Rand Paul

Rand Paul Presses Mike Pompeo on Iran: ‘You Do Not Have Our Permission To Go to War’

Does the Trump administration think it can wage war in Iran without congressional approval? Mike Pompeo won't say.

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Ron Sachs/AdMedia/Newscom; Stefani Reynolds—CNP/Sipa USA/Newscom

Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) pressed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday to say whether the Trump administration believes it has the power to go to war in Iran without congressional approval. Pompeo would not give a straight answer.

The exchange, which occurred while Pompeo was testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, came two days after President Donald Trump announced he was designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a powerful Iranian paramilitary organization, as a foreign terror group. The IRGC has long faced accusations of sponsoring global acts of terror, and it's also been known to support various militant groups in the Middle East.

Paul was concerned that the White House might use the new designation to go to war with Iran without congressional authorization. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force gives the president the power to take military action against any entity he believes to have been responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks.

"Do you believe that the 2001 authorization to go war with those who attacked us on 9/11 applies to Iran or Iran's Revolutionary Guard?" Paul asked Pompeo.

"I'd prefer to just leave that to lawyers," the secretary of state responded.

But Paul wasn't satisfied. "Well, I would think it would be a pretty important question that whether or not you think you have the right invade or declare war or engage in war with Iran," Paul said. Referencing the IRGC being labelled a terror group, he added: "Do you think that that somehow includes them in the 2001 [AUMF] and is that any part of the decision-making process with including this designation?"

Pompeo claimed the designation "was not part of the decision-making process. The designation was a simple recognition of reality." But Pompeo did point out that Iran has connections to al-Qaida, who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

"I am troubled that the administration can't unequivocally say that you haven't been given power. I can tell you explicitly you have not been given power or authority by Congress to have war with Iran," Paul responded. "And in any kind of semblance of a sane world, you would have to come back and ask us before you go into Iran."

This is not the first time Paul has expressed concerns over a potential war with Iran. In October, he cosponsored a bill that would largely ban money from being used for military action in Iran unless it's "in response to an imminent threat to the United States." The legislation has yet to make any progress in the Senate.

The Constitution gives Congress the authority to authorize military intervention, and in the case of Iran, it has not.

"You do not have the permission of Congress to go to war in Iran. If you want a war in Iran, you have to come to us. It's the way the Constitution was written, and it needs to be very clear," Paul said Wednesday. He said it again, just in case Pompeo missed it the first time: "You do not have our permission to go to war in Iran."

Paul is absolutely right. Hopefully, Pompeo and his boss will listen.

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79 responses to “Rand Paul Presses Mike Pompeo on Iran: ‘You Do Not Have Our Permission To Go to War’

  1. Permission? What permission? We don’t need no stinking permission.

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  2. Doesn’t the administration have the power to do whatever it wants for up to 90 days? I mean, I know the caveat is that it’s only supposed to be used for emergencies. But if the southern border counts as an emergency, then anything counts as an emergency.

    1. “But if the southern border counts as an emergency, then anything counts as an emergency.”

      Are you talking about the physical border? The statutes defining where the border is? The word border?
      Because the inability to account for millions of people entering the country is absolutely an emergency.

      1. what is the immediate risk proposed by these undocumented migrants? how has this affected you personally in a non-trivial way?

        1. What’s your address?

        2. “how has this affected you personally in a non-trivial way?”

          – carpal tunnel from obsessive complaining on the internet? Or if that’s not bad enough, imagine the ruined Thanksgiving dinners… Please think of the innocent families affected by those affected by this horrible emergency, won’t you?

        3. “undocumented migrants”
          You’re pathologically unable to say “illegal”, aren’t you, you dishonest turd.
          Are you Setyon’s sockpuppet? Because he refuses to state reality too.

      2. Because the inability to account for millions of people entering the country is absolutely an emergency.

        Yes, it’s such an emergency that its happened every year for 50 years and the republic is still not just fine but actually better for it.

        1. Sure we are!!….LOL!!!!…Come to my neck of the woods & see the horrors that this open border policy has wreaked upon America!

          1. There is no *open border policy.*

            1. That’s what you have when you hobble your border security agency and then have leftist organizations bringing multiple caravans of foreigners here illegally. But you can always stick your head in the sand and call it something else.

