Now that president Obama has decided to refer the Syria issue for Congressional action, while reserving the right to ignore them if they don’t agree to what he wants to do (this is how democracy now operates in the US), here is the text of the Authorization to Use Military Force resolution that president Obama is sending to Congress.
Jack Goldsmith, who was Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush administration, says that such resolutions are usually worded so that the president can interpret it in the broadest possible way but in this case,” there is much more than meets the eye” and that the language is particularly broad and sweeping, allowing the president to do pretty much anything remotely connected to Syria as long as he, and he alone, thinks it is necessary.
First, the proposed AUMF authorizes the President to use force “in connection with” the use of WMD in the Syrian civil war. (It does not limit the President’s use force to the territory of Syria, but rather says that the use of force must have a connection to the use of WMD in the Syrian conflict. Activities outside Syria can and certainly do have a connection to the use of WMD in the Syrian civil war.). Second, the use of force must be designed to “prevent or deter the use or proliferation” of WMDs “within, to or from Syria” or (broader yet) to “protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.” Third, the proposed AUMF gives the President final interpretive authority to determine when these criteria are satisfied (“as he determines to be necessary and appropriate”). Fourth, the proposed AUMF contemplates no procedural restrictions on the President’s powers (such as a time limit).
So once again, Congress is asked to give the president a blank check and if they don’t, the administration will claim it has one anyway.
That’s democracy-USA style.