To: News Editor, New York Times, Public Editor, New York Times, Reader Representative, Washington Post, National Editor, Washington Post, President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Stop "Mission Creep" in Iraq

President Obama must clearly explain to the American people why his decision to order airstrikes in Iraq without Congressional authorization was Constitutional, say what he believes is the legal limit of his authority, and seek explicit Congressional authorization for further military action.

Members of Congress must say whether they support President Obama’s decision to conduct airstrikes in Iraq, whether they believe he should have sought Congressional authorization, and whether they believe he should seek authorization now.

Media institutions must prominently explore whether the President had legal authority to order airstrikes in Iraq, what the limit of his legal authority to order airstrikes is, and what Members of Congress believe is the limit of his legal authority to order airstrikes without Congressional authorization.

Why is this important?

When President Obama gave a speech to the nation about his plans to conduct air strikes in Iraq, he failed to clearly explain why his decision to order airstrikes in Iraq without Congressional authorization was Constitutional and legal. [1]

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern requiring the President to come to Congress for authorization before using military force in Iraq. [2] Minority Leader Pelosi and almost all Democrats supported the legislation. [3] Before that, more than 100 Members of the House signed the bipartisan Barbara Lee-Scott Rigell letter insisting that the President come to Congress before using military force in Iraq. [4]

Members of Congress must speak up now demanding that there be Congressional authorization before any further military action. And major media, especially the New York Times and the Washington Post, must prominently address the question of whether the President has Constitutional authority to conduct airstrikes in Iraq and what the legal limit of his authority is.

Urge the Administration, Congress, and the media to comply with and uphold the Constitutional role of Congress in deciding when to use military force by signing our petition.

References:
1. “'Humanitarian Emergency' Does Not Suspend the Constitution on War Powers,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/obama-iraq-air-strikes_b_5662055.html
2. https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/105
3. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll452.xml
4. http://lee.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/bipartisan-letter-calls-for-congressional-authorization-before-any-military

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