    2. And a war with Iran couldn’t possibly last more than 90 days. Just look how quickly we wrapped things up in Iraq.

      1. Or Afghanistan

  3. We aren’t going to war with Iran. We’re going to bomb the IRGC.

    Totally different.

    1. We’ll do it all with drones. So, not only will there be no boots on the ground, since they can’t shoot back it won’t be ‘hostilities’ either.

      All tried and tested excuses given by the last administration.

    2. It’s “Just the tip (of a drone)” foreign policy

      1. I tried to use just the tip once. Just like in this instance I fell all the way in.

  4. I have always learned that it is much easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Obviously, our politicians agree (or most of them)

  5. Off the top of my head, this proves that Rand Paul is a Putin lackey. Iran is allied with Russia, ergo: compromised.

    Oh shit, I’m a “journalist” now

    1. No need for the scare quotes. You had it right.

  6. Who the hell does Trump think he is? Barrack Obama?

    1. Of course not. Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner ? something Drumpf will never be.

      #UnbanPalinsButtplug

      1. OK that made me laugh.

      2. “#UnbanPalinsButtplug”

        Seems turd has gone missing recently. More kiddie-porn links got his ass tossed again?

        1. He showed up a few weeks ago with a sock. But I haven’t seen him since.

        2. Maybe some abused child’s father killed him.

      3. No, Trump will never be a Nobel Peace Prize winner…which is rather more to his credit than not. The Nobel Prize had been tending toward trendy bullshit for some time but when it was awarded to Jug-Ears for (so far as one can determine) breathing, it really jumped the shark. It joins the Pulitzer, the Hugo, and may other formerly significant prizes that are now laughingstocks because they have been taken over by moonbats.

  7. I absolutely respect Paul’s stressing this point that Congress declares war and has the power of the purse. And that there is no way that this designation should be anyway directly connected to the AUMF.

    However, I am not sure that was really Trump’s goal anyway. I think it has far more to do with being able to use financial leverage rather than any possible use of troops.

    1. Sanctions are a precursor to war or they are an abject failure. There really isn’t a lot of middle ground on the topic. There were a lot of people who got cheeky during Russia Fever Dreams who pretended as if sanctions are totes not a prelude to war (hell, some even published a front page article advocating for sanctions against Russia for lolz), but they most certainly are. I cannot think of a single incident where a country has been sanctioned and the result has been the sanctioned country changing its actions. If sanctions work then so do tariffs.

      1. Well, there’s Libya. Of course, after they changed their behavior in response to sanctions, we went to war against them anyway.

      2. I cannot think of a single incident where a country has been sanctioned and the result has been the sanctioned country changing its actions. If sanctions work then so do tariffs.

        I can. South Africa would be the most obvious example. Libya would be another. Sanctions got Gadaffi to give up the Lockerbee bombers and his WMD programs. Of course Hillary and Obama repaid him for that by killing him. Another example is Eisenhower threatening sanctions against the UK during the Suez crisis. The UK pulled out when faced with the threat of sanctions from the US.

        So yes, sanctions can and do work. They tend to work when imposed on governments who have something to lose and not work when imposed on tyrannies who are more worried about looking weak than they are about the welfare of their people.

        1. South Africa was sanctioned by the international community (apart from Israel). The US was actually late to the sanction game. Libya didn’t give up its weapons because of sanctions. They gave them up after we invaded Iraq, because they thought we were crazy enough to invade them next. Eisenhower didn’t sanction anyone over the Suez crisis. He threatened to sell off America’s holdings in their currency.

          You just proved my point with your horrible examples.

          1. South Africa was sanctioned by the international community (apart from Israel)

            So what? You said you couldn’t think of an example where sanctions worked. You didn’t say unilateral sanctions. When the sanctions are multilateral they have a much better chance of succeeding. The example disproves your point.

            Libya didn’t give up its weapons because of sanctions. They gave them up after we invaded Iraq, because they thought we were crazy enough to invade them next.

            No, that is a horseshit myth. They turend over the Lockerbee bombers in 1999. Libya had been in negotiations with the US and the west since the late 1990s and had been gradually complying with the demands made by the west. Our invading Iraq had little to do with it.
            http://www.brookings.edu/opini…..-the-bomb/

            And yes, Eisenhower didn’t actually sanction anyone over the Suez. That is because the UK left the Suez after he threatened sanctions. If the threat of sanctions causes countries to change their actions, that disproves your contention just as much as if the sanctions had been imposed.

