. As President, I will use military power responsibly and as a last resort. We will not go back to forever wars in the Middle East.

One never has to wait very long for a Democratic to contradict himself.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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