            1. So, you’re saying that a worldwide sanction imposed on a country, with the example of South Africa, shows that unilateral sanctions that not even our allies will abide by will totally work?

              And your point about Libya is weird, because it was only after the invasion of Iraq that the Libyans approached the British and the Americans saying that they were willing to unilaterally disarm. And then, according to then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Gaddaffi said that he was afraid that what happened to Iraq would happen to him.

              http://www.realclearpolitics.com/arti…..09406.html

              1. Also, Eisenhower literally never threatened sanctions- he threatened something that would actually be impactful: selling American reserves of the pound.

                1. No, he threatened to prevent the UK from withdrawing its gold reserves from the IMF, which are economic sanctions.

                  Harold Macmillan, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, increasingly worried about the question of the gold reserves, approached the International Monetary Fund with a request to withdraw the British contribution to the Fund. Macmillan received a blunt “no.” The US, the “largest depositor” in the IMF and thus holding veto power, refused the withdrawal at Eisenhower’s direction until Britain agreed to a cease fire. Macmillan felt he had no other choice than to recommend to Eden and the Cabinet acceptance of the UN cease fire resolution. Combined with the fear of Cabinet members of Soviet intervention in the crisis, which threatened to explode the conflict into a nuclear war, the impending financial crisis helped persuade Eden, his policy bankrupt and his reputation as a skilled diplomat and statesman now in shreds, to accept the cease fire the evening of November 6. Eden then telephoned Guy Mollet in Paris and recommended he follow suit in accepting the cease fire.

                  http://www.eiu.edu/historia/Michael Olson historia 2016.pdf

              2. So, you’re saying that a worldwide sanction imposed on a country, with the example of South Africa, shows that unilateral sanctions that not even our allies will abide by will totally work?

                No I am saying that economic sanctions worked in that case. The fact that they were multilateral doesn’t make that statement any less true.

                And your point about Libya is weird, because it was only after the invasion of Iraq that the Libyans approached the British and the Americans saying that they were willing to unilaterally disarm.

                That is just bullshit. They didn’t approach the Bush Administration. They had been in negotiations with the Bush administration for years. Read the link I put up which was written by someone who was involved in the negotiations. It says

                This is the context in which Libyan officials approached the United States and Britain last spring to discuss dismantling Libya’s weapons program. The Iraq war, which had not yet started, was not the driving force behind Libya’s move. Rather, Libya was willing to deal because of credible diplomatic representations by the United States over the years, which convinced the Libyans that doing so was critical to achieving their strategic and domestic goals. Just as with Lockerbie, an explicit quid pro quo was offered: American officials indicated that a verifiable dismantling of Libya’s weapons projects would lead the removal our own sanctions, perhaps by the end of this year.

                1. Your argument is exceptionally flimsy and widely ignores the multitude of times that sanctions have not worked, even if I granted you the South African comparison (which again was an international sanction versus unilaterally sanctions that our own allies will not abide by, as discussed here)

                  1. Your argument is exceptionally flimsy and widely ignores the multitude of times that sanctions have not worked,

                    I am not ignoring that at all. You said sanctions never work and that is just not true. They have. That doens’t mean they work every time or they haven’t failed. They have. It just means your claim is wrong.

                    1. No, I am not wrong. The only legitimate example that you provided was South Africa, which is not a fair comparison to the sanctions we are discussing.

                    2. South Africa, Libya and the Suez. That is three examples.

                    3. Oh my Christ, Suez literally had absolutely nothing to do with sanctions at all and Libya wasn’t a result of sanctions either. The Suez argument is so stupid, I thought that you would have backed away from such an idiotic position.

  8. Of course, that doesn’t keep Iran from waging war on us.

  9. “But Pompeo did point out that Iran has connections to al-Qaida, who carried out the 9/11 attacks.”

    What “connections” is Pompeo talking about? Iran is Shiite, al-Qaida is Sunni. Iran had no involvement in 9-11. Pompeo is just blowing smoke, and you’re letting him get away with it. If you’re going to spread Republican propaganda, you ought to get paid for it.

    1. Maybe the Russians are behind it?

    2. The only thing that unites Shiites and Sunnis is the extermination of the Jews and the downfall of West.

        1. Yes Dillinger they also hate India too, and probably agree on murdering other people as well.

      1. Not so much unite though. More like they agree on that.

    3. Who all here is a Holy Shiite? Anybody??

    4. Well, hell, everybody’s got connections to al-Qaida.

      I’ve got a nephew in the Marines, the Marines are in Syria, Syria is in the Middle East, al-Qaida is in the Middle East, there you go, I have connections to al-Qaida and we didn’t even have to bring Kevin Bacon into the equation.

  10. Sexton sure knows how to use weasel words, doesn’t he? What “miltants” is he referring to that the IRGC is referring to? Hezbollah is a grassroots militia whose Muslim faith should not deter libertarians from giving respect. The IRGC trained the Syrian militia to better fight ISIS and Al Queda. We should applaud them for that. Iran is no way affiliated with al Queda- a neocon lie. The IRGC has a paramilitary branch that is used domestically, but its primary purpose is special ops (the Quds Force). The IRGC has its own navy and Air Force, they are like the Marines.
    No one in that part of the world is pure, and Iran is far from perfect. However, the real terrorists in MENA are Israel, KSA, and UAE , and of course the US, not Iran.

    1. “Hezbollah is a grassroots militia whose Muslim faith should not deter libertarians from giving respect.”

      Yeah, I don’t know, there are an awful lot of dead Christians in Lebanon that would beg to differ on this point. Maybe, we should say the Ulster Volunteers were also just a grassroots militia whose Protestant faith should not deter libertarians from giving respect?

        1. Yes, the Provisional IRA and the Real IRA. The original Michael Collins era IRA was a different story.

          1. Easter will be here soon. Will we see an uprising?

    2. Hezbollah is a grassroots militia whose Muslim faith should not deter libertarians from giving respect.
      Yeah, sure, they’re basically like the Muslim equivalent of some old ladies hosting a pro-life potluck dinner in their Lutheran church basement.

      1. Don’t forget the jello dish and casserole.

        1. And pipe bombs.

  11. they keep making prognostications about what Trump might do, like go to war or using nuclear weapons yet he hasn’t proposed any such actions has he? so far every claim people have made have been over zealous alarm and arm waving for attention and TDS. that said i wish they would be this critical of every president so that they stay in line

    1. /\ this!

      Trump has a remarkably un-presidential style but so far he is no worse than his predecessors, despite all the TDS bluster.

      Bombing aspirin factories to distract people so they stop talking about his getting blowjobs?

      Lying about WMDs to invade Iraq? Starting the Patriot Act and airport groping just to be seen to “do something?”

      Drone murdering an American citizen without any trial and later drone murdering his 14-year-old son and the kid’s friends AND totally continuing the awful Patriot Act and airport groping of kids and old ladies?

      On an intellectual level, Trump is par for the course for a politician (at least when you get them away from a TelePrompTer), but he has a bit further to sink before he smells as nasty as the last few Presidential turds.

    2. Trump is the President trying to pull troops out for a change.

  12. >>>The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force gives the president the power to take military action against any entity he believes to have been responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks.

    how is this still relevant?

    1. Exactly is anyone left alive that was a part of 9/11shouldn’t they all be dead by now. those left now are just offspring trying to get retribution

  13. Admire the intent at least..

  14. “Pompeo did point out that Iran has connections to al-Queda…” Considering that Iran’s government and majority population is Shiite and al-Queda (when it was still solvent, anyway) was staunchly Sunni, that seems pretty doubtful. Unless he means “connections” in the sense of hating each other’s guts and thinking each other are heretic who should be killed for apostasy.

    By that definition, you could say the Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation had connections to the French Huguenots.

  15. tbh Iran is one of the few nations where I wouldn’t mind a bit of nation building. you don’t have to reinstate the shah, but nobody likes the ayatollah or theocratic nonsense.

    1. Hey, it worked in Lybia. Gadaffi is gone and there is no dictator running the country now.

    2. Mr. Netanyahu likes theocratic nonsense.

  16. Is war with Iran even on the table? I would hope not.

    Military intervention in Venezuela (in some form) is probably the best choice for US interests (not to mention the Venezuelan people), but that, more moral and attractive use of US power won’t happen either with an isolationist President.

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  22. No worries, Iran will just send a freighter to Baltimore with a nuke in a container and light the sucker off. What’s left of Congress will have no effect on the response of the administration to such a provocative act.

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